Library Director to Retire in July 1980

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Library Director to Retire in July 1980


Sasser, Bessie
Tuscaloosa Public Library
Public libraries


An article in the Tuscaloosa News, February 12, 1980, announcing the retirement of Bessie Sasser as director of the Tuscaloosa Public Library. Additional information is provided concerning financial support of the library system.


Caren Town, News Staff Writer


Tuscaloosa Public Library


Tuscaloosa News


February 12, 1980


Elizabeth Bradt (Description)






Tuscaloosa (AL)


Library director here retiring in July

Bessie Sasser, director of the Tuscaloosa County Public Library, will retire July 1, Tom Shumaker, library board chairman, announced today.

When Mrs. Sasser retires, she will have served the Tuscaloosa County Public Library and Friedman Library for 16 years.  As director, she supervised the building of the new library on River Road.

"It is with mixed feelings that I make this announcement." said Shumaker.  "It will be a tremendous void to fill."

No replacement has yet been chosen for the position, but the board directed Shumaker to begin appropriate application proceedures.

In other business, the board approved the payment of a total of $13,225.76 in invoices for furniture, attorney's and architect's fees and the sign on the front of the new library building.  When these invoices are paid, Shumaker said, the library's outstanding obligations will all be paid.

These invoices plus about $1,500 in miscellaneous expenses will leave the building fund with about $16,000, Shumaker said.  Mrs. Sasser asked that $9,500 of that money be used toward library materials including books.  This will leave a balance of $8,000 in the building fund.

Clifford Armstrong, board treasurer, reported that the library received a $120,000 allocation from the Tuscaloosa County Commission for operating expenses when the commission adopted its 1979-80 budget Jan. 23.  This is a $192 increase over last year, Armstrong said.  The commission also allocated $125,000 to pay off library bonds and interest.

The library also received the monthly appropriation of $6,250 from the Tuscalooosa City Commission.  The commisssion has informed the board, Armstrong said, that continuing allocations are contingent on the new revenue measures adopted recently.

In an analysis of the 1979-80 budget, Mrs. Sasser said she found the revenue received by the library will be about $19,000 short of the expenditures for this year.  Total wages, library materials and operating expenses will total $352,588 - receipts are expected to come to $332,956.

Several cutback measures are being planned, including discontinuing the bookmobile or books by mail service, but nothing was decided at the board meeting.

Shumaker announced that the library will receive all the proceeds from the annual Kiwanis Club pancake sale to be held March 1 at Central High School East Campus.  He estimated the library will receive about $4,000 from the sale.

The Tuscaloosa Board of Realtors will hold a garage sale March 5 at the library, Mrs. Sasser told the board.

Mrs. Sasser also told the board that letters of intent must be sent next month for federal grant applications.  The library will apply for a grant to expand the young adult book collection, to hire an interlibrary loan librarian and to provide a bookmobile to Pickens County.

The Friends of the Library will have an annual meeting April 22, Ruth Waldrop, president of the group, told the board.  A used book sale and an oriental rug auction will also be held in the spring to raise money.

Debra Bohli reported on the bookmobile program.  She said the bookmobile serves a total of 1,598 patrons in 25 neighborhoods and eight schools.

All the residential stops have been moved to between 3 and 6 p.m. in an attempt to serve school children and working people, she said, and the routes have been streamlined to save gasoline.

The major problems with the bookmobile this year have been with the generator, Ms. Bohli said.  The chassis and body of the bookmobile are in good shape, she said, and should last for at least five more years.

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