Marshall Public Library circa 1960

Enter Mrs. Dewey, librarian

And me, just a kid.

Mrs. Dewey could have been the cliché model for the librarians we see in movies and books.  She was very proper, thought she was an aristocrat, but …

Mean, mean, mean!

“Don’t mess up the books!”

“No talking!”

“Yes, you may check out one book!”

The library was upstairs and the police station was downstairs.  Could have been a foreboding place if it weren’t for the books!  The room had 2 windows overlooking Main Street.  I would frequently browse those shelves rather than go back in the abyss, past her desk.  We only lived 4 blocks from town, so I could walk there all by myself and face the terror.

Serendipity played a role when my Dad was appointed to the library board.  Mrs. Dewey retired.  Enter the best librarian the town had ever known.

My Mom.

Over the next 20 some odd years my Mom became loved by one and all.  She knew everyone by name and what books they loved to read.   Activities started in the library that had never happened before.  Mom became storyteller extraordinaire.  The town children all knew Mrs. Davidson and they loved story time.  Some of her favorite titles were: The Red Balloon, Sam Bangs and Moonshine, and Juba This and Juba That.

A small town librarian doesn’t have staff.  She must teach herself how to order books, catalog, and hardest of all weed the collection.  The library began to grow.

In the 70’s the library moved to a new location.  Ground floor and smack dab in the middle of town.  The book collection probably doubled in size.  Mom was finally able to hire an assistant.  Audrey and Jean made a great team.  Our town loved their library.

Even though Mom has been gone for 30 years, her time made an impact on our small town.  Marshall will never be the same.

My Mom with her 3 grandchildren

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