I’ve been searching for a final president’s message that is both meaningful and from the heart. I hope I found it in Julio.
Last week’s highlight by far was attending MSLA’s bookmark awards ceremony at An Unlikely Story, author Jeff Kinney’s book store in Plainville, to celebrate the achievements of happy kids along with their proud families and librarians. Learning that the bookmark committee members, headed by Laura Gardner, achieved perfect teamwork, made the night even better.
While I intended to write about moving forward with the excitement, energy, and sheer enthusiasm of our bookmark kids, perhaps this week compels us to take time to consider what we lost and to appreciate what we have. I returned home after Judi’s memorial service to reread her blog posts. They are replete with love of family and friends, deep commitment to education and faith, passion for social justice, book recommendations, and even funny cat tales. Her words capture her persistent positivity, even in the face of pain and adversity—evidence of a well-lived life of service. Here’s one nugget:
—Judi’s blog, October 27, 2018
MSLA is about to experience unprecedented change as Ann Perham and Kathy Lowe step away from leadership roles after decades of combined service to the profession. Their contributions are impressive and come from a profound belief in the difference excellent school library programs make for all children. I am hopeful that the good people who step in to fill Ann’s and Kathy’s shoes will discover they have equally impressive ways to serve. Though their contributions will likely be different, that profound belief in the power of strong school libraries is shared.
As we enter the closing weeks of school, let’s assess our impact on own school communities and consider both what our impact is and what it could be. Let’s do it for Julio.