Abshier retiring from Liberty library after 29 years

Dana Abshier (photo courtesy of the Liberty Gazette)

Dana Abshier has announced she will retire as director of the Liberty Municipal Library as of Sept. 30, 2023. The Friends of the Library will honor Abshier, who has worked at the library for 29 years, with a retirement reception on Friday, Sept. 29, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the library. The public is cordially invited to attend.

Liberty Library Director Ellen Pickett hired Abshier in 1988 as a library page. She shelved thousands of books and quickly learned that the library had much to offer the entire community. After three years she left the library to finish college and then worked at the Wallisville Heritage Park as an archivist for four years.

In 1997, the reference librarian position opened, and Abshier returned to the Liberty Library. Along with providing reference service, she also focused on library technology. The library updated and expanded the number of staff computers, and several years later computerized circulation. Under Mrs. Pickett’s guidance, Abshier applied for grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the federal Telecommunications and Infrastructure Fund, and the library offered computers with Internet access to the public for the first time.

In 2000, Mrs. Pickett retired as director and Abshier was chosen as her successor. The duties of the job were wide-ranging, from choosing new books to understanding the HVAC system. She managed the library trust funds and the library’s city budget and had many other administrative duties.

In the years that followed, collections grew and programming for people of all ages increased. Library technological advances were made including software to simplify patron printing, wireless Internet access for patrons, and other improvements.  The staff has worked diligently to make the library a friendly place where everyone feels welcome.

The City of Liberty carried out two major construction projects at the Humphreys Cultural Center while Abshier was the director. The 2008-2010 expansion project doubled the size of the facility, and the 2022-23 project focused on repairs and renovations. The building is again beautiful and functional.

Abshier says she has thoroughly enjoyed her years as library director, and she will miss interacting with the public and working with the staff. It has been her desire to provide the community with the best library services possible. She credits hardworking staff members, the Library Board, the Friends of the Library, volunteers, and the City of Liberty for making the library a great place for learning, personal enrichment, and inspiration.

In the next chapter of her life Abshier plans to paint, write, do genealogical research, and spend much more time with her family. She says it will be very nice to have time to read for pure enjoyment. She will contribute to the library through continued membership in the Friends of the Library and invites others to join this active group.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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