RIPLEY – On Friday, Nov. 22, the Ripley Public Library held a reception to honor Pollye Calvery, who is retiring after 33 years at the library.
Calvery said a lot has changed in the years she’s been there. “When I started, we had cards that we wrote people’s names on and stamped the date on for when to bring them back,” she said. “We’ve got a lot more electronics than we had then.” Even the books have changed as well: “then we have an e-book program, and that’s one of the newer things that the library has. People can get online and get into our e-books.”
She said the job varied from day to day. “One day is not like the others,” but it most often involved helping “people find maybe a particular book that they want, or helping them with telephone numbers, where books are located in the library. [We] determine if our system has that book – we can order it from another library, or even go outside the system and order it from New Orleans, or somewhere like that.”
The biggest challenge was “keeping the books in order, keeping everything available to our customers as best we can. You know, if a book’s not where it’s supposed to be, it’s hard to find in a library. It’s just practically lost.”
For her, the best part about the job was meeting the people. “They’re just like friends; they come in to get books and you ask about family. When they’re regular customers, that’s how you feel about them.”
Calvery said she doesn’t have any specific plans for what she wants to do after retirement. She has two children and three grandchildren that will keep her busy.
“We visit a lot – they’re at my house every day. We enjoy having them,” she said. She mentioned that she’ll also be “trying to get some exercise in, because you don’t want to just sit down and molder over.” She and her husband Durell will “probably spend the time doing exercise, and some reading, and maybe take a trip or something like that.”
As might be expected, she’s an avid reader herself. She said, “I read probably five or six books, at least, a month... My husband likes to read; we’re a reading family. That’s a good pastime for somebody to do; it’ll help you relax, and every time you read a book, you learn something, whether you know it or not.”