First, it was her high school library.
“That’s what got me hooked,” she said, thinking back to her Upperman High School days in the early 1960s. “Just seeing the books and classifications and working with the card catalog.”
Next, it was the library at Tennessee Tech University, where she graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and minor in library science. Then she went on to become a school librarian in Georgia. In 1972, she earned her master’s in library science from East Tennessee State University, which eventually led to a long career at the Putnam County Library.
Now Maxwell, who lives in Silver Point, is the librarian at Tennessee Bible College.
“I’m enjoying it,” she said. “It’s a challenge.”
That’s because her first big task is changing TBC’s classification system from Library of Congress to Dewey Decimal.
“It used to be in Dewey, and they liked it better that way, so we’re moving it back,” she said. “It’s just going to take a long time.”
Not that she minds; she’s happy to be back among shelves of books.
Maxwell has been working on Wednesdays and Thursdays since August, after having learned about the position from TBC’s Glenn B. Ramsey, professor of religious education. She assigns subject headings and classification numbers to each book and enters the information in the computer.
It’s not the first time Maxwell has worked in a campus library. As a student at TTU, she did a work study in the card catalog department — and loved it.
“I would have done it for a nickel an hour!” she said.
In addition to her extensive library experience, she worked in TTU’s Learning Resource Center from 1972-75, after having earned her master’s at ETSU. Then she and her husband, Jimmy, moved to Memphis while he completed his education. She continued to be a homemaker, caring for their three young sons, until 1983. That’s when she became assistant director at the Putnam County Library, where she was responsible for the children’s department. She retired in 2006 but returned to work soon after at Cookeville Regional Medical Center in the food and nutrition department before retiring again in 2013.
At TBC, she’s happy to have the opportunity to help students find the books they need to pursue their studies — whether it’s to earn a two-year diploma, bachelor’s degree in religious education, or master’s or doctorate degrees in theology.
When Maxwell isn’t working in TBC’s library, she enjoys piecing quilts, trying out new recipes, putting together puzzles, reading, doing crossword puzzles on her tablet, and spending time with her five grandchildren.
She is a member of Herren’s Chapel Church of Christ in Putnam County.
For more information about TBC’s library and programs of study, call 931-526-2616 or visit www.tn-biblecollege.edu.