Friday, May 24, 2013

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

If you're old enough, you may remember Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover from 1975. If not, maybe you're familiar with Train's 50 Ways to Say Goodbye from last year. They both have humorous lyrics for people having trouble with "goodbye". I can relate! These lyrics have been going through my mind a lot.

Effective June 30, I am retiring from the Library. I didn't think I would ever retire - I thought I would only leave when forcibly transferred to a nursing home. Somehow I came up with one of those ways of leaving. Although I am looking forward to having more free time - and especially being able to sleep late - I am still going to miss the Library. It is a wonderful place to work.

I was the first person hired by Susan Cassagne when she moved to Natchez to take the position of Director. The Library has come a long way since then. There were NO public computers, and our automation system (card catalog) was DOS based. The books themselves were way out of date, and the audiovisual collection was pitiful. The building itself was on life support, with employees not knowing how to dress, since we had no idea if our heating or airconditioning would be functioning. It has been exciting and rewarding to be a part of the Library's progress. In fact, it's almost boring now - I can't find anything to complain about.

People who work in libraries are special. They're obviously not in it for the money but for the love of people and knowledge. Chris Shirey, our Cataloger, is the only employee who's been here longer than I have, and her knowledge of libraries is amazing - not to mention she's our resident artist. I remember when we hired Marianne Raley to be our Reference Librarian, and she agreed to develop a teen section. What started as a few books on a shelf with a sign that was bigger than the collection has turned into a separate room, The Teen Zone, that is nirvana for teens. Soon after, because she wanted to move to Natchez, we were fortunate enough to get Anne White as our Assistant Director. She introduced the concept of adult programing, which has been a big success. Our technology grew at such a rapid rate that it was too much for Susan to handle on her own. So Patrick Landers, who had been our IT consultant, became a much needed member of our staff. Next we added Patricia Beverly as our new Circulation Clerk. She is probably the person most of our patrons know best, as she is the smiling face they always see behind the desk. Raye Sandridge was added as circulation help. She was a former nurse and a member of the Navy, so she keeps us all in line. We have had several Children's Librarians while I've been here. Eboni Perryman came to us one summer as part of the Summer Youth Employment program, and she was so good with kids that we just kept her. Last December, she delivered "The Library's Baby", which was very exciting. Our latest staff member is Melissa Doss who was hired as a Circulation Clerk. She was quickly recruited by me to help with counting money. Now she has been selected to take my place and is the new Administrative Assistant.

The Library is such a terrific place, partly due to the Board of Trustees. Two of my favorites passed away while I've been here - Ellen Menetre and Dr Clifford Tillman. A special thanks to our current Chair Duncan McFarlane, who has been supportive in so many ways. But all of our Trustees have been invaluable.

One reason I was able to say goodbye to the Library is that I am going to be working for the Friends of the Library (site coming soon). So I'll still be around. This blog will no longer be maintained by the Library, but it is being transferred to the Friends and will continue to be a source of news about the Library.

Goodbye! (There, I did it.)

1 comment:

  1. Truly enjoyed the post about your retirement! So glad the FOL will still enjoy your services.
    Love, Linda