Hero photograph
Pauline Smith anticipates the freedom of her upcoming retirement.
Photo by Sera King

Library manager has future plans sewn up

Sera King —

Library manager Pauline Smith (no relation to Allan) started at Nayland in 2001 as the second librarian when her daughter was in year 10. As she prepares for her final week on staff, she fills us in on the highlights of her time here and her plans for the future.

Family is a thread that runs through Mrs Smith’s memories of working at Nayland. For the first 10 years, she had first her daughter Anita and then her son Karl going through their schooling at the college. She enjoyed that closeness and involvement with their education. “For me it was just an extension of our family really, it was great,” she said.

Pauline Smith's sense of family extends to Nayland’s staff as well, who she says have a good sense of humour. She’s enjoyed working alongside them, as well as with the students. This year she says she’s particularly enjoyed the contact and assistance she’s had from the learner support students.

There are some things that she won’t miss, such as getting her head around the constantly changing technology. Over her career she’s seen huge changes for the library as the Internet and Google have made non-fiction and reference sections less relevant. As a non-fiction specialist, this has been personally challenging, however, she says non-fiction still does have its niche. 

 “Always popular will be your craft books, your animal books. Guinness Book of Records is one of the most used books in our library. Car books are still popular and so are war books which is good. Anne Frank’s Diary is still popular which is reassuring.”

Looking forward, Mrs Smith is in planning mode for the January launch of her own site on Etsy, an international online forum for crafters to sell their work. She says her sewing room at home is her “happy place” and is moving into production mode for her line of babywear, named Pride and Joy by Pauline. “I love sewing plush fabrics which are very nice to touch and feel.”

Other than that, Australian-born Mrs Smith is looking forward to spending more time playing tennis at the Stoke club where she is captain, as well as visiting both her children and other family members across the ditch.