New library director excited

Brenna Call is looking forward to Monday.

That is her first day as director of the Vienna Public Library.

Call, a Meigs County native, was selected to replace retiring director Alice Thomas, who has served for 23 years. Thomas will be working with Call for the next four weeks.

The library’s board of trustees will hold a retirement party for Thomas from 3-5 p.m. Nov. 22, her last day at the library. Everyone is invited.

It will be “Christmas on Monday,” Call said of taking the new job.

“I love doing library work,” Call said. “It’s my calling.”

Call, who grew up in Pomeroy, has been after-school coordinator for Southern Local School District in Racine, Ohio.

Before that, she worked for about 10 years at the Meigs County Library in Pomeroy and about two years as youth services director at the South Charleston Library. She has a master’s in library science.

Call said her library background is in adult and children’s programming. “It’s my thing,” she said of programming.

Call is impressed by the children’s section at the Vienna Public Library. “It’s a fabulous program.”

She also likes the library’s location and building.

Call, who has three young daughters, plans to relocate to this area.

She called herself an “avid reader,” of all genres of books.

Thomas said she plans to do some traveling in retirement.

When asked about accomplishments during her tenure, Thomas noted the $1 million expansion in 2005-2006 that doubled the library’s size.

The expansion provided a large meeting room that is used by community groups and for library functions. The children’s room is “bigger and brighter” and a computer laboratory was added.

Phase two of the expansion-a 28-space parking lot-is expected to be completed by Dec. 1, Thomas said.

Thomas is proud of the children’s and adult’s sections at the Vienna Public Library.

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Spencer High School graduate Leah Ann (Spencer) Ingram is confident she and three other business partners can purchase the Delta Queen and get the historic paddle-wheeled steamboat navigating the rivers again.

Ingram, her husband, Randy, and two other people, doing business as DQSC Inc., have a contract to purchase the 86-year-old Delta Queen for an undisclosed price, Leah Ann told me this week. The steamboat is owned by Colorado-based Xanterra Parks & Resorts, she said.

DQSC Inc. is trying to secure funding to purchase the Delta Queen and hopes to close on the deal by the end of the year, Leah Ann said.

The Ingrams have been managing the Delta Queen, moored in Chattanooga, Tenn., as a floating hotel since 2009. The steamboat stopped plying the rivers in 2008.

“The vessel is in good shape,” Leah Ann said. “Her 86th birthday was in June.”

The U.S. House’s approval last month of a bill that would temporarily exempt (for 15 years) the National Historic Landmark from a ban on certain wooden boats making overnight trips with 50-plus passengers is a step in getting the Delta Queen cruising again.

Leah Ann hopes the U.S. Senate passes the exemption bill by Christmas. Both measures would need more approval.

She is “pretty confident” all this will fall into place.

If approval is granted and DQSC Inc. purchases the boat, the new owners would look for a home port, Leah Ann said. She would like to bring the Delta Queen to Charleston and other cities in West Virginia by next summer or early fall.

“The Delta Queen does well as a hotel, but we want to return her to where she is meant to be … on the river,” said Leah Ann, a 1989 graduate of Spencer High School.