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Library requests old yearbooks

The Briggs Lawrence County Library wants your yearbook. Or those of your parents or your grandparents.

Or one that you’re considering throwing in the trash. They don’t care why you’re getting rid of it, but they would like to have it.

Chuck O’Leary, the main branch’s manager, said the books will be put in the library’s Hamner Genealogy Room.

“This is the time of the year when people are going threw attics and garages and getting rid of their old things,” he said. “So if anyone has one they’re planning on pitching give it to us instead.”

He admitted to buying copies of Lawrence County school yearbooks at flea markets to put on the library shelves.

“People just throw them away. They become items of no interest to some families after a couple generations,” O’Leary said. “I think I even threw mine away.”

Yearbooks are one of the staples of the high school experience and are meant to bring a lifetime of memories, but sometimes the interest fades.

“Sometimes the yearbooks belong to a grandfather they don’t really know about or even their mom or dad’s,” O’Leary said. “This way we have a record of it and they can make a copy of it. It’s like the newspapers. We keep copies of those.”

Mary Counts, the Briggs Library’s genealogy clerk, said that for some people researching their family trees, yearbooks may be the only source for a photo of their ancestor. Family photos are lost over time.

“People want to see what their ancestor looked like, yearbooks are about the only pictures out there,” she said. “We get people in all the time asking about yearbooks because they want to see their relatives.”

Lori Shafer, the head of the library’s adult services, said if people don’t want to give their yearbooks away, the library would still like to see them.

“We would be very happy to copy them, so at least we would have a copy,” she said.

When asked if there were any particular yearbooks, O’Leary replied “All of them.”

“We have some that are 100 years old but we don’t have some from recent decades,” he said. “So we are looking for ones from the 70s, 80s and 90s.”

Any the school it is from doesn’t matter too much as long as it is local.

“We want them from all the schools, Ironton, Coal Grove, Chesapeake, Proctorville, anywhere in Lawrence County,” O’Leary said. “Anything that is of local interest. We will be happy to take donations. I would help us out tremendously.”

The phone number for the Briggs Lawrence County Library is (740) 532-1124. It is locate at 32 S. Fourth St. in downtown Ironton and is open from Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.