For as long as she can remember, Harlem resident Nancy Morrison has had a fascination for books and the public places that house them.
Nancy Morrison sits in front of the Harlem Library, where she began her career in library management. Morrison recently retired from the Appleby Branch Library, where she worked for 21 years.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I've always liked libraries and books," she said. "When I was in high school, I arranged the (books in the) school library.''
Before she knew it, Morrison said, she found herself working countless hours in a public library as a manager.
After spending 21 years as a library manager at the Appleby Branch Library in Augusta, Morrison bid farewell to her patrons and co-workers Jan. 22 at a retirement party.
"We have the best patrons there are," she said, adding that she officially retired in December. "I have this one family that would come in, and I always got a hug from the youngest child, even until this day. You might be down, but that would perk you right up."
After receiving a bachelor of arts degree in library science from Mississippi State College for Women in Columbus, Miss., Morrison began working as the only employee for the only library in Columbia County.
"I was the branch manager for the Harlem library when it opened in 1981," she said. "I worked there until 1983 and then I started working in the Appleby Branch Library."
Morrison said money was the deciding factor to make the arduous trip to Augusta each week after she realized she needed more of it to send her two children to college.
Despite the challenges she's encountered, including learning how to use a computer instead of a typewriter, Morrison said the time she's devoted to serving the public has been well spent.
"I'm going to miss my fellow employees and patrons and my story time," she said. "My story time was exciting for me because the children were so receptive, and they remember you even when they grow up and see you on the street."
Now that Morrison has moved on, the 68-year-old said she has plenty of plans for the future.
"I want to do things that I want to do while I'm still able," she said.
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