After more than eight years on the job, Apalachicola librarian Caty Greene was treated to a warm farewell by friends and city officials upon her retirement.
A party was held in her honor at the library at 74 Sixth Street which she has overseen since she began her job March 15, 2009. At this month’s city commission meeting, Mayor Van Johnson presented her with a plaque from the city in honor of her service.
During her tenure, Greene steadily expanded the library’s offerings, secured additional funding support from the city, and was instrumental in obtaining a more than $400,000 state grant to assist in funding the new library, set to open next month. She worked at drawing closer the after-school and summer programs to help in introducing young people to the excitement and rewards of reading.
Among those who have worked closely with Greene is oyster woman Bonnie Whiddon, who received her GED at Franklin County Schools and then went to work as a staffer under a grant program from the state. “She’s a real hit with the patrons,” said Greene.
Another former part-time staffer, funded through a grant, who Greene raves about is Sue Cronkite. Her work has included assembling a database of more than 3,000 family names in Franklin County, and being of great assistance in researching ancestry and genealogy.
Audie Pieper, who holds a masters in education and has a long career in education, has worked with Greene on a 20-hours-per week part-time basis as a library assistant for children’s programming.
Celia Winterringer, Natalie Parsley, Kacey Howard, Jordan Davis and Jan Begos-Richardson are longtime volunteers, along with a number of others who Greene has helped recruit to be of service to the library.
Youth librarian Karen Kessel also has come on, working part-time under a grant.
During Greene’s tenure, the library has moved from paper record-keeping to a fully automated electronic catalog. The library now has more than 11,000 books.
Currently, the library has about 2,600 card holders, although about half of these comprise a large list of schoolkids who were each assigned cards. There are about 1,200 active cardholders, Greene said, with 310 people having checked out books since January.
Greene, originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1977 from Sonoma State in California.