Longtime library director, Phillip K. Barton, retiring after 29 years
By Jessie Burchette
Rowan County’s longtime library director has decided to retire.
Phillip K. Barton, who has been with the county for 29 years, submitted his retirement notice to County Manager Bill Cowan on Dec. 15.
“My life as director of Rowan Public Library has been a wonderful and exciting experience, which I shall treasure for the rest of my life,” Barton wrote.
“I take particular comfort in knowing that I leave the library in capable hands, including an extraordinary staff and management team,” wrote Barton, who also praised the Board of Trustees and library support groups.
Barton said his intention is to work through March 30. He said he’ll work with the management team to assure a smooth transition.
He also encouraged Cowan to look carefully within the library organization in filling the director’s post. “The library is fortunate to have some of the best and brightest librarians in this state, all of who share my commitment to the citizens of Rowan County and excellent public service,” Barton wrote.
The library system includes the headquarters on West Fisher Street, the East Branch on Broad Street in Rockwell and the Frank T. Tadlock South Rowan facility on Kimball Road in China Grove.
Barton is the second long-time department director to retire recently. Jim Foltz, the county’s parks and recreation director, retired in November.