By Dan Walton
The Invermere Library has recently lost an invaluable asset, as library director Liz Robinson has retired after more than three decades at the community hub.
Beginning her library career in Golden, Ms. Robinson brought her experience to Invermere in 1981, when she began filling in as a part-time librarian. In 1984, she assumed the post of library director, which she duly served in until Friday, July 19th, 2013.
While she enjoyed helping all of the clients at the library, the younger readers left the strongest impression.
I loved watching children come into the library when it was story time, when they would just burst through the door they were so excited, she told The Pioneer.
Referencing a literary favourite of local librarians, The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians, Ms. Robinson found the comical interpretation to be truthful as to how the staff were able to improve childrens desire and ability to read, as well as their love for books.
I love the relationship with the children, she said. I love seeing that lightbulb come on when you see a child come into the library and take books off the shelf.
And there couldnt be a better place for her to serve as a librarian than Invermere.
You feel like a rockstar or a superhero when you meet children and see them around as a librarian in a small town, she said. I loved going swimming in Windermere at the beach and swimming out to the raft, and hearing a little girl say, Daddy, its the librarian!
There have also been children at the grocery store who have stopped to ask Ms.
Robinson why she was there, who assumed she spends her entire life at the library.
Though shes no longer on the job, she looks forward to running into readers around town.
I would make sure that people do stop me on the street when they see me and tell me what theyre reading and what theyre doing, she said. Because thats something I would really miss everyday, talking with people about what theyre reading, and making recommendations both ways.
Ms. Robinson wont be leaving the valley, she said, but will be engaging in what she called literary therapy, reading all those books that I havent had a chance to read.
While shell always have her favourite books by her side, Ms. Robinson will no longer make daily interaction with colleague Virginia Walker, whom she said shell greatly miss.
Weve worked for 24 years, shes been there since 1989 working with her everyday is what Ill miss most, she said.
And with the advent of e-books and the ever-increasing popularity of the internet, Ms. Robinson sees a bright future for community libraries.
What I love about libraries is theyre always the first to start offering those sorts of services to people, and I think it will continue, she said. Its wonderful that were able to offer e-books and audio books to people free of charge, and Im not at all surprised that libraries were the first to take that on.
So as libraries continually adapt to technological progress while presenting the face of their communities, Ms. Robinson is ready to begin her well-deserved retirement.
I loved working in the library for that many years,she said. But its time to have younger people in there.