Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Good Things Come to an End

I realize it's been nearly a week since I last posted and, once again, I apologize for my absence. Last week was a tough week and I am still trying to recover from the emotional turmoil which resulted from two very different experiences. While one is something I can and want to share, the other is still too painful to relate...maybe soon.

On Thursday, I helped teach the very last training session for the Library's antiquated computer system. That marks the end of a 19-year run of classes I helped develop in 1989 when I was asked to serve on a little 6-week committee to write the policies for the new computer system. That little committee was then asked to extend its life to train the staff at the first 5 pilot libraries. Then, my very dear friend and co-committee member Harriett and I were asked to stay on to train all 1500+ full and part-time staff. Those were exciting and thrilling days and I look back upon those classes with the fondest of memories. Sadly, my time at Headquarters came to an end when a budget crunch required me to return to my community library as a reference librarian after a few years.

Then 2 1/2 years ago, I was asked to come back from retirement to help train when the Training Unit was down to just one lone trainer. I gladly accepted and, once again, the excitement was back. Two new trainers were hired while I was there and now the Library is moving forward with the installation of a new computer system in June. Plans are underway to train the entire staff on a new computer system once again and the two new trainers, along with library staff from the field, will have the fun of teaching it all.

So Thursday's last day was a bittersweet experience for me. I'm happy that the Library is finally getting the much needed new technology but, at the same time, I am sad to see our legacy disappear. Most sadly, Harriett is not here to watch our "baby" end. She passed away a few years ago from cancer and, on Thursday, her loss was felt by all of us who shared our training experiences with her during her many years as the head of the Training Unit. I know she would be excited to see the progress of the Library's new upcoming system and would bid our old training program goodbye with a smile on her face. Good things eventually come to an end.