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Dr. Foster, library dean, prepares for future

By Kelly Mayo
News Editor

April 26, 2012

Photo by Nick Phillips
Dr. Elinor Foster is honored at the Friends of the Library benifit dinner. Foster leaves UNCP after 17 years inside Mary Livermore Library.

Dean of Library Services Elinor Foster has been enamored with books and media in Mary Livermore Library for 17 years. According to her future plans, her love of all things literary will not fade after retirement.

Dr. Foster arrived at UNCP in 1989 and stayed until 1993. After a six-year stint in Texas, she returned to Pembroke in 1999 and has remained ever since.

She was Director of Library Services until 2005, when the title changed to Dean.

Dr. Foster said her favorite memories at UNCP involve the guest speakers and programs sponsored by the Friends of the Library, for which she is executive secretary.

Her favorite guests include North Carolina writers Allen Gurganas and Clyde Fogerton, as well as columnist/humorist Celia Rivenbark.

"All of these people say they learned to write by observing other people and situations...and taking mental notes," she said.

Despite all of the good times, Dr. Foster had one major regret.

"It's been disappointing that we haven't gotten the funds for the new library building," she said, referring to the project the North Carolina General Assembly approved in May 2008 that has not been funded yet.

"The money never came forward. It's still pending...the economy needs to improve," she said.

Dr. Foster said her postretirement plans include becoming a Guardian Ad Litem and representing children from broken homes in court proceedings.

"I have been approved for this program. I needed letters of recommendation," she said.

She also said she and her husband might travel to Key West to see the Hemingway House, as well as to New England to see the leaves turn in the fall.

Dr. Foster said she will have one mandate to life after UNCP.

"Of course I'm going to have to be near a library. I must have my books," she said.

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