Going to college for 30+ years

Going to college for 30+ years

Working here at the Harold & Wilma Good Library since August 1981 has richly blessed my life. I have learned new things nearly every day. I can hardly believe so much time has passed. I will be retiring after May Term. I was married with two small children when I began working at the library. I leave as a grandmother of four “perfect” grandchildren and two grand-dogs. I have had the privilege of meeting hundreds of students over the years, and it is a joy when they return to campus and visit the library.  I have worked for two directors, several librarians and staff. They will all remain a special part of my memories of GC.

Here are some things I remember. When we got our first PC in the library I spent my lunch hours trying to learn how to use it to create documents. We did not have an official IT department at that time and we were used to electric and manual typewriters. Our copier paper came on a roll and the machine cut it after each copy was made. We sorted through book cards every day and pulled the overdue ones.  Then we wrote out the overdue slip making a carbon copy for our file.

We held brunch for senior student library workers at my home. We cooked dinner with international students at the home of Cheri Gusler, who retired last summer.  We decorated the faculty lounge off the art gallery (now DVD/Video room) for Christmas for our students. I spent some months sitting at a desk in the lobby until new offices were configured to our current layout.

One day a student walked up and asked if he had to pay his fine. I responded yes, and he poured several dollars’ worth of pennies from a sock onto my desk. I remember that one of my student assistants was tall enough to walk over the gate at the end of the circulation counter. That was a sight to see. I only needed to fire one student assistant during the 30 years. She was a sweet young woman who just would not show up to work.

Changes will continue to come to GC, but the hearts of the people will remain devoted to our core values. Students will be welcomed and education will be pursued by all. The library will continue to support the changes and provide a welcome space for research and study.

I am honored to have been a part of the library and hope that I blessed many others as I was blessed. Most people never knew I was not a Mennonite. My faith grew over the years and I had many interesting discussions about beliefs, passions and issues with those around me. I learned that we can care about each other and relate even when we don’t agree.

It is with excitement and trepidation that I begin the next part of my life. I hear from other retirees that there is life after working in a library. I’m not really counting down, but five weeks from today will be my last official day. I will be taking a break over the summer and looking for volunteer work next fall. I plan to drop in and enjoy coffee breaks at the library, where we have great treats and discussions usually ending in laughter. You can’t ask for more than that.

Thanks for the memories. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

Laura Hostetler is the office manager at the Harold & Wilma Good Library

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Written by Matthew Amstutz

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