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Page 8 • February 2017 • Tell Them You Saw It In The Randolph News • Like us on facebook


Randolph Library Director Leaves Her Mark After 36 Years

By Courtney Fahy nita Freeman has retired from her position as director of Randolph Library after having held the position for 36 years. She was hired in 1981 as the library’s director. Before becoming director of the Randolph Library, Freeman was the General Services librarian at the Denville Library and had previously held the position of the associate librarian at SUNY Buffalo. When asked how she first got into library sciences, Freeman stated, “I always liked libraries. The world at my fingertips beginning in Brooklyn where I got my first library card. I walked to the library as a fourth grader after dance class every week. The li-

brary clerks chased me from the teen area because they thought that I was too young to read those books after I worked my way through the children’s collection.” Freeman stayed in this position and at the Randolph Library for 36 years because it is a fantastic place to work and further elaborated, “The public is educated and supportive. The town is very well run, a model community really. The library was always seen as a department of the town despite its autonomy.” Freeman stated that the greatest aspect of the library is the families. “There were whole generations of children and parents and grandparents coming to the library.”

As for the challenges the library has had to overcome over the last 36 years, Freeman elaborated, “Initially a small budget and a building that was unsuited to public service. We had to convince the town council that a new facility was needed. There were several failed building plans and renovating the current resort-dining complex to serve as a library on a small budget. There was a failed referendum for a facility built as a library. And, finally, saving enough to completely renovate the building inside and having the town improve the exterior.” Over her tenure as director, Freeman has seen the library evolve into what it is today. The chang-

es made were not easy, but the library has become all the better for it. “A new building from top to bottom through numerous construction projects, automation starting in 1983, asking for and never receiving capital monies for computers for public use,” were some of the changes she noted. “We saved and were able to provide them. Those computers are in use all day long.” As for why Freeman decided to retire, she left the library to focus on her family. She said, “I wanted to spend more time with my family who often took second place during my working years. I plan to care for my preemie granddaughter.” Making up for lost time, she plans on

dedicating her retirement to her family and her new granddaughter. After a career of 36 years at the Randolph Library, Freeman will be sure to miss the library, its staff and its patrons. Specifically, when asked what she will miss the most about the library, Freeman stated that she will miss “The learning environment that the library provides for patrons and the free exchange of ideas with members of the public.” Although now retired, Freeman plans to still be involved with the library in a different capacity. She will take advantage of the many programs the library offers. “I will be able to be more active in the Friends

of the Library. I will bring my granddaughter to children’s programs when she gets the OK from her doctors. And I will participate in my regular book clubs and knitting programs.” Freeman described the reaction her retirement has gotten from patrons and staff members. “I’ve had many patrons go out of their way to wish me well and say that I will be missed. As for the staff, surprise. I’ve been at the library so long they thought that I’d never leave.” After 36 years, it is undeniable that Freeman has left her mark. Although no longer the director of the library, she will still be a part of the library for years to come.

Randolph feb 2017 final  
Randolph feb 2017 final