When Greg Denby became manager of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Whetstone branch in 2002, Sam Pathy already was firmly entrenched as the youth services manager.

When Greg Denby became manager of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Whetstone branch in 2002, Sam Pathy already was firmly entrenched as the youth services manager.

Although nominally in charge, Denby said last week, "To people with kids, it's Sam's library."

Pathy will leave his library in someone else's hands this month.

June 30 will be the 55-year-old Worthington resident's last day, closing a chapter in his life stretching back more than 27 years.

Others on the branch's staff will host a farewell open house for Pathy from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29.

Pathy said he's stepping away from something he loves -- reading to children -- to devote more time to another love: writing books for adults, particularly about his cherished Chicago Cubs. Retiring will enable him to meet a deadline for his second book about the team, So You Think You're a Chicago Cubs Fan, to be published in the spring. He already is the author of Wrigley Field Year by Year: A Century at the Friendly Confines in 2014.

"I see writing as a second career," Pathy said. "Life is short and I see another challenge ahead of me."

Rather naturally after reading to children at story times for so long, he has some ideas for children's books, he said.

Denby said Pathy has been a pleasure to work with.

He recalled a parent came up to him recently after learning that Pathy planned to retire and said, "To my kids, Sam's a rock star."

That rock star almost was an elementary school teacher.

Pathy was born in Chicago and grew up there. He attended the University of Illinois, but wasn't sure what he wanted to do and eventually earned a degree in elementary education.

With few openings available for teachers, Pathy worked odd jobs for a while before returning to the university to become a librarian -- something that always had been in the back of his mind as a possible career. He graduated in 1989, at a time when the Columbus Metropolitan Library had some openings.

"It sounded like a nice place," Pathy said, so he took the post, expecting to stay no more than a year or two before returning to the Windy City.

But he met his future wife, Kerry, and came to realize he loved Columbus. He also discovered his second choice for work was the right one.

"I love interacting with people," Pathy said. "I love helping people. It was the perfect career for me."

Pathy has been the youth services manager, also known as the children's librarian, at Whetstone since the mid-1990s.

"Children have an amount of wonder in them that's intriguing," he said. "They love to listen to me read stories. Children like me. I have a knack for interacting with them. It's always good when you're in a job where people like you."

Recently, Pathy said he has had the experience of parents he read to as children bringing their children to hear him read.

"I feel fortunate that I was a part of many children's lives," he said. "That's a life well-led."