Patrons say goodbye to children’s librarian

Patrons say goodbye to children’s librarian
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It’s a bittersweet day at the Joplin Public Library as patrons say goodbye to the children’s librarian.

A tearful event for Jeana Gockley, working here 15 years. People of all ages line up for photos, hugs, and to thank “Miss Jeana” for all she’s done over the years.

“It’s super nice, I think the word of the day is bittersweet. It’s really, really nice to have people come out so I can say goodbye to them formally. I still hope to see people using the library because I’m going to be a library user as well but yeah, it’s a really great day,” says Gockley.

She put the focus on early literacy, helping the library join the “family place library network,” a nationally recognized service of which Joplin and only one other library in the state are part.

And while she’s accomplished a lot in her tenure, Gockley says it’s the people she’ll miss the most

“The top 2 things I love the most are the staff who currently works at the library and then all of the parents and children and care givers I work with on a daily basis. Just helping them and talking to them and finding out about their families, that’s been the most important part,” she says.

And her coworkers say they’ll miss her friendship and determination to improve the community.

“She loves children, she loves this children’s library, she’s made wonderful things for the kids of Joplin, this play space has been fantastic. She brings so many kids into programs, summer reading has impacted so many in Joplin that we’re really just going to miss all of those wonderful things she’s brought just to me and to the people of Joplin also,” says Chelsey Gatewood, the children’s library assistant.

Gockley will be at the Joplin Library until February 5.She has accepted the position of library director at the McDonald County Library.