SPL employee retires

At the end of 2013, long-time Salem Public Library employee Ruth Varkonda retired after 27 years of service to the library and Salem community. Varkonda began working in the children’s department on June 23, 1986. “Everything was done by hand. There were no computers,” she said. Some of the biggest changes Varkonda saw were the incredible impacts of technology on library service, the addition of publicly available computers, the relocation of the young adult department from the children’s department to a space on the library’s upper level, and the many children who she initially met as patrons and later as the parents of new patrons. Despite the many changes in libraries over her career, one thing that never changed was her desire to help library patrons develop a love of books and reading. She spent her career instilling this love of reading in generations of the community’s children. Pictured are Varkonda and Salem Public Library Director Bradley Stephens. (Submitted photo)