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Youth Librarian, Mrs. Shelly, to retire

November 28, 2011

(The following appeared in the Daily Jefferson County Union on November 28, 2011)

Almost 20 years ago now, Mrs. Shelly became the children’s librarian at the Dwight Foster Public Library.  Mrs. Shelly was hired just prior to the computerization of our operation, before we had even begun planning for our library’s expansion, and when e-books were nothing more than a figment of a science fiction writer’s well-developed imagination.  Many things have changed over these last 20 years in our library.  But one thing surely hasn’t.

Mrs. Shelly’s warm heart and fun-loving spirit has never wavered.  No matter what was happening in the world around her, Mrs. Shelly always could be counted on to be genuinely interested in the well-being of the young people placed in her care.  She spent 20 years getting to know children in Fort Atkinson, seeking to inspire their love of learning and reading as well as teaching them how to find answers, have fun, and feel good about themselves.  As a former children’s librarian, I can report that’s no easy task; Mrs. Shelly made it look effortless.

Mrs. Shelly has read stories, taught important skills, collected and shared books and information, played games, made crafts, and organized more events than one could ever dream.  She’s guided, applauded, and even reprimanded.  Whatever lesson needed to be learned, Mrs. Shelly has delivered it faithfully.  And always with graciousness and charm.

Two decades of children have been inspired by Mrs. Shelly.   For her passion and compassion, for her dedication and outstanding efforts, we are grateful beyond words.

Mrs. Shelly is set to retire on December 31st .  Please join me in thanking her at a public reception held in her honor at the library on Saturday, December 3rd  from 1 to 3 p.m.    Also, please consider stopping by the library anytime before December 14th to record your favorite Mrs. Shelly memory in the book we are creating for her so she has something unique and memorable to read in her retirement.

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