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Librarian not quiet about her love of books

By Ed Brock

About 13 years ago Beverly Mayfield was watching the "Reading Rainbow" with her son and saw a book that caught her fancy.

She went to the children's section of her local library in Detroit.

"As soon as I walked into the children's library I said, 'Wow, I could work here,'" Mayfield said.

So she applied for a job and got her first position as a library assistant. Later she went on to get her master's degree in library science from Wayne State University in Detroit and became a full-fledged librarian.

Now the 44-year-old Mayfield has taken over the reins of Clayton County's newest library, the Lovejoy Branch. She brings with her 12 years of experience with the Detroit Public Library system and she's glad to return to the Atlanta area.

"We don't miss those cold Detroit winters," Mayfield said.

Mayfield lived in Atlanta just prior to that time in 1991 when she watched the "Reading Rainbow" with her son. She had worked for Eastern Airlines as a flight attendant and when they closed down she returned to her native Detroit to "regroup."

About a year ago she moved back south when her husband, Shannon Mayfield, got a job as an assistant principal at North Clayton Middle School. She started her new job at the Lovejoy Branch Library on March 2.

There are some things about Detroit that she misses. As a children's librarian she worked in the "Mexicantown" area of southwest Detroit.

"I enjoyed the flavor of the neighborhoods there," Mayfield said.

Also, as branch librarian she has to oversee all operations at the library, which has shelf room for 60,000 books, not just the children's section. When asked for some of her favorite books, Mayfield lists several authors who write for children and young adults.

For her own reading, Mayfield likes anything that "gives me insight into the world of another culture."

She also recommended the historic romance books by Beverly Jenkins like "The Edge of Midnight" and "Always and Forever."

"I'm not that fond of romance but that caught my eye because of the historic aspect," Mayfield said.

The transition into her new job has gone well, Mayfield said.

"It's mainly because I have a wonderful staff," Mayfield said.

Her staff members are willing to share information and go beyond their appointed duties, Mayfield said. Her Assistant Managing Librarian Gerald Walker is a "walking encyclopedia," she added.

Walker said things have been great and the transition "seamless."

"She's got a very good spirit, a good background," Walker said, adding that it also helps that she comes from a big city environment. "That comes in handy. She's seen a lot."

Mayfield said they're working on building their collection at the county's newest branch which has just recently opened. The library has a varied patronage, including students from nearby Lovejoy High School and Middle School as well as older people.

It's somewhat challenging that the library is located at the entrance to the Lovejoy Soccer Complex.

"People are still discovering that we're here," Mayfield said. "They think we're a pool or a gym."

Mayfield lives in Hampton and has two sons who are 18 and 15 years old.

"Everyday People" is a regular feature of the News Daily. If you know somebody in the community whom you consider deserving of recognition, contact Assistant Managing Editor Bob Paslay at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or at bpaslay@news-daily.com .