Thursday, August 23, 2007

Talking to the Wall

I'm sure this sounds odd – and it probably is. But the picture of Mary Jo Johnston (see Library Musings blog entry below) that I keep on my bulletin board at work not only serves as a reminder to me (and everyone who comes in my office) of that remarkable woman, but it also serves as a means to communicate with her. I'm not talking candles and séances. But every day I talk with MJ and ask her for advice. She always says the same thing to me, "Oh, Allison, you know what to do!"

I'm gearing up for fall – we all are at KPL. It's our busiest time of the year in Adult Services. And this is the first fall we're doing programming without Mary Jo's wisdom, experience, and drive.

I'm reminded of the lyrics of her favorite Bob Dylan song that her family played at her funeral, Forever Young...

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.

Well, the winds of change have definitely shifted with her passing. I hope that Mary Jo would be proud of all of us at KPL who are trying to carry on her legacy of outstanding author programs, and the courageous Friends of the Library who are going to ensure that the group remains strong without her. Before her death, Mary Jo had booked two amazing speakers to visit us and do talks this fall – Jonathan Eig (on September 27), the author of New York Times bestselling books Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season and Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig; and also New Yorker contributor Liesl Schillinger (on October 25). If you're a local reader of this blog, you'll likely want to seize the opportunity to come hear these renowned writers and better yet – consider joining the Friends of the Library to help keep their membership going strong.

I'll continue to talk to MJ's picture on my bulletin board on the wall – she may always give me the same advice, but as with everything that Mary Jo said, it's exactly what I need to hear.

Allison Beasley
Head of Adult Services


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