By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Dozens of well-wishers greeted Lee County Library’s new director Wednesday at a reception in his honor held, where else, but among shelves and shelves of books.
Jeff Tomlinson chatted warmly with library patrons both young and old who came to meet the man tapped to succeed former Director Jan Willis and lead the institution into a new building and a new future.
“It’s going well so far,” Tomlinson said. “I have been meeting with the staff and getting to know the folks here and at the library in Fulton. We’re looking forward to moving ahead with plans for a new building.”
The Lee County Library, located in residential downtown Tupelo, has outgrown its current facility, and officials want to construct a new building in the Fairpark District. The plan is in the early stages.
Library board member Julie Battaile said Tomlinson is the perfect person to guide the library at this critical time.
“He has great ideas and I think we’re very fortunate to have him,” she said. “He seems to fit in with the staff so well.”
Tomlinson came from the Uncle Remus Regional Library System outside Atlanta and has been working in libraries his entire career. He moved to Tupelo earlier this month to head the system here.
“We’re excited to have him,” said Carolyn Watson, a member of the Friends of the Library. “And we’re going to help him however we can.”
The library also marked the 20-year anniversary of its book store Wednesday. It raises about $1,000 per month to help maintain and expand the library’s collection.