December 13, 2012 11:43:49 AM
Jeff Clark - [email protected]
Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Director Alice Shands is retiring after serving the community for about four years. Shands made her announcement during Wednesday's meeting of the library's board of trustees. Her last day will be Dec. 31.
"I am at the age where I can retire, and I also have some family members that are sick and I want to spend more time with them," Shands said Thursday morning.
Assistant director Erin Stringer will act as interim director during the search for Shands' replacement. Shands said the board plans to move slowly with the hiring process.
"I was relieved to hear the board say they wanted to move slowly to find the right person for this job," Shands said. "Erin will get several months as interim director."
Shands, who came to the library from the Sunflower County library system and plans to move to Memphis in January, said she is proud of the accomplishments she's made in Columbus.
"We've gotten a lot accomplished," she said. "We renovated the children's area and designated a teen lounge. We did a lot of things without a lot of funding. I have a wonderful staff, and I've enjoyed working with them. I've been a librarian for 36 years. I don't know what I'm going to do when the day comes and I wake up and don't have to go to the library."
Friends of the Library member Jo Shumake described Shands as a visionary.
"Personally, it's been a pleasure working with her," Shumake said. "I think she has a definite vision for the library where it engages the entire community. I like what she has done with the children's portion of the library. She has brought the library into the 21st century. She will be missed."