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Pauline Abidde named Dougherty County libraries director

30-year library veteran advances to director’s position

This rendering show the Dougherty County Central Library on Pine Avenue after renovation is complete. (Special photo)

This rendering show the Dougherty County Central Library on Pine Avenue after renovation is complete. (Special photo)

ALBANY — After meeting briefly in executive session during a special called meeting Monday evening, the Dougherty County Library Board voted unanimously to name Pauline Abidde director of the county’s library system.

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Pauline Abidde

A 30-year employee in the system, Abidde, who has served as interim director for the past four months, assumed her position as director on Tuesday.

“I’m so excited that we’ve gotten past that process,” Abidde said Tuesday morning. “Certainly we regret the circumstances that made this position available (the sudden death last year of then-director Ashley Moore), but I believe the Library Board put its faith in me because of my hard work in the system and because I was prepared.

“We’ve got so much on the ground right now with the renovations of the Central Library and the re-opening of the Westtown branch. I believe we need to continue to do the good job that we’re doing in the system and see these big changes through to fruition.”

As the library’s new director, Abidde becomes one of only a few African-Americans named to such positions. But Library Board Chairman Walter Kelley said that was not an issue.

“It wouldn’t matter if Pauline were green, she’s the best person for this job,” Kelley said. “I’m so proud of her and proud for her. She’s worked hard within the system, and I’m pleased that the board decided unanimously to reward her for that work.

“Our candidates came down to two, and while the other finalist was very qualified, we felt Pauline was the best person for the job. She has 30 years experience in our system; she has the background, the pedigree; she has the personality, and she is just a great person. We feel that she’s the right person for our system.”

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board voted to approve plans for exterior renovations of the Central Library branch. Bob Kidd, the CEO of the Columbus-based Hecht Burdeshaw Architects Inc. firm that is doing the interior design of the facility, talked with the board about specific design ideas for the exterior improvements of the branch.

The board had given a tentative OK of the facade work when it discovered that more than $600,000 in savings from the projected cost of the $5 million interior work would allow for exterior improvements as well.

“The inspiration (for the exterior design) is based on the original design of the building,” Kidd said. “We want to stay with that rhythm, the horizontal lines.

“If you’re looking to have the work 100 percent done by the time the library opens, it could lead to a slight delay. But I believe we could open the facility while some of the exterior work is still going on.”