Longtime librarian retires from Oakes-Beitman Memorial Library

PLEASANT HILL — In 1982, the first edition of the USA Today newspaper was published, Late Night with David Letterman debuted on NBC, and Michael Jackson released Thriller, the biggest-selling album of all time.

In Pleasant Hill, a 15-year-old with a big smile and an easy laugh was hired at the Oakes-Beitman Memorial Library to shelve books.

Forty years later, Brian Ganger has decided to close that chapter of his life in order to spend more time with his aging mother.

“It’s been a wonderful 40 years,” Ganger said. “I started out with one group of kids and now they are bringing their kids and grandkids to the library. I’ve gotten to meet multiple generations. It’s been wonderful.”

The plan was never for Ganger to stay at the library for his entire career.

“I was supposed to leave when I graduated high school. That was the rule,” Ganger said. “But Jeanine (Borton) said I was so good she talked Mr. (Jim) Miley into letting me stay.”

Ganger’s job duties over the years have included shelving books, checking patrons in and out, and hosting programs for all ages. He says the arts and crafts programs will be his favorite memory because he enjoys seeing how children make projects their own.

“Brian Ganger’s name is synonymous with the Oakes-Beitman Memorial Library in Pleasant Hill,” said Pleasant Hill resident and Library Board Trustee Stephanie M. Silk. “If you’ve spent any time in our beautiful library, undoubtedly you think of Brian and his warm and welcoming personality. He has played a vital role in creating an environment in the Pleasant Hill community that fosters a love of reading, sparks creativity, and encourages imagination in patrons of all ages. His presence at the library will be greatly missed and while we are heartbroken to see him go, we wish him nothing but the best as he closes this chapter of his life and begins penning his retirement story.”

Ganger’s last day will be July 30 and it will be a day of celebration with a block party in his honor at the library in Pleasant Hill from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy friends, face painting, music, outdoor games, and hot dogs and lemonade provided by the Village of Pleasant Hill. There will also be a mermaid reading stories.