New chapter for Elaine
When Elaine Midgley spent hour after hour in her local library as a child, little did she know she would end up running some of the resort's most loved public spaces.
The 55-year-old retired as Blackpool Council’s head of libraries this autumn following a career spanning 37 years.
Elaine, from Thornton, started work as a junior library assistant.
She said: “I was enthusiastic about libraries from an early age and spent many a happy hour in my local public library in Hyde as a child.
“As a naïve 18-year-old I applied for a job in Blackpool Library service.
“I was successful in obtaining a temporary library assistant position, and I celebrated by treating myself to a pair of blue Dr Scholls!”
Elaine started work on September 29, 1980, reporting for work at 8.45am at the back door of Central library.
She added: “They were a great crowd of staff.
“I worked hard but I also enjoyed myself and was often in trouble… my laughing could be heard over the shelves in the workroom into the main library!”
Five years later, Elaine began a degree in library and information studies at The Manchester Metropolitan University before receiving her chartership in 1989.
During her career, Elaine held various librarian posts for Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council, working in Harris Library, Bamber Bridge, Bispham, Garstang, Blackpool Children’s, and Blackpool Central Library.
She also worked in Blackpool Council’s customer services department.
Elaine added: “The austerity in Local Government has meant that as a manager, firstly in Customer Services and now for the last three years leading Blackpool Library service, it has been very c hallenging.
“However, I always ask myself the question, ‘why am I here?’
“The simple answer is to serve our residents.
“They are more important than anything else!”
Elaine’s retirement was celebrated with a special presentation at the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool on October 19.
She now plans to spend her retirement enjoying time with her family, going on holiday and doing charity work.
She added: “I have a new bike and I am going to go swimming and get fit and healthy.
“I have a great family, friends, good health, great children and grandchildren, and parents who I feel privileged to know as an adult.
“I’m determined to enjoy life to the full.”