Closing the book in Itawamba County

By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times

FULTON – After more than 13 years, librarian Cindy Jamerson is closing the book on her career at Itawamba County Pratt Memorial Library.
Even the best stories must come to an end, she said.
“I still love this job,” the head librarian said. “But, I think it’s time I stepped aside and let someone younger, fresher, with newer ideas come aboard. You just sort of know when it’s time.”
Educated as a social worker, Jamerson has had an intermittent relationship with libraries since college. She began working at the Itawamba Community College Library before entering the field of social work and later returned to that same library.
She inevitably found her way to the Itawamba Pratt Memorial Library through an advertisement in the newspaper. Head librarian Marilyn Leary was retiring, and Jamerson met the requirements.
She’s been there ever since.
“Public libraries are fun,” Jamerson said. “You have a lot of kids coming in and out, and a lot of elderly. You really have all ages coming here – from the just born to in their 90s.
“It’s fun and rewarding,” she said. “I love working with people. Anything I’ve ever done has involved working with people. I just love it.”
Libraries have changed drastically over the years, she said, particularly with technology. When Jamerson began her career there, she said there were only two computers, neither for public use. Chuckling, she said they used to have typewriters for public use.
“Technology has grown tremendously since I came in ’97,” she said. “And it will continue to grow. It will take someone willing to stay on top of things to keep the technology growing in the library.”
Still, Jamerson believes libraries will always have a place in their communities. Their roles may change, but there will always be a need for the services libraries provide.
“Libraries will always be libraries,” she said, touting the role of books even in the age of e-readers. “You’re always going to have people who don’t like the Nook or care for the iPad. Some people just prefer a book; you’ll always have those.
“The library is the heart of the community,” she added. “Some people may not use it but once a year; some people may use it only once in their lifetime. But, it’s always there if somebody needs it.”

Contact Adam Armour at (662) 862-3141 or adam.armour@journalinc.com.