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People of Alabama: Shirley Burden of Hanceville

“I’m on my 17th year (at the Hanceville Public Library). I was a manager of a sewing plant, and the plant closed and I had to take care of my mother. She was sick and passed away. Then my husband passed away. That’s when I came to work here. I had been at home for a few years and found out the lady was quitting that was here. I thought, ‘That might be a good job that I might like to do.’ I did and I’ve been here ever since. I’ve lived here always and so many people come in that I knew their grandparents or parents. I know most people that come in that are from here. You just see the happiness with kids.” – Shirley Burden of Hanceville.

Burden runs the library’s reading program: The reading room is named in her honor. She has lived in Hanceville all of her life and loves the people.

Shirley Burden runs the reading program at the Hanceville Public Library. (Tamika Moore / People of Alabama)

One of the biggest lessons life has taught her?

“Just enjoy every day. That’s the way I live it. I can’t do anything about the past. I may not have tomorrow, so I’ve got to enjoy the day. You have to make the best of it.”

These are the faces and stories of people from all walks of life who call Alabama home. People of Alabama is a Red Clay Media and Alabama NewsCenter partnership.