Well-wishers bid farewell to library director

Friday, October 12, 2012



A steady stream of more than 200 people stopped by Merrimack Library Director Janet Angus’ retirement party Sept. 25.

Amid flowers, gifts, mints and bookmarks bearing Angus’ picture, one person after another wished Angus well, as she ends 26 years at the Merrimack Library and gets ready to begin the next chapter in her life.

Among some of the gifts presented to Angus in recognition of her service were tickets to a show by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra from the library trustees and a proclamation read by state Librarian Michael York from Gov. John Lynch. Lynch cited Angus’ exemplary work and dedication and declared Sept. 25 as “Janet Angus Day.”

The staff of the library also made a “bookshelf” quilt depicting some of their and Angus’ favorite books.

Cookies, pastries, a cake from Frederick’s Pastries, and a flower centerpiece showcasing the blues and greens of the library logo donated from the Merrimack Flower Shop graced a dessert table as people gathered to talk about Angus’ contributions to the library throughout the years.

“Janet has been a mentor to a lot of young librarians,” York said of Angus, having worked with her over the years when setting up the Greater Manchester Integrated Library Cooperative System group. “She is the kind of person you can call up at any time to ask for help and she’d be willing to help. She’s just a great person.”

Maggie Marshall, one of the people responsible for hiring Angus in 1986, said she knew within the first 30 seconds of her interview that Angus was going to be a good fit.

“She has an impeccable work ethic and her level of dedication is impressive,” Marshall said.

One person who stopped by was Nancy Metevier, one of the people who has known Angus the longest. Both met while taking ballet classes at age 4 in their hometown of Epping. Metevier doesn’t remember much about the classes but knows that’s when their friendship began.

“I do remember that we wore pink tutus,” she said.

Angus later admitted she still has her pink tutu and the pink hat her mother made her for dance class.

When asked if she thought that Angus might take up dancing during her retirement, Metevier heartily laughed and replied, “Well, she just might.”

Now that she is retired, Angus plans to finish a novel she has been working on a since 1998.

“It’s about a woman who lives in Key West and when her husband dies suddenly she plans to bring his ashes to Portland, Maine, to bury them. The story is revealed through flashbacks as she travels north,” Angus said.

With all of her free time, Angus also plans to listen to music and travel.

“My husband loves music and has brought much music into my life and we have been to many, many live concerts.

“I am a Jimmy Buffett fan, but also a fan of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Meatloaf, The Who, Arlo Guthrie as well as several Christian groups such as Third Day, Hillsong, Matt Maher, and Casting Crowns,” Angus said.

“We have been to Key West several times, but don’t have any plans to return real soon. In fact, after our trip to Rome in the spring, we’d love to go back to St. Peter’s Basilica.”

Carol Lang, a former Merrimack Library Trustee, also stopped by the party to wish Angus farewell.

“If our town had had to pay her by the hour, they would have paid a lot more. Janet is the heart and soul of the library. She was the glue that held it all together,” Lang said.

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