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Fran Keller calls Martin Library in York City a "second home."

The North York resident spent hours there as a youth doing homework. As an adult, she became the library's marketing director.

Now, the 81-year-old is retiring after more than 32 years in the position.

"It really is going to be bittersweet," Keller said. "I feel like I've been here forever. It has always been a big part of my life."

About a month ago, she announced she would end her long tenure. On Friday, April 12, she was surprised with a "beautiful" bouquet of flowers and a card signed by other employees. 

Keller has done a lot for the library, but what she may be known for best is her integral role in organizing its annual celebrity auction, a fundraising event featuring signed items from famous athletes, television stars and politicians.

"About 22 years ago, I wanted to come up with an idea to raise money for the library," she said. "I started writing to celebrities, and I got a professional auctioneer to help. What's the worst they can do? Not send me something?"

But that ended up not being an issue, as celebrities did help out. A lot did.

The library has auctioned off items signed by Jimmy Carter, Ellen DeGeneres and the Dalai Lama, just to name a few. Some of Keller's favorites, she said, were actor Elliott Gould and New York Yankees star Yogi Berra.

Sports stars specifically had her "tickled pink," Keller said.

The job allowed her to be active in the community and surround herself with books, two things she treasures deeply.

She won't be on the payroll anymore, but she isn't going to stop doing those things she has enjoyed for decades, either.

Now that she's retired, she has more time to read and relax, she said. She also will continue to root on the York Revolution and utilize her season tickets for the Penn State Nittany Lions.

And she is "definitely not" tired of the library, as she said she plans to visit often.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.

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