Visitors to the Truro library will no longer see the familiar face of Lynda Marsh in the children’s department. After 37 years she has decided it’s time to retire. Friday was her last day on the job.
“I’m feeling good about retiring,” she said. “It’s sad but there are things I want to do and now I’ll have time.”
Marsh, who grew up in Toronto, wanted to work with children so she went to university for her teaching degree. Finding a job was difficult, so she returned to university and got a Masters in Library Services. She chose Dalhousie University because her sister had moved to Nova Scotia.
In November 1980, she started working at the Truro library.
“On my first day they showed me my office, with a pile of book review journals on the desk, and left me there,” she recalled.
She soon settled in, taking care of things like ordering books, running story time sessions and the summer reading club, and travelling with the children’s bookmobile to various schools.
She felt the young adult books should have a section of their own, and after a few years she was able to convince administration.
Marsh remembers putting on shows for the children – using puppets that were hand-made by staff members.
“I loved, loved doing story time,” she said. “I see parents who came to story time, now coming in with their own children, and I see people who brought their children years ago now coming in with their grandchildren.”
She’s seen a lot of changes in library services, with expanded programs for all ages, and fast-paced technology.
“Books have changed a lot; they’ve become more interesting,” she said. “The quality of stories in picture books now is fantastic. Non-fiction has expanded into new subject areas and junior novels have boomed.
“I’m amazed at how the library has become a social meeting place. The children’s room is set up so parents can come and engage with their children. They’re not just in and out.”
Marsh’s official title at retirement was administrator of youth services, and she has spent much of her time during her last couple of weeks helping her replacement, Jenn Atkinson, learn as much as possible about the position.
Although she’s retiring Marsh will still be busy. She plans to visit family and expand on her involvement with two charities: Maggie’s Place and the Central Nova Pawd of ElderDog.
She’s also going to take in some of the adult programming at the library.