Thursday, May 27, 2010

A fond "see you at the library."

This morning I've been going to all the classrooms talking to students. I started with the fifth graders: I asked them to shout out their feelings about going to middle school next year. There were some "tight!" and "excited!"s, but also a lot of quieter "scared" "nervous" and "sad"s. I even got some "I don't know"s.

As I told them, I've been having a lot of the same feelings, because this will be my last year at Emerson too. At the end of the school year I'll be leaving BUSD and moving on to the Oakland Public Library. It's a great opportunity, but it's tinged with more than a little sadness at the prospect of leaving a community that I love so dearly.

Thank you all so much -- especially you few but faithful blog readers! -- for helping to make this such a remarkable place to be a librarian. Like the fifth graders (and the many others who have moved on through the years) I know that I'll always be a part of the Emerson family. I know my successor will appreciate each of you. (The million dollar question from students was "who's going to be our new librarian?" We don't yet -- it's a rigorous and lengthy application process that won't be completed until late summer -- but we know already that the new person will be outstanding.)

Today, families will be getting their weekly Bear Facts with a farewell letter from me. I thought I'd share it with you here too.

Dear Emerson families,

I have the best job in the world. Librarianship doesn't get any better than this: a loving community of readers who give their time, hard work and attention to the job of discovering books and libraries. Their teachers innovate! Their principal supports! Their parents even shelve! Most librarians expend all their energy suggesting books or answering half-understood homework questions; I hang out in the library while children and adults come to me daily with their opinions, curiosity, and the desire to find the perfect book for the moment. I am incredibly lucky.

So it's with a feeling of real loss that I have to tell you that this will be my last year at Emerson. This summer, I'll be starting as the Children's Librarian at the Golden Gate branch of the Oakland Public Library. As you can imagine, this was a tremendously difficult choice; in the end, family circumstances and necessity made the decision for me.

I know that the next Emerson librarian will be outstanding -- thanks in part to budget cuts and layoffs of great librarians across the state! -- and that you will welcome him or her as you welcomed me. But I will miss you all so much.

Thank you for an amazing three years of love, support, and enthusiastic reading. I want to extend a special thanks to all the volunteers who have come to the library regularly or occasionally, helping with everything from shelving to re-binding old books. The library program wouldn't have happened without you; you made a difference for me every day.

I'll see you around Berkeley, online, and in the public library. Keep sending me book suggestions... and READ ON!

Lots of love,
Ms. Claire

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