THANK YOU Rita Shacklett for 48-Years of Leadership!

Feb 29, 2024 at 03:50 pm by WGNS


(MURFREESBORO) At 11:00 o’clock Thursday morning (2/29/2024), a Leap Year day gathering erupted in tears, laughter and applause as Rita Shacklett entered the room. It was the final day for the retiring director. The message on the cake said it all, “48-years, a beautiful career in the books.”



When asked about her career choice, Shacklett said . . .

She received engraved remembrance gifts from the board, staff and supporters, along with a proclamation from Secretary of State Trey Hargett and lots of hugs and well wishes from the standing-room-only gathering in the large meeting room.

More tears, hugs and memories continued as everyone enjoyed lunch and time with friends.

This Murfreesboro native had her formal education in the local public school system and then received her bachelor’s degree from MTSU. Her first “real life” job out-of-college was at the Linebaugh Library, and that lasted almost a half-century.

In 2018  the Rutherford County Library System director was been awarded the TLA Honor Award at the Tennessee Library Association convention in Memphis. The Honor Award recognizes any person or group who has made a significant contribution to the furtherance of librarianship on a statewide or national level.

She began her career with the Rutherford County Library System in 1975 as a library clerk and worked her way up to the director position in 2008.

Shacklett is a strong believer in “networking”. She has served on the Read To Succeed Council, The Lon Nuell Family Literacy Advisory Council, and as secretary for the Convention and Visitors Bureau Board and Tenn-Share Board.

Other involvement over the past 48-years have included the MTSU Community Advisory Council, a member of the Murfreesboro Kiwanis and the 2009 Class of Leadership Rutherford. She is also active with the Tennessee Library Association, Public Library Association and American Library Association.

Rita has worked tirelessly to see the Rutherford County Library System and Tennessee become the home of one of the first “shelf-less” libraries, the Technology Engagement Center.

  • She has been an excellent example in networking and gaining support of the library board, foundation, friends groups, governing bodies and the community to see this project to fruition.

THANK YOU Rita Shacklett for the 48+ years that you have shared your love of books and reading with those who have connected with the Rutherford County Public Library System.

  • Linebaugh Public Library, 105 W. Vine St.. Murfreesboro
  • MGL Library inside Patterson Park Community Center, 521 Mercury Blvd.
  • The Technology Engagement Center, 306 Minerva Drive, Murfreesboro
  • The Historical Research Center, 435 Rice Street, Murfreesboro
  • Smyrna Public Library, 400 Enon Springs Rd. West, Smyrna
  • Eagleville Bicentennial Public Library, 317 Hwy 99E, Eagleville.

Engage through RCLS. For more information, call 615-893-4131 or visit

Here is the complete conversation with Rita Shacklett: