When Debbie Smith began working as a librarian in the late-1980s she was determined not to become the archetypal "cranky" book warden.
"I wanted to make the library a place that kids wouldn't be scared to come to," she said.
"They come once a week and I wanted it to be a pleasant experience, I didn't want them thinking 'Oh no I have to go to library'."
Ms Smith retires from teaching at the end of the year, having spent the last 15 years as a librarian at Orange Public School.
She said her "lenient" style of running a library meant it wasn't a sterile, silent space.
"I never saw it as a quiet library, and I didn't mind if they were chatting about books and sharing books and talking to each other."
The trick to getting kids interested in reading was to take the time to get to them and what they enjoy, she said.
Also, it was important to let them know that it was OK to start a book, not enjoy it, and swap it for another one.
Ms Smith said more children than ever at OPS had completed the Premier's Reading Challenge this year.
Children's books today use a less sophisticated vocabulary than in the past, Ms Smith said, which can make reading older books by authors such as Enid Blyton more challenging.
Aside from working across her career as a teacher, relieving principal and librarian, she also became a successful if accidental cricket coach.
Highlights include travelling with students to the Sydney Writers' Festival and to New York for a Kids Lit event.
She recalled a time about five years ago when she was enduring a tough personal time.
"A child knew I hadn't been at work, and he must've picked up something and he said, 'It's so good to see you back' and gave me a hug.
"I look back at things like that and think that I have had the best career."
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