SALT LAKE CITY — A librarian with 61 years on the job at the city library is checking out at the end of the year.
Lenore Lewis said she never filled out a formal application, but began working at the library in the late 1950s. Since then, she said, she’s had several roles there.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to be a manager if I have to go to meetings. Just let me be a librarian,’” Lewis said, ahead of a Wednesday evening retirement party.
Lewis has seen just about everything during her tenure at the library. In 1994, a man pulled out a gun and began taking hostages in the building.
“He jumped up on the desk and pointed the gun at me,” Lewis said. “I was just lucky I could shrink away from the desk when he started taking hostages.”
A Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed the man before he could harm any of the hostages.
Most other memories were far more pleasant.
“It’s like my home. I spend more time here than I do at home,” Lewis said.
As colleagues, friends and family gathered for a party Wednesday evening, they said Lewis will leave a void at the library.
“She remembers books, plots, titles, characters. She is just a fabulous influence on librarians,” said Cherie Willis. “I will feel that we have lost truly that wonderful pin that kind of holds past and future together.”
After she retires at the end of the month, Lewis plans to return occasionally to volunteer.