Worthington Libraries Director announces retirement

Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 3:41 pm

Worthington Libraries Director Meribah Mansfield has announced her plans to retire.

Meribah MansfieldHer last day will be July 23 after almost 19 years of service to Worthington Libraries and 38 years of work in Central Ohio public libraries, including the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Fairfield County District Library, the Upper Arlington Public Library and the Bexley Public Library.

Mansfield is preparing to be ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church.

"I am halfway through the first year of a three-year formation program, working toward ordination in June 2012. Deacons are ordained clergy who volunteer to represent Christ and his church, particularly as a servant of those in need. They also assist bishops and priests in worship services. As a librarian, I have worked passionately to bridge the gap between the information haves and the information have-nots. As a deacon, I will try to connect the haves with the needs of the have-nots so that they may help care for them," she said.

"I'm grateful for having had a highly rewarding career as a librarian. I've seen every day how libraries change lives. My time at Worthington Libraries has been the most gratifying of my career. This is such a wonderful community and the absolute best place to be a library director. Now I will take all of the skills that I have learned in my career and use them to serve the less fortunate. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a public servant, and I look forward to a second career in service with the church. I'll also be able to spend more time with my family, including my young grandsons, Owen and Connor."

When Meribah Mansfield arrived as library director in 1991, the Worthington Public Library, as it was then called, served the entire school district through only one location, circulated a little over one million items annually and had never been successful in passing an operating levy. In less than one year on the job, Mansfield worked with the community to pass a 22-year 2.2 mill operating levy which led to the construction of the Northwest Library, opened in 1996. In the years that followed, Mansfield successfully guided Worthington Libraries through an incredible period of growth and change.

Today, Worthington Libraries serves the community through three locations and circulates more than three and a half million items annually. Passage of an additional 2.6 mill permanent operating levy in 2005 helped to offset state funding reductions and has kept the Library stable and able to meet the growing demand for service.

Additional highlights of Meribah Mansfield's career at Worthington Libraries include:

  • Expanding the Old Worthington Library in 1998
  • Launching Worthington Libraries Online in 2002
  • Participating in the Worthington Bicentennial in 2003
  • Receiving the national Library of the Year award in 2007
  • Opening the Worthington Park Library in 2008
  • Renovating both Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library in 2008-2009

Learn more about Meribah Mansfield's professional involvement and background.

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