Mary Lancaster & Rosemary Howard

There are some famous pairs in the world: Holmes & Watson, Tweedledum & Tweedledee, Tom & Jerry etc. These pairs are instantly recognizable to us or among the circles or groups they frequent. The LSCO isn’t exempt from this experience as we have been blessed with our very own famous duo: “The Library Ladies”- Rosemary Howard and Mary Lancaster.

Acquaintances before they started volunteering together at the LSCO library about 5 years ago, the twosome have become good workmates ever since. They can always be found at the Library on Tuesdays from 9-12 and are especially glad that the activity around the Library has significantly increased ever since the Library was moved across the main hallway.

It surprises no one to learn that they are both voracious readers. However, neither belong to a Book Club as they cherish the freedom to choose their own reading material. Rosemary prefers biographies and autobiographies while Mary prefers murder mysteries and non-fiction.

The ‘Library Ladies’ always look forward to their weekly commitment to the Library as they enjoy tending to the donations of books, puzzles, DVDs, and CDs that come to the Library from members and friends of the LSCO.

Given the fact that they were “on the same page” when it came to their volunteerism and what they hoped to achieve for the library, they were eager to develop an organizational system which is currently in place. Fiction, Non-fiction, Auto/biographies, and Large Print books-these are the main categories that govern their catalogue. The Library’s September Free Book Giveaway refreshes the collection; and any funds put in the Donation Box are appreciated and go towards benefiting LSCO programs such as Meals on Wheels.

A former volunteer coordinator had the fantastic idea to involve this dynamic duo with ticket sales, raffles, and other special projects (e.g. Christmas dinners, Mother’s Day functions, St Pat’s Day pubs, BBQs). This has led to varying volunteering commitments that has given them the opportunity to promote ideas that enhance the organization.

Rosemary began her LSCO experience prior to her retirement, as she started taking Chair Yoga classes in 2016. She has been an LSCO member for 9 years. In 2017, she retired from her 44 year career at the University of Lethbridge as a Library Technician; she especially enjoyed the international aspect that inter-library loans brought to her role.

An “air force brat” from a family of 8 children, she was born in Duncan, B.C. Her family came to Taber in 1968 for her Dad’s career. She obtained a B.A. in History from the UofL in 1972. She thanks her Dad for promoting higher education and her lifelong interest in learning.

Mary began her LSCO membership 5 years ago; she was still working part-time, but taking Tai Chi and other fitness classes. She is a true Lethbridge native, born and raised and graduated from CCHS.

Mary and her husband have one daughter who lives and works in Oman. Her daughter is her greatest source of pride because she is a strong, independent woman. Mary always looks forward to her regular visits so she can ply her with the specialties of home. She spends her ‘off’ hours keeping very busy in her flower garden, doing various needlecrafts, puzzles, and watching TV/ Youtube.

Between the two, their favourite meals are roast beef dinners, popcorn, and a traditional turkey dinner. They both enjoy 50’s-70’s Rock and Roll music, but one prefers Country & Western, while the other prefers Classical music. If you are curious who might share your preferences, you will have to stop by the Library to meet the Ladies.

Mary describes Rosemary as being “open to do anything” and a great friend while Rosemary describes Mary as the “idea lady” with a great sense of humor. They make quite a pair and are a gift to LSCO, quietly going about their tasks that keep the organization running smoothly.

They would always like us to remember: “Reading is to the mind, as exercise is to the body”.

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