If you have visited one of Mildura Rural City Council’s libraries in the region during the past five decades there is a chance you’ve been helped by Maria Andriotis, PICTURED.

Mildura Rural City Council will honour Maria today as she celebrates 50 years of service at Council.

Maria, who works as part of the Collections and Technology team at the Mildura Library, says the best thing about her job is seeing the smiles on the faces of customers when they find what they’ve been looking for.

“I feel very privileged and grateful to be working for Mildura Rural City Council and the community should be very proud of their Library Service. I have a wonderful job and love every aspect of my work,” she said.

Maria’s first role was as a Library Assistant at the Irymple Library. From there she has also been a Library Officer − Home Library Service, and a Library Officer − Reservations at both the Carnegie and Mildura libraries.

Her current role sees her receive all the new items for collections, serve library customers and find items that customers put on hold.

“I get to unpack all the boxes of new library items and I am the first to see what we have received for the community to borrow,” Maria said.

“I have made many great friendships with patrons that I have met over the years.”

Maria has seen library technology and practices change and evolve during her career, including the switch from a card-based system to computers, through to the internet.

“Some of my colleagues who work at the library now used to visit as children, which is quite special,” she said.

Mildura Rural City Council Mayor Jason Modica congratulated Maria on her incredible milestone.

“To dedicate 50 years of your life to one organisation is quite remarkable and testament to Maria’s work ethic and passion,” Cr Modica said.

He said local libraries were integral to community well-being, providing spaces for people to connect, learn and discover.

Mildura Rural City Council operates five libraries in Mildura, Red Cliffs, Merbein, Ouyen and Murrayville, supports one library agency at Irymple and offers an Outreach Service to the Millewa and Mallee Track communities.

Library members can access a wide range of books, talking books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, reference material, computer and Wi-Fi services.