#MNPSVoices, Debbie Seagroves, Library Materials Clerk, Una Elementary School

Debbie Seagroves is the library materials clerk at Una Elementary School and has served Metro Nashville Public Schools for 11 years. Much like many other MNPS employees, Seagroves started her career in the district as a substitute.

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“I had been a substitute for about three years in a lot of different schools and while substituting at Una, I heard about this job opening and I knew that it was for me,” she said.

Once she landed the job, Seagroves fell right into her daily duties of assisting students and teachers in the library, including helping students check books in and out, pulling subject specific books for teacher instruction and re-shelving books.

Seagroves is amazed at how much the library system has evolved through years and how much things have remained the same.

“I have learned a lot about the Dewey Decimal System since I’ve been in this library,” Seagroves said, adding that while some may believe that the system is outdated, she still uses it to locate books for students every day.

“I enjoy the older routines in the library, but I have also embraced newer systems as well,” she said. “Our library system is connected to the Nashville Public Library system and our process for checking out books has changed.”

Through a partnership with Limitless Library, MNPS students can check out books online, pick them up at their local school libraries and return them there as well.

“As a child, I didn’t go to the library until I was in school,” Seagroves said. “I loved books, and I remember being read to as a child, but we weren’t necessarily able to get to the library. I think it’s great that children who can’t get to the library can still get the materials they want and need.”    

Seagroves’ first aspiration was not to become a library clerk. In fact, she thought she wanted to become a nurse until she attended then-Hume-Fogg Technical and Vocational High School where she was trained to be a secretary.

Eugenia Forman, librarian at Una Elementary, says she is happy that Seagroves chose the path to Una and had much to share about her support in the library with events such as, book fairs, yearbooks, picture days and morning announcements, to name a few.

“She is an excellent clerk and is invaluable to me as an assistant,” Forman said. “Because of Ms. Seagroves, we are able to have an open library policy that allows our students to come to the library anytime during the day, even during lunch.”

She added, “During the month of March, our library circulated 9,000 books and Ms. Seagroves played a major role in getting those books checked out and back in. She is knowledgeable about the books and works well with the students.”