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Retiring Librarian

Carroll County librarian Boyd
to retire after 26-plus years

She guided the renovation
of the library in recent years

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (December 2008) – When Carroll County Public Library Director Jarrett Boyd retires on Dec. 31, she will have many accomplishments to remember. The position has been more than a job to her over the last three decades, she says
“What I’ve loved most about working at the library has been getting to know the people of the community,” said Boyd. One of her most favorite times was anytime a large shipment of books would arrive. “Seeing what we got was like Christmas.”
The joy and dedication she put into her job will be missed by library patrons. “It’s always been my goal to improve on what we’ve done in the past,” said Boyd, who is retiring because of state implemented incentives.

Jarrett Boyd

Photo by April Wilson

Jarrett Boyd says
she wants to travel
after she retires.

An Open House is planned from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 29 at the newly remodeled library, located at 136 Court St. A reception is planned in Boyd’s honor from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with music and hors d' oeuvres. RSVPs must be made for the reception.
Boyd is originally from Grant County, Ky., where she has family roots back through many generations. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and her master's degree from John Hopkins University in Baltimore. Boyd taught high school English in three different schools in Baltimore for 16 years before returning to Kentucky. She also taught journalism and was a newspaper advisor for one of the schools.
Upon returning to Kentucky, she and her husband purchased land in Henry County. She saw an advertisement in a local paper for a Library Director for the Carroll County Public Library and applied for the position. She began working for the library in June 1982 and moved to Carrollton a few years later.
Boyd said she is extremely proud of having had the opportunity to introduce children’s programming to the library. In her tenure there, she has transformed the library into a “sort of cultural center for the community,” she said. Boyd and several of her staff won statewide recognition for their efforts.
“She took the library from a very inadequate library to an outstanding library,” said Charlie Webster, vice president of the Carroll County Public Library Foundation. Webster was also chairman of the Library Board for seven years and worked closely with Boyd on many projects.
The seed for a new library was planted when Webster was chairman of the Board and several attempts were made to put the project into motion. He credits the fundraising success of the project to the reputation Boyd established at the existing library.
Webster refers to the current state-of-the-art library as “our jewel in downtown.” Boyd’s organizational skills, the creation of programs and her ability to effectively apply for and receive grants were some of her best strengths as Library Director, said Webster. She was very effective and outspoken at legislative sessions in Frankfort, with the goal of promoting the Carroll County Public Library for the community, he said.
He was chairman of the Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism and Recreation board when “Point In Time,” a historical production, was performed at Carrollton's Point Park several years ago. Boyd helped to create this outdoor drama.
“There were many people involved, but without Jarrett, this project never would have happened,” said Evelyn Welch, Butler-Turpin Historic House Museum Manager. Welch was on the initial committee created by Boyd for the production and performed in every performance.
Welch, who has been close friends with Boyd for a long time, said, “She was driven to do something for tourism at this time.”
Boyd spearheaded the project, putting together a grant and receiving funding for the production. She hired Kevin Stonerock to research and write the production, and tapped Kentucky Humanities scholar Gurney Norman to provide direction for the project.
Boyd frequently “made it a point to recognize what other communities were doing and to do like things in Carrollton by adding our own original twist to it,” said Welch.
Boyd was involved with beginning the Blues to the Point Festival, said Webster. He was the first chairman of the festival. He said Boyd is responsible for bringing high quality events to the community.
Her strength in grant writing paid for a lot of programming at the library as well. An adult memoir writing project produced a publication, “One Thirty-Six Court Street.” The automation of the library was a major occurrence that Boyd witnessed in her time as director.
Boyd was able to get construction funding through grants for the new library and work began in 2005. The Carroll County Public Library Foundation and the local community raised more than $600,000. The $1.5 million was borrowed, with $64,000 to be paid back annually over a 20-year period.
“The former building was worn out,” said Boyd. “It was not planned for the technology that was suddenly a part of everyday use.” It’s been a challenge to keep up with everything, but Boyd said she has loved every minute of it. No replacement has yet been named.
Boyd has not made any definite future plans for her retirement, preferring not to exclude any opportunities that may present themselves. She may return to Florida, where she spent her high school years, and visit friends in Baltimore. Boyd said she has a vague notion of traveling to all 120 Kentucky counties, and taking the Megabus to Chicago, a city she loves.

• For more information on the Carroll County Public Library’s Open House or to make reservations for the reception for Jarrett Boyd, contact the library at (502) 732-7020.

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