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New library director follows dream
by Jebb Johnston
Mar 31, 2017 | 2204 views | 0 0 comments | 76 76 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Northeast Regional Library Assistant Director Dee Hare is being promoted to director upon the retirement of William McMullin at the end of April. / Staff photo by Jebb Johnston
Northeast Regional Library Assistant Director Dee Hare is being promoted to director upon the retirement of William McMullin at the end of April. / Staff photo by Jebb Johnston
Dee Hare was playing librarian long before doing the real thing.

“When I was little, I used to make little notepaper cards and paper clip them to my books in case any of my friends ever wanted to check one out,” she said.

The assistant director for the Northeast Regional Library is now preparing to take on the role of director upon the retirement of William McMullin, who will leave at the end of April.

“I really hope to continue the great service that William has done as director,” she said. “All of our libraries have a good solid foundation because of his leadership, and I hope to continue that.”

McMullin is optimistic about leaving the Corinth headquarters and 12 other branches in her hands.

“Dee Hare has a complete understanding of the way the Northeast Regional Library works,” he said. “She’s intelligent and inquisitive. As she begins her term as director, I know that she will do her utmost to provide quality library service to the four counties in our region.”

The Booneville native and Booneville High School graduate began her library career with a part-time job at the city’s George E. Allen Library, where she moved up to assistant librarian and then served as head librarian for about 12 years. The next step up was assistant director for the regional system, a post she has held for the past three years.

“I loved my time in Booneville. I’m very proud of that library there,” she said.

Her main duty as the regional system’s assistant director is supervising the branches.

“I love getting out and driving to the branches and helping them with their issues and advising them,” said Hare. “That will still continue when I am director.”

She also had responsibility for the library’s technology, which is now being put in the hands of a new technology coordinator.

“With all of our branches now, we have 150 to 200 computers, staff and public, that have to be maintained,” said Hare. “We hope to be able to deal with technology changes a lot quicker now.”

As assistant director, she is proud to have developed some literacy initiatives, including a workshop for the librarians to help them plan the annual summer reading program for their branches. At the request of local schools, she developed an early literacy parent-training workshop which is to be presented in Corinth and Alcorn County schools.

Hare has observed the changing role of libraries in the internet age.

“Libraries aren’t just about books — we’re about information access in all of its forms,” she said. “We have our free public computers for people to use. We try to help and assist with free workshops as much as possible for resumé writing and job hunting. We field a lot of everyday questions about that.”

Outside of work, Hare enjoys reading all genres and adding to her extensive Winnie the Pooh collection. With husband Mike, she has a four-year-old son, Cole.

With an English degree in hand from Delta State University, she recently added a master’s degree in library science from the University of Southern Mississippi to her credentials. Between the studies and the family’s recent move from Tupelo to Corinth, she has seen some hectic times in the last few years.

“I really like living in Corinth,” she said. “Now that I’m finally finished with my master’s degree, which I was doing online while working full-time and started when Cole was four months old, I’ll have a lot more free time to get involved in the community.”
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