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Clayton’s library director set to retire

Clayton County Library System Director Carol Stewart speaks at the grand opening ceremony for the new Forest Park library branch facility Sunday. Stewart said the building, which officially opens to the public Monday, is “amazing.”

Clayton County Library System Director Carol Stewart speaks at the grand opening ceremony for the new Forest Park library branch facility Sunday. Stewart said the building, which officially opens to the public Monday, is “amazing.”

— The Clayton County Library System is about to lose the person who has led it for one-third of the last century.

Library Director Carol Stewart will retire March 15 after 33 years of encouraging reading in the county. Although news of her impending departure began to leak out earlier this week, officials from the library system officially confirmed the news Thursday night.

Stewart began working Clayton County libraries in 1980 when the county was part of the Flint River Regional Library System. When the Clayton County Library System was formed in 1981, she was chosen to be its director.

Since then, she has overseen the creation of the Headquarters Branch in Jonesboro and another branch in Lovejoy. She has also overseen construction for new facilities for the system’s Forest Park, Morrow and Riverdale branches.

Of the four original branches that were open when Stewart first came to the county, only the Jonesboro Branch on Smith Street is still in its original location, according to library system officials.

County officials will fete Stewart during an invitation-only party on March 13.

The county commission appointed the library system’s assistant director for technical services, Yvonne Carmichael, as Stewart’s interim successor on Tuesday.