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It is with a balance of sorrow and adventurous excitement that I formally announce my intention to retire May 1, with my final work day being April 30. I have been privileged and amazed to have found a profession as honorable as head of children’s services in my childhood library, my teenage haven and my birth community. Never in my wildest dreams did I foresee this possibility.
The trust, support and love I was given have been humbling, and the job fulfilling intellectually, emotionally and creatively. Living a life of service with the intention of kindling a love of learning and a passion for literacy has been both a challenge and a joy that opened experiences in my life and relationships that shaped me profoundly.
Like Ali Baba, who discovered the magic that opened the treasure cave, I continue to live a life forever enriched by my experiences as Wilson County’s “resourceress.”
Now, after many years of care for my elderly parents, that still, small voice in my heart is telling me it’s time to summon my courage and talents for “Act Three!” I have only glimpses of my future self. Whoever she may be, my relationship with the Wilson County Public Library is not finished. I am already planning a poetry event in honor of my mother in the spring of 2020 to be held here, and I’ve agreed to teach a flower arranging class. I expect to relish opportunities to be involved and supportive of our library in many ways for as long as I am able.
I am inspired by Barbara Kingsolver’s philosophy:
“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for.
And the most you can do is live inside that hope.
Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
For 22.83 years of my professional life I have and into my future I will live inside the hope that the Wilson County Public Library remain a beacon in the community. May it continue to serve as a true common ground and model a tolerance and inclusiveness for all humanity beyond the distinctions and differences which divide us.
Now, more than ever, libraries are called to express and protect these values.
Rebecca B. Tighe
The writer is head of children’s services at the Wilson County Public Library.