A career at the Huntington Memorial Library will be coming to an end Sept. 6 for library director Marie Bruni.
“I have loved every minute of my 30 years here,” she said. “It’s been the best job anybody could ever have. I’ve loved the community — everything.” With all the technological changes, “It’s a wonderful time to be a librarian.”
Bruni started her career in the Chautauqua County town of Ripley. She was attracted to the Oneonta position because it was a two college town and both “vibrant and alive,” she recalled Tuesday.
“There were so many cultural attractions, there was something to do every day of the week.” She will be on staff for about two weeks available to help her replacement, Christina “Tina” Winstead, make the transition. She hoped her successor enjoys Oneonta and the library “even half as much as I do.”
“When I was young I used to dream about being locked in a library and never being allowed to leave until she read all the books,” she said. She described it as a happy feeling. “I was supplied with all the apples (still a favorite food) I could eat.” When she looks back on her career, she said, “I have definitely lived that dream.”
Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said he only has a four year perspective as mayor, but he has been using the library since he came to Oneonta in 2003.
“She runs an incredibly tight and progressive ship,” he said of Bruni’s tenure. “The community has benefited greatly.”
Bruni said one of the needs she addressed when she started in Oneonta was initiating children’s programing.
“Children need to get hooked on books and reading from an early age,” she said. “If you do, they will become lifelong library users.”
They have been phenomenally successful, she said, adding she loves when children come back as adults with their children or grandchildren. “There’s nothing more thrilling than that.”