By Michele Murphy
Pamela Coghlan has had a lifelong love affair with books and learning. As she prepares to step down as supervisor of the Domonkas branch of the Lorain Public Library, she recalls visiting her local library as a young girl with her mom and feeling “a sense of connection.”
After college, where she majored in psychology, she worked several years with people with multiple disabilities. She married and was in the midst of raising her three children when she decided to connect her love of learning and reading with the pursuit of a career as a librarian.
That was 22 years ago. She worked at the South Lorain Branch before taking over the reins at Domonkas in 2006 as she completed her master’s degree in library and information science.
During her tenure, she oversaw building improvements and increases in acquisitions despite state budget cuts. Perhaps the biggest change, however, is in the dramatic technology advancements that have impacted the way people read and learn as well as the way libraries operate. She was reflective about the learning she needed to do to become more computer literate, which leads to the other reason why becoming a librarian felt like such a good fit for her — she likes to help people.
She has helped others with their myriad questions about computers — how to navigate, access and complete forms, or use printer options. She has helped people select books for their children, and for themselves. She has been a presenter in the branch’s programs. An avid cook and baker, she has led classes on bread baking, as an example. She also began a cookbook discussion group, and in all probability, will continue to participate in it post-retirement.
When the paper publishes today, she will enjoy a second cup of coffee at home and be feeling pretty good about “not having to follow a regular schedule.” However, she says she will miss the patrons and dedicated staff at Domonkas.
One thing is clear. Coghlan won’t be sitting around. She says she wants to learn how to grow
microgreens. She has starter for sourdough bread in the freezer and plans to bake it as a nod to the bakers discussed in Domonkas’ cookbook club. Admitting to a fondness for reading mysteries, one thing that will not be a mystery about Pamela Coghlan’s retirement is that she will keep right on reading and learning.
Contact Michele Murphy at email@example.com
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