Success at Work: Chelsey Randel

Imagine landing a job fresh out of high school. A job that would set the course for your educational path and ultimately your career.

That happened to Chelsey Randel, who started working at the Zula B. Wylie Library in Cedar Hill when she was 17. Nine years later she’s a librarian, specializing in teens.

After Chelsey joined the library, she attended Tarrant County College. It was close to home. It was affordable. She wasn’t comfortable going to a university, and her best friend was going there.

Her biggest academic challenge was developing a student mindset. “I wasn’t very studious in high school,” she said. “In college I had to push myself more and put in the work.”

Following her time at TCC, she transferred to UT Arlington, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She went on to graduate with a Master of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University. “I had no idea I would get that far in college,” she said. “Making it to the finish line and getting that degree felt amazing!”

Library Director Aranda Bell said Chelsey enhanced services for tweens and teens while earning her master’s. According to Bell, Chelsey’s hard work and dedication resulted in her becoming the library’s first teen librarian.

“I have a big heart for youth, specifically teens,” Chelsey said, adding that she believes every connection she makes with teens at the library is a victory. Her work includes program oversight and collection development for youth services. She also runs the Cedar Hill Mayor’s Teen Council.

“Teens are a fun group to work with,” she said. “We are showing the library is an inclusive and safe space for teens in the community.” Chelsey considers her middle school librarian her best role model. “She was my safe space, so getting to do that for teens in the community is a huge honor.”

Chelsey looks forward to April 6 and moving into Cedar Hill’s new library, which was funded by a bond election in 2017. She describes giving input and receiving it from the community as special. “I’m most excited to see how the community will react to the library and use it!”