CRESTVIEW — An ode to retiring reference librarian Sandra Dreaden's love of the arts is now visible.
Crestview Public Library employees and friends gathered and surprised Dreaden Aug. 25 with a plaque that names the library's art gallery in her honor.
Her library colleagues, Rita Florence, Marie Heath, Sharon Jones, Melissa Mercer, Audrey Milcarek, Sandy Nearbin, and Heather Nitzel; her husband, Art Dreaden; and local arts enthusiast Brian Hughes were among those present.
Library Director Marie Heath said, "I thought we needed to do something to make sure her name was placed somewhere on this building forever. We can't name the library after her, but (we can do this)," Heath said.
Hughes recalled that Dreaden began working at the library when it was located at what is now the Northwest Florida State College Crestview branch on U.S. Highway 90. He said she was instrumental in getting local artists to display their works at the gallery, which the Friends of the Crestview Library designed and funded.
After the presentation, Dreaden discussed how her husband and son, Cody, worked to install a system of channeled strips for the gallery section due to the walls not being very straight.
Hughes and Dreaden immediately started picking out locations for the plaque after the presentation.
The plaque reads, "Sandra Dreaden Gallery Wall" is placed near the desk where she helped so many visitors during her work as the reference librarian.
Dreaden, who worked for the library for over 16 years, announced her retirement due to health reasons in August.