Saturday, August 30, 2008

102-Year-Old Librarian Still on the Job

While most people dream of retiring from the job somewhere between the ages of 60 and 65, Martha Smith has continued working for about forty years beyond those ages. She still puts in her time every Sunday at the Vinland, Kansas, library that she first started working at in 1926. The Kansas City Star has her story:

Smith is 102 now. She wears a hearing aid and needs an oversized pair of magnifying goggles to read. She has to bend over so far to walk her eyes stare straight at the ground.

Others might have retired 30 years ago. Not Smith. She still shows up every Sunday to put in her hours at the 400-square-foot, one-room library 10 miles south of Lawrence.

Sure, she took a break in 1944 to raise her only son, Edwin. But she returned in 1956 and has been there ever since.
She has been there so long the Kansas Department of Human Resources honored her with an outstanding older worker award as the oldest female worker in Kansas.

That was six years ago.

Ray Wilbur, president of the Coal Creek Library Association, said Smith is one of a kind.

“She’s loyal, she’s diligent, she’s always optimistic and cheerful,” he said. “What’s not to like?”
The article is interesting, but even better is the video that the newspaper has attached to it. Take a will make your day.


  1. I'd love to spend some time in Mrs. Smith's library. It looks like a wonderful one. And I hope that if I live to 102 I can still read. I will, however, be retiring from my job. ;-)

  2. That library sure has a lot of history in it! I'd love to visit it.

  3. She's remarkable! Thanks for the link, Sam!

  4. I hope I'm as able as she is when I'm 102!

  5. She's really something, isn't she, y'all. I love stories about people staying active and useful so far into their lives...inspiring, to say the least.

  6. Great story, Sam! And how wonderful to like one's work so well.

  7. Ted, I would like to believe that her love of her life's work has led directly to her longevity.