In the Spotlight

Six Questions with Assistant Director Cathy Griffith

Six Questions with Assistant Director Cathy Griffith

Your Library's Assistant Director, Cathy Griffith, is retiring after 32 years of service. We asked Cathy to reflect on her three decades at the Library.

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Hannah Kiger

Your Library’s Assistant Director, Cathy Griffith, is retiring after 32 years of service. Throughout her tenure, Cathy has seen and been a part of significant changes at Johnson City Public Library. As she prepares to move into her much deserved retirement, we asked Cathy to reflect on her three decades at the Library.

How did your career at the Library begin?

I began my career at the old 103 South Roan Street building in 1991, and 32 years later it has been a pleasure to work in the current building at 100 West Millard Street. We only moved a few blocks up the road in 1999, but it was the biggest move of any kind that we made in my career at the Library.

What titles have you held at the Library over the years?

I was a retail manager with HR experience, and my first title was Secretary/Bookkeeper. Then my title changed to Bookkeeper/Office Manager in 1992 and later that year to Office Manager. My responsibilities increased as well, and “change” was the word that spanned the rest of my career. I became the Business Manager when we moved into this building in 1999. I was later promoted to Assistant Director for Administrative Services, and this was later changed to Assistant Director. I served as an Interim Director for a few months during a director search and then landed back where I am today as Assistant Director. Whew! What a whirlwind.

What have you enjoyed about working at the Library?

I have enjoyed that no two days are the same, and there’s truly never a dull moment. We currently have, and have had, a stellar staff who are devoted to providing the best possible library service for everyone.

What do you see as the biggest change in library service during your career?

It has been very interesting to watch the effect of ever-changing technology on library service. When I was hired, we were still using the physical card catalog. In late 1991, the first Integrated Library System (our library management system) was installed. I can’t imagine life without that system now. The implementation of RFID (the wireless technology that uniquely identifies all our materials) was a game changer as well.

What are you most proud of from your time at the Library?

I am most proud of the many years of excellent audits that this organization, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, has enjoyed. I may be one of the few people who really enjoys being audited. My role has been described as CFO of a Non-Profit Corporation, and it is one that I have enjoyed and taken very seriously. The financial health of an organization is critical to its success.

What are you looking forward to the most in your retirement?

I’m looking forward to spending time with my husband Ed. He retired 10 years ago and now I can give him his “honey do” list in real time. I am blessed to have my mom and dad living nearby and I’ll be spending more time with them. Some travel is on the horizon, and Ed and I are very active in our church. I live in Erwin, and I will be volunteering in my home community.

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