With the death of a librarian, the DeLand Regional Library, 130 E. Howry, is closed today (Monday, Nov. 22) and the Pierson Public Library, 115 N. Volusia Ave., will be closed today to Wednesday, Nov. 24.
All Volusia County Libraries will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25-26, in observance of the Thanksgiving weekend.
The temporary closures are necessary to provide library staff time to cope with the stages of grief having lost one of their caring library assistants, Sara Morales, who died tragically Nov. 21. Volusia County Library staff are a close family, whose close and compassionate relationships are deeply affected by Sara’s death, county officials stated in a news release.
Library staff from the DeLand Regional Library also help staff the Pierson Public Library, which is why the Pierson Library must close.
"The county’s focus right now is with our employees and all those who’ve been impacted by Sara’s death," the release states. "The county’s critical incident stress management team as well as grief counselors are being made available to provide emotional support to our employees."
Sunday's incident, which may have included road rage, is under investigation by the Orange City Police Department.
“Our immediate concern is for the welfare of Sara’s family, her library colleagues, and all of our county employees,” stated Volusia County Deputy Manager Suzanne Konchan in the release. “We are all shaken up by the incident. As we grieve the loss of one of our own, we stand together in wholeheartedly supporting one another during this difficult time.”
Sarah was 35 years old and had been a county employee since January 2019.
“Sara was well liked by patrons and staff for her upbeat personality,” stated Regional Librarian Ann Collins. “She was kind, hardworking, a team player and always ready to help.”