Branch Manager Muriel Erickson, who has been the face of the Pine River Public Library for the last 32 years, will retire at the end of November, but don't let that fool you. She will still volunteer with the library and other groups.
"I'm not going to disappear," Erickson said. "I'm already part of the community. I'm a Lions member. I work with them and volunteer. People will still see me around, just not every day at the library."
In her 32 years, Erickson advanced from a part-time employee to branch manager. During that time she saw many changes and achieved accolades and accomplishments along the way. Among her proudest moments are her involvement with getting a new library building, or raising funds for computers in the library.
"We had a huge rummage sale," Erickson said. "We picked things up from everywhere."
Erickson had expected to retire in 2019; however, a heart attack in June convinced her to retire once she reached the rule of 90. She doesn't have absolute plans for her retirement yet, though she is excited about the small things, like sleeping in on weekdays and travelling.
"We are planning one trip for sure," Erickson said. "We are going to Holland because I was born there and I still have relatives there. Then we might go to Asia and see our exchange students. We've had quite a few over the years and we still connect with them. Outside of that we are just staying around here and maybe I will finally do some fishing."
Erickson also does LuLaRoe direct sales from her home and intends to work more with direct sales. Otherwise she expects to volunteer with the library board for all of its annual events.
Erickson has not decided whether Browser the Library Cat will retire with her, but like her, he would continue to make occasional appearances at library functions.
Erickson said the Kitchigami regional director will likely hire her successor in October to give her time to train the new manager in before leaving.
Erickson held a retirement celebration with library patrons and friends Sept. 21.