Sharon Richardson never anticipated that a wrong turn she made more than 10 years ago set the stage for being named Charleston County Government’s 2012 Employee of the Year, the highest award given annually to the person who best represents the county’s more than 2,000 employees.

A self-professed bookworm, Richardson was unfamiliar with the St. Andrew’s Regional Library until she stumbled upon it while running errands one spring day in 2002. She started as a Library Assistant I in the Circulation Department that May. While there, her positive attitude, commitment and professionalism was evident based on how she interacted with customers and fellow co-workers.

In addition to her regular duties, Richardson created and maintained a Coupon Corner at the branch, which helps patrons and staff save money by sharing unused coupons with others.

Library Director Doug Henderson and County Administrator Kurt Taylor presented the honor to Richardson during the county’s annual Employee Recognition reception.

“This is the first time a library employee received this countywide honor, which makes it extremely special. Library staff are committed to providing excellent customer service, and this award demonstrates that commitment,” Henderson said.

As part of her nomination, St. Andrew’s Regional Manager Cynthia Hurd and her Supervisor Rosemary Fludd called Richardson “a role model of professionalism” and a “valued veteran and ambassador of the branch.”

Recently promoted to Library Assistant II and moved to the Otranto Road Regional Library, Richardson continues to work in circulation.