When Sue Van Der Horn and her husband and young family wound their way through the Portneuf Gap and into Inkom after driving the thousands of miles from New Jersey, they looked up at the craggy hills and felt they’d finally come home. That was in 1977. Two years later, on October 29, 1979, Sue began working at the Pocatello Public Library in the technical services department. Her good friend, Lou Chavers, mentioned there was a position available and so Sue applied. When she was hired, Sue did not realize she would be spending the better part of the next four decades surrounded by the books and friends and changing technology that make up the library world. But stay she did, and now, 34 years and 7 months later, she finds it hard to believe so much time has passed.
Along with serving under many different directors and witnessing incredible changes in advancing technology, Sue figures she has touched and processed and stamped and cataloged most of the books that have been added to the library for quite some time. She was trained by Joan Shurtliff to do the intricate and detailed work of cataloging books, and later spent seven years as head of the Technical Services department. She then moved into the position of Associate Director where she spent the years until her retirement. Certainly Sue has witnessed tremendous changes in the library environment as she came on board in the era of typed index cards and the card catalog and is leaving after seeing the library move to the fully integrated Polaris operating system.
But through all those decades of service, some things have remained the same: the good feelings of friendship, love, and harmony among the library staff members, and the responsibility of serving Pocatello by providing excellent books and other library materials to the public. What will Sue do now? “Of course it is hard to say good-bye to my library family,” she says, “but I want to sit on the deck in the mornings and enjoy the garden and a cup of coffee without having to go anywhere.” She has no great plans, but she does want to spend time with her aging parents, enjoy long days with her husband, visit her grandchildren, and most of all, just live spontaneously without a schedule. Thank you, Sue, for your long years of service and your example of quiet, cheerful perseverance. We’ll miss you, but we know we’ll see you often because you’ll always need something good to read. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!
Kathryn Poulter, Youth Services Supervisor