Harris retires after 30-year tenure on library board

Published 9:13 am Monday, November 19, 2018

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA – A longtime member of the Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library Board of Trustees is closing a chapter in his lengthy service.

Alabaster resident Bobby Harris is retiring after nearly 30 years of serving on the five-member board since he was first appointed in 1989.

Family members, colleagues and friends gathered at the Columbiana Public Library on Nov. 1 to honor Harris and celebrate his impending retirement.

“We have gone through many changes in this system, but we are still here, and God is good, not only to me and my family, but to the library,” he said. “I just thought it was time to take some stuff off my plate.”

In addition to the Library Board, Harris has worked in many capacities over the years, including minister, educator, politician and chairman of the Alabaster Water Board.

Library Board Chairman Michael Smith said the board has been blessed to have Harris’s wisdom, insight and calmness.

“He handles things with dignity and with class and with patience,” Smith said. “It’s great to have his wisdom in the board room all these years.”

Harrison Regional Library Director Kathy Davis thanked Harris for his constant support of the staff.

“You’ve always been there for us,” she said. “You are the same man no matter what you’re doing.”

Smith read comments addressed to Harris from former Harrison Regional Library Director Barbara Roberts, who was unable to attend the reception.

“It was my distinct privilege to work with you as a member of the Library Board,” Roberts wrote. “Due to your long years of service I always depended on your wise advice and counsel during some very challenging situations.”

According to Roberts, Mildred Harrison requested that Harris join the board 30 years ago.

“It is in no small measure that your involvement has resulted in the continuation of excellent library service to the entire county through the Mildred B. Harrison Regional Library System,” Roberts wrote. “I know if Mrs. Harrison were here today she would express her gratitude and her pride in your service and leadership. In closing, as one retiree to another, enjoy your well-earned retirement. You have definitely earned it.”