Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney and Wings was playing on on the eight-track. People got off the couch and changed the channel from Laverne and Shirley to Charlie’s Angels. Pet rocks and jumping beans were almost as popular as real pets.
It was 1976 when Ann Wood started her career at Kitchener Public Library, and we kept her here for four decades. But this week, we say goodbye as she leaves for a well-deserved retirement.
Ann started in the cataloguing department, and moved into public services in 1989 working as branch manager at both Pioneer Park and Forest Heights community libraries. While at Forest Heights, she returned to school and earned her MLIS from the University of Western Ontario.
Since then she’s held several positions of increasing responsibility, including co-ordinator of public service, co-ordinator of electronic library resources, and acting manager of public and technical services.
She began her current role as Senior Manager of Public Services in March, 2000, where she oversees all the librarians and other information services staff, children’s and teen services, borrower’s services, volunteer services, and the community libraries. It’s a huge role, and one that she has managed extremely well.
But that’s the boring, obvious stuff. What’s harder to convey about Ann is her sense of humour, her willingness to help at any task, the mentorship she has offered to people at all levels throughout the organization, her warmth and friendship. I’m not in Ann’s department, but I’ve turned up at her door many times with a stupid question, or an idea I wanted to discuss, and she’s unfailingly gracious with her time and knowledge.
“Ann’s the best. She understands people and the library like no one else I have ever worked with, and she has taught me so much,” says Laura Reed, Manager of Children’s and Teens Services. “We have laughed and cried and cussed, a lot. I will miss her every day.”
“She’s been my mentor for 25 years. I’ve had the privilege of working under Ann in a variety of roles and I’ve always known I can go to her with any situation or issue. I’ve grown under her leadership and support,” says Sheila Bauman, Events Planner at KPL.
No one will fill Ann’s place – literally. We’ve restructured departments and roles, and Penny-Lynn Fielding, formerly Manager of Strategic Planning and Projects, is taking on the role of Director, Customer and Community Engagement.
“It’s hard to imagine Kitchener Public Library without Ann Wood,” Penny-Lynn says. “Her dedication to customer service excellence will have a lasting impact. We’ll miss her sense of humour and creative approaches to library service.”
Happy trails to you, Ann! We hope your retired life allows plenty of time for dog walking, horseback riding, reading, and wine.