Myrtle Library Director Betty McNeely was honored with a reception Monday, he last day before retirement.
McNeely has been library director for 39 and one-half years and seen the library housed in five different locations. She said it was in the now-gone masonic building when she began in 1975, then moved to the old fire department on the west end of town in 1994, moved to the present location in 1997 after briefly being in a store owned by Gerald Nolan before that.
Myrtle almost lost their library due to a lack of funding and support but the Myrtle Friends of the Library mounted an aggressive campaign to raise funds and were able to see construction of the Nance-McNeely Memorial Library there today, named in honor of McNeely and her predecessor.
“The library never would have happened without them,” McNeely said of the Friends. Among those who worked for the success of the library were Bet Gladney, Flurette Ausburn, James Knighton, Marjorie Smith, Leanne George, Harmon Jordan, Bland Coffey, Charlotte Brownlee, Vessie Mae Craig, Joanna Holloway, Palmer Smith, Evelyn Jordan, Olga Simmons and Edna Gatlin. A plaque recognizing their efforts hangs in the library, which has recently also added a children’s area.
McNeely plans to spend time with her family and do activities she hasn’t had time for in the past. “I am going to miss part of it,” she said. “There have been a lot of friends over the years.”
The Nance-McNeely Memorial Library is open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. It is situated at 1080 Megginson Lane in Myrtle and patrons may call 662-988-2895 for information.