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Librarian retires from B'ville library after more than 40 years

If you came to the Baldwinsville Public Library in 1964, you may have seen a young woman putting books back on the shelves and keeping the shelves looking pristine.

Enter that library today, and she's still there.

Peggy Bye has worked at the same place for a total of 41 1/2 years.

"I've never wanted to be anything else," she said. "That's kind of hard to believe."

Now that she's reached social security age, she's retiring, closing a significant chapter in her life.

A fan of the Nancy Drew series, Bye grew up with a passion for reading, perpetuated by her eventual employment at the library.

Even when she took a leave of absence from 1969 to 1974 to raise her daughter and only child, Robyn, Bye couldn't stay away. She would leave the library with bags of books to catalogue, until people suggested she just come back to work.

She did -- and hasn't stopped since.

"I guess I just enjoy being around books and I enjoy helping the patrons," she said. "I find it very rewarding."

In her 41 1/2 years, Bye has done nearly every task at the library. Currently, she is a microcomputer resource specialist, a position she has held for 25 years. Patrons make one-hour appointments for one-on-one instruction with Bye, who guides them through everything from figuring out their new laptop to navigating the Web -- and even learning to how to use the mouse.

"I first heard about (computers) in library science courses I was taking, that there were going to be these machines called computers, and I just thought that sounded fascinating," Bye said.

With over four decades at the library, Bye has seen the vast transformation not just in technology, but in the library building itself. She worked at two other locations: the old Woolworth's building at 43 Oswego St. -- which leaked when it rained and had a furnace in the workroom -- and previously at a small house at 17 Charlotte St., where employees worried the weight of the books would cause the floor to collapse.

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