When Sue Kline began working as a librarian at the Peachland branch in 1990, card catalogues and forms filled in triplicate were the order of the day as library users sought books and periodicals.
Today, e-books, online services and the internet are important elements at the library.
Kline, who retired from the library on Thursday, said despite the changes, the library’s focus has remained the same over the years.
“We know that it’s an integral part of the community,” she said, “but its role has changed as the years have gone by. More than ever before, we find ourselves more and more relevant.”
Kline began her library career when she and her husband moved from the Lower Mainland to the Okanagan Valley.
At that time, she had been pursuing an education degree through the University of British Columbia, but was not able to complete the degree since it was not offered in the valley at the time.
When her youngest child was three years old, she learned that the library branch in Peachland needed someone for a story program for young children. She took the role and continued to work with the library in various roles over the years.
Kline spent five years taking the training to become a community librarian. The course was done by mail in her spare time.
In the late 1990s, she began working at the Summerland branch and eventually worked full-time in Summerland as the community librarian.
She was involved with the design and construction of the present library building on Main Street.
The building was constructed because the former location on Wharton Street had become too small for the community’s needs.
During the planning process, Kline met with members of the community and heard feedback from library users, requesting various features in the new building. The facility was opened in August, 2015.
“We have definitely realized all the wish list items that people gave us when we were building,” she said, adding that the building is meeting the needs it was intended to meet.
Now that she has retired from the library, Kline wants to catch up with some reading.
Among the books on her reading list are Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood’s 2019 sequel, The Testaments and Louise Penny’s 2019 novel, A Better Man. She is also looking forward to having more time to read the newspaper.
She is looking forward to sitting down in the comfortable chairs in the library to do some of this reading.
“I intend to use this library a lot,” she said.
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