Friday, December 28, 2012

Friends of Smyrna Library Salute Retiring Library Director Michael Siegler

Since 1995 he has been a regular fixture for visitors to the Smyrna city library. Whether a book report, research paper or just a search for a good read, for the past 18 years, Library Director Michael Siegler has been there to offer a good book recommendation or to steer users to the right information. On December 28th, after a career of quality service to the readers of Smyrna, Michael will be retiring and transitioning to the next phase of his lifelong journey of personal growth and development.

He said, “I’m looking forward to continuing my education and taking all the classes I didn’t have time to take before. I am interested in a curriculum centered around the humanities and am already enrolled in a few courses.”

Much has changed over the past 18 years in the library business since Michael first walked through the doors. After relocating from Manchester, Georgia, Michael has been at the helm of making the Smyrna library a trailblazer in keeping up with the changing times.

It was one of the first libraries in the state to have and provide public internet access and was also one of the first to have wireless computer technology. It also has one of the largest library video selections with more than 6,000 offerings and currently offers access to many titles through a full E-books program. According to Michael, the most significant change in the library during his time has been the complete computer integration of all its systems. Everything from checking books in and out to ordering new inventory to searching national databases can be done on one computer terminal.

When asked what has been most rewarding during his tenure he said, “It’s the people I’ve gotten to help and direct to the right resource. Helping a kid with a book report, a college student with a term paper or an adult with a job search, those are some of the fondest memories.”

Siegler was asked what he will miss the most, to which he replied, “The interaction with all the people. The great people of the library staff, the great attitudes of the people who work for the city of Smyrna and the mix of people that come through the doors every day. Never a dull moment, everyday is different.”

One of the more enjoyable aspects of his job through the years has been the on-going relationship with the Friends of Smyrna Library. “The FOSL have been a huge help over the years in assisting the library in meeting some of its needs. The funds they have raised have been instrumental in making the E-books program possible, and in getting many of the library programs off the ground.

Their hard work has helped us to publicize the events and activities of the library and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and get involved in the work has been a blessing. Murder Goes South, the signature event put on by FOSL, is something we look forward to seeing and a ‘save the date’ every year on the calendar. The Friends of Smyrna Library is one of the largest and most successful organizations of its type in the state and one that the library is fortunate to have. They truly have made a difference.” When asked where The Friends might run into him down the road, Michael said, “At a concert. I love all music, rock and roll to opera and love to be around it whenever I can.” And any advice for the next director? “Be flexible. Everything changes so fast, you’ve got to be able to roll with it to stay current.”

Michael, you certainly did a terrific job being flexible and rolling with change and as you now step into change again, know that the Friends of Smyrna Library will miss you. You have been a true friend to all of us. Good luck and we will look for you where the music is playing.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Annual Holiday Event Held on December 7

On Friday evening December 7th, the Smyrna Library was the place to have a good time as the Friends of Smyrna Library held their annual holiday event. About 40 of the FOSL membership gathered to reflect on the group’s activities over the past year, eat some holiday cookies and listen to fantastic music performed by the Campbell High School String Quintet.

FOSL Board president Charlie Stannard addressed the group and highlighted the FOSL accomplishments over the past year that included the funding of the E-books program, funding for key children’s programming and the decorating of the library break room. He and fellow board member Jane Lamkin presented outgoing library director Michael Seigler with a gift of appreciation from FOSL for his 18 years of quality service to the library. The evening was a success and hardly a cookie was spared.  

PHOTO: Campbell H.S. String Quintet members left to right: Taylor Baldwin,Oscar Ramirez, Jefren Cruz, Au Vin and Isiah Brown