Librarian offers good reading

Published 3:50 pm Monday, August 16, 2010

Somerby resident Clinton Garrett created a library there. “I’ve liked books all my life.”

Most find resort-like living an opportunity to be leisurely pampered. Clinton Garrett, librarian at Somerby at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen in Greystone, is an exception.

On Aug. 3, 2009, he completed and opened the facility’s library. Now he runs it almost single-handedly.

“I used to live at Town Village, and there’s where I learned about libraries,” he said, “Here, we don’t go strictly by typical library system. All books are recorded on the computer, and only one book of each kind is on the shelves. Our space is limited.”

Book donations were made, mostly by residents who had recently downsized. One wall of the library holds neat stacks, categorized by fiction, nonfiction and biographies. Each book is color-coded, with the author’s first three initials. There’s a section for large print books, too. Garrett has a check out system, but no time limit.

Other walls hold shelves full of puzzles, games and paperback books by Louis L’Amour. A computer is ready for guests to use. Tables and chairs are available for guests stopping by to read. A large boardroom-type table and chairs is used for meetings, like Bible study every Monday morning.

Bible study leader Midge Cornelius arrived, readying the room for class, switching on a praise song.

“We all love the way Mr. Garrett keeps the library,” she said.

He smiled, looking clearly proud of the neat space, an orderly array of many good reads.

“I’ve liked books all my life,” he said.

Then Mr. Garrett took me on a tour of the lovely Somerby Independent Living wing. The public areas are made airy and bright with tall ceilings and large windows. Hallways are broad. In addition to a fine dining room, a café offers casual fare. An activity room holds many classes, including art. The game room is complete with pool table and a wide screen television.

“This is a popular room during football season,” Garrett said, smiling.

Then, he took me down a wide hall. On one side is a hair salon. The other has massage rooms, and a bar.

He said, “We have an event in the evening called ‘Wine’d Down’.”

By this time, our tour had ended. We were back in the lobby, where a spread of hot drinks and breakfast pastries awaited guests. How fortunate they are, living in luxurious Somerby, and having Garrett as a neighbor who provides a library.

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at