The mission of the Roddenbery Memorial Library is to continue our commitment to public service, assisting all individuals and groups in Grady County to attain the highest level of educational, cultural, economic and social enrichment possible.
What was known as the Cairo Public Library began in January of 1939. The small library was located on the second floor of City Hall and was led by an outstanding woman who possessed a strong commitment to serve the community. In 1964 the Library moved into a new building on North Broad Street, a gift of the Roddenbery Family to the community. Wessie Connell was the library’s director for the first 48 years until her death in 1987. “Miss Wessie” became a legend in Georgia and is well respected throughout the library world. Following her death, Frank Bennett, Technical Services Librarian, served as acting director for nine months.
David E. “Dave” Eden was hired in June 1988 as the second library director. Dave brought a new vitality to the library. The library was in the middle of an expansion/remodeling project that Wessie had started. Dave took over the completion of the project and introduced a library automation system to the library. Dave, having degrees in education and library science, boosted the summer reading program attendance and incorporated his creativity in the arts to all he did. There was no such thing as clip art, Dave hand drew everything! Dave was a hands-on librarian being involved in every aspect of the job. In 1992, Dave moved to Thomasville to take the on the Director role at the Thomas County Library. Another building project was on the horizon for him and he couldn’t resist.
Alan Kaye became RML’s third director on July 1, 1992. Through Alan’s leadership and direction, the library entered the internet age by becoming one of the State’s five test-site libraries to host the internet. It wasn’t much longer before the community was introduced to email and the world wide web! The library grew to new levels with increased staff, revenue, patronage, and a healthy materials collection. The library building had small modifications done to it over those years, most notably the Grady room and used bookstore building. Alan was very active in the local community and the state library association, as well as being a musician and playing in a local bluegrass band. Alan retired in September 2010 and moved to Alabama.
Pamela Grigg became the fourth director on June 1, 2011. She brought enthusiasm for libraries and programming. Many programs were added during Pam’s tenure as the push for STEM programming was being encouraged in schools and libraries. Pam initiated the 2nd building renovation after a $300,000 bequest was left to the library by Frank and Joyce Pickens. Pam retired in May of 2019 after the renovation was complete.
In the late fall of 2019 the library board appointed Janet Boudet as the fifth library director. She has worked at RML since 1989 as the Associate Director.
Meet the Director: