It will be a case of mixed emotions when children’s/young adult librarian Virginia Cox ends her 18-year chapter with the library service.
Virginia, who will retire on August 31, said the library had been so much a part of her life.
She started out as a trainee before carving her niche as the children’s/young adult librarian.
“It has been a great adventure,” Virginia said.
“I’ve just met so many wonderful people and seen kids grow up. It’s a privilege having a job like this.”
Virginia acknowledged the support of library staff and the community.
The children’s/young adult librarian saw families evolve over the years as the next generation came through the doors.
“It’s like you are part of this wonderful lifelong journey,” she said.
Virginia’s chief role has been to provide resources and activities for babies up to 18-year-olds, and assist parents and carers, while encouraging everyone to use the library’s resources.
She said it was wonderful to hear about the life journey of the older ones, and with the younger ones, their life journey was all new and full of surprises for them.
“When you see the babies in baby bounce, they’re seeing things for the first time, and it’s just so exciting to be able to introduce them to library land,” Virginia said.
She has been involved in a range of innovative programs.
The Festival of Stories, for example, took storytelling with different themes into the communities across the area.
The library has staged Cosplay nine times with young people donning costumes to pay homage to their favourite Anime or Manga character.
“That has been really magical,” Virginia said.
“I love the way young people take on different personas and they are so inclusive and encouraging of each other.”
Library manager Jim Maguire said it was difficult to overstate Virginia’s contribution to the library service.
“It is easy to highlight the wide range of innovative programs, from baby bounce to Cosplay, which she has introduced in this period,” he said.
“However, I think her lasting legacy will be the fact that she instilled a love of books and reading in thousands of children during her time here.
“So, while Virginia will be greatly missed by all her colleagues here at the library, I think she will be missed even more by the families and children who have benefited so much from her enthusiasm and expertise over the years.”
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams, speaking in Parliament, recognised Virginia’s outstanding work.
“Virginia has been instrumental in her role in educating people with literacy difficulties, child development and literature support through a variety of services, including the fantastic introduction of a library van service for rural schools,” Mrs Williams said.
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