Mail call: Another memory of Martin Library from Sharon Mindemann

I have another awesome memory to share today about York’s Martin Library, from Sharon Mindemann of Thomasville.

Sharon writes, “Joan, I read with great interest your ‘Do You Remember?’ segment in the March 3, 2013 York Sunday News. The article was on Martin Library and YES, I certainly do remember it!! Right after graduating from Dover Area High School in 1965, I landed a job at Martin Memorial Library (which is what it was called then), as a clerk. I worked there for nine years until about three weeks before I delivered our first son in 1974.”

She continues, “When I began working there, Miss Katherine Shorey was the Head Librarian. She lived next door to the library in the ‘Brownstone House.’ I always described her as the ‘typical old-maid librarian,’ but she certainly knew how to run a tight ship! If you called in to say you were sick, you had better be sick because you just knew she would ask about your symptoms and would question you about when you might be returning to work. At that time, only women employees worked at the library, and there were no security guards or ‘911’ or metal detector scanning machines. We worked in two shifts, either 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or noon until 9 p.m. Two nights a week the full-time employees were required to work the evening shift. During the race riots in York City, it was not unusual for only 3 or 4 of us women to have to look in all the alcoves before closing, check all the rooms, lock up all the doors, and then go together to our parked cars located in a back alley behind the building. Was I scared? Well, I guess, but you just did what you had to do. It wasn’t until later that I thought about how vulnerable we were.”

And Sharon adds, “I definitely remember the old metal plated library cards (I went through at least two of those); the large catalog file (I used to file cards by the hour); and the days before central air-conditioning was installed – whew! – did it ever get hot in there during the summer! I remember working with Janette Woolsey, a local author of children’s books, and Betty Sliver, who knew all the books in the Children’s Library and exactly where they were shelved!”

And finally, Sharon notes, “I also recall working on Saturdays – we worked two Saturdays in a row (from 9 to 5) and had the third Saturday off. When we worked on Saturday we had an hour and a half lunch breaks, then we had plenty of time to shop downtown, eat lunch out, or play a competitive game of pinochle. It was one of my co-workers who taught me how to play that lively game. Those were good times. In the nine years I worked there, many employees came and went, but some were there for the duration and became good friends. I remember going to the beach with several of them one summer. They also threw surprise showers for me, both before my wedding and when I was pregnant. So many good memories.”

“So, YES, I remember the good old days at Martin Memorial Library. Thanks for bringing them back to mind.”

Thank YOU, Sharon, for sharing your thoughts with us!

About Joan

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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One Response to Mail call: Another memory of Martin Library from Sharon Mindemann

  1. betsy baird says:

    My Mother used to take me and a bunch of the other kids to the Library every week. We really used those children’s books, made things that were in them, used them for natural research, and everything! I cannot even find books like those when I go to the library – and it’s been years too. And yes, I still have my old metal plated library card – someplace. I remember Betty Sliver, Janette Woosley, and Katherine Shorey. It was safe to go to the library. Those days are past. The one thing that really upset me: I was copying pictures of flags of other nations (think how many there are now) when the bottle of paint got knocked over and spilt over the couple pages!! We would have paid for another new book, but they didn’t make us. They knew I didn’t do it on purpose. Think it was two cents a day for books overdue. The last times I was in the library, I couldn’t even find books that I wanted. They no longer had them, even newer books. I would like to get into there sometime and see if certain books are on shelves, but I doubt they are. Gone are still more days of the past. And computers have further deleted books you would like to have in hand to READ!

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