It was 25 years ago that Cicero resident Terry Cortesi began a part-time job at the Riverside Public Library. When she was hired, her job was as a security guard. Over time, however, her job grew to be full time and now, officially retiring on March 31 after a quarter century of service, she was the desk assistant of Children and Youth Services.

Terry likes to tell people that when she first began she was eager to do more and was always available to help other staff members. She was close to then children’s librarian Ginny Kovalsky, who began to keep her busy in that department. There were always craft-type projects or bulletin boards and decorations to put up and Cortesi was always ready to lend a hand.

 Library Director Janice Foley says Cortesi took her monitoring job very seriously and had a great attitude. Foley calls her a “spunky” and very down-to-earth woman. Cortesi loved to talk about her family and hear about other people’s families as well. 

She had her dislikes, too, and high on that list were the cicadas that come to our area every so often. She was known to hurry to her car to avoid them. Cortesi enjoys celebrating her birthday, because she can’t do it very often. Born on Feb. 29, she likes to say she is only 17.

Cortesi’s decision to retire means she will now have more time to spend with that family of hers, which includes her parents, whom she talks about so lovingly. In addition, there are grandchildren and a daughter in Florida who now will get more of her attention. 

The day we talked on the phone she was already waiting for someone with whom she had a luncheon date. 

She says she won’t miss her colleagues, because she plans on being a frequent visitor to the library — on the other side of the desk. Her fellow employees showed their appreciation of Cortesi with a small party. The many friends she had made at the library came to say thank you to their friend at a reception held at the library on March 31. 

The Riverside Public Library may have changed over the years since Terry Cortesi first became an employee, but what hasn’t changed is the dedication of the people like Terry Cortesi who work there.