Recently, Keene Memorial Library staff had to say goodbye to everyone’s favorite Interlibrary Loan guy – Bob. Bob began his tenure at KML back in 2005. He is that quiet guy that works behind the scenes and you don’t realize how many duties he actually has until he mentions the “R” word. Bob gave us plenty of notice that he was thinking about running away into the sunset with his beloved wife. It’s just one of those things, where you know it’s coming, but you just ignore it and hope it is not real.
After Bob told us of his impending departure, we started to ask him, “What exactly do you do?” Sadly enough, we all wear so many hats and do so many different duties, nobody really knows everything the others do. We started to make a list that just took on a life of its own. Bob has quietly been in the background managing Interlibrary Loan, verifying all library card applications and account setups, mending, cleaning and repairing all the materials in the library, helping with collection management by methodically physically examining the entire collection of books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, audiobooks,
and Playaways, and serving on the Welcome Desk as a reference specialist. In his spare time (LOL) he also helped with obituary searches and genealogy requests.
The scary thing about Bob’s position is that he did all this, working only 30 hours a week. I honestly don’t know how he found the time. I wish I could clone his time management skills. Heck, I wish I could clone Bob so I could keep him on staff for like 50 more years.
Seriously though, Bob retiring is going to make a huge impact on the library. Whether it is the backroom processing work, circulation services, reference services, genealogy services, or general library knowledge, we are going to feel a shift in the force. Staff will miss Bob—our coworker, mentor, knowledge broker, and most of all, our friend. We know that Bob has earned his retirement and should get to go kick up his heels and spend more time volunteering with the animals. We will just greatly miss Bob’s presence here at the library. Seeing him as a patron will be a great joy, but not seeing him every morning at his ridiculously clean and orderly desk will be disheartening. We wish Bob and his wife the best of luck and hope they enjoy their sunset.