Changing of the guard at Mifflin County Library

Thank you, Dr. Molly, for all you have done

Thursday, Sept. 10, started just like any other day. I arrived at the library at 10 minutes before my shift started at 8 a.m. My coworker Kathy arrived shortly after me. And that’s when the day like any other day ended.

Kathy makes these fantastic pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies. From scratch. She gave me the recipe once. You have to melt the baking soda in milk before you add it. So, obviously, I’ve never made them. Kathy makes them for special occasions. And this day was an occasion.

It was Dr. Molly Kinney’s last day.

Dr. Molly resigned from the Mifflin County Library after eight years of dedicated service to literacy in Mifflin County and to public libraries in general.

On this day, her last day, she arrived at the library at 8 a.m. You need to understand that Dr. Molly usually comes to work between 8:15 and 8:30. As the library director, she answers Facebook messages late into the evening, she’s stopped at the grocery store and asked by readers if she can return their books for them (“Just hold on, Dr. Molly, the books are in my trunk!”)

But today of all days, she was in the building before Kathy and I had the gifts ready in her office. She was surprised as she entered her office and I made her open my gift. She also had her own batch of those cookies. And then she said, “Okay, everybody. Have a good day.”

Which is the equivalent of that sergeant on the old Hill Street Blues TV show who used to say, “Let’s be careful out there.” Or, in my mind, Get to work; I don’t wanna cry.

I remember meeting Dr. Molly for the first time. Her hair was big and poofy, shoulder-length and silver and she had a habit of flicking it back off her forehead when she talked. And, boy, did she talk! I assisted the library board in her interview; and I swear it was the longest job interview of my life. But it was a fun interview. She had already been “retired” and was bored and couldn’t wait to get back to LibraryLand. And we couldn’t wait to hire her.

There are some people who instantly impact your life. And that was Molly for Kathy and I. Kathy is the library’s administrative assistant. Her office is beside Molly’s. Her office was originally (in 1973 when the library first opened) the director’s personal and private bathroom. I never knew there was a connecting door between the two offices until Molly started. She opened that door on her first day and it hasn’t been closed much since. Molly and Kathy have had conversations through that door that would make Molly laugh. I could hear her laughter through the floor and downstairs in the staff lounge.

Later in the day on Thursday, there were more gifts and donations to the library in Dr. Molly’s honor. But the best part of the day were the proclamations made to Molly from state Rep. John Hershey and state Sen. Jake Corman and his office acknowledging her role in the library and in the community.

Thank you, Molly, for being a positive influence on so many.


Susan Miriello is the Acting Library Director of the Mifflin County Library. She is currently reading Sugar and Iced, a Cupcake Bakery Mystery by Jenn McKinlay and recommended to her by Dr. Molly.


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