Amidst the turbulence of the 1960s, influential folk singer Bob Dylan penned an anthem for his era with these simple words at the heart: “The times they are a-changin.’” With his song, he encapsulated the universal truth that change and growth are inevitable and constant. We can either sink like a stone or start swimming.

At your local library, we are undergoing a serious time of change. We lost a few employees and gained four new ones in their stead. The boat was still afloat as long as we had our fearless captain on board to steer us!

But alas, the times do indeed change. Marie Heath, our director and an employee at the library for 15 years, will be moving to Alabama with her husband and starting a new adventure.

When I asked my fellow coworkers to give me a few words or stories to share what Marie has meant to the library, I wasn’t even remotely surprised by the response. What I received back was a list that can be summed up in one response: Marie leaving is like losing a member of our family. She is inspirational, clever, understanding, a quick study, and readily embraced challenges.

She isn’t just a boss that managed her crew; she intentionally worked to grow the people around her through mentorship and openness. She made you know you were valued.

Though I personally have only been at the Crestview library for two years, I can truthfully say Marie was one of the best bosses I’ve ever had, and I thank God for the opportunity to have worked beside her. It was a true gift to be able to serve the community with her.

As for our little ship, we’re going to swim on. Things change, but we have patrons to help, books to check out, and classes to teach. We have the lovely people of Crestview that give us our purpose.

During this period of change, Jean McCarthy will serve as interim director, and things will go on. But just because we move along doesn’t mean we forget what has been.

Marie, you will be fiercely missed by your library family, and we along with the people you served wish you the very best in whatever you venture to do! 

Emily Knie is the Crestview Public Library's adult services librarian.