55 Years at the Library

In honor of our 150th anniversary celebration I sat down with our longest serving staff member, Pat Farrell.

As a young teen, Pat used to hang out with her friends at the East Branch of the Watertown Library. She was hired to work there as a page, shelving library books, at the ripe old age of 14 (say what?).

Working 10 hours a week after school and on weekends Pat earned minimum wage ($1.15 at the time). Her mother set up a savings account for her and her paycheck (minus a little spending money) went into that account.

After graduating from high school Pat started working full time in the Circulation Department at the Main Library. A few years later she was married and that savings account her mom set up paid for her wedding (thanks Mom!).

Pat also spent a year or two working for the Technical Services Department processing new materials for the library before returning to Circulation.

When her children were young Pat worked part time but kept a full time connection with the library by bringing her children to story times at the library’s West Branch. She then returned to a full time position when her children were grown.

Staff of the Watertown Free Public Library, 1980s (date unknown)

The oddest thing Pat remembers was when a pipe burst and the staff tried to save the books (unsuccessfully) by placing paper towels between ALL the pages of ALL the books (quickly discovered to not be a viable solution).

Along with being a friendly and familiar face at the front desk and in the community, Pat’s years at the library provide an invaluable wealth of knowledge and experience which benefit both the library and its patrons.

In summary, Pat Farrell is…

1 LIBRARY EMPLOYEE who worked at


3 STAFF POSITIONS of what was then


5 DECADES and encouraged her

6 GRANDCHILDREN to love the library and who has worked for


I believe I speak for all of us when I say 55 years at the library is an amazing accomplishment and I hope Pat will be with us at the Watertown Library for many more years to come.

 – Christine, WFPL Circulation Department

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