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Book-lover Richard finds perfect fit at library

NATCHEZ — The office of Library Director Beth Richard is at the heart of the quiet library on the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Campus in Natchez, close to where The Dart landed Friday morning.

Richard said she has worked as a librarian for the last 17 years, but she said she first began working at Co-Lin in Natchez 20 years ago after moving from Sulphur, Louisiana.

She said it her husband got a job at Callon Petroleum, which brought her to Natchez.

Richard said it became her home, and it has stayed that way after Callon began moving out of Natchez.

Richard said her husband Allen was one of the last few people working for the company until about a year ago.

Richard said she first started working at Co-Lin shortly after moving to the area. Wanting a better job and to further her education, Richard started looking at master degree programs.

She said her challenge was balancing a full-time job, and raising a family while working toward the master’s degree. Therefore, she decided to get her degree in library science online through the University of Southern Mississippi.

“The online learning, even back then, added so much flexibility,” Richard said. “When you are working full time and you have a family, you are fitting in the education around everything else you have to do. So that was a great opportunity.”

Richard said a library is more than just checking out a book. Her job at Co-Lin allows her to connect books and information with students, faculty and the general public, she said.

She said working at Co-Lin gives her an opportunity to do community outreach. This outreach is done through the Natchez Literary and Cinema celebration or Black History Month events the library hosts. Working in the library allows her to work closely with students, which she said is rewarding.

“I love to have people ask me ‘hey what is a good book,’ I just love to recommend books,” Richard said. “I just try to steer them in the right direction. It is pretty fun to do. I have always been a reader and I have always loved to talk about books.”

A reader of all genres, Richard said she enjoys reading historical fiction and non-fiction books. Richard said for her to pick her favorite book is like picking a favorite child.

“It depends on what day of the week it is,” Richard said. “I’m a big Tolkien fan, I have read The Hobbit, and the Trilogy at least three times since I was in high school.”

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