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McDowell Public Library’s Barbara Fields Honored as 2022 Librarian of the Year

By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor

WELCH, W.Va. – The West Virginia Library Commission has recognized the dedication of local librarian Barbara Fields, naming her as 2022’s Librarian of the Year.

“I’m honored, this is a big thing for me,” said Fields about the award. “But I want it known, I could not do it, could not have gotten this, without the help of Chessie, Diana and the branch libraries. Everyone working together is what made this possible.”

For her efforts, Fields received a medallion bearing a book and quill, as well as a certificate recognizing her exceptional contribution to support and improve library services to her community during and after the COVID pandemic.

Fields started at McDowell Public Library on October 17th, 2011 and became the Director on May 19th, 2019. Before starting her career with the Library, Fields worked as a bookkeeper, with the U.S. Postal Service and with the McDowell County Board of Education as a substitute secretary.

When asked about her favorite part of the job, Fields says she enjoys every part of the work, but especially working with visitors stopping by the library.

Ever humble, Fields said she wishes every employee had gotten recognition.

“I couldn’t do it without them, we’re a team and that’s what it takes to keep the library going,” said Fields.

“She’s a very patient, kind boss. She will help you with anything. She is a joy to work with and absolutely deserves this award,” said Diana McCall.

Barbara Fields lives in Pageton, WV.

Created in 1929 by the state legislature, the West Virginia Library Commission administers federal and state funds to public libraries, maintains the Statewide Library Network, and provides other essential services to 172 public libraries across West Virginia.