Townson retires; Harrington named library director

Josie Harrington is pictured in 2020. (Willette Harbison/CCPLS)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Public Library System has a new director following a meeting of the library board Tuesday evening. Sharon Townson, who has been with the library for 27 years, has retired. The board met in executive session and selected Josie Harrington to assume the role.  

Harrington, who started her career with the library in 2018, was named assistant director in January 2020. She acknowledged there is a lot of work ahead, but said she is excited to get started.  

“There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I am excited to be our new director,” she said. “I love our community!” 

Harrington said she is excited to implement her ideas and help the library continue to grow.  

At the meeting, members also discussed storm damages and starting the process of obtaining a new bookmobile. 

The director’s report touched on various updates and activities within the library. Notably, it discussed the storm damage that occurred Aug. 7, and mentioned ongoing efforts to address the aftermath.  

Regarding facility repairs, the board discussed hiring a structural engineer to assess the damage and determine necessary repairs. A motion was made to approve the payment for the structural engineer’s assessment, which was estimated to be around $1,200. The motion was approved, enabling the repair process to move forward. 

The report also highlighted the library’s engagement with workshops, classes and webinars, as well as the successful acquisition of a collection development grant covering all five branches. 

The financial reports were then presented and discussed. The board found no unusual content in the reports. 

Regarding the bookmobile, the report said the previous vehicle was involved in an accident. Despite this setback, the board intends to pursue the acquisition of another bookmobile. It said the insurance payout from the previous vehicle will significantly aid in procuring a replacement. The board plans to collaborate with a vehicle customization company named Leonard Design.