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Teresa Garner retires as director of Rogersville Public Library

A retirement reception honoring Library Administrator Teresa Garner was held at the Rogersville Public Library on Saturday, October 29.

Mrs. Garner retired at the end of October after 21 years of service to the library.

Saturday’s reception, hosted by the Friends of the Library, was an opportunity for the public to come out and express appreciation to Mrs. Garner for all of her hard work and dedication in making the library a vital public asset for the citizens of Rogersville and surrounding communities.

Teresa Garner began working at the Rogersville Public Library in August of 2001.

“I had a Bachelor of Science in Education from Athens State and I had substituted in all the local school systems,” she recalled. “I also filled a couple of leaves of absence for teachers. I taught for most of one school year.”

Garner furthered her education after accepting a job at the library, earning a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Alabama in 2004.

“The first few months at the library was a learning experience,” she said. “Myra Nesmith, Leta Day and Muriel Barnett were my teachers.”

Garner noted, “Myra helped me to settle in as library director. Leta taught me about the community. Muriel taught me about genealogy research and local history.”

Garner said working with the Rogersville Chamber of Commerce for several years allowed her to get to know the community.

As director of the library, she reinstated Preschool Story Time in January of 2002.

In 2003, the library was expanded to its current size along with fresh paint, new carpeting, updated lighting and accessible restrooms.

During Mrs. Garner’s tenure, the library was named an American Library Association All-Star Library multiple times.

All-Star Libraries are those that excel in service to their communities in the areas of library visits, circulation, program attendance, public Internet access use and electronic circulation.

She also wrote numerous grant requests and used the grant funds to purchase computers, furniture, start new programs (such as a Lego Club) and buy books.

The library, along with the Town of Rogersville, hosted the Alabama Bicentennial Exhibit in March of 2019.

One of the most popular and enduring programs during her tenure has been the Summer Reading Program, which has been in place for 21 years with great participation. The library was able to offer a modified summer reading program during the height of the Covid pandemic.

The library has also offered many programs for adults, including guest speakers, educational forums and book signings.

A spokesperson from the Rogersville Public Library Board expressed appreciation to Mrs. Garner for all she has done for the library and for nurturing a love of reading and intellectual curiosity among generations of library patrons.

Rogersville Town Clerk Misty Michael also expressed appreciation and congratulations to Mrs. Garner on behalf of the mayor’s office and town council.

“I have loved every minute of it,” Mrs. Garner said this week. “Rogersville is a wonderful small town and I have been blessed to work here.”

The library board also thanked Mrs. Garner for her gracious offer to help fill in at the library until the new director is in place, which is expected to be the first week in December.

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