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January - March 2010     VOLUME 14 ISSUE 1
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Barbara Morse, Director of the Leesburg Public Library Set to Retire

Carol Anderson

Barbara Morse will be sorely missed at the Leesburg Public Library! Her professionalism, vision, and leadership have been paramount, and have been invaluable assets to the library and the community. She holds high expectations of our staff, but she has never asked one of us to do a task she would not do. Often she was right there “in the trenches” with us whenever help was needed.

Barbara has also been our champion whenever excellent service to the public was at risk. I think what I will miss most is Barbara’s ability to put people first. Her door has always been open for any of us who needed to approach her about either a personal or work-related issue. She can always be counted on to be supportive, to provide genuine praise, and to notice when anyone needs a kind word or helping hand. We are losing an amazing advocate and leader, an outstanding role model, and a wonderful person!

Barbara’s letter to her staff and patrons published in the Leesburg Public Library’s Newsletter:

“During the month of January and probably into February, the library staff and I will be adjusting to the idea of my retirement.

I have had many amazing opportunities with the City in my seven and half years as the Library Director. The first task I was charged with was to bring the City Library into a partnership with the Lake County Library System. When libraries cooperate to the degree that we have had the good fortune to do, everyone wins.

The next project followed immediately, we began the planning and designing for a new library facility. Years of space planning, grant writing, and fund-raising with an amazing Friends of the Library organization, finally led to a wonderful library building and increased business. Not many library directors get to stage unveilings of two life-size, original, bronze sculptures, Annie Oakley and Grandmothers Legacy, along with the lovely Bird Watchers sculpture we were able to purchase as the first public art for the city. What a wonderful legacy for the people of Leesburg.

We’ve had exciting events with published authors, musicians, and excellent speakers that I’ve been very proud to be part of organizing. I’ve even marched down Main Street in the Christmas Parade with the Friends of the Library where we have provided free books to the children instead of candy.

Finally, I’ve made wonderful friends on the library staff, the Friends of the Library, and many of our patrons. It’s been my pleasure to have spent this time in Leesburg. Retirement is not an easy decision but now that it is made, my family is excited about the idea, and I need to make it happen. I’m not moving away and I plan to be around until the new library director takes over the office.”