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Susan Will retires from Orange Public Library

By Madeleine Fuselier

The Orange Leader

ORANGE — For the past 20 years, Susan Will has tended to the books and patrons of the Orange Public Library. On July 30th, she will retire so that she can tend to someone near and dear to her heart – her husband, Joe.

“My husband has ALS [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease] and so I’m going home to take care of him,” Will said. “He also worked for the City of Orange for 38 years [and retired] when he got sick about three years ago.”

Will appreciates members of the community who have reached out to offer help to her and Joe.

“There’s a Methodist church that’s coming to build a ramp so that we can get from the house to the van once we get the van,” Will said. “Then it will be a little easier to take him places.”

Will has held several positions at the library, but currently works in technical services and catalogs books.

There are many things Will enjoys about working at the library, but her favorite part is working with people.

“Getting to know the public and helping them has been very rewarding,” Will said.

Will considers her retirement to be “bittersweet,” but hopes to be able to return to the library as a volunteer.

“I’m hoping that I can get away from my obligations at home long enough to come down at least once a week and do some volunteering,” Will said.

Will believes reading is very important, and is honored to be able to help make books available to the community. Will feels reading is valuable “first of all for education, but for fun too. It just opens up everything,” Will said. “It’s opened up a lot for me . . . You may be in my situation where you’re not able to go anywhere, but you can curl up with a good book and be miles away.”

Will enjoys nonfiction books, especially medical books. Her all-time favorite book is titled ‘Jesus is Calling.’

If you don’t consider yourself to be a reader, Will insists you “just haven’t found the right area to read in.” She recommends starting small, perhaps with a magazine.

“That’s how I got started,” Will said.

Will also encourages non-readers to take advantage of the library’s other abundant resources. “There’s so much more to the library than just checking out books,” Will said. Will cites computers, art, audiobooks, and DVDs among the libraries many assets.

“There’s something for everybody at the library,” Will said.

Will encourages everyone to “come down and check [the library] out.” Orange Public Library cards are free to anyone who lives in the city limits.

In addition to caring for her husband, Will plans to spend her retirement traveling.

“My biggest goal is to take care of [my husband] and maybe take a couple of trips while he’s still able,” Will said.

Will looks back on the last 20 years with nothing but gratitude.

“I’m just thankful,” Will said. “The city of Orange is a good place to work . The library is a wonderful place.”