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Hancock County Public Library

Hillcrest Faculty’s Mrs. Ruth Brewer as soon as took a scrawny little nerdy red-haired boy with massive black glasses and handed him a e-book on Robinson Crusoe. She’d delivered good stimulation. The teen devoured the e-book and spent a few years trying to find others prefer it. Charlie’s Pawn Store on Morristown’s Henry Avenue additionally helped. To show his younger son Odis enterprise abilities, Charlie Stubblefield allowed Odis a small space within the retailer to purchase used comedian books at two for 5 cents and resell them at 5 cents every. When the red-headed boy had a uncommon greenback, he purchased 15 comics and nonetheless find the money for left over for treats. That boy then spent the remainder of the night blissfully studying these comics. That red-headed boy is graying right this moment and has spent a few years as an educator who has discovered scholar who reads is most frequently the scholar who achieves.

For somebody to need to learn a e-book, another person has to have the power to put in writing a very good e-book. Sandy Whittle lately led a author’s workshop primarily based within the Hancock County Library and invited me over to see their progress. Her class had grown out of their library house and had moved subsequent door to the well being division. What I noticed was a trainer’s dream – college students working very laborious to be taught a ability. One other factor that I noticed was an incredible library, which is small by many requirements however which is bursting at its seams to offer for the parents in Hancock County.

Hancock County units within the northeastern a part of Tennessee proper up in opposition to the border of Virginia. Established in 1844, the 223-square-mile county with Sneedville as its county seat has a inhabitants of seven,000, which make it the fourth least populated county within the state. That small inhabitants has left massive areas of the county pristine and delightful, together with well-kept farms and houses. One good thing about a small inhabitants is many Hancock people are fast to assist a neighbor, but in addition leaves a drawback in a restricted tax base for facilities. Quite a lot of good-looking public buildings present Hancock has used its sources properly.

Lois Rosenbalm is the director of the library which gives a lot, and one other journey was made to go to Lois, the place I additionally met the assistant director Pam Lane and scholar volunteer Katie Van Vuuren. Lois began by exhibiting me among the historical past of the native library. Some supplies she supplied of the recognized story concerning the county library return to 1947 when the county turned a member of the Tennessee Regional Library System in Johnson Metropolis. That led the county to obtain bookmobile service, books and technical help from the Watauga Regional Library Middle.

At the moment, Hancock had by no means had a library situated in a separate quarter. In Sneedville, books had been stored in a drug retailer and later in a furnishings retailer with a volunteer overseeing them. The county library board paid the shop proprietor to rely circulation and to sort library playing cards as wanted and later paid the library volunteer a small wage. The board bought some furnishings for the shop space dedicated to the library, the place Package Jones took care of the books. In 1965 the Phone Trade constructing was given to the city, which was moved to function the Sneedville City Corridor and library. Townspeople painted and panelled the constructing the place the library was housed.

Anna M. Seal started working on the new metropolis corridor the place she served for 17 years, 16 of which she labored because the librarian earlier than leaving in 1982. Sandra Roberts served as librarian till 1985, adopted by Rhonda Brooks, who stayed till 1988. Sharolet Nichols and Delcie Tuttle served in 1988, when Sue Douglas took over till 2000 and was adopted by Brenda Snowden, who served till 2001. Patsy Spies then took over in 2001 and stayed for the 12 months. Anita Hopkins served till 2007 when the present director Lois Rosenbalm started her tenure. The county presently has an unbiased legally-appointed library board which meets frequently.

Lois is a pure selection for her place. A Hancock native who is aware of the folks she serves, she was born within the “Bloody Seventh” district, which obtained the moniker from the feuds of a few years again. The world right this moment is a first-rate dwelling location. Her mother and father had been Walter and Martha Spradling Sutton. Walter supplied for his household by farming and later by manufacturing unit work. Younger Lois attended her first three years of college at Central Elementary earlier than shifting to Seal-Mathis Faculty for grades 4 by means of eight. After graduating from Hancock County Excessive Faculty in 1972 she first helped round her dwelling till shifting to Morristown to reside with a household and attend Walters State Group School.

“After I was within the sixth by means of the eighth grade they might carry books for us youngsters to take a look at,” Lois mentioned. “Claude Collins began the little library. Whereas I used to be at Walters State, I labored on the library. That’s at all times been what I wished to do.”

Incomes a enterprise certificates from Walters State, Lois returned to Hancock County to work till 1976 as a secretary with the Brooks Furnishings Firm, which had factories in Sneedville and Tazewell. A 12 months earlier she had married Ronald Rosenbalm and left her firm job to open her personal craft store. She returned to public employment within the early 1980s for a job on the new metropolis corridor.

“The primary library that I keep in mind right here was in a room at the back of Metropolis Corridor,” she recalled. “Anna Mae Seal labored there and he or she had and nonetheless has a love of books. The brand new constructing opened in 1999 and I got here right here in 2002 because the assistant director and have become the director in 2007. We have now a significant library room and a convention room. The constructing is completely used and we’re open Monday by means of Friday from 9 till 5.

“We have now a summer time studying program by means of July 2 and have outgrown our facility. There’s a giant curiosity in studying, particularly in the course of the summer time program. Final 12 months between 60 and 70 youngsters accomplished this system. Marita Cook dinner leads story time as soon as a month with Mary Honeycutt, and Patricia Maddox does crafts the place the kids make seasonal objects akin to rockets, eggs and playing cards.

“We even have a music program the place Marita is the trainer. The scholars be taught to play piano on keyboards and laptops. That they had 25 college students full the category and had a recital. One mom was in tears as a result of she by no means thought she’d see her child play in a recital. After I first got here right here we had just a few computer systems however we received a big grant in 2011 and now have a pc lab. We have now scheduled lessons that numerous adults additionally reap the benefits of, and we’re one of many few locations the place folks can get copies and faxes. A number of the folks in Sandy Whittle’s writing program received excited and meet the primary Wednesday of every month at four p.m. Common books are nonetheless in style and we’ve 15,000 books, DVDs and audio books out there. The county has undoubtedly gotten their cash’s price out of our library.”

-Jim Claborn is a retired historical past trainer and a historic reenactor, in addition to a broadcast historian.

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