Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. –Mark Twain
It seems like just yesterday when Pam Hoffman began her job at the Allen County Public Library downtown where she worked for three years in the federal talking books program. And it also seems like just last month when she, as assistant manager, retired from the Waynedale Library.
Oh, wait – it was just last month that she said goodbye to the Dewey Decimal System and rode off into the sunset, her nose appropriately buried in a book.
Pam, who spent 27 years at the Waynedale branch as the assistant manager, was previously employed at a local news agency and worked at the first Reader's World bookstore in town. A longtime avid reader, she brought book knowledge and experience to both jobs.
At Waynedale branch Pam also served as the Reader's Advisor, with a focus on fiction – she purchased paperbacks, fiction, large-print, inspirational fiction and urban lit for the library. One of her job highlights was uncovering information for patrons via the reference section; any request was a welcome challenge for Pam who know just where to find the data needed.
"I have so enjoyed working at the Waynedale branch," said Pam, who says she will really miss the loyal readers she was fortunate to serve in her position. "That will always be my 'home library.' We are like family and my co-workers are very hard workers and wonderful people, and I love them all."
The one regret about her job was that she was not more computer-savvy and therefore unable to help patrons in that area, said Pam. At home she uses the internet, email and word processing, and generally did not use the other features of the computer.
Many readers who will miss seeing Pam's friendly face among the books will be surprised to know Pam has an active life outside the library doors. In addition to being vice-president of the Foster Park Neighborhood Association, Pam gardens ("more flowers than veggies, although I do grow tomatoes") and she especially favors the feverfew herb, which she grows and sells at neighborhood plant sales.
Reading, swimming, knitting, snorkeling, hiking, euchre and above all, traveling, are activities that keep life exciting for Pam.
"John and I have been all over," said Pam, adding that among the countries the couple has visited – or that she has visited with other travelers – were Scotland (where she has relatives), Spain, Malta, Hong Kong, Mexico, Caribbean and Amsterdam, to list just a few.
"In June, my graduating nephew and I will take a hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains, and in July, John and I will take a cross-country trip to California."
There is good news for Pam's former patrons, however. In her surprising plans to take the postman's proverbial holiday, the popular ex-librarian utters some very welcome words:
"I intend to volunteer at the library."