A special send off included a collection of memorabilia, a table full of refreshments and plenty of kind words from some of those who worked with her over the long haul.
A teary-eyed Chris Lozano-Jones enjoyed the accolades and praise Thursday afternoon from those recognizing her many contributions the past 30 years as a highly respected South Pasadena Public Library employee.
A well-deserved rest is in order for the Lozano, the library’s circulation supervisor, who is saying goodbye to her second home.
In the words of Steve Fjeldsted, the director of the local library, Lozano-Jones “gave people what they wanted on a silver platter.”
During a brief ceremony in the library’s community room, Fjeldsted, along with others, acknowledged the talents of Lozano-Jones, noting: “We wish you the best, always, and hope to see you in the not too distant future.”
Lozano – Jones oversaw the library’s checkout desk, answered a myriad of questions and helped the public find books as part of her daily duties.
“Thirty years working at the library is about like 20 years in the NBA,” explained Fjeldsted, a sports fan coming up with the proper analogy to describe what it was like being around Lozano-Jones. “Nobody works that long, except the very rare few. She’s to be commended for all her dedication to the community in providing public service to everyone who walked into the library.
Barbara Posner, who worked on staff with the retiree, presented Lozano-Jones with a small case filled with items found at the front desk, including library cards, rubber stamps and other worthy collectables.
“That is too funny,” said an amused Lozano-Jones as she accepted the gift.
Posner, the library’s support services manager, said she and Lozano-Jones worked well as a team for 30 years. “She’s genuinely warm and cares about you,” Posner said.
Cathy Billings, the assistant director at the library, added that Lozano-Jones “has a fantastic sense of humor and stays calm in difficult circumstances, which happen sometimes. She’s good-natured and her upbeat outlook makes her special.”
A clerk at the library, Curtis Callahan, said Lozano-Jones was always ready to answer questions from the staff and public, and her contributions over the years will never go unnoticed.
Lozano-Jones called the library staff “wonderful,” noting that she’s going to also miss the thousands patrons she met throughout the years.
“Sleep in,” she said, when asked what’s next now that retirement has arrived. “I’m going to take it easy.”
Travel plans are also on the horizon for the couple. Lozano-Jones and her husband, Shane, have a place in Las Vegas they plan to put to good use.
For now, however, Lozano-Jones wants to soak up the idea that she no longer has to work another day.
She’s done, but will not be forgotten.
“Chris is to be commended for all of her dedication to the community for providing a public service to everybody who walks in the library,” summed up Fjeldsted. “We’re going to miss her.”