BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (January 24) — After a career spanning 33 years, Principal Assistant Librarian Carol Tippins retired from the Ned Ray McWherter Weakley County Library, located at 341 Linden St. in Dresden, Tennessee, as of January 4, 2022.
Judy Walton, who was the librarian at the old Weakley County Library on Church Street in Dresden, hired Carol as an assistant librarian in March of 1988. At first, Judy worked with the children, but later, Carol became the Children’s Librarian.
Candy McAdams was hired on at the old library in 1993 and became the director of the new Ned Ray McWherter Weakley County Library when it opened in December of 1997.
Assistant Librarian Karen Gertsch has worked at the library since February of 1997.
Both of these ladies, who are close friends of Carol’s, offered many kind words regarding her character and strong work ethic.
Weakly County Library Director Candy McAdams stated, during Carol’s many years of service, she has always proved herself to be highly proficient and dedicated to her job.
“Carol loved working with children, and served as the Children’s Librarian. She enjoyed Story Time, and was in charge of the Summer Reading Program for most of her years at the library, with Karen assisting her part of the time,” McAdams said.
Although McAdams arranged for speakers to stop by the library for children’s programs, Carol conducted the programs.
Additionally, Carol was in charge of getting the Summer Reading Program materials together. “The state has a Summer Reading Program each year, which Carol and Karen attend,” McAdams said. “They provide us with a theme and ideas for the Summer Reading Program. Participating libraries have to plan their programs around that theme. This year, the theme is going to be ‘Oceans with Possibilities’.
According to McAdams, Carol and Karen come up with fun activities for the children, both inside and outside of library, which consists mostly of playing games and singing.
“The state supplies notebooks that come with a flash drive, a theme, and different ideas for programs,” McAdams said. “They provide us with coloring sheets and reading logs. However, the local libraries must provide prizes for the children. We send out sponsor letters every year to get people to donate money to help purchase prizes, gift cards, snacks and other things for our program. And, we always have at least one paid performer.”
McAdams noted that the library’s operating budget is funded by Weakley County Government, but funds must be raised through donations for special programs.
“Carol is very knowledgeable with technology-related issues, and was good at solving computer problems,” McAdams said. “She is also very creative, and did most of the decorating for the library.
“Additionally, Carol’s an avid genealogist. She could answer almost any question anyone had about the City of Dresden, Sunset Cemetery, or where to go to find people. When visitors came in from out-of-town conducting genealogy research, she could always tell them where to look for information about families, deceased relatives, and things like that.”
Sarah Rachels, who has worked at UTM’s Paul Meek Library for quite some time and served as a part-time reporter for the Dresden Enterprise, is being hired as an assistant librarian to help fill the void left by Carol’s retirement.
McAdams stated, besides assisting library visitors with locating books or other media, Carol and other members of the staff also give tours of the Ned Ray McWherter Museum. The tour includes information about when the library was built and why Governor McWherter donated it to Weakley County. It also lists the governor’s years in office in the Tennessee House of Representatives, and the time he served as Speaker for several years, before being elected Tennessee governor. The library staff keeps the museum clean and looking its best for the public.
“Although the Ned Ray McWherter Library has an ample supply of hard copy books and magazines, the trend these days is mostly for electronic books,” McAdams said. “People can download a list of books using our LIBBY app. All they have to do is look up our library on the app and click on Weakley County Library, then, they must enter their library card number so they can check out books. McAdams notes this service is provided through OverDrive. The Tennessee State Library and Archives is responsible for purchasing all of those e-books. In addition to e-books, patrons may also access audio books and videos using the Libby app.
“We try to stock all of the best sellers,” McAdams said. “We have five hotspot jetpacks that people can check out, which is a wireless internet box they can take home in order to have access to the internet. We also have Chromebooks patrons can check out and take home for one week at a time.”
The Ned Ray McWherter Weakley County Library is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Patrons may also park outside the library and use its wireless internet 24 hours per day.
For more information about the services available at the library, call 731-364-2678 (phone), send a fax to 731-364-2599, or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Carol graduated from Dresden High School, where she attended classes with General Sessions Judge Tommy Moore.
Carol enjoys spending time with her brother, Billy Tippins, along with his wife and the couple’s four daughters. She is also very close to her cousin, Lynda Williams, with whom she spends most of her free time.
McAdams stated Carol was very active at Gearin’s Chapel Baptist Church on Greenfield Highway 54 until it closed on August 26, 2018. She now attends Bethel Baptist Church in Greenfield, where she enjoys playing the piano and singing.
She loves animals, and resides on Snake Hill Road with her pet dog Bella Mae.
Carol’s kind and helpful nature has made her many friends over the years, and she will be greatly missed.