The Dover Public Library is hosting a cake and punch reception on Wednesday, June 28th from 2 – 4 p.m. in honor of Branch Manager, Donna Elliott, who is retiring at the end of June. The library also welcomes Dover native Sherry Simpson, who will be introduced to the Library Board as the new Branch Manager at 4 p.m. before the regularly scheduled board meeting.

Elliott has worked for the Pope County Library System since 2001, where she served as a library clerk for 12 years and 3 years as Branch Manager. During Elliott’s tenure, the Dover Library began holding its own story time for children, and Assistant Branch Manager Melissa Sanders added a Book Club for area residents. Elliott said she has enjoyed her time at the library. “I love the people,” Elliott said. “Dover has been a great place to work. Even with progress, I hope the library retains the hometown feel.”

Elliott and her husband have purchased a home in Missouri and are retiring there to be closer to their family. “We purchased a mid-century home at auction in April 2016, and have done a complete renovation inside doing the work ourselves which we enjoy.”

Simpson has worked at the Pope County Library in Russellville since October 2011, first in the Circulation Department and then as the Adult & Teen Services Librarian. But her roots in the Dover Library date back to her childhood, and she fondly remembers the library when it was downtown. “My mother worked at the Bank of Dover, and the library then was practically next door. I shelved my first book for Mrs. Ruth Mosley when I was still in elementary school.”

From 2012 to 2015 Simpson also hosted monthly teen events and ACT Test Prep at the Dover Library, and she has continued to partner with Dover teachers to provide volunteer service opportunities for students. In her planned expansion for adult programs, she will bring computer classes and job search training to the Dover Library beginning in the Fall.

Simpson says that, in working with teens and adults, she has found libraries are becoming less about what we have for people and are more about we do for and with people. “People know that the library has books, but we’re so much more,”Simpson said. “We offer many services that I’m not sure Dover is aware of. Free computer access and free fax services are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and free Wi-Fi is available 24/7. And I’m very eager to get to work on bringing additional services to Dover.”

Simpson would like to have a hosted “Conversation Cafe” in the Fall, to hear from the people of Dover about the community’s current needs, and to discuss what the Dover Public Library can do to help. Simpson will start at the Dover branch July 5th.