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Long-time Bradford library worker ready to close fond chapter

After more than 36 years serving library patrons, Heidi Northover has retired; community welcome to drop-in to give thanks on Saturday afternoon

A familiar and friendly face won’t be seen as often around the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library.

After more than 36 years working to help patrons at various library locations in Bradford, Heidi Northover has retired, and everyone is welcome to drop in and share memories and well wishes with her in the library’s Jamal Pascall room between 1 and 4 p.m. this Saturday, April 6.

For anyone who has ever visited the library, there’s a good chance they’ve had the pleasure of meeting Northover, whether she was helping them find a particular author, recommending something new to read or helping them scan, print or email documents.

In an interview last year, Northover noted that the library isn’t just a place to read, study or work, but also a “community hub” that helps people find services and even acts as a warming centre in the winter and a cooling centre in the summer.

Taking that community engagement a step further, Northover also volunteers at WOW Living’s Out of the Cold Cafe, which recently moved to the town’s new community and social services hub at 177 Church St. to offer hot meals and temporary shelter during the day as well as acting as an overnight shelter when the temperatures drop to -10 C or colder.

While some may view retirement as a time to slow down, Northover is looking for more ways to volunteer, some of which may include library book clubs and participating in the Friends of the Library — a long-running volunteer group that raises funds to support the library.

“I want to volunteer because I want to stay busy, I want to have a reason to get up every morning. I’m not going to stay in my pyjamas,” she said last year.

— With files from Brent Fellmen