Twenty-five years after stepping into a temporary library job for six weeks, Dannevirke's Carol Brown has retired.
"I was asked to fill in for a staff member who was going on a course in Wellington for six weeks and then I was asked to cover for maternity leave. Eventually a staff member left and I stayed on," Carol said.
"All my life, I'd only ever wanted to do two things, work with children and work in a library. I've achieved both dreams."
Carol retired from the Dannevirke Library last Friday and is now looking forward to even more books as she catches up with some favourite reading.
"I love books. You learn so much from reading," she said.
Carol said she's been in the vanguard of the older person having to learn about computers at the library, and deal with the complexity of technology advances.
"The changes have been phenomenal and have taken some hard work coming to grips with it. But I believe changes are good for the brain," she said. "When I began at the library, we wrote borrowers names and numbers on a card, now that process is computerised and there have been huge changes."
While the ethnic mix of people using the library has also changed, Carol said borrowing patterns are still similar.
"We have people asking for books on strawbale homes, composting toilets and landscaping, but often borrowers just want a book to read," she said. "They look for a good story, but some older readers are finding it more difficult to find the style of book they prefer, so it's very satisfying putting people onto a new author, or finding a book they really want."
During her 25 years, Carol has come to know many of the library's borrowers personally and she said she'll miss chatting with them and working with the friendly team.
"I'll miss all the staff here, but in particular, Darren [Russell]. I've worked with Darren ever since he started at the library and he's been hugely influential in helping me to understand the computers because when they first came into the library, I didn't know anything. Darren's teaching technique has been wonderful and my other workmates have also been very supportive," she said.