a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, August 31, 2009

A friendly library says good-bye to a kind soul

Mary Olivieri poses for a portrait between the shelves of Donora Public Library this week as she prepares to retire from her job there as a clerk. Photo: Christie Campbell/Observer-Reporter

By Scott Beveridge

Too often, I have been met at public libraries by bookish employees who don’t know how to be friendly to patrons because they have spent much of their lives deep in books and away from people.

Admittedly, that’s my rude assumption about them.

But Mary Olivieri broke this stereotype at Donora Public Library that has a long reputation for being one of the friendliest such resource centers in southwestern Pennsylvania. With an eager smile, she knew how to find even the most mundane bits of information in the collection in which she surrounded herself for some 30-odd years. And she did that with more kindness than you could find in the sweetest of candy stores before her retirement today.

Donora will be hard-pressed to replace her, especially in this downturn in the economy when libraries are struggling to keep their doors open.

(Click here to read a story written by Christie Campbell in today’s edition of the Observer-Reporter newspaper.)

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