Liles remembered at Hampton B. Allen library reception

By: By Natalie Davis -

The late Joyce Ratliffe Liles was recently honored by the Friends of the Library at the group’s annual reception.

Liles died May 27, and was an employee of the Hampton B. Allen Library for more than seven years, beginning in 2009.

During her time at the library, Liles managed the genealogy lab, started and ran the Computers 101 program, ran the Brown Bag Book Club program, and was in charge of repairing damaged books.

She was also a member of the Friends of the Library Board, serving officially as the treasurer, but also taking on many other duties, like taking minutes during the meetings and managing the Friends’ contact info.

“She also handmade birthday cards for the staff and thank you cards for the guests at our programs,” said Aaron Mehaffey, director of the library.

The Friends of the Library holds an annual reception, usually at the start of the year, to celebrate the organization’s contributions.

“We knew we needed to honor her memory,” Mehaffey said. “The annual 2018 Reception was the perfect opportunity to celebrate everything she had done for the library.

“She made our genealogy lab what it is today, and it’s one of the biggest assets that we have,” he added. “She contributed a lot to the library, and she loved books. She was a tremendous powerhouse in our staff.”

Mehaffey also said that the library staff loves and misses her very much and a plaque was put up in her memory.

The reception was filled with memories of each of the guests’ encounters with Liles. Among the guest list was Norma Thacker, wife of Wadesboro Mayor Bill Thacker, who helped plant rose bushes in her honor.

Rick Ratliffe, her brother, was also at the reception, and spoke a few words.

“Joyce truly loved working here and every time I’d come see her, she’d have a story to tell about her work at the library, the people she worked with, and the different things that she would get involved in,” Ratliffe said.

Liles worked for B.C. Moore & Sons for 42 years. She also played the organ, piano, and was the choir director for more than 50 years at Camden Presbyterian Church,

Ratliffe was worried his sister wouldn’t find anything that she liked.

“Within a matter of months, she was here at the library, and never would’ve thought that she would jump in and teach computer classes,” Ratliffe said.

“I thank you for your words,” he added. “She really felt a love for both the Friends of the Library, and the library in general.”

By Natalie Davis