Librarian closing book on career

Marshall to retire from Johnston-Smithfield library June 30

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


SMITHFIELD — Margaret Marshall said she didn’t originally consider a library career.

Marshall, who has been the Johnston County and Smithfield library director for 16 years, was a geography major at Louisiana State University, needed a job and applied at the campus library.

Her husband, David, is a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher and his work took them to several states, finally ending up in North Carolina. They’ve been married 43 years and have two grown children.

Marshall, a Maryland native, found her passion in library science and earned her master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from Towson State College in Maryland.

While Kindle books and other online services are popular, Marshall said printed books will always have a place.

“Published books will always be around,” said Marshall. “With electronic books, more publishers have become more guarded with their release. Some books stay around for awhile and then disappear. Many have a limited checkout period and must be renewed.”

At the Johnston County and Smithfield Library, Marshall said she keeps up with what’s in demand among her patrons.

“We see what people check out and that helps determine what we purchase,” said Marshall. “We want to provide the books people wish to read.”

The library offers its patrons books, audiobooks, DVDs, e-books and e-audiobooks, Children can enjoy read-along books and the North Carolina Digital Library. There is a Teen Advisory Board, ages 12-18, for those who want to have a say in what the library does for them. The library provides online resources for homework help and college preparation.

There is an Adult Fiction Club and Nonfiction Club. On Tech Help Tuesdays, by appointment, library staffers help patrons with basic computer skills and job application assistance. The library’s outreach services department delivers books to various people and organizations, including day cares, senior centers, assisted living facilities and senior and homebound patrons.

After a 30-year career in library science, Marshall will retire as library director on June 30.

“I’ve loved serving the library,” said Marshall. “My love for reading includes mysteries, I love the classics like Agatha Christie. My favorite current author is John Sandford.”

After retiring, Marshall hopes to travel and enjoys working on her farm, traveling and reading.