By: Rebecca Indianer
When my editor asked me if I’d be interested in writing an article on Patty Robert’s retirement from the Chelsea District Library, I was immediately saddened that I hadn’t taken more time to get to know her. You see, I was just introduced to Patty over this past summer when we begin a working relationship expanding library program awareness in the Chelsea Guardian newspaper. Time, and life with its demands, surprises and obligations hindered this some, hence my initial response to hearing of her retirement. I met Patty through Chelsea Library Director, Lori Coryell, so I thought it fitting to start my interview with her. Here’s what Lori had to say...
“Upon meeting Patty, I knew she had her act together! She struck me as incredibly knowledgeable, capable, and helpful. I pegged her as someone I could go to with a question and know I would get a thorough, informed answer. I was a bit in awe of her actually. She is so smart, quick, and creative; and the wheels in her mind are always turning. She is a wonderful combination of big picture thinker and getting the job done doer. These inital impressions have been more than validated throughout our careers together and my respect and admiration for her has grown. She is a terrific employee and a trusted advisor. (Plus, she is really fun to be around!).”
When I asked Lori what some of Patty’s greatest contributions to the Chelsea Library have been, she was thrilled to convey, “Invaluable knowledge of the community; very good instincts; impeccable artistic sense and "eye" for design; curiosity -- all of these skills and many more were infused in the work Patty did on behalf of the library. She successfully worked to create our cohesive and visually striking branding. She oversaw the installation and creation of the building's banners. She is very good on messaging and wordsmithing and was instrumental in helping steer the library through the recent millage campaign. She overhauled the quarterly newsletter so that it is 1. beautiful, 2. celebrates our community, and 3. is very readable. Patty also went above and beyond her job responsibilities. She was very involved in installing national touring exhibits ay CDL, introducing new and innovative programs to the community, and showcasing local collections and art at the library.”
Lori also confides, “She has been a trusted sounding board for me. She has really good instincts and is able to examine concepts from different perspectives and weighing pros and cons. I loved bouncing ideas off of her -- those discussions were really energizing! We had really fruitful conversations about library policy and programs and the best, most productive ways to get the word out about those things to our public. She was responsible for implementing order and procedure in our marketing efforts. I feel confident that whoever replaces her, will be grateful for that.”
In my correspondence with Patty she expressed what she’ll miss most about her time at the library. “Mostly, I will miss the people—co-workers, board members, Friends, volunteers, partners, and patrons—and the passion that they have for our library! I've made a lot of good friends over the past six years and hope our paths will continue to cross in the future. I'll also miss being a part of a team that is continually looking for ways for the library to stay relevant and engaged in our community - the day to day energy is truly inspiring!”
What spurred Patty’s retirement? She confesses, “I'm at a point in my life where I want to spend more time with my family (we're spread across the country) and friends; pursue my hobbies and interests; and enjoy life without deadlines. I'm looking forward to travelling, invigorating my creative side, and catching up on my incredibly long list of books!”
Patty’s replacement has not been selected yet. (The job description and application are available on the Chelsea District Library website.) Patty is still Head of Marketing until the 31st of this month. Thus, if you’d like to let her know what an amazing job she’s done there’s still a couple of weeks to do so. The Chelsea Guardian wishes Patty a Happy and Relaxing Retirement! Cheers!