By Maya Pandey, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – For Debbie “Deb” Mayo, Aug. 8, 2018 was an important date. For that day marked 30 years that she began her career, following in her father Harold Weagle’s footsteps, as the book mobile driver and now the outreach van driver for the Shrewsbury Public Library.
When she first started Mayo would work Mondays 12-8 p.m. and Tuesdays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. driving the book mobile to schools, churches, senior centers and through the neighborhoods of Shrewsbury bringing books to all. She recalled her father giving her advice, such as “Remember Mr. Chalker and Stanley both like mysteries & westerns.” She added that she would think “How will I ever remember all this?” But she did and does still.
Sue Phyfe, a Shrewsbury resident since 1981, remembers when she first saw the book mobile. Weagle was driving it then and rolled up and parked under a tree in front of the Phyfes home. The family’s young sons would then climb into the vehicle and select their books.
When Mayo took over for her father in 1988, a lifelong friendship with Phyfe was born.
“Debbie always made it fun and she was always on top of things and remembered to always bring just what we needed,” Phyfe said. “Debbie played a major role in connecting the outside world who had no way of getting to the library.”
Melissa Cole, Little Beginnings Preschool noted that “Miss Deb has been coming for over 21 years, we were her first school and can’t say enough about how much we love her.”
“When we opened in 1997 we had very little and no books so these were the only books we had. Miss Deb always came in with a big smile and was always happy. Rain or shine,” she said.
“Miss Deb always made a point to know what was being taught to the children so she could be sure to bring books that applied to that week’ lessons. The children and everyone always look forward to Miss Deb coming with all her bags of books,” she added.
Lucille Virzi, a Shrewsbury resident of 52 years, just began using the outreach service a few months ago and is thrilled with the service and “how wonderful” Mayo is.
“Debbie came in smiling and talked to me and asked me my preferences and has brought me the perfect selections each time. And even if I didn’t finish reading my books she would make sure to take care of me and get them renewed so I could finish,” Virzi said. “Debbie is a nice and genuine person who always makes the time for me… you just don’t know how important that is to someone who can’t get out.”
“Thank you Debbie for being there, talking to me, picking great selections, introducing me to CDs and for always having a smile and listening,” she added.