Being the daughter of a librarian, some would say the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, but Paige G. Wagner would not have agreed with that as a child.
“I didn’t really like libraries,” Wagner said. “We always had to go there after school and wait for my mom, and I really wanted to be outside playing.”
Growing up in beautiful Hawaii, who could blame her? However, over years of being read to every night by her mother, this self-described reluctant reader grew to appreciate books, and decided that she would like to write and illustrate children’s books herself. She studied literature, languages and art, then attended library school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
After working in libraries in Hawaii, California and Colorado, Wagner joined the OPL staff as a children’s librarian in 1992. She worked at various locations throughout the OPL system, including W. Clarke Swanson, A.V. Sorensen, Benson, Willa Cather, Millard and Florence branches. In her time as a children’s librarian, she most enjoyed storytimes.
“Storytimes are a great opportunity for interacting with children and sharing the world of books,” said Wagner. Wagner’s storytimes were brought to life with dress-up, activities, movement and having fun.
After 26 years of service to OPL, Wagner retired in December 2018. She has many ideas for retirement – art, fitness, writing, jewelry-making, spending time in nature and more – but she also knows that the library will never be too far from her thoughts.
“Libraries are the only places you can walk into and feel welcome. You can be yourself and it’s where connections take place,” said Wagner. “I’ve made a lot of connections with people over the years and I plan to maintain them.”