Backwards and in High Heels: Library Manager Marshana Sharp Honored

Marshana Sharp recently celebrated her 15th anniversary as an employee of the Dade County Library, where she started in 2002 coordinating children’s story activities. She was also honored by Trenton Tree City on April 28, Arbor Day, with the planting of a commemorative tree, but that event received little attention from local government or from local press--a situation The Planet here seeks to correct.

Ms. Sharp took over as library manager in the dark days following the tornadoes of 2011, which ripped the roof off the library’s temporary housing, destroying books, irreplaceable records and computers. She then weathered considerable more raging rocks and shivering shocks: a “gypsy library” situation following the storm, when the library moved from the damaged CVS building to a storefront on North Main to the Trenton Depot, while a renovation delay and subsequent lawsuit delayed its return to its permanent location on the town square; followed up by a crushing blow from the Dade County Board of Education, which abruptly ducked out from under its share of library funding in 2012, causing staff cuts as well as library closure all but three days a week.

Throughout it all, Ms. Sharp not only continued her pet children’s initiatives, including the massively popular Ready to Read and summer reading programs, but created new ones--Halloween festivities, health fairs, sewing classes, computer classes--winning awards, causing headlines and making the library a center for children’s recreation as well as adult education and entertainment, a true community center even as it struggled to keep the lights on.

And that's to say nothing of her chilidogs.

Furthermore, Ms. Sharp performs her administrative wonders in such a uniformly spectacular array of interesting footwear as to provide library patrons a constantly changing vista of astonishment and delight. Ms Sharp, otherwise modest and understated in manner and garb, admits to a constitutional inability to withstand temptation at shoe stores, and can usually be found towering above the crowd in some altitudinous little confection with T-straps and stiletto heels. She admits to having tracked down, if not purchased, both high-heeled crocs and high-heeled sneakers.

That tendency, and Ms. Sharp’s calm piloting of the library through the troubled seas of fortune, render The Planet incapable of avoiding summarizing that she is doing it all backwards, and in high heels.

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