Thursday, January 29, 2009

Remembering Kate and Kathy

The children’s literature world is reeling this week after learning of the death of two of our finest--uber-librarians Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz, who were killed in a car accident as they drove to the airport following the ALA Midwinter conference in Denver. We were just there together. We just spoke, laughed, and enjoyed the book award news. And now they’re gone. It seems impossible.

So many colleagues are expressing their condolences and sharing lovely memories on listservs and blogs ( I felt it was appropriate to pause for a poem in their memories. (They were both public—not school—librarians, but each had a powerful influence on many, many young people—and people of all ages!)

School Librarian
By Kristine O’Connell George

Mrs. Thompson knows I love sad stories.

The books she lends me

come with

hidden bookmarks—

folded tissues tucked into

the sad parts.

We have definitely hit a sad part here.
But we also remember the legacy of these two special women.

From: George, Kristine O’Connell. 2002. Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems. New York: Clarion Books, p. 35.

Image credit:


Yat-Yee said...

Wow, to have been at the same conference and then to hear of their deaths!

Lovely poem to pay tribute to librarians everywhere.

Jill Corcoran said...

Although I never knew Kate and Kathy, I can't get their senseless deaths out of my mind. I am so sorry.

Kristine's poem is perfect. Thank you for sharing it.

Deri David said...

Dr. Vardell, I am so sorry to hear of this sad news. This is such a beautiful poem, and a wonderful tribute to your two special colleagues. My prayers go out to their friends and families. Deri

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank you for your kind thoughts and words. Our hearts go out to Kate's and Kathy's families.

Becky at Farm School said...

What very, very sad news. And I'm sure there will be so many people beyond their families and circles of friends who will be profoundly affected...

Mary Lee said...

Another beautiful tribute in poetry to these beloved librarians is here. Deepest condolences to all who knew them.

Elaine Magliaro said...


This is sad news. So sorry to hear about the death of these two librarians. I always turn to poetry at difficult times, too. This post was a fitting tribute to these women.