Tierce announces retirement after more than 33 years

Director of Library Services Joan Estes Tierce, right, of Holcomb recently announced her retirement from Holmes Community College. Tierce was honored recently with a retirement reception in the Jack L. Holmes Library at the Grenada Campus and was presented a plaque from Vice President of Institutional Research and Student Affairs Dr. Lindy McCain. Before the Holmes Community College Grenada Campus even opened its doors to students in 1985, Joan Estes Tierce had already been serving Holmes' students for over a year as librarian. After 33 and a half years, Tierce announced that the fall semester at Holmes would be her last and she is retiring in December.

Tierce, who came to work at Holmes in 1984 as the librarian for both the ADN and PN programs, is currently the Director of Library Services for the entire Holmes district and its three libraries. The first Holmes library was in one room of a trailer behind the University of Mississippi Medical Center Grenada (formerly known as Grenada Lake Medical Center).

"It was in a small classroom," Tierce explained. "I had two sections of book shelves with six shelves of books. Now we are flowing out of the seams. We have an awesome collection.

"When the new building (Grenada Campus' main building) was built over here we moved into that," she explained. "We stayed there for a couple of years and moved out of the main library into a classroom. They added on to the library and moved back into the library and then 10 years ago we moved into this building. We are located up here at the top of the hill."

At the time of the move, Tierce was named the Director of Library Services overseeing library facilities in Grenada, Goodman and Ridgeland.

"Holmes Community College has been my second home," Tierce said of what kept her at Holmes. "I love the students and working with the students. I love being in the Grenada community because I'm from Grenada. I just love my job and love being at Holmes, but now it's time for a new chapter.

"It's just a great place to work," she said. "I love helping students and seeing them come through. They always come back and say 'I enjoyed my time at Holmes because it was some of the best years of my college life.' I am a graduate of Holmes. It's just been home, and I just love it."

Both the Grenada and Ridgeland campuses opened their doors while Tierce has been employed at Holmes, and she's been able to watch them grow.

"I've been here for all of them to be built and the libraries to be built," Tierce said. "Then when I became director it was a challenge to see what changes needed to come forward as technology changed. When I came to Holmes we didn't have a computer in the library. Now we are a computer lab on all three campuses. It's great to see the changes and the fact that administration supported you enough to have what you needed to support your students in the classes.

"Over the years, we have gone from hard back books and magazines to including ebooks," she said. "Students can check out ebooks just like you do a hard book and also we have a lot of journals and magazines online. Newspapers are online. We are going into a technology world and that's the advancement we've had over the years."

The library's web presence has been improved so that students, along with faculty and staff, can see what's available at any library in the district.

"We are like a one-stop shop, and you can go there and see anything at the three campuses," Tierce said. "So, if you are off campus you still have access to the whole library."

Along with serving as librarian, Tierce was the charter advisor of the Alpha Mu Beta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. During her time as an advisor, she was named a Distinguished Advisor and an Advisor of Continued Excellence. The chapter was also named Most Distinguished internationally by Phi Theta Kappa.

She is a member of the Mississippi Library Association and the American Library Association. She is past president of the Dean's & Directors for Mississippi Librarians, MELO (Mississippi Electric Libraries Online) and Grenada Education Association. She is a past member of MAGNOLIA Steering Committee for Mississippi Legislature. She was chosen as a Lamplighter in 2005.

Tierce, a 1979 graduate of Holmes Junior College, holds a bachelor's degree in library science from Delta State University and a master's degree from the University of Mississippi.

Tierce enjoys working in her yard and growing flowers. She also owns a monogramming business, "2 Crazy Ladies," on Sparta Road with her best friend, Linda Morgan. Tierce is very active in her church working with mission activities and has been the church pianist for 46 years.

She and her fiancé, Roger Appelhans, will be married on Dec. 9 and her plans are to travel. Their first trip as newlyweds will be to their second home in Denver, Colorado. She has one son, Vernon Marshall Rodgers, and one soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Lindsay Eubanks. She has two grandsons, Braxton and Marshall. Also Joan will gain two new stepdaughters, Paige and Dakotah.