Library Service Recognized
By Jimmie Epling
Darlington County Library System
This month the Darlington County Library System bids farewell to individuals who served the community for many years through the Library, Marjorie Reason and Anne Baldwin.
Marjorie Reason of Darlington, maybe better known as Ms. Marjorie, is retiring from the Library after forty-two years of service. She joined the Library in November of 1974 when it was housed in the Carnegie Library, a half block away from the current Darlington branch. Her job was Circulation Manager. If you visited the Library during the weekdays before five o’clock p.m., you would see her at the circulation desk with a warm greeting and a smile.
Ms. Marjorie was never one to reminisce about her experiences at the Library. You could draw out a story or two from her by asking or during a casual conversation. When I discovered a key labeled “Bethune Branch” among what seemed hundreds in a cardboard box in a supply room, I asked her about it as no one else seemed to know anything about a Bethune Branch. “Oh yes, I know where it was,” she said, “I worked there some.” She then went to Google maps and found it for me. The building is still there. It is a little narrow building on South Main Street just a few blocks away from the current library.
The City of Darlington has been working to restore the Carnegie Library building. A year ago, former Mayor Tony Watkins opened it up for us so we could see the progress made on it. Ms. Marjorie became our tour guide, talking about the areas in which she worked in the building. The circulation desk behind which she worked was gone, but she pointed out where you would have found her when you entered the building. She talked about arrangement of the different offices, the people she worked with, and where their desks were located. As we walked through the building, she would point to where the different types of books were shelved. We learned where the bookmobile parked and the staff entered after a day’s run. The history of the old library building came to life as she spoke.
On her last day of work, the Darlington staff had a lunch reception for Ms. Marjorie. During the reception, she was presented with a unique plaque commemorating her 42 years of service. The inscribed plaque was placed on a restored tin square ceiling tile from the Carnegie Library. The ceiling tile was mounted on wood taken from the Branch’s current circulation desk. The plaque not only noted her years of faithful service to the community through the Library, it included in a small way mementos from the buildings in which she worked during her career.
Ms. Anne Baldwin of Darlington, an avid library supporter and user, was named to the Library’s Board in 2008. She represented County Council District 1 on the Board for eight years.
During her two terms as a Board member, and chair for two years, she helped guide the many changes that occurred at the Library during those years. During her tenure the Society Hill Branch was built and the Lamar Branch was expanded. More public computers and online resources were added to the libraries for the community’s use. She assisted in the selection of two library directors.
At her last Board meeting, Ms. Baldwin was presented with a certificate thanking her for her eight years of service to the Library and community.
These two wonderful women, Marjorie Reason and Anne Baldwin, were dedicated public servants to the Library. They worked, one as an employee and the other as a Board member, to make the Library the best it could be for the community. While neither will “officially” be part of the Library in the future, they will both be missed and there will always be an “unofficial” place for them in the Darlington County Library System.