Salute to Pattie Mayfield and small community librarians across Texas

I got surprising news today that Pattie Mayfield was retiring earlier than expected as director of the Honey Grove Library & Learning Center in Honey Grove, Texas. I called Pattie right away to tell her how much we have admired the many contributions she has made during her remarkable tenure at that library. She thanked me and assured me that she would still be active in Texas libraries, which I was happy to hear.

In a state with many wonderful librarians making a difference every day in communities of all sizes, on campuses of higher education, and in K-12 schools, Pattie is special. She is a prime example that the power of the library is not dependent on the size of your library or community or budget. Pattie has demonstrated time and again that small community libraries can be vital links to education and information resources for people of all ages, for families, for businesses, for students, entrepreneurs, and job seekers. Pattie takes advantage of literally every opportunity she can to make the library vital to STEM initiatives, early literacy, workforce and economic development, and technology access. She also tirelessly encourages, supports, and champions her colleagues in other small community libraries through Northeast Texas Libraries, an informal group that grew up after the end of the systems program in 2012, and across Texas through her work on the Tocker Foundation Board.

Pattie is an outstanding librarian and she will be missed in Honey Grove. But she is not the only one. Across the state, we have many small community librarians who work very long hours for little pay against daunting odds and discouraging indifference to prove that libraries can transform communities. Thanks to Pattie and other dedicated librarians in small and rural communities, we have ample evidence that with even a modest investment from their cities and counties, and with a little help from grants and other programs from TSLAC and other organizations, libraries can fulfill a unique and vital role in the lives of people in those communities. And often, there is no other place for people to turn to find the resources they need to learn to read, to succeed in school, to prosper in their work, and to enrich their lives.

TSLAC is proud to do whatever we can to support the work small community libraries and we salute Pattie Mayfield on her last day as director of the Honey Grove Library & Learning Center.

5 thoughts on “Salute to Pattie Mayfield and small community librarians across Texas

  1. Thank you so much Mark. This meant more than you will ever know! I’ve done nothing more than every small rural librarian does everyday – I was just lucky to have you, your amazing staff, CTLS, the Tocker Foundation, ARSL, ALA and most of all my amazing NETLIBS crew there with me and supporting me every day along the way!

  2. I’d heard about Pattie and her wonder library for many years. Last year, I actually got to meet her. She remains my hero. Enjoy your retirement! Great article.

  3. Pattie is truly going to missed. She has done more for this library. I know mu grandfather and grandmother Voyer and my mother Evelyn Wise would of been so proud of Pattie Mayfield and all of work she has done. They would of given a raise and if done anything to keep her on. I am going to miss you so much Pattie and Mike. I do not think some of the board remember or even at what she did. Thank you so much for your love and friendship.

  4. As a newcomer into the library world (I have absolutely NO qualifications to be running a citizens library group), I was led to Mrs.Mayfield during my very early research of small but extremely active libraries. She has been invaluable to the Citizens for a Forney Area Library organization. I am sure she will be missed by the Honey Grove Public Library patrons. Enjoy your retirement, Pattie! I selfishly hope and pray that you will continue to be be an active contributor in building successful library organizations as your experience is a tremendous asset! God Bless!

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