How many books can you read in 45 years? Ask retiring library manager Gary Ellem

It’s time to put the books down at work and pick them up at home: Gary Ellem retires. Photo: Contributed

For 45 years, Gary Ellem has been dealing with books – and the people who read them.

Being a regional library manager at Richmond-Upper Clarence Library involves a lot more than that of course.

Gary has overseen the libraries in Casino, Kyogle and Evans Head and has been there for the many changes faced by libraries including technology.

Through Gary’s 45 years, 27 as the manager, his love of reading and libraries was obvious from his dress-ups for special library days to his pride in seeing the outdoor area at Casino library come to life.

His achievements include:

• Writing 38 successful Library Development Grants to the value of $2.3 million which included projects such as the construction of two new libraries and two mobile libraries.

• The transformation from manual library systems to an automated library system.

• The introduction of the internet to our libraries.

• His vision supported the changeover from smaller deposit station locations to a Mobile Library service which takes the library all over the region every week.

• The introduction and development of new library collections such as eResources and most recently our exercise equipment collection.

• He was also actively involved in the wider NSW Public Libraries sector.

Gary is known for his calm and caring attitude and his creative thinking.

Yesterday, Thursday, June 6 was his last official day in the library.

Let’s hope in his retirement he has time to do lots of reading and can browse the shelves of his local library for a good read.

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