Trish Calvani, president of the York County Library system, will be honored on Nov. 3 at Martin Library. Calvani has served with the library for 26 years
Trish Calvani, president of the York County Library system, will be honored on Nov. 3 at Martin Library. Calvani has served with the library for 26 years and is planning to retire at the end of the year. (Bill Kalina photo)

As a little girl, Patricia "Trish" Calvani found her future at a library.

"From the time when I was a young child, when my parents dropped me off (to visit) the library, I knew I wanted to do this kind of work, something to do with keeping (the library) going, helping it to thrive."

Calvani, 66, is president of the York County Library System, which consists of 13 local libraries.

After working more than 35 years in libraries, Calvani is retiring at the end of the year.

"This is the right time for me," she said. "It's hard to leave. It's just the right time for me to be slowing down."

In the meantime, Calvani will be the 31st person to be celebrated by the Martin Library Honors Program, which recognizes or memorializes people who demonstrate commitment to serving the library and the community.

Through the honors program, an endowment will be established to enable people to purchase library materials in Calvani's name.

The honors ceremony is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, in the Quiet Reading Room at Martin Library, 159 E. Market St. in York City.

"It's strange and wonderful to be honored ... surprising, certainly," Calvani said. "I have always been passionate about keeping library doors open and welcoming to everybody, to all generations from our

littlest people to our senior citizens."

Her background: Calvani is being recognized for 26 years of service to the York County Library System.

She has been the system's president since 1991.

Prior to that she was the coordinator of FIRST, York County's Free Information and Referral System Timeline. FIRST initially was a library program. It is now part of the United Way, according to Deb Sullivan, the library system's community relations director.

Georg Sheets, the honors committee's planned-giving officer, said Calvani is the second library employee recognized by the committee.

"Her achievements are extraordinary, her work style is extraordinary," he said. "(Calvani) is responsible for tying all the libraries together, coordinating all the libraries under one umbrella."

Who's next: Sheets said that after Calvani's retirement, current Martin Library president Bill Schell will replace her until he retires in 2016. Then the library system will do a national search for its new president, Sheets said.

But first, the honors committee wants to thank Calvani for her hard work in leading the library system in its efforts to provide excellent service to the community, Sheets said.

Calvani said that after her retirement, she plans to return to the library system in 2014 on a reduced-hours basis to help in whatever areas system officials need.

Calvani said her passion for her work grew as local libraries developed beyond being a place that offers books. Libraries have become places where people can gather, get rest from the fast-paced society, learn other languages and disconnect from technology, she said.

On the other hand, libraries show people how to get information or use library recourses online. Also, the local library system has a "tech guru" who helps people learn how to use their own technology, including cellphones, Calvani said.

"I can't imagine life without libraries," she said. "I can't imagine doing anything else with my life other than working to ensure that we have this treasure in our community."

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at