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Beloved Needham librarian retiring after more than six decades

Beloved Needham librarian retiring after more than six decades

A woman who has been a fixture at Needham library for decades is retiring.“When children are young, they play games, sometimes they play house. My sister and I used to play library,” Needham librarian Ann MacFate said.She is a lover of literature, a curator of tomes and a sorter of stacks. It is the epilogue after 65 years for a true bibliophile. MacFate, whose birthday is Tuesday, is calling it a career.“Over the years, it’s been clerk, senior clerk, circulation supervisor, reference librarian, reference supervisor, assistant director and then director,” MacFate said.It started in 1956. It was MacFate’s junior year at Needham High School. She walked across the street into the library’s front door and never looked back.“My first job was dusting. They gave me a duster and an apron, and I dusted the tables and chairs in the front room,” MacFate said.Just think of how many lives have been shaped, how many mysteries have been scanned and solved and how many pages have been turned over the years.The contributions under her watch include a major renovation in 2004, which transformed the library.In those years so much has changed.“The only thing we’re doing the same now that we did then when I first came here, is put books in order back on the shelves. That’s it!” MacFate said.And what she will miss most?“Leaving the staff,” MacFate said. “They’re a wonderful group of people.” “It’s going to be so sad. It’s going to be really different without her here,” said reference supervisor Sarah Breen. “Old librarians never die,” MacFate said. “They don’t even fade away. They come back as volunteers.”

A woman who has been a fixture at Needham library for decades is retiring.

“When children are young, they play games, sometimes they play house. My sister and I used to play library,” Needham librarian Ann MacFate said.

She is a lover of literature, a curator of tomes and a sorter of stacks. It is the epilogue after 65 years for a true bibliophile.

MacFate, whose birthday is Tuesday, is calling it a career.

“Over the years, it’s been clerk, senior clerk, circulation supervisor, reference librarian, reference supervisor, assistant director and then director,” MacFate said.

It started in 1956. It was MacFate’s junior year at Needham High School. She walked across the street into the library’s front door and never looked back.

“My first job was dusting. They gave me a duster and an apron, and I dusted the tables and chairs in the front room,” MacFate said.

Just think of how many lives have been shaped, how many mysteries have been scanned and solved and how many pages have been turned over the years.

The contributions under her watch include a major renovation in 2004, which transformed the library.

In those years so much has changed.

“The only thing we’re doing the same now that we did then when I first came here, is put books in order back on the shelves. That’s it!” MacFate said.

And what she will miss most?

“Leaving the staff,” MacFate said. “They’re a wonderful group of people.”

“It’s going to be so sad. It’s going to be really different without her here,” said reference supervisor Sarah Breen.

“Old librarians never die,” MacFate said. “They don’t even fade away. They come back as volunteers.”

https://www.wcvb.com/article/beloved-needham-librarian-retiring-after-more-than-six-decades-in-the-stacks/38135448