After 40 years and 116 days of finding answers and recommending books, library veteran Yancey Taylor retired from the Daniel Boone Regional Library at the end of January. His expertise in fiction and reference were of great benefit to the library and our community, and his unique place among the library’s staff will be very hard to replace. With the rapid rate of change to which we’ve all become accustomed, the four decades of steady, expert service that Yancey has offered to the community is a rare commodity indeed.
Yancey has been witness to innumerable changes, both in technology (the library was still checking out art prints and 8 mm film when he started, and e-mail existed only in science fiction) and in work environment. He has worked in four different Columbia Public Library buildings, in several different positions and departments of the library. He even hired the library’s current director, Melissa Carr, for her first job at the library in 1972.
Perhaps one thing that’s made him so good at his job is the wide experience he had of the world before he ever started at the library. Yancey served in the U.S. Navy and then worked 15 years for the U.S. Department of State as the Vice Consulate for Mexico and Spain. After that, he became a high school teacher in Owensville and then at North Callaway High before applying at the library in 1968. He worked both of the desks (Circulation and Reference) at first and was head of the Circulation Department when the library opened on Broadway in 1971. He also spent some time in Technical Services and doing interlibrary loan, but most of his time has been spent helping people find books and information from the Reference Desk. His skills at the reference desk are so well known in the community that for four decades patrons have called asking to speak specifically to “Taylor” because they’ve heard he can always find them the answers.
Yancey has earned the admiration and respect of his fellow staff members, too. His hard work, dedication and unflagging good humor will be greatly missed by his coworkers. The rest and relaxation he looks forward to in retirement is richly deserved. And, perhaps, now that he no longer has to spend so much time finding books for other people, he’ll finally find time to sit down with the novels that he has notoriously carried around in his back pocket all these years.