I write this article, which will be my last newspaper article for The Robesonian, with mixed emotions. My last day with the Robeson County Public Library in the role of youth services librarian will be Friday. I have been offered and have accepted a job as the youth services manager at the Beaufort County Public Library in South Carolina, my home state, that will allow me in even a greater capacity to do what I love to do, which is to make libraries the best they can be for babies, toddlers, children, teens and the public that works with them. I leave my current position hoping I have done a good job in working with the children and teens of Robeson County and have made a difference here.
I started here in June of 2010 full enthusiasm determined to make this library the very best it could be in everyway possible. I received outstanding support from the library board, my directors and all who worked in the library system and for that, I am extremely grateful. I developed wonderful ties in the community and support from so many people and organizations for which a thank you seems so inadequate. I ordered for the library system many books from board books for babies to the best teen fiction and non-fiction the library could afford. I performed two summer reading programs that were a blast and that I enjoyed so much. I visited many schools and pre-schools and talked about the importance of the library, provided information and performed programs. I am not writing this all to “toot my own horn” but to tell you how much I have enjoyed working here and how much I will miss it and, more importantly, how much I will miss the people.
It has been a wonderful year and a half. I learned so much here about being a professional librarian. I dare say that I would not have been offered the job in Beaufort County without having been given the opportunity to serve this fine county. Again there are so many people in the community I will miss and this makes me so very sad to be leaving. The people I will miss the most, by far, will be the wonderful kids, teenagers and young people to whom I have become very attached. I really hope and pray that this library system finds an outstanding individual to take my place that will make everyone ask: “Bill who?” I have to joke and be light hearted about this or I will be overcome with melancholy.
There are a couple of “shout outs” I have to give to some very special people who really helped me out above and beyond the call of duty: Tina Stepp and the library board for giving me this wonderful job and for giving me the freedom to run with my ideas, and valued advice; Mr. And Mrs. Taylor for giving me a place to live for two months while I searched for a place for my wife and I to live; all the library staff, but especially Scarlett Smith, Faye Caulder and Brenda Pope who helped me do my job in the very best possible way; Jennifer Lowry, the very special parents and all the kids who put on so many very special plays and productions for the library; Molefi Ramos, Christian Powers of Iselia for making the Band Nights happen and Blackbear, great guys, who always participated; Catie Roche, who I would have loved to worked for longer as I see her as a very competent director for the library. I know I am missing people, but I only have so much room to write.
I leave you all with nothing but positive wishes and prayer. To quote the great poet Robert Frost: “I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Bless you all.
— Bill Corder is the youth services librarian at Robeson County Public Library.