On Thursday afternoon, the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library in Wakefield held a retirement ceremony for Gray Sawyer, the children's librarian.
Sawyer, who has worked at the library for twelve years, explains how she got interested in becoming a librarian and what the library means to her in the community.
"It started as a child when I grew up in the shadow of tall bookcases," explains Sawyer. "I went to libraries all my life and then I was involved with children and literature and books and that led to the bookstore and then, when the bookstore closed, we had already as the bookstore done several projects with the children's room. And that led to me coming here first as a substitute and then part-time and then full-time."
Those who attended the reception had many good things to say about Sawyer.
"I want to wish Gray just as much happiness and enjoy her retirement," says Alexis Bergeron. "I hope she has a wonderful time and gets to see her daughters as much as she can and I've enjoyed working with her here at the library. We're all going to miss her and it's a loss to the library and a loss to the town and I hope she comes back and visits all the time."
"My well-wishes are that I want her back, of course," says Sharon Gilley, the library director. "Gray's been an institution and she's been an important part of my professional life for longer than she's been a librarian because I've known Gray for more than two decades. She started as a library trustee, which probably very few people know. She was chairman of the board of trustees for a number of years and then she left that. She worked at a bookstore locally. She taught. And then she came and worked for us."
"We've been coming to the library since we were little," says Francesca McCaffrey.
Olivia McCaffrey adds, "We've done all their events from reading to the workshops. We've been in here as well as the children's room where there's crafts and books."
"Right," says Francesca. "Reading Hour, when they'd do plays, the library sleepover when I was in fifth grade. Gray was one of the librarians who did that with us and it was a lot of fun."
According to the library, Sawyer states she will miss the children, but looks forward to having more time to visit her own adult children, Nora and Mary.
"I have two daughters that I'm eager to visit - both of them: one in Connecticut and one in California," Sawyer explains. "I'm just looking forward to the fact that I realized I won't have to slot everything into the weekend. If something doesn't get done on the weekend, I'll have all week to do it."