Passing on rule over library

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, February 12, 2009

Victoria Ashford’s next to last day at Jane B. Holmes Public Library was spent taking her successor, Daniel Dearing, through introductions to his new staff, a whirlwind tour of City Hall and a department head meeting.

Dearing, who officially takes the director reins on Feb. 16, will find many tools already in place to make this transition as seamless as possible. His greatest resource, said Ashford, will be the support of the existing staff.

“When I began my fulltime library position in Alabaster, I thought my dream job had arrived,” Dearing smiled. “But this new opportunity means that an even bigger dream has come true!”

Dearing is a long-time resident who attended Helena Elementary and Pelham High. He remembers going to the Helena library as a boy when it was housed at the City Hall and post office. A 1997 graduate of UAB, Dearing married in 2006 and his wife, Katherine, works at a downtown law firm.

“Daniel brings a different personality — a more low key, easy-going demeanor and intelligence that will be well suited to steering and growing the library,” Ashford said. “My goal has always been to hand to the next director a library that is healthy and whole from the inside out.”

Ashford said she wanted to thank the library board, president Ken Penhale and long-time members Gloria Wyatt, Brian Peters, Frances Parrish and Linda Wolfe and new members Cris Nelson and Leigh Hulsey for their support.

“And, I would like to honor Jane B. Holmes for her support during my first years as director,” Ashford said. “Jane had a deep love for this library and our strong personalities did not always easily mesh, but she came be my biggest supporter and to this day I miss her.”

Ashford adds that she looks forward to her future role with her own newly formed company, Excelcis Training & Consulting Inc., but she will miss those she worked with.

“I will miss the camaraderie and bonds formed with my staff,” Ashford said. “Every day we worked hard and every day we laughed.”

Nan Abbott, director of the Albert L. Scott Library in Alabaster and mentor to both Dearing and Ashford, said “Victoria has been an asset to the library system and will be missed. She is highly professional and will do well in her new business. We look forward to her new role as library user and will be supporting her future endeavors.”