By Community reporter Rebeca Castineira
Popular librarian Pat O’Hara stamped her last book at Filwood Library in April – retiring after 30 years serving the community.
Pat has spent most of her career in Filwood and in the past four years has also been a familiar face at Knowle Library. Although she doesn’t live in the area, after such a long time working there she feels like ‘just one more neighbour’.
She says: “I’ve loved working here. I’ve got a lovely team and we are more like a family. That’s why I feel both happy and sad about retiring.”
For Pat, the best part of her job has been meeting people in the community and getting to know them.
She explains: “They come when they are babies, and you see them growing up…I feel very happy when they come back after a few years and still recognise me.”
When she looks back, she feels especially proud about all the activities they have arranged for local children in the holidays and after school. She says one of the most satisfactory things about working in the library is ‘keeping the kids together, enjoying their free time and learning’.
Pat has seen a lot of changes in the past 30 years – with the Ebook, Internet and videogames stealing the space that belonged to the traditional book only a few years ago.
She says: “Although I think that people read less now than some years ago, I am sure that there always be place for the book.”
In retirement, Pat will still have plenty of things to keep her busy. She and her husband are very keen on hillwalking – and she is also expecting her first grandchild this summer.
But thankfully the community hasn’t seen the last of Pat – she will be back to cover occasional staff holidays and sickness when needed.