Word came from Enumclaw city administrator Mike Thomas on Monday that all but one city library staff member will move into the King County Library System as the city transitions library services over to the district following voters' approval of the annexation in April.
That one, Judy Prevenost, has opted to retire, Thomas said.
Prevenost chatted with us Wednesday about her decision and fought tears as she talked about what she'll miss -- engaging children in books and sparking their love of reading being one big thing.
"I get very emotional," she smiled. "I'm so attached."
Having worked in the Enumclaw library since 1995, that's only natural. Prevenost said she is originally from New York but moved to Auburn and later to Enumclaw when the opportunity to work in the city library presented itself. Though she has a degree in economics, Prevenost said, "A friend of mine worked here so she notified the director and I just jumped on it."
The last 17 years have given Prevenost the opportunity to get to know the community and for library patrons to know her. That her departure feels rather abrupt -- next week is her last week -- isn't helping her hold back her tears when she talks about the library she loves.
It is a fact that it was the imminent annexation to KCLS that sealed the deal for her to retire. Did she not want to work in the district? On the contrary. "I was absolutely thrilled that it passed," she said. "I love the library."
Ironically, certain job specifications of being a KCLS employee weren't compatible with her capabilities so she was left with the only other option: retire. "I like my job," she said simply.
As it were, Prevenost said she hasn't had much time to consider what she'll do after next week. She is in a writer's group and enjoys writing -- poetry in particular. Prevenost wrote a script for a musical called Libraryville that several local citizens have also had a hand in producing. (see attached YouTube clips)
Prevenost said she has no plans to leave Enumclaw so hopefully she'll still see the patrons who've come to know her over the years. In the day to day, "just keep moving," she said.