Not many people know what it’s like to run a college library. Even fewer people know how to run a library as long as Castleton’s own Sandra Duling.
Duling has been working at the library in Castleton since 1982, initially working the night shift part-time while raising one of her two children.
Not until 1985 did she start working full time for the college, and after 34 years, she has announced her retirement.
After doing something you love for so long, it’s hard to say goodbye to everything. All of the little things seem to be so much larger when you’re thinking about leaving a place, she said
“I will miss the interactions with students the most, being able to help you kids is always gratifying,” Duling said with a heavy sigh.
Along with working in the library, few may know that she has also been a member of Extra Stout, an Irish band for about 20 years with three other professors on campus.
During her retirement, she said she plans to put more time into her band and is hoping to be able to play more gigs now that she has the time. On Saint Patrick’s day Extra Stout played at Mulligans Irish Pub in Manchester Vermont.
“I’m somewhat exhausted today because as you can imagine it was a late night Thursday night, it was Saint Patty’s Day,” Duling said with a laugh.
Duling also plans to use retirement to spend more time with her family. She wants to travel with her husband and get to spend more time with her two grandchildren. And she’ll be going on more distance biking trips while working on the next edition of her book “Road Biking Northern New England.”
This summer she is planning a ride with one of her friends that will take her across New Hampshire and into Maine and perhaps into Canada.
While members of the Castleton University community are happy for her new life, they say she’ll be missed.
“Sandy has created a warm and welcoming atmosphere in our library, maintaining a very inviting climate,” Castleton President Dave Wolk said.
You can feel this atmosphere when you walk into the library, and many times students are greeted by Duling herself, yet most don’t even know it.
Senior Caitlin Ryan has worked in the library with Duling for a few years. Ryan even went to Iceland with Duling for a school trip, so she’s seen a side of her not many people get to see and talked about her good deeds.
“Sandy loves to knit, you know those pink bows for the pink the rink? She makes all of those for the game,” Ryan said.
As Duling finishes up her final year here at Castleton, those who know her will all reflect on their time with her and her impact.
“We will miss her greatly, knowing that she has made her mark on Castleton in exceedingly positive ways,” Wolk said.
A search is ongoing for Duling’s replacement.