2005 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Walley
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING BEVERLY JANET SMITH FOR HER 33 YEARS AS MANAGER OF THE LUCEDALE/GEORGE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HER DEDICATION TO IMPROVING PUBLIC LIBRARY SERVICES TO THE CITIZENS OF GEORGE COUNTY AND JACKSON COUNTY, AND CONGRATULATING HER ON THE OCCASION OF HER RETIREMENT.
WHEREAS, Beverly Janet Smith has served as Librarian of the Lucedale/George County Public Library since 1971. Her last day was January 28, 2005, at which time the staff sponsored a retirement celebration for her; and
WHEREAS, Janet grew up in Mt. Olive, Mississippi, where she graduated in 1967 as the class Valedictorian. She is the daughter of Ralph and Merle Delk Easterling. She has three siblings, June, Dwight and Randy; and
WHEREAS, in the sixth grade an aunt suggested that Janet might want to be a librarian. In the seventh grade she began volunteering in the high school library. After graduation from high school, Janet enrolled at Jones Junior College in 1967 and graduated in 1968 with an Associate Degree. In the Fall of 1968 Janet entered the School of Library Science at the University of Southern Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, while attending the USM she met and became engaged to Richard Smith. During Janet's junior/senior year, she worked at the Clarksdale Public Library as a summer intern for the Mississippi Library Commission. Her last semester at USM was spent student teaching Library Science at Thames Junior High School. After graduating, Janet worked at the Petal High School Library while Richard finished his education with a degree in Geography. They lived in Petal, Mississippi, their first year of married life; and
WHEREAS, Janet began her position at the George County Public Library June 9, 1971, the facility's first librarian to hold a university degree in Library Science. The first month of circulation went from 300 to 1500 and grew continuously through the years. In 1972, Janet worked with others in the community to start the Friends of the Library group; and
WHEREAS, during National Library Week in 1973 her only child, Brandy, was born. Planning for the new library began in 1975. With state revenue funds the new library opened in April of 1976. In 1977, Janet entered Graduate School at USM in Library Science and graduated 18 months later with her Master of Library Science Degree; and
WHEREAS, in 1991, Janet helped Dana Nelson start the first "Shakespeare in the Park." Also that year the Lucedale/George County Library won a National Public Relations Award for Janet's idea, "The Little Library That Could." In 1999, Janet received the George County Business Woman of the Year Award; and
WHEREAS, in her professional life, Janet has had the chance to hold Isacc Asminov's glass, ride the same elevator and talk with John Grisham, speak with Morgan Freeman, and have her picture made with many authors. Jerry Clower held a radio telethon to help raise money for the new library. Janet received her first autographed book, written by Lois Lenski, whose works inspired her to many years of service to the public at the library; and
WHEREAS, the story of the Lucedale/George County Public Library is a story of struggle and success with many firsts, both locally and statewide, marking its long history; and
WHEREAS, Janet plans to spend her retirement with her granddaughters: Claire, age 7, and Anna, age 3, her daughter, mother, sister and friends. She has committed a lot of her time to updating the Easterling Society Book, travel to Scotland and organizing a George County Historical Society; and
WHEREAS, it is with pride that we note the dedicated community spirit and professionalism of this Mississippi citizen who has brought honor to her community and to her state:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend Beverly "Janet" Smith for her thirty-three years as Manager of the Lucedale/George County Public Library and her dedication to improving public library services to the citizens of George County and Jackson County, Mississippi, and congratulate her on the occasion of her retirement.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Janet Smith and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.