Focused on inspiring children to become lifelong readers and library patrons, Sharon Sappington has spent more than five decades working toward her goal. She had always loved books, and used to gather the neighborhood kids to read aloud to them. When it came time to choose a career, she felt like becoming a teacher and librarian was her destiny. Ms. Sappington proceeded to complete coursework at Florida Southern College between 1962 and 1964 and to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Florida in 1966. She furthered her education with postgraduate work at the University of Alabama in 1980.
Now, Ms. Sappington is using her expertise as a member of the Tale Tellers of St. Augustine and as a librarian for the First United Methodist Church. She previously worked as a library media specialist at A.H. Watwood Elementary School, a fourth grade teacher at Sadieville Elementary, and a fifth grade teacher at Tates Creek Elementary. Ms. Sappington’s library was special because she put a lot of effort into making sure her community loved coming. She always had some kind of live creature, including two iguanas she would walk on leashes to delight the children, and the top of every shelf had a giant stuffed animal. The library also had a boat to read in. The inviting atmosphere led her to earn a state award for having the best library program, which she considers to be one of the highlights of her career.
Over the years, Ms. Sappington has received a number of other accolades as well. She was honored with the Stutz Bearcat Grant in 1992, the Title I Grant in 1991, and the Outstanding Youth Services Award from the Alabama Library Association in 1989. She also earned an award for lifetime contributions to the Tale Tellers of Saint Augustine, and inclusion in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who of American Women.
When Ms. Sappington has spare time, she enjoys collecting books, particularly 19th century children’s literature. Her collection is so extensive and impressive that it earned her a television appearance and a newspaper article in Birmingham, Ala. Further, she is very involved in her community; she was a chairman of the RSVP Read Aloud Program, a guest storyteller at the Young Author’s Conference, and a program presenter for the International Reading Association. She was also a storyteller at the Limelight Theater and the creator and presenter of “Tellers of Tales and Sketchers of Dreams,” “Dinosaurs, Teddy Bears, and Wild Things,” and “Shanghaied in the Beijing Airport.”