Things aren’t going to look quite the same around the Shawnee Public Library, with the recent retirement of longtime Children’s Services Manager Glenda Pitts after 39 years of service to library customers.

“They say life will go on, and it will, but life won’t go on as ‘well as,’” said Sen. Ron Sharp, one of many community members who attended a Jan. 4 reception at the library honoring Pitts.

Multiple generations of families have experienced Glenda’s work, whether it be through energetic story times, help finding just the right book for a young reader, or just a big smile and “hello” during a library visit.

“I’ve been so blessed to get to work with thousands of kids,” Pitts said. “Sharing books and providing information, it’s been my life.”

Pitts began at the library in 1980 and was named the Children’s Services Manager a year later, a position she had held since.

On multiple occasions, including just last year, Pitts was one of the honorees of a Pioneer Library System Staff Award, voted on by her peers from throughout the three-county library system.

In addition to reading countless books during literally thousands of story times, she’s been one of the library’s leaders out in the community in reaching out and helping organize participation in events like Shawnee’s parades, the annual International Youth Finals Rodeo in the summer and story times and other activities at Sooner Mall.

“I’m going to miss her and miss her help and advice a lot,” library Branch Manager Peggy Cook said. “She knows ‘it’s time to set up for the county fair’ or everything that’s coming up, and everything we need to be doing to prepare.”

At the reception, Sen. Sharp and Rep. Dell Kerbs presented Pitts with a proclamation from the State of Oklahoma honoring her years of service to the library and the community in general.

“Any and every time we come out to the library for any sort of event, Glenda would be here, helping set up, doing whatever needed done,” Kerbs said.

Glenda’s upcoming plans are spending more time with family, including her first great-grandchild she now has more time to spoil. She also plans to do some home remodeling projects and travel.

“And I imagine I’ll fill out a Friends of the Library membership sheet,” she said to cheers at her reception.