AU librarian closes the book

Wed, 2012-07-25 09:34 -- univcomm
Remember the days where computers were creeping into the mainstream of businesses, schools and homes. Now imagine being a librarian and having to throw away drawers full of card catalogs. Needless to say, the days when everything was written down and thousands of hours were spent alphabetizing and writing information in each book have witnessed dramatic change. “I will never forget that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach in 1989 as the Physical Plant backed a truck up to the doors and we emptied the contents of hundreds of drawers full of catalog cards and sent them to the landfill,” said Richard Snyder, Director of the Library. Snyder is retiring from his position in July that began 39 years ago this summer.

After high school, Snyder, a native of Anderson, believed that he would work in the factories just like his high school friends. Little did Snyder know that he was destined to come to Anderson College (1958-1962) and contribute his professional life to, now, Anderson University.

“I did not even want to go to college but I somehow ended up here, taught English for two years in high school then returned to the campus library,” recalled Snyder.

Snyder has no big plans for life after retirement but will look forward to “staying home in bed on a cold, snowy winter morning” such as the many we have had this year. Cynthia, his wife of seven years, and him plan to do nothing but “thoroughly enjoy each other’s company during retirement.”

The library, even under new leadership, will continue to meet the challenges of library evolution, as it has always and forever will, commented Snyder on the future of the Nicholson Library.

“I have known for a year that I was not coming back so it has been a long year. I have been letting go of everything a little bit at a time,” he said.

Cynthia is also employed here in the Adult Education Department and will be retiring in November from her position. He has one son, Eric, who travels around the Midwest installing glass in commercial buildings and one daughter, Stephanie, who does research in the forestry services at the University of Minnesota.

Snyder is looking forward to his life of working in the garage at home, going to book stores with his wife and having coffee, going to “cruise-ins” and swap meets in their ’75 Corvette hot rod and traveling some back roads in their Miata with the top down. The Great Lakes and the mountains near Gatlinburg, Tenn., will also be “interesting to discover the pleasures of those places on a weekday.” “The feeling of being apart of something that is bigger than me and that matters will be what I miss most after retirement,” said Snyder.

--Stefanie Kinstle is a student assistant in the office of Media and Electronic Communications and writer with the Andersonian. Reprinted with permission.