By Pam Harnden, Livermore Falls Advertiser
FAYETTE — Lady Elaine Wilcox has retired as librarian of Underwood Memorial Library. Her last day was Thursday, Nov. 30.
Wilcox has devoted 30 years to the library in one way or another. She volunteered and served as a trustee under two of the previous three librarians.
She has led the Summer Story Time program for the past 22 years.
“Kids have cried. I’ll miss it, but I’ll be coming back,” Wilcox said.
She will do an occasional story hour session and plans to continue the annual Dr. Seuss event.
“I’ve got a lot of readers, helpers signed up. I want to do it until I can’t do it anymore. I’ve got to show off my collection,” Wilcox said.
She has a lot of memories. When students from the Fayette school came to the library, she read stories to them. She is now reading to the children of some of those students.
She also went to many area schools to read to students. In 2007, she received the Golden Apple Award from the Maine Education Association.
Wilcox said she and assistant librarian Michele Briggs have made a good team. They have worked together since 2008 and have made changes that have bettered the library.
In 2010 they obtained a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. It paid for two computers and new book labels.
“More than half of the books were removed. You’ve got to be willing to weed out,” Wilcox said.
Briggs did the relabeling and added other touches that make the library more user friendly.
“Michele is better at helping people with computer issues,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox framed the photographs now displayed in the library’s front hallway. She created several scrapbooks containing newspaper articles and other historical information.
“I got a lot of things I wanted to accomplish done. I was thinking about retiring next year. Now is the right time,” Wilcox said.
She will not be idle in retirement. She is on the board of the Friends of Starling Hall, is the Fayette School Committee Chairman and President of the Fayette Firemen’s Auxiliary. Wilcox will be able to help more at church.
“They’re all good things that benefit the town,” she said.
Wilcox also plans to do some traveling. In October she will attend a wedding in Tennessee. Eventually she will visit her youngest son who has bought a bed and breakfast in Oregon.
Wilcox said Evelyn Feagin will serve as interim librarian. She currently on the library’s Board of Trustees. She will step down from that position since the By-Laws give the Trustees authority to appoint the librarian.
Wilcox said Feagin has a degree in library science and has supported the library since her family moved to Echo Lake Lodge several years ago.
“She offered to step in. Michele will remain as assistant,” Wilcox said.