Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Loss in libraryland

I got sad news when I opened my email this morning. Eliza Dresang, shining light of the youth services in libraries field, has died.

I was even more in awe of Dr. Dresang when my friend Francey Harris pulled her over at a YALSA All-Committee meeting many years ago. I had expressed my fond (and I thought, ridiculously aspirational) desire to have her speak at a preconference I was chairing, and she was gracious enough to accept. And appear. And speak with her trademark gentleness and charm.

The ALLA Conference is kicking off today. I remember talking about Radical Change at the 2008 YASRT session which started my work in earnest with that organization. There are so many things I owe to her ---
  • She delivered the opening keynote at that 2010 YALSA preconference on nontraditional reading
  • She provided the theoretical base for my dissertation research
  • She was extremely kind about my own work, and said out loud that she thought it would be significant
My copy of Radical Change is among my most prized possessions. I will miss catching glimpses of her, star-struck still, at ALA meeting, and most of all I will miss hearing her incisive theories on  youth information behavior.

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