What does a boy born in the heart of the Toe River Valley in a house about 50 yards from the public library grow up to be? In Daniel Barron’s case, the answer was clear. He has worked throughout his professional life in the library field, and today he is the director of the AMY Regional Library which serves the valley of his birth.
Barron, who has always spread the gospel of the benefits of libraries, will present his program Books, Buns and Beyond: Get it at Your Public Library on Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. in the Stafford Room of the Carson Library at Lees-McRae College. His talk will be the first of this summer’s Stephenson Center for Appalachia Lecture Series.
“Today’s libraries offer a great deal for everyone, especially during these economic hard times,” says Barron, Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina where he served 30 years as a faculty member and Director of the School.
Barron returned to his Toe River Valley roots in Bakersville after retiring from his career at USC, but quickly found himself back at work, this time as interim director of the AMY Regional Library System. When asked to fill the position on an interim basis he said, “Sure, I can do it for that long. I taught it for 30 years—hey—let’s see if I can do it. About six weeks into the job, I really got interested.”
After his interim period, Barron was appointed Director in January 2007. Since then he has worked diligently serving the people of Avery, Mitchell and Yancey Counties. The system’s libraries today are more than a place simply to check out books, they are full blown information centers ready and willing to help with education from GED through graduate school. Working with families to find help in literacy for adults and children, providing access to information through the Internet, carrying everything from the latest best sellers to a variety of movies are just a few of the many services that Barron will talk about in his program Wednesday evening.
This sixth-generation Western North Carolina native serves the people of the Toe River Valley with skills amassed over a lifetime in his profession and with passion for his people and his libraries. Do yourself a favor and come to Lees-McRae to learn how you can best utilize the many services offered by your library system.
Daniel Barron’s program on July 15 is the first in this year’s series of Stephenson Center Lectures at Lees-McRae. On July 22, Dr. Roberta Herrin, director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University will present a lecture, and on July 29 in Evans Auditorium Beech Mountain Echoes will present a program of mountain music showing the heritage of musicians and instrument makers from Beech Mountain.
All of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia’s summer programs are free of charge and open to the public. For information call 828-898-8729.