To the editor:
The Vermillion School District is losing a very precious jewel at the conclusion of the current school year. Librarian Anne Dunham will be retiring after 17 wonderful years. Ms. Dunham will leave her mark on our school in an abundance of ways: As a quality asset to the faculty who worked well with all the teachers and administrators; as the librarian primarily responsible for every school in the district (K-12) by the end of her career; and as a trusted, caring and knowledgeable role model who honed her craft brilliantly.
More than any of these attributes, however, Ms. Dunham has two specific qualities that, in combination, make her the truly unique and superb librarian that she is. First, Mrs. Dunham has a passion for literature which can be seen on her face as it lights up whether she is talking about a literary classic or the newest teen paranormal romance series. Secondly, Ms. Dunham has a genuine love, care, and interest for each individual student who walks into her library. Taken together, these two qualities enable Ms. Dunham to find a book or a genre for each student, and to create a love of reading that broadens and enriches that person’s life. She touches her students’ heads as well as their hearts.
In the age of Netflix, wireless internet, iBooks, Kindles, and the like, it is a rapidly disappearing treasure to have a librarian like Ms. Dunham who generates a safe and comfortable environment in which every student can learn to be excited about reading. She will be dearly missed. However, as a former student of Ms. Dunham’s, as well as one who has taken (and continues to take) literary advice from her since my early childhood, I can say with great certainty that her legacy is firmly in place because the seeds she has cultivated in her students will continue to blossom in our lives each and every time one of us picks up a good book.
Neil Gaiman said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers; a librarian can bring you back the right one.” Thank you, Anne, for the thousands of informed and loving answers you have brought back to your students over the past 17 years.