Jay Ziolko retiring as MIssCo Library director

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Mississippi County Library System director Jay Ziolko behind the front desk at the Blytheville Public Library.

Mississippi County Library System's director Jay Ziolko is retiring but instead of talking about the things he has done he would rather thank everyone.

"I'm grateful to all the library customers over the last 37 years and I'm very indebted to all the staff members that worked so hard during that time," Ziolko said. "I also want to thank my family, especially my wife Mary Ellen who was there every step of the way. I'm very appreciative of all the Mississippi County Library Board of Trustees members past and present - they have been so supportive of me. I don't want to forget to thank Arkansas Northeastern College for its tremendous support and contributions to the county libraries. I retired from ANC on Jan. 2."

Ziolko came to the Mississippi County Library System on Jan. 1, 1977, from Western New York and county library board of trustees members say he is leaving behind a legacy of great customer service.

"When you think about the library you think about Jay," said Sandra Kennett, chairman of the Mississippi County Library Board of Trustees. "He has been here since the beginning of the college (ANC) library working with the college and the county making a big difference in both. It has always been important to him to get books in the hands of the people of this county. He worked hard to break down rules and regulations to make sure books were accessible to everyone."

"He has been an asset to our libraries," said Rogers Ford, Mississippi County Library Board of Trustees member. "He has been easy to work with and I hate to see him go but I'm glad he is retiring to enjoy his family rather than because of illness. I wish him well. He was instrumental in making available library services throughout this county. He has always talked about new books and making sure library patrons have the latest books to read. He has always wanted to make sure the county libraries provided needed services to each community. He will be missed."

"We will miss him very much," said Delia Partlow, former library board member. "It was a joy to serve this county with him. He was a very good county librarian who did a wonderful job."

Not only will the board members miss Ziolko but so will the staff at each of the Mississippi County Library System's seven locations.

"He is a loyal boss," said Kevin Barron, assistant director of the Mississippi County Library System. "I've always felt like he has been supportive of me and all the library staff members. I've always felt like his heart has been in serving the residents of Mississippi County. When people walk through the library doors his intention is to see them served and that is a good legacy to leave behind."

As for the future Ziolko plans to stay in Mississippi County and enjoy time with his family.

"I'm going to put up a sign that says gone fishing and don't forget that saying 'Old Librarians don't die, they get checked out,'" Ziolko says with a chuckle.

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