Cathy Pearson has seen a lot of changes in the Marlboro County Library in her 29 years there.
In addition to technology changes, she has noticed that patrons are more independent in the library than they used to be.
"We used to have to assist them so much," she said.
Patrons can use the self-checkout to use the computers at the library or can print items to the library from their home or cellphone.
"Some are so excited they can renew their books from home and they can check out e-books," she said.
Pearson, who is a circulation clerk, will retire on Friday, April 13. A retirement celebration is from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, April 12 in the Kinney Room at the Marian Wright Edelman Public Library.
Before working at the public library, she was a librarian in the Marlboro County School District.
"I love being a librarian," she said. "I love books. I love helping people."
She remembered starting out using the manual card catalog system.
"I have experienced so much in the time I have been here," she said with a laugh. "It is about like I am getting too old to keep up with it."
A big change was when the library moved to the MWE in 2010.
"It was a transition, she said. "It was so exciting. We were part of the groundbreaking."
In the old library, staff started with four computers for the public and later ended up with nine.
"We used to have people waiting on the computers all the time," Pearson said.
At MWE, there are 22 computers for the public.
MWE Library Director Bobbie Grooms said the public has enjoyed the service that Pearson provides.
"They come in asking specifically for her," Grooms said. "Often they will go back out the door if she isn't here. They want to work with Cathy."
Grooms said Pearson has served as a notary for 15-20 years and that is a gap that they are going to have to fill since she is the only notary on staff.
Pearson is also certified to work with the Benefit Bank.
Grooms said in the library, Pearson has done a variety of duties from cataloging books to bookmobile services to children services to helping with computers.
"If you are at the desk, you are circulation/reference/IT," she said. "If you are at that desk, you have to know a lot."
A native of Marlboro County, Pearson said she is a people person and loves people.
"I love it," she said. "I wouldn't take anything for it. I'm a Blenheim Eagle."
She has been married to husband Herbert for almost 45 years. Their anniversary is in June. They have two sons and six grandchildren.
She is a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in the Brownsville Community.
Pearson said she didn't really have any plans for retirement and would take it as it comes.
She plans to remain in the library by joining the Friends of MWE Public Library.
She said she would miss the patrons and working with the Friends of MWE would allow her to see them.
"Thank you," she said to the patrons.
Grooms said Pearson's retirement will leave some big shoes to fill because she has quite a personality.
"Cathy has the traits and abilities that not only draw people here to the library but sustain the people who come through the doors," Grooms said. "She has traits that come from her parents that were instilled in her early. It just radiates."
Pearson added she will miss her coworkers.
"I will miss my family," Pearson said with tears in her eyes. "When I got sick, they took me home and made sure I went to the hospital. We care about one another and truly care about each other. I am truly going to miss that."