Richards Library Director Sarah Farrar reads recently from one of her favorite children's books. For nearly 40 years, As librarian of the Warrensburg Library, Farrar has entranced children with her stories, assisted adults in conducting research, and offered report-writing advice to students — and she is to retire at the end of December.
Help Wanted: Library Director.
This coming winter, the patrons of Richards Library will be saying goodbye to the librarian who has greeted students, locals and visitors to the 36 Elm St. building since 1974.
Library Director Sarah Farrar began working part time in 1974 and became the full-time director in 1990. In December, Farrar plans to begin retirement.
“I feel like I’ve been here long enough and it’s time for someone else to come in,” Farrar said.
Richards Library Trustee Elaine Cowin said Farrar has been an institution for the library.
“She is the community go-to source for genealogy searches and she’s just been fantastic,”Cowin said. “Whoever gets the job will have some big shoes to fill as she makes everyone who comes to the library feel comfortable.”
Farrar is a wealth of knowledge, and people benefit just by talking to her.
“I’m sure she hasn’t read every book in the library, but she can read a book in one evening and she has brought that know-how she gets from reading into all of her conversations,” Cowin said. “When she references that book or this book, it inspires people to read it too.”
Farrar said she has no direct plans for how she’ll spend her retirement. Since it will start in the winter, she might just “sleep for a week.”
“She’s very involved in the community,” Cowin said. “She reads and she knits. I think she’s going to manage to keep herself very busy.”
Farrar said she couldn’t pick one thing that has been her most memorable experience while working at the library, but she said working with the community’s children has been something she enjoys.
“I’ve always loved reading to the children at story hour and getting to see the kids here,” Farrar said. “It’s fun. They come in. You can be their friend, but you don’t have to discipline them, just send them home to their parents.”
Since beginning of her career, Farrar has seen many changes in the library, including the shift from records to tapes and now CDs, from videos to DVDs and even the shift from books to e-books.
“The library still has plenty of books and people who want them and people come in for both e-books and hard copies,” Farrar said.
Farrar’s love of books and reading is in her blood.
“My mother was a school librarian, and everyone in the family likes to read something different,” Farrar said. “I’ve heard the question, ‘What is your favorite book?’ And I just don’t know how you pick just one. There are so many and I’ve gotten to read a lot.”
Throughout her library career, she has worked at Adirondack Community College, Lake George Elementary School, and the Lake George Public Library before coming to Warrensburg.
Farrar is the third library director to serve at the Richards Library. She follows behind Mary Crandall and Jennie Cameron.
“Whoever takes the position will only be the fourth librarian here,” Farrar said.
Search for a replacement
The Richards Library Board of Directors is now advertising for Farrar’s replacement. Cowin said potential candidates should have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, but they are not required to have a New York State Library certification.
“Certification is not required but could be preferred. It all just depends on the candidate,” Cowin said.
The soon-to-be completed library expansion will provide for more collection, technology, programming and innovation.
“We hope to have someone who will be able to bring our library up to speed with modern technology,” Cowin said.
Potential candidates should be ready for year-round life at the library.
“You would think in the wintertime it would be quieter after visitors leave for the summer, but the library stays alive,” Cowin said. “It is only two blocks from the school, and all through the winter people come in to get tutoring and academic help. People come in to use our free Wi-Fi and the computers. We’ve got a lot of things going on, and it’s very exciting.”
The primary responsibility of the library director is the successful operation and management of the library, including collection development and management, records maintenance, interlibrary loan, budgeting, client services, technology, grant writing, advocacy, personnel scheduling and supervision of staff, and the creation of a cordial and friendly atmosphere in the library.
For more information or to find out how to apply, call the library at 623-3011.
Richards Library is an Association Library, which is governed by a Board of Trustees and serves a population of more than 5,000 patrons.