Students who spend time in the upper school’s Woodruff Library have probably grown accustomed to seeing Ms. Teague’s friendly face around and asking her for assistance when utilizing the many tools offered by the library. However, after being a librarian at Pace for 23 years, Ms. Teague will retire at the end of this school year.
Ms. Teague arrived at Pace in 1996 after many years of work in a corporate setting. “I moved overseas, and then when I came back to Atlanta I didn’t really want to do that,” said Ms. Teague, referring to her corporate job. “I needed some more flexibility. I wanted something where I was free in the afternoons.”
At the time, Ms. Teague’s middle school daughter had interviews with admissions officers for schools in Atlanta, including Pace. Ms. Teague had earned a master’s degree in library science and learned that there was a position open in Pace’s library, so when her daughter came to interview, she visited the library. Later, she came back for a formal interview and got the job.
Although she has always held the title of librarian, Ms. Teague’s job has changed over the years. “We used to have more people in the library,” she said. “We had a library secretary and a library clerk, and they did things like overdue notices, so as we’ve lost those people, I’ve picked up some of those duties.”
Her job has also changed as technology has changed over time. “We used to have overhead projectors and slide projectors and VCRs and DVD players and we were responsible for keeping up with that stuff,” she said. “I was in charge of equipment, so any time a teacher needed something they would order it and we would have to barcode it and sign it out to the teacher. That was a lot of manual labor and very different from the way we do things now.”
Today, Ms. Teague likes the daily variety her job offers. She often teaches classes to middle schoolers, pulling books, identifying databases and helping them develop research skills for their projects, along with other duties like cataloguing and barcoding books.
Ms. Teague is very pleased with the library that was built along with the new Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School. “We waited a long time for this library and it really happened,” she said. “We talked about it and talked about it and then we got it done. After a while, the old library just didn’t meet the needs. Now we have the quiet space and the collaborative space and it’s just a beautiful place to come to every day.”
After retiring, Ms. Teague looks forward to spending more time with her three grandchildren. “They’re growing up fast, and I want to spend more time with them and have more flexibility in my day,” she said. This summer she has a trip planned to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming with her family. Although she will no longer have a full-time position, Ms. Teague may not be gone from Pace forever: “I can see myself coming back and subbing or visiting my friends,” she said.
Ms. Teague said she’s loved working alongside Matt Ball, Director of Libraries, and Marty Hamburger, Woodruff Library Electronic Resources Manager, and believes she will miss the people the most. “There’s just an amazing group of people that are smart and curious and funny,” she said. “I’m going to miss the conversations, especially at lunch.”
Speaking of lunch, Ms. Teague will miss the free lunch Pace serves. “Every day I’m going to have to fix my own lunch, so I’ll miss that. But mainly I’ll miss the work and coming here to this beautiful place,” said Ms. Teague. She also looks forward to sleeping in, considering that she currently gets up at 5 a.m. every day.
Her coworkers will miss Ms. Teague’s presence next year. “Ms. Teague has developed great relationships with teachers over the years, both in the middle and the upper schools,” said Mr. Ball. “I know that all of the teachers she’s worked with in the past will miss her steady presence and unfailing availability when it comes to teaching research skills to their students.”
Mr. Ball will miss many things about working with Ms. Teague. “I spend a lot of time out of the library but I always know that with Ms. Teague around, the library is in good hands,” said Mr. Ball. “I’ll miss her institutional memory. I’ll miss her skill at paying close attention to details. And I’ll miss her baking.”