Beverly Martin: A Librarian’s Legacy
Writer / Jessica Pflumm
Photographer / Forrest Mellott
With a lifetime love for libraries, books and learning, Beverly Martin started working 55 years ago in a small community library while in junior high. This month, after serving the Johnson County Public Library for over 28 years, her dedication will be entering a new and well-deserved chapter: retirement.
When I Grow Up …
Growing up, Beverly was an “Army brat,” moving from Oklahoma to Texas to Germany, and when they could not join her father on a tour, they lived in Dale, Indiana, with extended family. She graduated from Dale High School, which is now part of the North Spencer County School Corporation.
During her senior year, she helped run the school library when the librarian was on a leave of absence. This experience planted a desire in Beverly to pursue a dual college major in sociology and library science for her undergraduate degree and then a master’s degree in library sciences, both from Indiana University Bloomington.
After grad school, Beverly joined the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). Her assignment with VISTA was working with the Community Action Against Poverty program in Texas. There, she worked with agencies such as Head Start as well as spent time tutoring students preparing for their GED and educating women in the areas of nutrition, healthcare and early literacy skills with the Neighborhood Area Service Centers.
After VISTA, Beverly got her first post-graduate job as a children’s librarian in Indianapolis. Other career moves included school media specialist and management positions at both the Indianapolis Public Library and the Johnson County Public Library (JCPL), where she was appointed director in March 1987.
Noting the most exciting change within the library throughout her career, Beverly stated, “The transition from the card catalog and reference books for doing research to our ability to use handheld electronic devices to access the library and its wealth of knowledge has expanded the library’s available resources exponentially.”