Hinesville librarian Betsy Stow’s friends and colleagues joined her at the city’s Live Oak Public Library branch for cake, punch and to say goodbye before she pursues her calling for theology and ministry.
Originally from Suffolk, Virginia, Stow came to work for the library in 2004.
“I started as the children’s librarian, and then I applied for the coordinator position,” she said. “So I started in this position in 2009. I have a great group of co-workers. I’ve been very happy here, and I am now going away to go back to school.”
Stow has a Bachelor of Arts in music and went to the University of Pittsburgh to study musicology, but stopped at a master’s.
She eventually went to work for the university and once she decided to move on, Stow used her tuition benefits to get a Master of Library and Information Science.
At the Hinesville Library, Stow’s position as the Liberty County area coordinator allows her to support several areas of the library.
“Well, my day-to day role actually involves a lot of different things,” she said. “My day-to-day role is to sort of help things move smoothly.
“Honestly, I see my job as to help provide the best possible library service in Liberty County,” Stow said.
And that included helping to support the administration and board with the planning behind the new library building, currently under construction.
“I’m a support role,” she said. “Always have been, always will be.”
Stow is leaving to pursue dual master’s degrees at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur. She is pursuing a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Practical Theology. It should take her about four years to complete the requirements for both degrees.
“If everything works out …That’s the funny thing about a call,” she said. “You do it to the best of your ability, and … God will guide me as I go through.”
Stow hopes to go into music ministry and chaplaincy when she’s finished.
“I will go where I’m needed,” she said when asked if she’ll come back to work in the area. “That’s another matter of call to be explored in another few years.”
But she will definitely be back to see her friends and the new library.
“At some point, yes. I mean, obviously, I have to obey my class schedule, but when I am able, I will come back and visit,” Stow said. “I have a lot of ties in this area, so I’m not going to just disappear. I’ll be back.”
Stow said she will miss her colleagues the most when she leaves her job on Friday.
“I’ve known a lot of them for the whole 11 years that I’ve been here,” she said. “They accepted me immediately when I got here, have been supportive, and many of them, they’re my friends. So, I will miss them terribly.”
She was happy with all the people who were able to come to the library to say goodbye.
“I am so happy people came because it means a lot to me to see people here from all the different parts of my life …,” Stow said. “It makes me feel good to know that I have friends in so many different places.”