By Alexander Plate
Even at 67 years old, Ray Morrison is finding retirement to be just as busy as working was, albeit in a different way.
After working as an academic librarian for 44 years, spending the last 10 years of his career at SUNY Oswego’s Penfield Library, Morrison retired at the end of the summer. Since starting his retirement, however, he says his schedule has been filled just the same — with home repair, preparing to host a college student for the semester and helping his wife after a surgery.
Morrison said he had mixed feelings when his final day of work was finished.
“When I left the building, it was kind of a weird feeling,” Morrison said. “Like, ‘this is the last time I’m going to walk out of here [as an employee]’. Then about 30 minutes later, I was like ‘who cares?”
Libraries have changed a lot over the last 50 years, and Morrison said he would never have guessed what libraries would become. From the growing importance of computers, to the relaxation of the dress code, he said that so much has changed.
“I remember when I first started as a librarian. We had the card catalogue, we didn’t have computers, and libraries were extremely quiet, you know?” Morrison said. “You’d have the old stereotype of a librarian going around shushing people.”
Morrison came to SUNY Oswego after working as a library director at MidAmerica Nazarene University. He said he wanted to be more involved with students and education when he came to Oswego and decided to become a reference librarian again.
“I didn’t want to be an administrator anymore. I loved being in reference and instruction,” Morrison said. “I love to teach; that’s what I’m going to miss the most about here.”
Morrison said he has many plans for his retirement years, ways to give back to the community and to share his passions with the world. He said he would like to volunteer with the local Bookmobile, or read to local schoolchildren.
Another one of his major interests is genealogy, and he hopes to be able to share this passion with local nursing home residents.
“Some of the things I plan to do is to go into the nursing home and work with the residents, talk with them about genealogy, and how they can help their families develop their family trees by sharing information,” Morrison said. “‘Cause once they’re gone, all that information that is getting shared, gets lost.”