APL’s Griggs retiring

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 27, 2012

Those who’ve needed help finding reference materials for a book report, essay or any other type of school paper in the last 31 years at the Andalusia Public Library have probably met LaFerne Griggs.

Griggs, who has worked at the library for the past three decades as the reference librarian, will retire on Wednesday.

Griggs said she’s decided to retire in order to enjoy more family time, especially with her parents and grandchildren.

“I’m a grandmother now,” she said. “And when you become a grandmother, you start thinking of things differently. When a grandbaby starts crying to spend the night, it’s hard to say no.”

Though Griggs has served in the capacity of reference librarian, she said she’s done nearly everything, except repairing books.

“I’ve entered library loans for patrons,” she said. “We use what’s called OCLC, which is an online database worldwide.”

She’s also been responsible for keeping up with reference books and helping students with homework by directing them to the right books for their studies.

Still, the 1976 Andalusia High School graduate said she never thought about being a librarian as a career.

“You know you always have these aspirations of doing something special,” she said. “I never thought about this. I worked for a doctor before I came to work here.”

Griggs said she heard of the opening at the library and decided to apply.

“I applied, and I’ve been here ever since,” she said. “I came on board with the city, and I’ve been happy ever since.”

Griggs said there have been a lot of changes in the library sector over the years.

“The library is a wonderful place,” she said. “Computers have really been the biggest change. Karin (Taylor, library director) has really stayed on top of making sure everything is up-to-date.”

Griggs said the best part about her job is the people.

“The public makes this job great,” she said. “They are wonderful, and I have great coworkers. We have patrons of all ages. It’s a real nice place, and the interaction is great. I’m going to miss everyone. The people you work with are extended family.”

Griggs and her husband, Eugene, have a son, Chad, and grandchildren Olivia and Everly.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with her all these years,” Taylor said. “She’s more than a co-worker. She’s a friend.”