Carole Larsen to Retire from Emery County Libraries After More Than 40 Years

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Press Release

Carole Larsen, director of Emery County Libraries, will retire on Jan. 1, 2019.  A special open house at the Orangeville Library will in her honor will be held on Thursday, Dec. 27, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The address for the library is 115 South Main Street, Orangeville, Utah.
Carole has provided the Emery County Libraries with over 40 years of dedicated service.
The following was written by Carole’s daughter for her 40th anniversary at the library:
Carole was born and raised in South Salt Lake City.

She was a member of the color guard for the South High Cubs. She loved to play softball, and that is how she met this really great guy, Gordon. Shortly after meeting, Gordon knew it was meant to be and asked Carole to marry him. This is how Carole came to live in the little town of Orangeville. Gordon had grown up in Ferron, and after they got married, Gordon and Carole moved to Orangeville. They have lived in the same home ever since. Shortly after getting married, Gordon and Carole started their family. Nicky was the first of their four wonderful children. A couple years later, Kelly came along. It was at that point, in 1978, she started working at the library. The library at the time was in the bottom of the old schoolhouse, and the upstairs was an old sewing factory. That is where her career as a librarian began. She started out as an assistant, but it didn’t take long before she became a head librarian. During those first few years, she added two more daughters, Andee and Mindi, to her family.

While raising her family, Carole’s children became involved in several sports teams. Carole was able to support her daughters by being a coach and mentor for their softball teams. She was able to coach many young girls in the community, and I’m sure, many of them remember the cheer “Give me a B, give me an R, give me an A. What does that stand for? Hold ‘em, Hold ‘em, Hold ‘em.” As her kids grew, she continued to support them in all the things they choose to do. From being their number one cheerleader and hardly ever missing a game, she was willing to travel far distances just to help her kids have the best opportunities possible to succeed.

She was there when we succeeded and she was there to support and provide encouragement when we failed.

Carole and Gordon raised their kids in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints, and watched as each of the kids went out and served missions for the church. Kelly to Detroit Michigan, Nicky to Montevideo Uruguay, Andee to Independence Missouri and Mindi to Louisville Kentucky.

One of her favorite things to do is to travel, and one of her favorite places to travel to is any place Disney. She took her kids on several trips to Disneyland while they were young, and the amount of time spent on Disney trips has only increased. Her favorite rides at Disneyland are the Big Thunder Mountain and Soarin’. Now, for those of you who know her, you know she has a severe fear of heights, so the fact that Soarin’ is one of her favorites is surprising. In fact, when her kids were younger she took her kids to Disneyland, but she would never ride the big rides. Roller coasters were out of the question. She did manage to go up in the St. Louis Arch on two separate occasions, but neither trip up the arch lasted more than a few moments. After she started having grandkids, things changed. She decided on one particular trip to Disney that she was going to try, and now she has been on several roller coasters, including ones where she goes upside down. What a great example she has been to her family to face their fears, and try new things, but still…..don’t get too close to the edge.

From Disneyland on the west coast to Disney World on the east coast, Carole has traveled to most of the states in the US. And, even though she doesn’t particularly like water, she has been able to travel to Nassau, Bahamas and Cozumel, Mexico on Disney Cruises. She has been able to see many sights, but looks forward to seeing many more with her family by her side.

Carole was able to teach her children what it means to work hard and to take pride in the work you are doing. She always taught her kids to give 110% in whatever they choose to do. Her job at the library helped to create a love of reading in her kids, and now in her grandkids. She loved to take her work home with her and it shows in the imagination and creativity in her and her grandkids. For example, you just ask her grandkids about a houseboat with 10 clowns, a one-word story, and Aaron the Turtle.

Carole was able to meet many people while working at the library. Friendships were formed and Carole earned the respect of many community members. These connections prompted Carole to go for Orangeville City Council.

While a member of the city council, Carole has taken part in several community activities, including Orangeville Days. Not only has Carole been a respected member in the community, but she has also taken on several callings at church, from young women’s, young single adults, to relief society. Carole has always been willing to serve and is always there to help others. While serving with the young single adults, Carole and Gordon were able to plan several trips for the young single adults, including trips to Nauvoo, Far West and Liberty, and even trips to Lake Powell. Carole would spend hours searching for the best deals and the best opportunities for the kids. She would plan for weeks to make sure that everything was perfect, and if something went wrong, she always had a solution. She was always prepared. Carole and Gordon would drive ahead of the busses to set up meals, check in on housing and make sure that everything would be ready when the busses arrived. She was always serving others.

While serving as relief society president, Carole was able to serve the members in her ward and in the community. She has been by people side as they have gone through hard times, and she has been able to share in their joys.

Throughout her time as a librarian, Carole has lost two grandmothers and two grandfathers. She lost a beloved mother-in-law and father-in-law. But she has also had the joy of seeing three of her kids marry, adding a granddaughter when Nicky married her husband Troy, being at the birth of eight grand kids, one adoption of a very spunky grandson and adding three great grandsons. If you ever drive by her home, there are always cars in the driveway. Carole is the rock to a very crazy family, who all love her very much, and don’t know what they would ever do without her.

Kitsy Shorthill was an assistant of Carole’s at the library. She shared the following memory of working with Carole: “Those were some fun times. We started in the basement of the old school. Actually, your mom was working there for a while before she asked me if I’d like to work with her, of course I said I’d love too. The room was pretty small, I’m sure in the day it was a classroom. The walls were covered with shelves that were loaded with books. It was a reader’s paradise. I’m not to sure of the timetable, but it wasn’t too long before the old school was to be torn down to make room for a new library. We were so excited. A lot of work had to be accomplished first. We began boxing up books and removing shelves. Your dad and Howard helped so much. The books were taken to your house and stored in the basement. While we were boxing up books, we ran across a book with the title “Kitsy Babcock Librarian Assistant.” We had a good laugh about this but I don’t know whatever happened to it. Couldn’t have been more perfect. When the new library was built and was ready for occupation, we brought all the books back and placed them on the new shelves we were given. It took a bit of time to get up and running. I loved working with Carole, great experiences and the town showed up and have used this treasure of knowledge over all these 40 years. Carole has made the experience for everyone who entered enjoyable. 40 years! 40 years!! How amazing, no one sticks with a job for this long unless they have a great love for what they’re doing and Carole loved doing it and continues loving it still today.”

A good friend, Carolyn Carrasco said, “I have found Carole to be very compassionate and very much in tune to the Spirit. Her ability to provide service to everyone without judgement is remarkable. She thinks about issues and has fair judgement in whatever the issue is from library, city council or friends. She is someone you know you could call on in the middle of the night if you had a problem and she would be right over. She has been a friend that would keep all your shared secrets to herself.”

40 years is a long time. Carole has had her highs and her lows, but she never gave up. She has been such a wonderful example to so many people. At this time, we would like to say thanks. Thank you for always being there for us, no matter what. You have been the light in the darkness, the voice of reason and the rock.

We wish her many more years of love and happiness!

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