By Stacey Tinsley, firstname.lastname@example.org
A long serving librarian and guardian of local history has retired after more than a decade serving Bossier Parish Libraries.
Ann Middleton, manager of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center, retired April 26 after 15 years of service.
Middleton said she knew she wanted to work in a library after her older sister suggested she should minor in library science.
“When I started college I was an English Education major. My sister suggested I get a minor in library science,” she said. “I’ve always loved to read, I spent many hours in the library as a child. Once I got into that, I knew I had to keep pursing it. I received my masters at LSU. And as they say, the rest is history.”
Middleton started her employment with the Richland Parish library at the age of 16. In total, she has been a librarian for 56 years.
“I started working at the Richland Parish Library at 16 when I was studying as a English education major at college. After graduating, I started to work at Saint Mary Parish Library. When I married, I decided to stay at home and raise my family for 23 years. While I might not have been working during that time, I still volunteered at my children’s school library. After my children were grown and moved, I started working as a librarian again in different parishes,” she said.
Middleton said she has been thrilled to see Bossier’s community evolve into what it is today and looks forward to the proposed new Central Library and History Center.
“As the community has grown, we have been able to grow with them and accommodate their needs. I am excited to see what the new Central Bossier Library will look like,” Middleton said.
Middleton said the library system has done a good job adapting to changes regarding to technology.
“You have to be ready to change with the times, and the system has done a good job at that,” she said. “During the time when technology hit, not many patrons came to the library. But now I see people going out the door with bags of books. That does my heart good. You can’t beat the written word.”
“Libraries are so much more then books, libraries are CD’s, DVD’s, computers, and information sources. And you can’t beat a good ‘ol reference librarian,” she added.
Acknowledging Middleton’s time at the Historical Center, and knowing her love of the written word, Andrea Gilmer, Bossier Parish Library Community Engagement Librarian, provided the Press-Tribune with a farewell statement she wrote for Middleton.
“Bossier Parish Libraries has been incredibly lucky to have Ann Middleton on our team for the past 15 years. Her expertise on the history of Bossier parish, and her passion for genealogy have helped to expand services offered to the community by the History Center. She has helped to assemble and amazing team who we anticipate will help continue the legacy she leaves behind as she looks forward to the next step in her life. We are forever grateful for all she achieved and helped our library system accomplish during her tenure as manager of the History Center. Thank you, Ann, we hope you’ll continue to visit us and enjoy your retirement. You’ve earned it,” Gilmer wrote.
Middleton said she is looking forward to retirement, but will miss not being at the library and seeing everyone each day.
“I will miss seeing people come in on a daily basis and the wonderful staff,” she said. “I want to thank the Bossier Public Library System for allowing me to work in the system as long as I have. Thank you for all of the memories. It’s been a wonderful ride.”
Following her retirement from the Bossier Library System, Middleton will be moving to Monroe. There she will be rescuing and fostering special needs animals.