Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Remembering Marion

Marion Smith
This Sunday, we will honor the employee who set the Library record for longest employment. Marion Smith began working for the Russell County Public Library in the spring of 1976. At her death in 2010, she had worked for 34 years in various jobs at the library. We will dedicate a tree bench on the front lawn in her memory this Sunday, July 8, 2012, at 3 pm.

Marion was hired as the bookmobile driver, in the days when the bookmobile still visited the schools that didn't have their own library. Many residents will remember Marion as their school bus driver. She also was a band booster and often drove the bus for the band. After the bookmobile was discontinued, Marion moved on to other jobs in the library, including resident carpenter and jack-of-all-trades. If it was broken, Marion could fix it. Her last job was repairing and processing library materials.

I always thought of Marion as the resident library historian. She had a phenomenal memory, especially for dates. She could tell me on what date the staff moved into the building on Main Street that most of you know as the library; and she would tell me that it was a Wednesday. A caring person, Marion remembered the birthdays of previous library staff members and their children.

After her death, the staff and board pondered what we could do to honor and remember Marion. We thought of adding books to the collection on topics that she liked in her memory. But that didn't seem significant enough to any of the staff.

Then we saw a circular tree bench. For many years Marion cared for the library building and
grounds. She loved impatiens and planted them every year until she was physically unable to
do so.

Join us this Sunday at 3 pm on the lawn of the Lebanon Library for a brief ceremony. We'll
have cookies and lemonade and family, friends and staff will have an opportunity to offer a
few words or share a memory.

And yes, there will impatiens under the bench.

Kelly McBride

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