Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Best Job

Marshall Branch Manager Deborah Cosby can still smell the books and the leather seats of the bookmobile that visited her Baltimore neighborhood in the early 60’s.

“I could live on that bookmobile,” she says. 

Now, nearly 50 years later, the Marshall branch library has replaced the beloved bookmobile of her childhood.

The 1,600 sq. ft. library is the “heart” of the community according to Debbie.  “New moms attending story time have a chance to meet others and make new friendships.  And, older people form book clubs that lead to bridge clubs that lead to walking clubs.”

“We have something for everyone,” she proclaims.

She didn’t start out as a branch manager. 

From 1978 through 1982, she worked as an archives and reference librarian at the University of Maryland.  She enjoyed working with students and professors, answering questions that required the use of an extensive card catalog and a huge reference collection.  “Stacks and stacks of books,” she recalls.  “You’d walk for hours.”

“I loved that job”, Debbie says.  “I thought I’d be there forever.”

Fate intervened, however, when her husband, Richard, could not find a job as a music teacher in the area.  The couple reluctantly left Baltimore and headed south to Lynchburg for one year and eventually landed in Fauquier County.

Debbie, with her two daughters, Amanda and Olivia, in tow, faithfully visited the Fauquier Library.  In 1986, Library Director Pat Downey called with a job offer as a part-time reference librarian.  Debbie readily accepted.

The schedule was Monday and Tuesday nights, and every other weekend.  “The same schedule I work today”, Debbie says, twenty-five years later.

In 1999, Debbie accepted her current position as branch manager.  “The job was perfect for me at the time.  The girls were in high school and I had more time to work,” she says.

Twelve years later, Debbie relishes the role the branch library plays in the community.  She has no plans of retiring soon. 

“I’d like to be here forever,” she laughingly declares. 

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