By Anna Skudarnova
(Cleveland)-After eight years of faithfully serving as Truett McConnell’s University’s (TMU) Associate Professor of Library Services, Teresa Haymore announced her retirement this spring semester. From helping the Cofer Library acquire thousands of additional resources through new database, to observing the groundhog family that lives behind the library, Haymore will always fondly remember her time at TMU.
A Roundabout Moment
Haymore attended musicals at Truett McConnell College (TMC) with her drama class during the 1970s. As a senior in high school, she also took TMC night classes that were held at Fannin County High School. When her son decided to attend her alma mater in 2012, she was thrilled. However, she never expected that after 30 years of working in public libraries and retiring once, she would spot a job announcement that would catch her eye. In 2013, Haymore applied for the Library Director position at TMU. “I was very blessed to be hired”, she exclaimed “and I have never regretted my decision!”
Since then, Haymore has witnessed the college she knew of in high school grow into a university that now is the home to over a dozen degree programs of various specialties. Just as in high school, she still enjoys attending TMU’S on-campus events that now include chapel, guest lectures, music concerts, and sports events.
A Library of Accomplishments
During her time at TMU, Haymore has been able to undertake several important projects. When she first began working at TMU, she helped the Cofer Library discard and donate over 5,000 outdated titles to make room for newer and better materials. Through the years, she has also helped the library host events such as Star Wars Day, Eclipse Day, and the “Back to the Grind” coffee event for students.
During her time as the Associate Professor of Library Services, the library has added several new electronic databases including CINAHL, Biosis, SportDiscus, and Christian Periodical Index. Additionally, the Cofer Library now offers an Interlibrary Loan service which Haymore said has “enabled us to compete with much larger universities by providing unique or difficult-to-obtain research items.”
Perhaps the most unique project Haymore has undertaken is that of helping provide inmates at the Phillips State Prison with non-internet resources that enable them to earn a bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies.
Highlights of the Job
As Haymore reflects on her time at TMU, she mentions that her favorite part about the job are all the relationships that she has been able to build. She loves asking students who come to the library about their classes and extra-curricular activities, so that she can better assist them in finding resources. She said, “Librarians are a bit like detectives, and we live for finding that perfect resource for our students and faculty!”
Additionally, she has been encouraged by seeing four of the Cofer Library’s former student assistants pursue library work as a career.
Some of her favorite memories include the time that a mouse ran across Vonda Henderson’s desk while she was typing, and the time when a student found and brought a baby groundhog into the library.
A Fully Booked Retirement
Haymore’s primary responsibility in retirement will be that of helping care for her elderly mother. Additionally, she and her husband hope to tour the country and visit Yosemite and Yellowstone in their camper, which they like to call “The Haymore Hilton.” She also anticipates to continue her involement with the youth group at her church and help with future mission trips. Although Haymore will be missed at TMU, she is excited to move forward and spend time taking photos, scrapbooking, writing, sewing and, of course, reading.
Anna Skudarnova is a junior English major and content writer for TMU’s Marketing and Communications.