(This article was posted May 30, 2018 at MyEdmondsNews.com)
By Larry Vogel
It was a bittersweet Wednesday afternoon as devoted fans of Edmonds Children’s Librarian Edith Farrar gathered in the children’s section of the library to bid farewell to a person who has become a true Edmonds institution.
Edith found her calling 20 years ago when she began as children’s librarian at Sno-Isle’s Arlington Library. She went to Mill Creek for a year, and after that arrived in Edmonds, where she’s been reading stories and entertaining children for the past 18 years, becoming a much-loved community fixture along the way.
“I love it when parents and grandparents come in and tell about how the kids who used to be in my story circles are now off at Cal Tech or something like that,” she laughed.
Combining her acting, musical and teaching skills, Edith is a true pied piper to her scores of young fans, who regularly attend her story circles and other programs geared to fascinate and engage the younger set.
“She can take control of the room, get everyone participating, and makes it look easy,” said Erin Peterson, assistant managing librarian. “My personal favorite Edith program is the story-time band, where she helps the youngsters make musical instruments, and then tells a story with the kids making music to accompany it.
“Her shoes will be hard to fill,” added Peterson. “Assistant Children’s Librarian Maureen Zinders has agreed to keep things going this summer, but we plan to advertise for a permanent replacement very soon. Interested applicants should check the Sno-Isle library employment page.”
So what’s next for Edith?
“First thing is to catch up on my sleep,” she said. “After 20 years I feel like I’m running on fumes, and it’ll be great to just not have to get up every day and come to work. And I’ve already started reading a genuine adult book, The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty. Part of the action takes place in the Wichita library, and I know that building!”
Beyond that, Edith will continue with the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, twirling her baton from the relative comfort of a folding chair as the world’s first and only sedentary drum majorette, and plans to continue as beachmaster for the annual Edmonds New Year’s Day Polar Plunge. She’s also working on her musical performance skills at Marimba camp this summer, and plans some travel to Ireland and Germany.
“This has been such a great community to be part of,” said Edith, fighting back the tears. “And I love all the funny stories and the things the kids have done over the years. Kids do indeed say the darndest things.”