Paula Deboard celebrates 38 years at Boone County Public Library!

This month Paula Deboard celebrates 38 years of service to Boone County Public Library and the community. She has worked at the library longer than anyone else currently employed here.

“I actually didn’t start out pursuing a job at the library, I came in to say hi to a friend that I went to college with and there just happened to be a temporary position opened — so I applied. I truly fell in love with the work I was doing so I decided to make it my career, and here I am 38 years later!”p1040077

Paula has worked in five different departments at four branches of the library and she says, “There has not been a day go by that I haven’t learned or discovered something new here.”

In the early years of the library, Paula noted that staff members often helped to fill many different roles: “I had to play Mrs. Claus one year when Santa Claus got sick. I also filled in as a pumpkin and read Halloween stories to the kids and played the Easter bunny.”

She was sometimes called upon to help with first aid in the early years, “I helped people who fell in the parking lot and one day I helped a little boy who had a nosebleed in the bathroom.”

When asked what the library was like back in the 70s, Paula said, “We didn’t have Internet back then and no public computers. People came to the library to check out books or attend story time and that was basically it. We had a card catalog and our librarians would wear aprons and run the cards for the catalog on an ink rolling machine. In the morning before we would open, we would have to stamp the due date on all of the check-out cards.”

“When I first started here, people were stereotyped. Librarians were thought to be prim and proper. We are nothing like that. Librarians are caring and approachable and we are very trustworthy.”

Paula shared one of her most rewarding moments at the library, “A patron came in looking for books on leukemia because her brother had just been diagnosed with this blood disease.  I was able to find some information on blood diseases, but better than that, I was able to sit down with her and share valuable information with her since my husband had also been diagnosed with leukemia. I shared what we were going through and gave her references and websites that contained information to answer some of her questions.  Since we had already been through a lot of the tests and a transplant, I was able to tell her what her brother could expect.  I told her to call me anytime she had questions for my husband.  Even though my husband and her brother have since passed away, we have remained friends and we still stay in touch through social media. Who knew that one simple question could turn into a life-long friendship?”

Currently, Paula works as a Technical Service Specialist. She spends her days entering information into the library’s digital catalog and opening shipments of books. “I love opening boxes of new books – it’s like Christmas! Of all the departments that I’ve worked in, I like this one the best. I like the challenge of cataloging new books. I love seeing all the new materials that are coming in and getting them processed and on the shelf as quick as possible.”

When asked what she saw for the future of libraries, Paula said, ‘I feel that public libraries will always be relevant because they offer the freedom to choose what a person wants to read and the format such as digital or paper. Libraries continue to move from the analog to the digital age and we are helping future generations with 21st century technology skills. The Library will always be an important place for people who don’t have Internet at home. This is a place people enjoy coming. This is a great place to be.”

Antique Affair: Vintage Book Sale, Book Art Demos, Live Music, and DIY Crafts!

Join us for a Vintage Book Sale at the Main Library, 1786 Burlington Pike in Burlington, on Sunday, December 4, 1 to 5 p.m.  

Enjoy book art demos, cookies and cocoa, live music, and DIY crafts!

Be inspired and get nostalgic with books during this speciaantique-affairl event
featuring vintage and holiday titles for sale along with books offered especially for crafting.

Explore the evolution of book design from the late 19th century onward. Learn the art of book folding and create a holiday card using recycled book pages. See how others have creatively re-purposed books — both old and nearly new — into crafts and home decor.

Enjoy cookies and cocoa while you browse. A concert featuring holiday music with pianist Steve Mason and singer Julie Wahba will be held Under the Dome at 2 p.m. and Boone County High School Choir will perform upstairs on the stage from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

*Library bucks will not be accepted for vintage books, but may be used for all other books on sale that day.