MILLEDGEVILLE — Over the past 34 years, Anne Moore has developed many children’s programs to instill the love of books and reading in youth at the Mary Vinson Memorial Library. Now the community and the familiar, grown-up faces she once read to are bidding farewell as she prepares for retirement.
“I remember when Anne first came on board at the library when it was at the Tourism & Trade Center, and she was this young librarian who I loved going to see at the library and participate in summer reading club with. When I had my own child — Nathan — and Anne was still there, I was very glad to have a familiar face. She made Nathan love books more than I already did. Nathan is 10 years old and he started story time when he was 18 months old, so Anne has been a big part of his younger years,” said Kelly Mitchell, who also tutors high school and middle school math at the library. “We’re going to miss her a lot and I feel like she’s been a big part of my life and my son’s life.”
In spring 1979, Moore kicked off her career with the Twin Lakes Library System working twice a week as a bookkeeper and in charge of creating children’s programming.
“I helped with bookkeeping, shelved, checked out books to patrons, counted cards, which was the way the library kept track of how many and what books were checked out each day, and presented story times. I started off with a public story time on Tuesday mornings and eventually added a few group story times for preschools and public school groups. There was already a Vacation Reading Club in place through the Middle Georgia Regional Library System so I assisted with that program,” Moore said. “We moved to the present library in 1987, and I gradually gave up all of my jobs except for duties that pertained to youth services. At this point I began to expand the programming and spent more time creating an inviting and comfortable environment for the parents and children.”
Moore said the children’s department staff always looked forward to decorating and creating a bright and fun environment for children and their parents each month. Her favorite part about working at the library was creating lifelong readers and patrons of public libraries.
“All of the library assistants have brought different talents and ideas to the programs, and I have learned so much from each of them. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I get paid for having such a good time,” Moore said. “I have enjoyed all of the different programs that we have developed over the years. Everyday is exciting because we present so many varied programs to a wide range of ages. Our programs range from Baby Time to the Just 4 Fun Club for older children. I'll miss all the wonderful people I have worked with over the years and of course the parents and children. It will be strange not to read a children’s book or perform a puppet show, but hopefully I’ll be invited back once in a while to story time.”
The local library system, patrons and community members held a dedication ceremony last week in Moore’s honor to place a commemorative plaque outside the children’s theater, where she performed countless story times and puppet shows. Moore also received a gold-plated bookmark and glass award before children and their families shed tears and shared hugs.
“As the director, I never had to worry about the children’s department; no matter what was going on at the library or what budget cuts we were facing, I always knew the children’s department was going to run smoothly and excellently. Anne is one of the most dependable people I’ve ever met,” said Twin Lakes Library System Director Barry Reese during the ceremony. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with her for the past 18 years, but I’ve known her longer than that. I was a little kid, and my mom used to take me to the library at the old location and I remember sitting on the floor and watching Anne and the chance to actually work with her and to see all the work that goes into the things that she does is just amazing. I’m going to miss working with Anne a lot.”
Sue York, currently a children’s assistant, will take Moore’s place as youth services coordinator come May 1. Moore will host her last story times Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. featuring Craig Amason and Kell Carpenter.
“Sue is going to do a fantastic job, and we’re looking forward to seeing what things she does with the program,” Reese said. “Please try to come out, and hopefully Anne won’t cry while she has the puppet on her hand.”
During her retirement, Moore plans to spend more time with her two grandchildren in Columbia, S.C., assist her daughter with her interior design company, and volunteer throughout the community.
“I will of course have more time for reading, which has always been one of my favorite activities. My husband and I would like to do some hiking and camping like we did when we first got married. I would also like to garden and work on some projects around the house. Everyone always says that you get busier when you retire, so I’m expecting that to happen. My daughter is already lining up dates,” Moore said. “April 30 is my last day, however, I plan to return and volunteer with the We Read program on Wednesdays, story times and the library fair. I never really want to leave the library because it has been my second home for over 30 years.”
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VIDEO: Moore's farewell dedication ceremony: