The Altoona Library bids a fond farewell this month to two long-time personalities familiar to our younger patrons.
Carol Roovaart and Sheila Nelson have retired from their positions. Carol retired Jan. 11 as head children’s librarian, and Sheila retired from a clerk position assisting in the children’s room on Jan. 25.
Roovaart and Nelson both began their careers as children’s librarians when the library was located in what is now the Altoona Police Station.
Roovaart has been with the library 24 years, most of them as head children’s librarian. She says she had enjoyed working with the children.
“I like the people I work with, too,” she says. “I look forward to the groups getting together, seeing them as they grow up. I have some older ones who come in with their children who tell me, ‘I had you when you were my children’s librarian.’ ”
Roovart plans to spend more time with family during retirement.
“The the first thing I’d like to do is go to some of my grandsons’ basketball games. I haven’t been able to make it to any,” she says. “We’ll probably do a little vacationing, not sure where and a lot of volunteering.”
Nelson began here 16 years ago.
“Working with the kids, helping create the programs, carrying the programs through, the conversations with the kids and most of all watching them grow up,” have been the most enjoyable aspects of Nelson’s time with the library.
As for her retirement plans?
“I haven’t completely gone there yet,” she says. “Just relaxing, enjoying my family, enjoying my friends. I will still frequent the library and take time to actually sit down and enjoy a book.”
We know all the youngsters, patrons and those Roovaart and Nelson have worked with will miss them at the library, and we wish them a happy retirement.
February children’s programs will be on hold as we prepare to welcome a new youth services librarian. We will keep you posted via our website as to when it resumes.