Philana Cockerham was nearly 10 years removed from being a librarian until the opportunity arose to fill the position left by recently retired Hamilton and Wren librarian Charlotte Wathen.
“I always wanted to work at this library. It’s 60 seconds away from my house, and I love books and I love being a librarian. I love the kids and love recommending books to adults,” she said.
Cockerham spent 12 years as a school librarian at Caledonia High School and Aberdeen Middle School, where she ended her career in 2010. While at Aberdeen, she was once named the district’s teacher of the year.
The lifetime Hamilton resident earned her English degree from the Mississippi University for Women and her library science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.
“Libraries are an important aspect of our society, especially in small, rural areas. The library is not only a place to check out books but also to use computers, DVDs and free WiFi. We also offer services such as copying, printing and faxing,” she said. “One of the things I want to do most is make people aware of these services and increase our circulation and the number of patrons we serve.”
Both libraries she serves recently held their summer reading programs, which featured animal shows.
“It was a great success. There were approximately 100 attendees at the Hamilton library’s program,” she said.
The two libraries, like Evans Memorial Library, Amory Municipal Library and the Dorothy J. Lowe Library, are part of the Tombigbee Regional Library System.
Wren’s library is open Mondays and Wednesdays from noon until 5 p.m., and Hamilton’s library is open from noon until 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. She complimented both communities’ support for the libraries.