Is the library a mystery to you?

Published 1:49 pm Monday, November 22, 2010

Front row (L-R) are Linda Coulter, Ellen Hook, Carol Horne and Frances Smith. Back row are Nan Abbott, Edelene Turk, Lesley Keith and Steve Gillis.

In my comfort zone, I’m found in the Christian fiction section and large print fiction section. My mind gets scrambled if I leave this area.

So, last week I decided to take the “Senior Tour” offered at the Albert Scott Library in Alabaster by some of the most knowledgeable and friendly folks around.

The purpose of this informative “tour behind the scenes” was to showcase the use of the library and its resources including the self checkout and computerized catalogue.

Through a maze of donated books, books on “hold” and books to be sorted, repaired, sold or discarded, from office to office we squeezed.

Nan Abbott, director of the library for more than 20 years, has guided the Alabaster Library, made do with lack of space, fought with the budget and negotiated with city officials. She is definitely the girl to go to.

With nine full-time and four part-time employees, the library offers full service and is continually adding more community opportunities.

At almost any time of the day, folks are using the computers or the reference section. Children’s activities, scheduled by a very competent Frances Smith, include toddler tales, sing-along, arts and crafts activities, clowns, computers and more.

Carol Horne, the adult specialist and public service librarian, was one of the most informative tour guides I’ve ever had. She had all the answers and didn’t seem to mind blank looks on my face at frequent intervals.

Ellen Hook is a 21-year veteran with the title of senior library associate.

Steve Gillis in reference services is a “newby” compared to some of the others. (Oh, if I only had someone like him to guide me in the early ’60s, on all those research papers!)

Edelene Turk is the patron service manager. Linda Colter and Janice Glenn are library assistants in the circulation department.

Lesley Keith is head of “technical services” (I do not want her job). With the title of senior library associate, she is in charge of transfers, requests, transactions with other area libraries, cataloging and computer breakdowns.

The current four part-time employees are Janelle Madi, Katie Goode, Candra Shockley and Erin Lightsey.

A book club meets on the third Thursday of each month. Book sales are held in the spring and fall.

Cake and culture classes, Christmas specials such as gingerbread classes and a visiting Santa, American Girl spotlights, Winnie the Pooh Day and Children Around the World special features are just a few of the many programs offered by our local library.

Of special interest to seniors is a tax preparation assistance class held each February.

Dedicated employees and friendly support can be found at our library. Check it out.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at