North East librarian reads her final page

McCord Memorial Library Director Mary Kieffer will be retiring on Feb. 28. The library, located at 32 W. Main St., contains a collection of over 40,000 items and serves all of Erie County.

Mary Kieffer has provided North East residents with a welcoming and homey place for over 20 years at McCord Memorial Library.

Kieffer, who has served as the library’s director since 2002, announced her retirement earlier this month. Her last day at the location will be on Feb. 28.

“Up until recently, I felt that I should be staying busy and working. I finally decided to spend time with my husband,” she said.

McCord Memorial Library, 32 W. Main St., possesses a rich history. Originating in 1899 when over 600 books were donated by the North East High School library, the collection was housed in the town hall, and later in private homes.

Kieffer’s happy place has always been in libraries.

“I’ve always wanted to work in libraries; that has been my focus,” she said. “When I decided to go back and get my degree, it was just so that I could be in the place I’m happiest.”

In her retirement, Kieffer plans on traveling and spending time with her husband and son, Michael and CJ Kieffer, respectively. She enjoys tending to her garden and taking care of her pets at home.

“I go to libraries when I’m on vacation. It’s the most comfortable place I’ve been,” she said.

Kieffer made many positive changes to the library, including its merge with Erie County Library over a decade ago. This gave McCord’s patrons access to more materials across different locations.

Additionally, Kieffer pursued long overdue renovations, acquiring funding to replace the building’s 1916 framework.

The long-time librarian’s commitment to North East was reciprocated by the community.

“I’ve met wonderful people here and I hope I don’t lose contact with them. This is the best place I’ve ever worked; it’s the best community I could ask for,” she said. “Anytime I needed help, there has been support. This is sort of library heaven.”

Kieffer will be replaced by Samantha Moore, a Warren native who’s been working at the library since Feb. 9 of this year.

The library board of directors and friends wish to thank Kieffer for her years of service and wish her luck and happiness in the next chapter of her life.

“I wouldn’t be leaving if it wasn’t time for me to go. I would do it all over again,” Kieffer said.

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