LIVINGSTON, NJ - Linda Simpfendorfer is retiring on Tues., Dec 31 after 23 years as a librarian—eight and a half of which were spent as the Children’s Librarian at the Livingston Library. Her legacy will live on through her brainchildren—Yakety Yak (a book discussion group for children in grades 2-3), Nursery Time (for infants and young children) and the Puppet Theater. Simpfendorfer said that she will come back and volunteer from time to time.
“I have loved working with kids in the children’s room, reading to them and discussing books with them,” said Simpfendorfer. “I have also loved getting books for them and hearing them say, 'this was the best book ever, can you find me another one just like it?'"
“I will really miss working at the library,” said Simpfendorfer, who plans to spend more time with her husband, children and grandchildren and work part-time as a substitute for children’s librarians through LIBRA. “The children and their parents have been wonderful and I could not have asked for a better staff—Gina, Amanda, Karen and Latha are great librarians.”
Simpfendorfer’s love of working in the library began when her youngest child had gone to school and she felt she wanted a part-time job. She saw an ad in the paper for a job at the Montclair Library.
“Once I started working at the Montclair Library, I said to myself, ‘this is what I want to be when I grow up,’” said Simpfendorfer. “I found my dream job.”
Next, she went back to school and got her masters in library science.
Simpfendorfer said that her fondest memories are of listening to children putting on impromptu puppet shows, especially one in particular where a little boy said, ‘You are some hot tamale. Won’t you be my bride?”
She has also loved telling stories to the babies and seeing their little faces looking up at her.
“I am a librarian because of Linda,” said fellow librarian, Gina Vaccaro. “I used to bring my child to her story times and thought she was the sweetest person I had ever met and that she had the best job—reading to and working with kids. This library will never be the same without Miss Linda.”
Simpfendorfer was recently honored with a going-away party by the staff at the library. They performed a puppet show called, “The Miss Linda Show—Why Miss Linda is a Great Children’s Librarian.”
“They even blew bubbles at the end of the show, which is my signature way of ending Nursery Time for the babies,” said Simpfendorfer.