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Silver Bay Librarian Retires After 39 Years

On November 16th, Eileen Anselment spent her day much like her other days working, helping patrons and checking out library books. But this day was different from others in that it would be the day she checked out her last library book for a patron. For many in Silver Bay, Anselment was synonymous with the library for years, and she helped generations of children ignite a love of reading.

Anselment’s last day as a librarian was celebrated with a retirement party. Balloons and a Miss America-style sash added to the festive occasion. Children who were at the library with their parents didn’t fully comprehend what the retirement party all meant, but they eyed the array of goodies on a nearby table. One curly-headed preschooler handed Ms. Eileen a homemade card; and it was declared “a favorite”.

Librarians Julia Kloehn and Shannon Walz spoke of Anselment’s dedication, hard work, enthusiasm for the young readers, and inspiration. Around the room people nodded in agreement, perhaps reflecting upon their own memories.  A microphone was passed around, giving library patrons the opportunity to share their stories and memories of Anselment’s time working for the library and the influence she had on their lives. One patron recollected how her children all grew up at the library, and when they ventured off to college, would still call back home for answers to their research questions. When a patron’s children grew, moved, and had their own children, summers at Grandma’s would find them going to the library for books and activities. Patrons were also invited to write a note in a journal for Anselment that had been made into a mock library book – complete with a withdrawn library barcode sticker.

In books, food is often used to show community among characters. Likewise, Anselment’s party ended with the community gathering around a table of desserts. A mother could be heard admonishing her young children to “pick one” dessert, and the Rice Krispie bars made with Fruit Loops were an irresistible choice.

Library Director Shannon Walz says of Anselment, “Eileen loved helping the little kids in our community. She always took the time to talk with the little kids when they came into the library.” She would “get down on their level” and talk and play with the children, and when she did story time, she took extra time to find out what the children wanted to read about, and then chose books that were exciting to them. “Eileen approached all her work with care and a sense of fun. Her love for her work and the community were always evident.” One young adult said about Anselment, “she is one of the people that makes our library the best.”

Thank you, Eileen, for your many years of service at the library! We’ll miss your wealth of knowledge from who to call about what, to the phenology and history of our area.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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