PANAMA CITY-- One veteran librarian has spent the past four decades doing more than checking out books. She's helped share Bay County's past with the community.
Rebecca Saunders is ending a 46-year journey. She retired Friday from the Bay County Library.
"You had to earn the right to work behind the desk," Saunders said.
Her career at the library began as a Girl Scout volunteer, which she says opened a world of endless possibilities.
"I started out at the very bottom and then ended up doing something I love, which is preserving and maintaining the history of Bay County and helping people with their genealogy," Saunders said.
Saunders held several positions at the library, but she says her favorite is the one she ended on.
"And then when people are looking for their genealogy and they find it they run in and they're so excited, you've gotta see what I've found, you've gotta see what I found," she said.
Pictures, paintings, and tokens of years past fill this room, taking people back to their roots. "Many people come in this room to reminisce and browse and it's a fantastic place for that," Saunders said.
She says the community's enthusiasm for her knowledge brings meaning to her work.
"At the end of my career with genealogy and local history that's when you really know people appreciate what you do," adds Saunders.
She hopes her legacy will continue as future generations explore what the library has to offer.
"I hope that they do continue to keep the area and the history of our families alive," Saunders said.
Saunders says she'll continue to be an active member at the library and her work hasn't gone unnoticed.
Bay County Commissioner Mike Thomas recognized her service in Bay County at the county commission meeting on July 15th.