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Meador retiring after 30 years

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, April 24, 2019
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Linda Meador

When patrons push through the doors at Decatur Public Library, Linda Meador’s warm smile is the first thing they see.

“My goal is to make everyone who comes in that door feel welcome,” said Meador, the longtime circulation supervisor. “I want them to know they’re welcome to come in, and we’re so glad they’re here.”

Meador, a devoted library employee for 30 years, is retiring April 30.

She started her career at the library as a volunteer when it was in a small building just a block off the Decatur Square. In 1989, when the library moved to its Farm Road 51 South location, she began working part time, eventually becoming a full-time employee and then circulation supervisor, a position she has held for many years.

The public is invited to her retirement party 3 to 5 p.m. Friday at the library.

“Linda knows everyone who walks through the doors and is on a first-name basis with most of the community,” said Pat Peters, library director. “She greets everyone with a smile, and you just know that her heart is with the people of Decatur and Wise County.”

Meador began volunteering at the library when her oldest child started school in an effort to give back to the community.

“I just love books, and I wanted to help,” she said.

At the time her oldest child was in kindergarten. She had another in pre-kindergarten and her youngest, an infant at the time, was often at the library with her, snuggled in a baby carrier while Meador put away books or dusted shelves.

“I never would have thought this library would have grown as much as it has,” she said. “I’ve been through four different library directors, and every one has brought more into the library each time.

“It’s just wonderful.”

Meador said the biggest change through the years has been in the children’s and young adult sections.

“Like graphic novels. Who would have thought comic books would come back?” she said. “But it excites me to see the children come in here and be so anxious to read. They say, ‘I’ve got to have the next book.’

“I just love to see kids get so much knowledge out of books. It just touches my heart.”

Meador said the addition of computers to the library was a significant change and the efforts made to encourage people of all ages, even adults, to further their education has been rewarding.

“I’ve always been told that if you can read, you can do anything,” she said.

Meador’s favorite books to read are inspirational, including works by Richard Paul Evans, Nicholas Sparks and Kristin Hannah.

“It’s something I can share with someone,” she said.

In her retirement, Meador plans to travel and spend time with her mother and sister. She will likely also visit the library from time to time.

“I just love to help people,” she said. “I feel like if we can’t do that, it’s my loss, as well as theirs,” she said. “You need to be nice to everybody because you don’t know what they’re going through.”

RETIREMENT PARTY

3-5 p.m. Friday Decatur Public Library

The public is welcome.

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