Wokingham Borough Council’s libraries team has said a fond farewell to a colleague who has retired after many years of dedicated service.

Philippa Tegg decided to retire after turning 70 in the summer, and her face will be familiar to many as she has worked in all the libraries in Wokingham Borough and Reading during her career, as well as in Newbury.

Executive member for climate emergency and resident services Cllr Sarah Kerr said: “Philippa perfectly embodies the spirit of the local library.

"These hubs are at the heart of the community and they are about so much more than the books on the shelves, with countless friendships made and conversations shared.

"I hope she enjoys her retirement and I’m sure I speak for the libraries team when I say she will be sorely missed.”

Philippa has lived in Earley since 1982, having grown up north of the River Thames in the Oxfordshire countryside.

After serving in the Women’s Royal Naval Service and working in insurance, she joined Berkshire County Council in 1992, six years before Wokingham Borough Council was formed as a unitary authority.

Philippa said: “I shall miss all the interactions that happen every day, seeing the familiar faces and keeping up with everyone.

"Libraries are essential for those little conversations that go on between staff and customers, many of whom visit regularly – not just for books, but mainly for chance to chat.

"The impact of the library service on people’s health and wellbeing should never be underestimated.”

Although Philippa hopes to spend plenty of time reading, she is also looking forward to spending time with her family, especially her seven-month-old grandson.

Last year, she was involved in the 35th birthday party held at Lower Earley Library, when residents were invited to attend events such as a quiz night, charity coffee morning and reminiscence sessions.

Stephanie Woods, area manager, has known Philippa since she was a young girl and has many fond memories of their time working together. 

She said: “I’ve known Philippa for most of my life. My mother worked in libraries when I was in primary school and she used to manage Lower Earley Library, which is when I first met Philippa.

“When I was 17, I started working as a casual library assistant and Philippa was my trainer. Being ‘Philippa trained’ is a bit of a badge of honour as far as I’m concerned."

"Throughout my career in libraries, Philippa has been a constant, teaching me every step of the way: from Sunday supervisor to my dependable senior library assistant, who can help me solve almost every issue that’s thrown our way.

“I’m still waiting to see if everything falls down now she has retired! Going forward, not only has she left a Philippa-shaped hole in the library, she has left me and the team with one good piece of advice: ‘Don’t fret, it’s only books!’”