Morfoot honored for decades of service on library board

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Marianne Morfoot of Locust Grove has seen a lot of changes in the local library system. After more than three decades on the Henry County Library Board of Trustees, she said it is gratifying to have been part of the system’s continued growth.

Marianne Morfoot of Locust Grove was honored recently for her 31 years of service on the Henry County Library Board of Trustees as the District I representative. Special photo

“It really was an honor and a pleasure, and I was glad to do it,” said Morfoot, who recently concluded a 31-year stint as the District I representative. “I felt very honored to be able to serve.”

She was honored Jan. 9 for her 31 years of service on the board.

Morfoot, 76, taught elementary school in Ohio and Iowa before working as an educator in Clayton County. At the time she was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1985, the county only had three libraries and about 36,000 residents.

“When I started on the board, there were 15 members,” she explained. “It went down to nine and now it’s seven. When I went on the board in 1985, it was part of Flint River Regional Library System. We broke from that in 1991 and formed our own library system.”

Morfoot retired from teaching elementary school in 1998, but continued volunteering her time as a member of the Board of Trustees. She emphasized that the success of the library system isn’t about her, but rather a “team effort” involving the construction of new libraries, her fellow board members and system employees.

“I didn’t do that by myself,” said Morfoot. “It’s gratifying to see the progress that you have made. It’s kind of humbling, in a way, to see all the changes, but it’s for the good.”

Morfoot also give credit to voters for supporting the county’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, which helped to fund the construction of libraries in the area.

Library system Director Carolyn Fuller has worked with Morfoot since 1999. Fuller described Morfoot as a person of “generosity, kindness, wisdom and strength,” and commended Morfoot for her contributions to the library system through its various changes over the years.

“There’s a whole lot involved when you are going to build a new library from the ground up,” said Fuller. “Decisions about what the building looks like, how it’s laid out, the kind of furniture you have – she was involved in the decisions for all of that.”

Morfoot said libraries in Henry are vital elements in the important work of education. To put it simply, she said there is no substitute for the local library.

“Books are the door to obtaining knowledge,” she said. “A brick-and-mortar library is a place where anybody can go, regardless of their age. Anybody can use the library.”