In Memoriam, Our Organizational Support

A Great Loss in ALSC

I’m very sorry to convey the tragic news that I know many of you know already: yesterday, on their way to the Denver airport following ALA Midwinter, ALSC Vice President Kate McClelland and Notable Children’s Videos Chair Kathy Krasniewicz were killed in a hit-and-run automobile accident.

While the subject line refers to ALSC, we know this loss reaches well beyond our own association to affect their families, community, the profession at large, and especially the thousands of children they both worked with over the years at the Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. Here is the article from the Greenwich newspaper Web site:

http://www.greenwichtime.com/localnews/ci_11576380?source=rss

Please know that as soon as we have memorial/tribute information, I will share it. In the meantime, we encourage everyone with fond memories of Kate and Kathy to share them here, in this space.

Diane Foote
Executive Director, ALSC
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 6061

Kathy K. This photo of Kathy was taken during the 2009 Midwinter meeting of the ALSC Notable Children’s Video Committee. Molly Collins, a member of this committee that Kathy chaired, took the photo and kindly sent it to the ALSC Blog.

Kate McC This is a photograph of Kate taken from the Newbery Caldecott PowerPoint presentation in Anaheim in 2008.

115 comments

  1. KT Horning

    This is such a huge shock that it is hard to take in. Both Kate and Kathy were so full of life that it’s hard to accept they are both gone so quickly. I know many of us saw them both at the Midwinter conference and no one could have possibly imagined that it would be the last time we saw them.

    This is a tremendous loss for their families, friends, and community, as well as for ALSC and the children’s library world in general. I will miss them both a lot.

    –KT Horning

  2. Pat Clingman

    I just heard the news today from a fellow Notable Children’s Videos committee member. Kathy had such a lovely spirit about her. I only knew her a brief time, but she left such a lasting impression with me. I am honored to have known her. My thoughts of sympathy go out to her family, friends, and fellow committee members.

  3. Martha Walke

    I left Denver yesterday morning tired but excited about helping Kate in any way possible when she became ALSC’s president. She and Kathy and I became “occasional friends” (those who see each other once or twice a year) years earlier at CLNE – mainly due to my fascination with Kate’s hair and eyeglasses and Kathy’s beautiful smile. While my heart lies heavy now, I know I will remember each for their love for, and knowledge of, children and children’s books; for their dedication to our profession; for their slight, but necessary, irreverence; for their ability to pick-up-where-we-had-just-left-off approach to friendship; for their laughter and twinkles; and for their love for their families, each other, and their friends. Like ripples in a pond, their loss will be felt in ever widening circles – but so will our remembrances of each – with love and admiration and smiles for the joy of having known them.

  4. Diane

    I honestly don’t remember the first time I met either Kate or Kathy. But I can share a kind of funny memory from my early times as a lowly marketing assistant at a children’s book publisher. I was speaking with another marketing assistant from a different company at some kind of industry function, and she’d asked me who my favorite librarian was. I was a little stumped! I’d met (and really liked) so many of you, but I hardly knew anyone well.
    The other person leaned in to me and whispered, “Well, MY favorite is Kate McClelland!”
    Kate was so kind and friendly to all of us, even when we were relatively low on the totem pole. She took away any intimidation we may have felt by her down-to-earth, naturally warm approach.

  5. Monica Edinger

    Here is what I wrote on my blog today:

    I can’t yet process this news, but will say that these women were shining, shining, shining stars and it is hard to imagine this world without them. I first got to know them attending the summer CLNE institutes and then at various NYC publishing events. They were such VIPs but always lovely and generous and remarkable women.

    Just after the Monday press conference I ran into them and Kate and I together quelled about The Graveyard Book winning the Newbery. Kate went on to say she thought Coraline should have won its year too and I happily agreed with her.

    My profound sympathies to all their family and friends.

    What a loss. What else is there to say?

  6. Laura

    Martha, you and I were in the same van together on our way to the airport yesterday, and I have spent endless time today wondering how we got there safely and they did not. I can’t make sense of it.

    I do take something wonderful away from this, though: I am so blessed to have spent time with Kate and Kathy at the conference. No, I didn’t know it would be the last time I saw them…but that only meant we were able to laugh and joke and smile as we’ve always done. I will remember Kathy wearing that glamorous red coat, and I will remember Kate sitting next to me, peering out at me from behind her reading glasses. Kathy talked about her family constantly, and I will forever remember that she was my sister in all-things-Ina-Garten.

    They were two of the sassiest, most fabulous, and well-loved people not only in our profession but in our lives. They will be missed.

  7. Teresa Walls

    [I am posting the following which was sent to the ALSC Blog’s email account]:

    Dear ALSC friends,

    The terrible news has arrived of the deaths of Kate and Kathy, yesterday, in Denver.

    Deepest condolences to all of you who knew them well from one who admired them so much and loved their work and generosity to so many in the realm of READING and THINKING and BEING. The world has darkened utterly. What can we do to keep them alive?

    naomi shihab nye
    san antonio, texas

  8. Stacy Dillon

    There are no words.

    I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Kathy, but Kate was always generous with advice and filled with ideas about ….everything! Her enthusiasm at publisher events was contagious.

    She will be missed.

  9. Carole Fiore, Tallahssee, FL

    I am at a loss for words. Kate and Kathy were vibrant and loving. Their love of connecting children and their families with just the right books at the right time was evident in their too short lives. They contributed to not only their local community but the library community nationally. We are all affected by this senseless loss. My deepest sympathies to Kate and Kathy’s families and all who loved these energetic women.

  10. Marianne Saccardi

    I learned about Kate’s and Kathy’s deaths today in the morning paper. You can only imagine my shock at hearing the news in so impersonal way – though it would have been absolutely tragic from the mouth of a friend as well. I’ve known Kate for over 20 years, and it is she who fired my passion for children’s literature. How could I help but catch her enthusiasm? Over the years I’ve participated in her Young Critics Program at the Perrot Library, attended conferences and publisher events with her, and learned to tell stories by following her advice and example. I can’t count the times I turned to her for advice and information. How I regret that we never got to set up our next luncheon date!
    I’ve known Kathy for many years as well. I loved her smile, her sharp mind and willingness to help. She was a wonderful colleague.
    I’ll miss both women more than I can say. My condolences to their families and to all their friends in the world of children’s literature.

  11. Deborah Sloan

    In 1991, when Candlewick Press first opened its doors, I was working on a program to bring storytellers to bookstores around the country to share children’s books with area kids/families. I can’t remember just how I connected with Kate McClelland, but connect I did — and she became part of that program, telling stories with her energetic, authentic style to kids in the CT area. Over the years, I grew to know her as someone who was always there when you talked with her, really paying attention to the conversation, always with a laugh and something very prescient to say no matter the topic. I’ll miss Kate’s voice and laugh and energetic spirit and hope that this blog fills with hundreds of stories of Kate – and Kathy – so that their families feel big love from the children’s library community.

  12. leda

    This is such terrible news. I didn’t know Kate and Kathy nearly as well as many of you, but I knew them enough to look forward to seeing them whenever the opportunity arose. Losing them is a blow for the entire children’s literature community as well as–of course– for their friends and family. I’m so sorry.

  13. Amy Kellman

    Like everyone else, I am shocked and saddened by Kate and Kathy’s deaths. I had known Kate professionally for years, but after my husband’s sudden death six years ago I got to know her more personally. She was understanding, supportive, and just Kate. I know many of you know what I mean.

  14. Lisa Lintner-Sizemore

    I’ll remember Kate exactly how I saw her at the ALSC board meeting on Monday afternoon: effervescent, colorful, charming and a true ambassador for library services to children.

    To both Kate and Kathy’s family and friends, I send my warmest thoughts.

  15. Audra Caplan

    To all of my ALSC friends,

    My heart breaks for all of you. Kate became my conference buddy because we always seemed to travel in the same circles. I am glad that I saw her many times during Midwinter and had the opportunity to laugh with her. I will miss that dry sense of humor and the mischievous twinkle in her eyes; her great sense of style and joie de vivre. She also served on some prestigious YALSA committees, including the Printz and I remember being delighted to see her name on the ballot.

    The loss of these two amazingly talented people is huge for ALSC but also a tremendous loss to ALA and to the larger community. Please know that many of us share the impact of this horrendous tragedy with you.

  16. Ellen Loughran

    I admired both Kate and Kathy for their knowledge of children’s and young adult literature, for their creativity and their intense professionalism. They were also terrifically kind – both thoughtful and empathetic. But I loved each of them for different reasons. I always watched Kate to see what she was wearing: She had the courage to wear clothes I could only dream about. Kate was always so generous with positives, too. And Kathy, lovely, TALL Kathy. After we spent an entire dinner comparing our upbringing, Kathy started introducing me (4’9″ and shrinking) as her twin sister. I was flattered.

  17. Caroline Parr

    Dear all,
    This news is so tragic and hard to believe. I wish I had known Kathy. Kate was one of those ALSC friends that I now realize I have known for close to thirty years. When we found that we were to be on Notables together, she leaned over and said in her “conspiratorial voice” (thank you, Brenda Bowen), “I’ve always wanted us to talk about books together all the time, and now we can!” I know she said something like that to every one of her friends. She was warm, bright, witty and full of life. The world of ALSC, of her library, her friends and her family is diminished by her loss.

  18. Averil McClelland

    I’ve read so many wonderful tributes to Kathy and Kate — both here and on the Greenwich Time site. I didn’t know Kathy, but I’ve known Kate since we were in college together and she married my husband’s brother, Art. As you can imagine, we are all devastated – and, like you, have a hard time believing it. Thank you all, so much, for your heartfelt words… Kate has always had just a little different “take” on events — I wonder what she’s saying about this!

  19. Beth Isaacson

    I met Kate only once, at Anaheim back in June. As brief as that conversation was, it left an indelible good impression. My heart goes out to all of you who knew Kate and Kathy, to their families, and to our ALSC community.

  20. Kristy Raffensberger

    I worked in publishing before becoming a librarian. During my first week my head was spinning with new procedures. I remember my boss frantically running up and saying, “Kate McClelland needs this book. Make sure she gets it right away, she is Very Important!” Alas, I had no idea who she was—or even where the mailroom was—but I set to work. I included a small note with the package and the next day, Kate called personally to thank me. Imagine that, thanking a lowly assistant! It was such a bright spot in the midst of swirling confusion, I’ve never forgotten it.

  21. Ernie Cox

    A year ago I walked into the Morris Seminar on book evaluation in Philadelphia and met Kate. As one of the facilitators she led us through a day of learning about children’s literature and ALSC. As a relatively new arrival to children’s librarianship Kate emboldened me to give it my all. She knew that this was the best job in the world! We kept in touch via email and letters. I was fortunate enough to share dinner with her in Anaheim last summer. You couldn’t be around Kate long before she would ask “what are you reading?” We talked about new books and I learned more about the history of our profession. She was a valued mentor, a distinctive personality, and so wise.

    I am saddened for her family and friends. In our too brief acquaintance she made a tremendous impact on me. Kate’s passion for children’s literature and service will be remembered.

  22. Elise DeGuiseppi

    My heart goes out to all in Kate and Kathy’s huge circle of friends and colleagues, who are mourning these unbelievably sudden losses.

    I had only begun to know Kate, enjoying her warmth and sense of fun at conferences. Her knowledge and scholarship was an inspiration to me. I could tell how beloved she was from the reverential and affectionate way her friends spoke of her. I know that this tragedy touches so many of my new friends in ALSC, who are old friends of Kate’s and Kathy’s.

    My deepest condolances to you all, as well as to the families (including the Perrot Memorial Library family) of these two remarkable women.

  23. thom barthelmess

    Both Kate and Kathy have been an integral part of my involvement with ALSC, for as long as I can recall. I shall always remember Kate’s unimpeachable standards, the ferocity she brought to their maintenance, and the irreverent wit that colored the business at hand. And Kathy, with her regal bearing, tender heart, and devoted spirit, is a treasure whose loss I can’t begin to comprehend.
    In all the time I knew them, I never got to witness them sharing their passion with the children they served. That is something I’ll always regret. While their absence will be sharply felt, their contribution to the work they loved is indelible.

  24. Chris Borawski

    What a stunning and heartbreaking loss. Words can’t describe how shocked and saddened I was when I read the e-mail from Diane this morning. I can’t say that I knew either Kate or Kathy very well but I sure wish I had. I know that as committee chairs, Kathy and I must have at least crossed each other’s paths in Anaheim. I was fortunate enough to at least have met Kate and knew her enough to recognize her when I saw her. (Then again, more than a few of us could say that much. Her sense of style was unrivaled!) Our interactions were often digital than not but in both the virtual and real worlds, she was consistently complimentary. She always had nothing but the nicest things to say about our committee and the hard work we do and she never missed a chance to share her praise with us. I’m sure our committee was not unique in this regard. My deepest condolences to Kate and Kathy’s friends, family, colleagues, and the children and families they touched every day at Perrot Library. They will be sorely missed both personally and professionally.

  25. fionnuala browning

    As the library media specialist at Riverside School in Greenwich, it was with a heart too heavy to describe that I called the families of some of our school children who participate in the Young Young Critics Club (Y2C2) at the Perrot to share the tragic news about their teachers/mentors/inspiration: Mrs. Mac and Mrs. K. The two of them were always available to help and advise on the school side of things, as well. They visited our students each year in May to give a much-anticipated book talk and did the same for our staff in June, sharing wonderful insights and clever comments in their individual and inimitable styles. The communtiy of Old Greenwich/Riverside is reeling at the loss … and personally I will miss them both terribly.

  26. Marge Loch-Wouters

    Kathy and Kate were very special people and it was a pleasure to know and work with them. We shared many a laugh along with a lot of hard work over the years and their wise counsel, sense of fun and passion for books, libraries and kids permeated everything they did. I feel so fortunate to have spent time with them visiting, working and laughing over the past few days. I will miss both more than I can say. My sincerest sympathy goes out to their families, their communities and their friends.

  27. Marie Spratlin Haskarl

    Kate was always someone with so much energy and enthusiasm for children’s literature specifically, and her library profession in general, that I always appreciated talking to her and taking part in the mock Caldecott at the FCCLRT during my Children’s Services years. Kate and Kathy made such a great team! While she and Kathy will be missed on so many levels I have to say that I know her legacy will live on for years! They will certainly be remembered well!

  28. Karyn Silverman

    It’s so hard to find the words at a moment like this. I was lucky enough to first meet Kate, and through her, Kathy, several years ago. I was honored and felt blessed when each of them remembered me at a second meeting, and since then have looked forward to seeing them at previews and conferences. I spent most of the Monday evening get-together with them, laughing and talking about plans for the future, and once again thinking how lucky I felt to know and be known by such amazing luminaries in our field.
    My heart goes out to those who knew them best and whose grief is unimaginable.
    They will be missed and remembered.

  29. Jeanette Larson

    Every one of us has gotten into a cab heading to or from a conference, never giving a thought to the fragility of life. I’m at a loss for words. This is a real loss for ALSC and of course for Kate’s and Kathy’s families. I did not know Kathy, but Kate always had a smile and greeting for all. I hope that both families find some measure of comfort in knowing how well both of these ladies were loved and respected by our wonderful library family.

  30. Caitlin Augusta

    I remember meeting Kate at a mock-Caldecott event here in Connecticut and being so thrilled to be in the same room with her. When she spoke, especially about picture books, everyone listened, and for good reason. It grieves me to think we’ve lost all the wisdom she had yet to share as well as her leadership. Prayers to her family and extensive network of friends and colleagues.

    Kathy I saw this year at a puppet roundtable. She and her coworker were bopping along, making puppet hand gestures, singing, clapping. She was positively bubbling over with life. Kathy made everyone around her feel at home and loved and she was a natural leader. I can’t imagine Connecticut without her.

    We’ll be thinking of you both often. You will never be forgotten.

  31. Miriam Lang Budin

    I am shattered by the tragic deaths of Kate and Kathy.

    I was fortunate to serve on a couple of award committees with Kate over the years and her discerning taste, articulate expression of her opinion and pointed wit added so much to the discussions. When I say that she didn’t suffer fools gladly, I mean it as the highest compliment.

    Though I knew Kathy less well (Kate introduced us) I shared a number of occasions in NYC and at ALA events with her. I remember steering her to the 125th St. Station after the Anne Carrol Moore Lecture this year. What a funny, sparkling person she was.

    Both of these vibrant women already gave so much to our profession, to their communities, to their families and friends. How unbearably sad it is that we have lost the contributions they might have made going forward and that we must carry on their work without them.

  32. Diane Tuccillo

    I had only met Kathy briefly, but she was a sweet, lovely person. Kate was on our 2005 Printz Committee and getting to know her was one of the joys of it. Intelligent, dynamic, and so incredibly funny, she was an amazing, charismatic delight. Both of these dear women will be sorely missed, in both the library and literature world and the world at large. My deepest condolences to all of their family and friends.

  33. Sharon Creech

    It is a measure of Kate’s and Kathy’s charisma that so many of us feel this loss so deeply and personally. Their passion, energy and dedication: so rich and full and generous. They are two sparkly ones who left a trail of glitter wherever they went. I am so sad they are gone, so grateful they were here in the first place.

  34. Margaret Tice

    Kathy was so helpful to me this fall as she was chairing Notable Videos, and I was chairing Carnegie. Kate was always a wonderful friend and colleague. She was on the Ezra Jack Keats Committee for the last five years (chairing it for two years). Her insightful comments about children and books always raised the tone of our discussions. She always had a ready ear to listen to my concerns about working at NYPL.

    I’ll always remember how Kate prepared me for my son’s Kindergarten graduation. I was totally out of it and didn’t know that it would be such a big deal. I’ll miss them both very much.

  35. Barbara Scotto

    It is so hard to wrap one’s mind around such a tragic loss. When I saw Kathy and Kate in Denver, both of them seemed very happy and full of life as they always did. They were quite a pair – Kate always looking as if she were about to be photographed for Vogue, but with an impish smile, and Kathy always with a welcoming look on her beautiful face, intelligent and vibrant women who enriched all of our lives. What an incredible void they leave in their families, their communities and the whole children’s book world.

  36. Michael Santangelo

    While I did not know Kate that well, I do have one distinct and wonderful memory of her. We were standing in front of some elevators at a hotel in San Antonio during the Midwinter Meeting, and we were introduced by a mutual acquaintance. The acquaintance mentioned to Kate that I was on the ballot for the Newbery Award Committee, and Kate immediately, without taking a breath, glanced at me over her always stylish half glasses and asked me what books I liked from the previous year; her tone was matter-of-fact and no nonsense. There was not “where do you work?” or “what other committees have you been on?” At first, I was a bit nervous, but after a few moments, rattled off some of my favorite titles of the previous year (I think I mentioned Permanent Rose and one or two other titles). She nodded encouragingly. It seemed to me she had the right sense; it was not about where you worked or what your job title was. It was about whether you really loved children’s books and could you talk about them: with your colleagues and with the children you serve.

  37. Nancy Werlin

    This is one of those times when words fail me. I’m sitting here remembering a dinner with Kate in Greenwich about a year and a half ago, when I was doing a school visit nearby. I had been threatening her for years that one day I’d be on her doorstep and I’d make her take me shopping so I could learn something about the style she showed so effortlessly (in her clothes and in her spirit). Such a small, silly thing. I always believed it was going to happen and there was plenty of time.

    I just can’t believe I won’t see her again, peering over her fashionable glasses.

  38. Sharon Korbeck Verbeten

    While I never personally met Kate or Kathy, as editor of ALSC’s journal Children and Libraries, I certainly crossed their paths at conferences.

    As I left my Denver hotel for dinner Saturday evening, I passed Kate in the lobby and thought about personally introducing myself–but alas, time was short and I didn’t want to intrude upon her. I simply smiled and said hello as I walked on. I’m sorry I didn’t take the time to greet her in person.

    As a former children’s librarian, I feel a deep affinity with all ALSC members and the fine work of children’s librarians across the country.

    I searched online today to read more about these fine women, and I’ve been reading all the touching commentary all day on this blog.

    I am deeply saddened for this loss that has been felt so profoundly by the library community–as well as by their families and friends. It is lovely to read the outpouring of memories by those who both knew or simply had encountered these two women.

  39. Pam Munoz Ryan

    Although we are spread out across the country, this profession of books for children is a tightly woven community. If you have been in the field for any length of time, it would have been almost impossible not to have heard of or met one or the other of these two dedicated women. I was so privileged to have crossed paths many times with both Kate and Kathy.
    Last year I was at two different events, a week apart in two different cities. I saw Kate at the first event and then, the following week at an event in New York, I looked out in the audience and was surprised to see her, again. She smiled and gave me a little nod. Afterward, she said, “Oh yes, it’s me. I’m everywhere.” Her spirit still feels palpably everywhere. How deep the pain must be for both Kate and Kathy’s families and those of you who knew them far better than I. What an ache it leaves in our hearts.

  40. Roxanne Feldman

    I am still tearing up — throughout the day. I looked and looked at the greenwich news site at the two beautiful photos of these women. Was it really just last Sunday, at the Random House New Voice reception that I talked to Kate about how wonderful she looked, how hard she must have been working, and how incredibly fun she has always been? And was it really just this Monday that we met outside of the Four Seasons Ballroom, after the Press Conference, marveling at all the amazing and deserving choices of this year’s children’s books? I still remember Kate’s strong conviction over each and every single book (whether she loved it or hated it) and all the witty comments she bestowed those around the table when we gathered with authors and editors at various dinners and receptions. What a loss. What a loss.

  41. Emily Kokie

    I can remember exactly when I met Kate and Kathy – Children’s Literature New England, about 7 years ago. They were together. They were laughing. And they were into a little bit of good natured mischief… And I knew immediately these were my kind of people.
    They were some of the first people I met in the children’s literature world…and they could not have been better ambassadors or better friends.

    They will be badly missed, and for a long time to come. Every time I think it has become less shocking there’s a new wave of sadness that keeps rising to the surface again and again.

    My thoughts are primarily with their families today, and their colleagues and friends in Connecticut. But also a little with all of us. We all lost two amazing colleagues and friends.

    Emily Kokie

  42. Nell Colburn

    Dear colleagues and friends of Kate and Kathy,
    Like you, I am chilled to the bone with this news. I did not know Kathy, but my guess is that she, like Kate, exemplified the best in us. In thinking about Kate, what first comes to mind is the incredible impact one person can make in connecting a child with just the right book. That was Kate’s passion and her life’s work. Let us honor Kate and Kathy by continuing to seek out the very best books and share them with the children in our lives.

  43. Molly Collins

    This is absolutely heartbreaking and shocking news. Kathy was a stellar librarian, mentor and friend. I have had the pleasure of knowing Kathy as she served as our amazing, beloved chair of the Notable Children’s Videos Committee. She worked tirelessly with class, great humor and true kindness. Kathy is just such an inspiration with such special gifts and an amazing heart. It will be hard to imagine this profession without her. I’ll miss Kathy so, so much.

  44. Linda Ernst

    There are no words to express the loss. I had met Kate years ago. Although I didn’t know her well, I always recognized her with her flair for fashion and her genuine friendliness. It’s only been the last few years we had shared more than a passing chat. At the joint reception on Monday night we sat together and had a very lively conversation on ALSC, books and plans for the future. Her enthusiasm was contagious. One thing I’m sure of is she would want us to keep doing our best for the children we serve. So that’s what I’m doing.

  45. Deborah Pope

    Kate served on the Ezra Jack Keats/New York Public Library Book Award Jury for five years, (for two of those years she served as Chair,) and that is how I knew her.

    Simply put, Kate was a star. She sparkled, she was warm, she made everything she touched more vivid, more exciting and more important. But Kate was never self-important. She was able to command the spotlight and share it with everyone in the room at the same time. I am very, very grateful to have known her.

    I did not know Kathy but her loss has also touched me deeply. I send heartfelt sympathies to the families of Kate and Kathy.

  46. Katherine Marsh

    I met Kate shortly after my first children’s book came out in 2007. She took the train from Greenwich into Grand Central for a lunch and brought with her great enthusiasm for my book and for me as a first-time author. Her reputation as the type of librarian who inspires generations of children had preceded her and yet she also gave generously of her time to young authors like me trying to find our voice and audience. I will always be grateful to her.

  47. Eliza Dresang

    Almost twenty years ago on the edge of the digital age, Kate McClelland and I became friends as members of the “Black and White” Caldecott Committee. I will never forget the inspiration she was then and always will be. WiIthout Kate and her clear thinking, her vision, and her faith in youth there would have been no ‘radical change.” Over the years Kate and I became the closest of personal and professional friends — supporting one another through thick and thin. Many have commented on her thoughtfulness and verve –It was just yesterday exemplified by a message on my cell phone to say (ironically) goodbye and to share how excited she was about the early learning theme she hoped to carry throughout her presidency. She more than deserved the honor of being a New York Times Librarian of the Year in the recent past. While we and her family grieve, including her beloved almost 10-year-old granddaughter, we can always celebrate the wonder of her life. Her influence will never go away.

    Kathy studied to become a librarian in the Florida State online master’s program, so I knew her first as an outstanding student and then as an accomplished professional and friend. She was rightly chosen to receive the Mary Alice Hunt Scholarship as the most outstanding student studying to be a youth librarian. And she fulfilled it every bit. She and Kate were a team, working for the best of children everywhere — with the highest standards and a winning way to convince others to live up to them.

    The time on earth for both was far too short but filled with grace.

  48. Becki Bishop

    What a loss to our library community this is. I have spent time and talked with both Kate and Kathy over the past few years as I served on several ALSC committees. Their passion for their work was evident to all who knew them. Kate was a tremendous source of encouragement and support to me when I took on my first committee co-chair in ALSC. Kathy and I spent many hours together during leadership meetings at Annual and Mid-winter. Our Priority Group II table was always full of life and laughter! My heart goes out to their families and their community in Connecticut. They both will be greatly missed.

  49. Emily Jenkins

    I knew Kate from the Ezra Jack Keats committee, and from seeing her at conferences. She was such a LIGHT in every room she entered. I will miss her humor and style and generosity of spirit. I am sure wherever she is now has just the MOST wonderful library.

  50. Kathleen Odean

    It’s good to have a place to go to read such loving things about these two wonderful people. I knew Kate much better than I knew Kathy, but the last time I saw them they were together. I ran into them in a hotel in Anaheim, and we detoured into the hotel gift shop so that Kate could try on sunglasses. She tried on jazzy, goofy, unlikely sunglasses while the three of us talked about what we’d been reading and what we thought about it, amidst a running commentary on the sunglasses. Holding court in a tiny gift shop, bouncing back and forth between books and fashion, having fun — it was pure Kate. I’m so sad. I cannot believe they’re gone.

  51. Mary Ellen Brezovsky

    As a School Library Media Specialist in Greenwich, the highlight of my Spring was the annual pilgrimage down to Perrot Library with my colleagues to hear Kathy and Kate give a presentation on the best books of the year. They were both so inspirational – truly. Being fairly new in the field, they were women to look up to. They gave me something to reach for when storytelling or giving a booktalk to my students. I remember being so amused last year as Kathy booktalked “Dog and Bear” using little voices that brought the story to life! I thought that Kathy and Kate were our own treasures down in Old Greenwich. But it’s so wonderful that they spread the wealth of their enthusiasm and knowledge with the rest of the library world.

    June will be an empty time indeed. Their voices will be sorely missed.

  52. Peg Oettinger

    There are no words to express our sorrow at this terrible tragedy but we try anyway. Two wonderful and productive people have been taken from their families, their community and from ALSC and all of ALA and we all feel the loss. All I can do is offer my thoughts and prayers.

  53. Ann Shapiro

    Kate and Kathy will also be missed in the storytelling community. They both were members of the CT Storytelling Center and attended our annual festival regularly. Kate will be remembered for her humor and the stories she told us. Words cannot express this loss.

    Ann Shapiro
    CT Storytelling Center

  54. Michelle Fadlalla

    For many years now I have had the privilege of working in Education & Library Marketing and have gained another family in the teachers, librarians, and marketing colleagues with whom I work. When I started this job nearly 10 years ago, marvelous Kate was one of the first librarians to befriend me and she quickly became a mentor and helped to show me the ropes. Just a couple of years ago she introduced me to the lovely, vivacious Kathy. The two of them together were quite a pair and always livened up any event they attended. I am blessed to have known them and will always be grateful for this last time we had together at ALA Midwinter. They’ve left a big hole in the library world and will be deeply missed.

  55. Terry Borzumato-Greenberg

    This loss is heart-breaking . . .

    I’m remembering Kate’s laugh, her indomitable spirit, twinkling eyes, amazing clothes, introducing me to Kathy . . .

    And Kathy–her smile, infectious enthusiasm, incredible wit, and that fabulous red coat . . .

    Both so smart, funny, welcoming, with a passion for and love of children’s books . . .

    So many memorable moments shared with them and my last are no exception–giving Kate the longest hug ever at our reception last Friday and enjoying an exceptionally fun dinner with Kathy on Sunday . . .

    These sparkling friends will be missed beyond words, and my heart goes out to their families and friends and all of us who have had the privilege of knowing them. Kathy and Kate have touched us all.

  56. Wendy Lukehart

    Dear friends,

    In my numbness, I keep replaying my last wonderful moments with Kate and Kathy in Denver on Monday afternoon. I was wandering the exhibit floor following a committee meeting (for the ALSC 2010 pre-conference–an opportunity which I had leaped at, because it involved Kate and picture books). I found the two of them sitting at a booth, Kate holding court, but immediately wanting to hear the committee’s ideas. I sat at her feet (something we all laughed about), sharing ideas, writing down her intelligent suggestions, becoming even more ebullient as she shared her enthusiasm for our work. As the booths were coming down around us, the three of us sauntered out, and a young man approached us. Kate hailed him over, spoke to him in her purposeful, positive way, and within a minute said, “Well, then, begone,” dismissing him with a wave of her hand. Kathy and I fell into giggles, while Kate asked what was so funny. I said, “You’re just so regal!” Our encounter with one another ended with hugs and anticipation of future exchanges and Kathy handing me her card, offering to help in any way we needed her. I walked away feeling so blessed by the support and wisdom and friendship of these two dear women. How we shall miss them.

  57. Christine Ginsberg

    Once upon a time, I was honored to have a mentor, named Kate. Not only did she open a whole new world for me, she made it exhilarating with every breath.

    Kate introduced me to ALA and took me to my first conference in San Francisco. I remembered her kind and encouraging words look around first see what’s out there. She brought me and introduced me at every exhibit booth we stopped at, every breakfast/lunch or occasion we went to, all the while pushing me ahead with firm, but gentle guidance (and also with side-of-the-mouth irreverence).

    I remember the plane ride back, we just happened to be seated together, and EVERYONE came over to our row to talk or to give a galley to Kate. To which point the flight attendant by the end of the flight came over and said, “Look, I see all these people coming to you, Are you famous, and I just don’t know?”, Kate just smiled and her eyes twinkled.

    Kate also introduced me to storytelling and was absolutely marvelous in helping a new storyteller find the JUST RIGHT story and was always sitting there in the audience with a smile on her face, peering over those wonderful, fashionable glasses!

    Kathy…she was just amazing, when the two of them were together, my goodness! I was privileged to have seen them at work in Perrot and marveled at their timing.

    My heart aches at the news. It is encouraging, all the lives they both have touched, I am honored and humbled to have been in their circle. Much love and sympathy to Kate’s and Kathy’s families.

  58. Tim Wadham

    I am so devastated by this news. It all seems so senseless, but I take comfort in knowing that Kate’s influence will live on in every child to whom she ever read a story. Children’s librarians often never know how they have influenced young lives. I hope that Kate had some inkling of the difference she made with kids. She made a difference with me. I will always remember the way Kate looked at you over her glasses. Several have mentioned her regal bearing, and that’s exactly right. I loved the way Kate carried herself. It’s hard to accept, having spoken with her just hours before the tragedy. The best tribute, I think, is to share a story with someone you love. We understand our world through the stories we tell each other. And even if we can’t understand this tragedy, we can share our stories of Kate and remember a consummate children’s librarian.

  59. Elaine Clayton

    I have not been able to overcome the shock and sorrow since hearing last night of Kate and Kathy’s tragic accident. I feel so much for their families and wish for them to know how important these two women were to me, and to my husband Simon. I appreciated them so much, and felt such a caring and joyable connection with them, it is awful to imagine never seeing them again. Kate gave of herself openly and with genuine mirth, as though to pull the fun right out of you. Kathy always found me when I attended CLNE or ALA, and I felt so bonded by conversations we shared, touching on mystical aspects of life. Simon has lost two of the most lively and enthusiastic people in his world, and we cannot fathom how suddenly the world changes. How suddenly we have lost two people we all benefited from and enjoyed knowing. I realize now that the happiness they conveyed had to do with the way they celebrated being advocates for children and children’s books, and being in their presence, we celebrated right along with them.

  60. Paul Zelinsky

    This is horribly sad news. I didn’t know Kathy, but I knew Kate from here and there, and then on the Keats Committee, where her presence added so much to the fun of participating. I wish I remembered stories to tell about her; I can only echo others’ observations about how special she was. I feel privileged to have known her.

  61. Melanie Hope Greenberg

    On July 7, 2005 I apprehensively took the Metro North railway from NYC to Greenwich for my presentation at Kate and Kathy’s library that afternoon. It was the day of the London transportation bombings. I spoke to Kate that morning after I heard the news. She made it known that the 3D art workshop she hired me to teach that day was important because it broke down my art in a process. And that process is an important thing to learn in an age that lacked unaccountablity. That got me on the train. Kate and Kathy took me for a beautiful lunch and I got to spend time with them. At my program Kate participated along with the kids. I was able to witness her child like spirit.
    I am sad at hearing about this loss of two such lovely people. I often think about Kate’s words to me that morning, especially now when hearing about the accident. Hopefully, a full accountability will honor Kate and Kathy. My sincerest condolances go out to both their families, friends, and colleagues.

  62. Cindy Lombardo

    Like everyone else, I am in shock today after hearing the horrible, horrible news. I had the great privilege of serving on committees with both Kate and Kathy–each of whom brought her passion, intelligence, humor, and grace to contribute to our group. I learned a lot from each of these amazing ladies. The library community has lost two shining stars and two leading advocates for childrens and youth services. They will be missed beyond measure . . .

  63. Kathy Isaacs

    Both Kate and Kathy were filled with enthusiasm, energy, and enjoyment of life. I think of them together, as I so often saw them at CLNE and ALA — as late as Wednesday morning when Kathy bounded up from her breakfast table to catch me leaving the hotel restaurant. And separately —Kathy demonstrating page by page the magic of an illustrator’s craft in our Sibert Committee and again in a CLNE discussion group; Kate telling stories formally and informally, with such a twinkle in her eye. They were indeed stars, examples of the best of librarians and good friends, and they will be much missed.

  64. Bina Williams

    To say that I am heartbroken by the news of Kathy and Kate’s untimely deaths does not even begin to express my feelings. The two of them were inseperable–as one news article said…two peas in a pod.
    Kathy was the chair of the Notable Videos for Children committee upon which I served for two years. When I was tapped, I was thrilled that Kathy was the chair since she was one of my favorite people in ALSC and CT libraries. We had met over the years both with and without Kate at ALA conferences, CLA conferences and our regional roundtable. Kathy did a great presentation on the notable audio recordings for our roundtable with Tim Ditlow as a guest. She also did a program on the Sibert award the year she was on that committee. Smart, savvy, sassy and full of fun–sensitive to the needs of each committee member–and appreciative of everyone’s unique perspectives on children, literature, videos, and life in general. Her elegance and beauty were both internal and external. I was proud to consider her a friend–
    We had two wonderful days in Denver looking at videos, eating lots of candy, cookies, homemade peanut brittle, and more while looking at videos both hideous and wonderful. Kathy was radiant as we did our selections.
    Kate was one of the lights of ALSC–offering witty and wise advice to all of us coming up the ranks. She spoke to our roundtable about the book and concept of Radical Change. In 2003, I was on the Caldecott committee the year after Kate chaired it. In the airport on the way to my first committee meeting, Kate reassured me that the process would take care of any concerns I had about my own definition of distinctive art not meshing with that of others on the committee. And it was so true…
    My last memory of Kate is seeing her in a booth talking about the long budget meeting she had been in. “1876, That is all I can remember. You know what that is….” I said no, I didn’t. She replied, in full twinkle, “The year ALA was founded.”

    My last memory of Kathy was at Monday’s awards press conference. I was also filling in a spot on the Carnegie committee and as that committeee walked into the announcements, Kathy asked me if the notables group would be happy. I said yes….I didn’t get to see her afterwards to talk about it… I am so sorry for that.
    Kathy gave each of us on the notables committeee a silver popcorn charm–each of us will treasure her thoughtful gift and our loving memories of our dear dear friend.

  65. Carol Edwards

    The news is devastating! So much life, energy, passion and dedication to children and making sure the best books, videos got the attention they deserved. Both Kathy and Kate served with a smile and intensity whenever asked to advance children’s literature and to help children thrive in every way. I didn’t know Kathy as well as Kate, but can remember Kathy at a Kirkus reviewers dinner in New Orleans hosted by Karen Breen ( thank you Karen) where a bunch of us talked, ranted, and raved about books and cultural life of the US in general. Kathy was so alive and engaged, and perspicaceous too.

    I served on the ALSC Board with Kate– which means I have many memories, all showing her to be that mover and shaker and thinker everyone has described. When I saw her at this Midwinter, I got my hug and she was immediately talking about the ALSC Strategic Plan and wanting my thoughts. She never seemed to rest, but was always planning, conniving and pushing for the best in books, the best for ALSC and the best for children.

    I’m feeling ghastly that this happened in Denver, my home town, but it could have happened anywhere to any one. Still, I want to do something to right the world, and there doesn’t seem to be a way.

    I am grateful for all the stories and memories here, and I hope I can return to these words — which have such power– for comfort and solace as I begin to process what a hole in the universe was created by the death of these two dedicated professionals and wonderful human beings.

  66. Kathy Dawson

    I had the pleasure of attending one of Kate’s book discussion groups with her talented kids in Connecticut with Audrey Couloumbis years ago, and I’ve always felt blessed that I got to see her with her kids. Kate could lift a person’s spirits instantaneously with her smile and wink. I looked for her at every library conference I attended, and relished her words about children’s books. Kathy was just as sassy and sweet and smart. I know the two of them changed the lives of the children at the Perrot Library. As an editor, I know I’m supposed to be making books for children. But honestly, I’m really doing it for people like Kate and Kathy.

  67. Mary Fellows

    Tuesday evening as the ALSC Board meeting concluded and we were saying our goodbyes, Kate hugged various ones (probably all of us in the course of it) and walked through our gathering saying, “I love you all.” I think – and really hope I’m right in remembering – that one of us said, “We love you too.” I would like to think of Kate secure in the knowledge of her cherished place among us.

    In Kate’s and Kathy’s memory and honor, with sadness for our loss and that of their families, let’s renew our commitment to excellence in library service to children as Linda Ernst suggests. That, and the stories we share about Kate and Kathy, will keep them with us.

  68. Karen Hesse

    What a privilege it was to be warmed by the light of Kate McClelland. Humor, wisdom, and passion had somehow reached a perfect balance in that powerhouse of a human being. To her family and friends, and to Kathy’s family and friends, I offer what small comfort comes in the reminder that these two lives were beautifully lived. Sara, you were, and are, and always will be beloved by your grandmother and by those of us who loved her and therefore loved you through her. I didn’t know Kathy but I keep thinking if I had to leave this life in such an impossible way, what a blessing it would be to have Kate by my side.

  69. Kevin Delecki

    Wendy Lukehart metions a young man who was called over by Kate outside the exhibits on Monday. I was that young man. Kate ALWAYS had the time and energy for everyone, whether or not you knew that she even noticed you. When she introduced me to Kathy and Wendy that day, she was able to not only tell them my name, but what committee I was working with, and the things we were working on – I was just surprised she knew my name!
    I, like many others felt a very special connection with Kate, more than she probably knew. I will miss her dearly, for she brought so much joy to everything she was a part of. My prayers are with Kate and Kathy’s families and friends – I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose such a constant light in your life.

  70. Kathie Meizner

    I’m grateful that I got to talk with both Kathy and Kate in the past week: easy, cheerful conversations that have suddenly become poignant memories. These two vibrant women communicated a sense of joy and connection wherever you encountered them. How lucky for us that books and libraries were their chosen milieu–they were lovely.

  71. Martha Simpson

    I knew both Kate and Kathy from the Fairfield County Children’s Librarians Roundtable and ALA. How fortunate we were in Connecticut, and especially in Fairfield County, to have them close by! When Kate was Chair of the Caldecott Committee, she agreed to do a presentation at the FCCLR’s annual Mock Caldecott meeting. Kathy was Kate’s sidekick, and the two of them enlightened us as to the process of evaluating picture books with a presentation that was witty, informative, and fun. When Kathy was on the Notable Recordings Committee, she again led an insightful program at one of our meetings.

    The last time I saw Kate was when I went to pick up my badge holder at Midwinter in Denver on Friday. It was a chance meeting – I had walked to the Convention Center the day before only to realize I had left my badge information at my hotel, so I had to return on Friday. The first person I saw when I entered the building was Kate. She gave me a big hug and thanked me for some committee work I had done. I told her how much I was looking forward to her appointing me to a new ALSC committee, and to her upcoming stint as ALSC President. Alas, I will never know what she had in store for me.

    My last encounter with Kathy was also random. I happened to be alone in the ALSC Office typing up some last-minute revision for the aforementioned committee, when Kathy came by to drop off some paperwork. Thinking it was her post-conference report, I remarked that I always waited until I got home to write it. She said this couldn’t wait since it was her notable committee’s annotations which had to be turned in ASAP. I remember thinking how conscientious she was.

    Usually, I go to the ALSC/AASL/YALSA Reception on Monday night during ALA, but I didn’t this year, so I missed the chance to see them both again. But I feel fortunate that random circumstances allowed me the opportunities to see each of them one last time.

    Usually when I saw Kate, Kathy was with her. I thought of the two as a team, and they certainly seemed to be the best of friends. As many others have noted, Kate and Kathy were always cheerful, friendly, intellegent, supportive, and stylish in their own unique ways. And they were always happy to see you, whoever you were. In a way, I suppose it makes sense that such good companions would leave the world together, but it makes our loss doubly difficult to bear. I have to believe that somewhere in The Great Beyond, these two wonderful women are still sharing stories and spreading sunshine wherever they go.

  72. Deborah Taylor

    Was it just this past Saturday that I waved at Kathy and hugged Kate while we celebrated our new president? I am simply heartbroken. I do know, when this pain subsides, I will be left with the memories of their laughter and love of books and young readers.
    So many warm ALA and CLNE memories. My heartfelt prayers go to their families.

  73. John Green

    This is so unbearably sad. I hope that Kate and Kathy’s families and friends outside of our little fishbowl understand how much they meant not only to the kids they so lovingly welcomed into a world of stories, but to all of us grown-ups, too.

    What a blessing it is to have librarians who are committed to every kid who walks through the door and also committed to pushing forward the wider critical discourse about stories for children. And how awful to lose two of the best so senselessly.

  74. Laconia "Lot" Therrio

    Kate McClelland and Kathy Krazniewicz: there are no words! But I think they’d both say find them anyway.

    Kate has been my mentor in storytelling ever since I began. I’d call and say I’m working on this story and she’d say come try it out on me, or on my kids. I would. She’d graciously tell me what she saw as I told and what she didn’t, and that the story wasn’t ready to be told until I could see everything. That lesson remains with me to this day.

    When our friend Peg O’Sullivan left a message that “She’s gone,” it did not register. “What do you mean, Peg?” “She’s died. She and Kathy, both!”

    Kathy’s laugh filled the children’s section…always. I remember her tentativeness in considering her “growing” into Mrs. Mac’s position as Head of Children’s services; her love for her daughters and Jim; and her love for books.

    Kate’s peculiar style of framing a phrase, always informing us of her love for books and for story; her love for her son, daughter, son-in-law and for her Sarah.

    The cosmos has darkened just a bit. But I will remember the last lines of the Cow-Tail Switch: “As long as a person’s name is mentioned they are never truly forgotten.” May theirs alight our tongues through the years……

    Kathy Krasniewicz Kate McClelland

  75. Janice Greenberg

    I am still in shock.

    I was just thinking about Kate and planning on dropping her an email when I heard the news about her tragic death along with our ALSC colleague — her treasured friend, co-worker, and mentoree Kathy Krazniewicz.

    I had emailed Kate a congratulatory note after the 2008 ALA election. Her response was humble and typical for Kate, ” It is I who am lucky to have the support and friendship of so many wonderful ALSC friends.”

    I also found her response to the ALSC Presidential candidate questions posted on the ALSC blog and I think that they sum up the kind of person she was and what ALSC meant to her and its importance for all children:

    Kate McClelland’s response:

    How has ALSC membership impacted your life?

    Since I graduated from “library school” (as it was quaintly but accurately called) and since I joined ALSC, our profession has reinvented itself… often and a lot! This is an urgent requirement for a profession that centers around children, their families and the materials they borrow. Our customers, more than most, belong to the ever-changing, technological society.

    I was trained in the large, first-rate Cuyahoga County Library system (Ohio) but was subsequently employed by a fine independent library in Connecticut. Without the constant contact with dozens of other children’s librarians I craved, I looked for professional growth and stimulation outside my own small New England library. Lucky for me! This brought me to ALSC where my insatiable appetite for community, inspiration and self-improvement are always satisfied.

    I remember attending an ALA conference at the dawn of the internet. It was impossible to miss the excitement and the implication, but I went home to my “unplugged” library as a “prophet” with a very loud mouth. I bought myself a computer, plugged it into an extension cord at the library (hoping the fire marshal wouldn’t notice and patrons wouldn’t trip over the cord), subscribed to AOL, began writing to my new ALSC “family,” and never looked back. It was certainly not the last time that my membership in ALSC kept me current with the state of the profession.

    So ALSC has been the source of my constant re-education, re-invention, re-juvenation and solid connection to the best people and ideas that our profession has to offer. If your mind is wide open, ALSC is the place for you!

    How has your membership in ALSC impacted library service to children?

    I mean, how can you fail to deliver better children’s services when you belong to an organization which has a stated Core Purpose of “creating a better future for children through libraries”? Notice how “children” are at the center of that “core”? To be more specific, here are just a few of the ways:

    The most important is the awareness of children’s equality under the ALA Bill of Rights. Because of ALSC’s advocacy, children’s librarians know that ALSC “has our back” on issues of equal access. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/issuesadv/internettech/equityofaccessstatement.cfm

    I find that equal access is the least understood part of children’s librarianship… and the most important. And when I say “children,” I mean all children, no matter their ethnicity because, thanks to awareness raised by ALSC, my community has access to materials that reflect them all!

    Another is the way in which ALSC has, over the years, literally trained me in materials evaluation. I have participated in many award juries outside ALSC, and ALSC is simply the model for evaluation process. It works every time! My collections are a whole lot better guided by the “best” lists of materials for children in every category from books to websites!

    http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/childrensnotable/index.cfm

    The youngest of our patrons, the ones who arrive in infant carriers, are better served because of ALSC’s efforts in continuing education and its embrace of early childhood initiatives. Take a look at ALSC’s honored Born to Read program with the systematization of pre-literacy skills:

    http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/initiatives/borntoread/index.cfm

    Many of us remember when library service to children began at age 4!

    The after-school programs have proliferated and thrived as ALSC identified this service area. When ALSC has as a goal: “Every school-age child will use the library,” they put some juice into it with their “Kids!@your library” campaign:

    http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/initiatives/kidscampaign/index.cfm

    No question that the leadership experience I have gained through ALSC has made me a more powerful leader-administrator in advocating for youth within my own library community. Twice a year I am steeped in new information and new models of exceptional leadership both of which will give me the moxie and determination to move ahead on behalf of all children!

    Both Kate and Kathy had the “moxie and determination” which made them “exceptional leaders.” They were also, with all due respect, two of the best advocates for youth around.

    My deepest sympathy to Kate and Kathy’s families, their colleagues at the Perrot Memorial Library, and all of their colleagues at ALSC who were privileged to work with them on committees or just lucky enough to be able to hang out with them at ALA conferences and other library events.

  76. Anna Egert (Puzzy)

    I’m Kathy’s sister, and I just wanted to tell you all that your words and stories have lifted my spirits. Thank you.

  77. Kelly Cunningham Henry

    I’ve known Kate since I was 10 years old. I did not have the privilige of knowing her as a librarian, although I’ve long known of her love of childrens’ books and her “fame” in the world of childrens’ librarians. Instead I knew her as the lady who lived across the street. She and my mom were fabulous friends, and I have many memories of the two of them talking and talking and talking, and laughing and laughing and laughing. It’s so amazing to read all of these glowing tributes to Kate and Kathy. And it’s so impossible to overstate how much they will both be missed. Graham and Lauren – I love you both and I am so profoundly grateful that your family has been part of my family. Kate – thank you for the Christmas card this year. I’ve always wondered how you managed to pull off such fabulous and poignant Christmas letters year after year!

  78. Robin Smith

    Reading through these words and stories about Kate and Kathy has helped ease some of the sadness I have felt since hearing the terrible news. I first met Kate and Kathy at a CLNE and I saw the two of them in Denver, holding court and laughing heartily when we passed a few words about the awards on Monday. I did not know them the way many of you did; I mostly know them through their many, many accomplishments and the love both showed for books and children.
    I hope their families find some pale comfort in the moving stories of these two wonderful people who were with us for too short a time.

  79. Holly (Hollis) Rudiger

    (repost from an email… I want it here, now, alongside so much love)

    We will hear lots about Kate ( and Kathy who I knew less well) and
    and grieve for them and their families as colleagues and friends, but
    I miss her as one of her kids, and I want you to know that part of
    her too.

    I grew up in that little library- Mrs Mac (I still can’t call her
    Kate!) was my librarian from the time I was about 6, until, well,
    yesterday.
    As a child and teen, and even early into my adulthood, I never knew
    that she was more than just a jewel in our town. At times, I am sure
    I even thought she was my own personal jewel, literally in her
    sparkly jewelry and shiny clothes…I remember so many of her story
    times and programs- When I was too old for some of them, she “hired”
    me (allowed me to hang around) and be her assistant. She was the kind
    of grownup who could be kind and loving to a kid like me at ALL my
    awkward stages, who would reassure parents about their teens’ antics
    with compassion for parent and kid, who would receive a college
    student with warmth and pride even when that self absorbed student
    showed up unannounced and very very needy. I always look forward to
    summer, not because I didn’t like school, but because I loved the
    summer reading programs, and I loved being able to carry 12 books out
    of the library and go through them in a week without the distraction
    of that school nonsense. Mrs. Mac never sent me away with anything
    less than the best, and never fewer than a bag full “just in case.” I still have a ridiculous felt camel Xmas tree ornament I made in one of her programs- It truly is ridiculous looking, very 1970’s, but it was hanging on my parents’ tree just this past year. I am SO glad they still hang it.

    After my first year out of college, following a miserable year as a
    HS Spanish teacher, it occurred to me that I might be better suited
    to be in a library- all kids, all learning, all the time, but so much
    less structure and paperwork. I went to see Mrs Mac to see what she
    thought, and her response was something like, “Well of course. You
    are a librarian. And you should go to Simmons, and take lots of
    literature classes. You will be a star.” When I went to see her,
    shortly after realizing I was gay, I was petrified, but I wanted her
    to know the way you want your mom to know. I may have even been
    testing her, to see if she would still think me star quality. Her
    reaction? “So?” I stuttered. She said, “Are you happy?” I said very.
    Then she asked me what I was reading lately, and shoved a few freshly
    unpacked novels into my hands so I could flip through them.

    Mrs Mac was all love, all books, all the time.
    Of course, as an adult, I have been privileged to know the rest of
    her too, big doses of drama and hilarity, a deep impatience with
    stupidity, and most inspiring to me, her indefatigable commitment and
    service to ALA, so that all kids everywhere would have the very best
    possible books. And I always thought it was just me!

    She would have zero tolerance for a post like this that morphed into
    self-pity or self indulgence, but I want you to know about Mrs Mac
    beyond her Kate-ness. I want you to know that her hard work on
    various ALSC and YALSA committees never distracted her from taking
    care of business at home, taking care of us. Perrot Library and the
    families of Old Greenwich and Riverside, CT are as devastated as we are.

    I’m going to try and keep this balance and devotion in my own life,
    trying to remember that the kids always always come first. I will
    likely never have the kind of broad influence
    Mrs. Mac has had, and that’s fine, as long as I remember to honor
    every child’s mind the way she did ours. Hers is a lineage I am
    proud to claim.

    As for Kathy, I am sad I never knew her better. She, too, was clearly part of this lineage. I admit that whenever I saw Mrs Mac and Kathy at conferences, or even when I visited back home, I often reverted to my child self, and had little time for anyone or anything that would keep me from being the center of Mrs Mac’s attention. I now read all of this about Kathy and regret that I never knew her better, for she was obviously as marvelous and devoted as Mrs Mac, and there was much I could have learned from her too.

    To the families of both: thanks for sharing these women with us, and know that so many of us serve so many because of their example.

  80. Amy Sears

    I couldn’t believe it when I saw the news. What a tragedy and such a loss for their families, those who knew them as their local librarians, and for those of us who knew them professionally.
    I met them initially at various NYC area publishing events and at ALA. I was in awe of Kate with her knowledge and stylishness and Kathy was just so vivacious and friendly. One of my first real conversations with her was when she was getting her degree online and what that was like, more recently we would compare notes on our departments and challenges. I last saw them both in Denver, Monday after the announcements talking to different publishers- I would always want to be near them as I knew I would find out interesting information. It’s heartbreaking to realize that they won’t be at the next publisher’s preview or ALA. They will be greatly missed by all.

  81. Mimi D'Isernia

    It is heartening to realize that my dear, sweet, wonderful baby sister gave so much of her spirit to others during her too short life. I am so proud of my Kathy. Thank you all.

  82. Virginia Euwer Wolff

    Kate and Kathy have left their energizing effects in the air, and it seems to be our collective job to continue the work in whatever ways we can. More matching of book with child, more blessings of pages turned with delight, more kids suddenly taking a book to their own private heart and sleeping with it on the bed, more funny books, more sad books, more books that can become lifelong friends. More spirited discussions, more critical and irreverent and loving devotion to our lives’ work. Long may their spirits wave in the world.

  83. Ginny Moore Kruse

    Eliza Dresang introduced me to Kate. It was such a joy to see Eliza and Kate together while they worked on one of their first Radical Change presentations. Kate seemed to be a perfect collaborator, an intellectual who was free to share observations about what was written, what was visual, and why it all might or might not be “radical.” Kate was gifted in being able to listen and in knowing when to step aside, each as necessary. Like others who were with Kate and Kathy at a Children’s Literature New England (CLNE) Institute, I noticed how they each welcomed a new environment without committees in which to expand, as well as share, their profound knowledge of children’s and young adult literature. And, oh, how they savored that opportunity to make new acquaintances and have reunions with long-time friends. Reading Kate’s written nominations for the current Keats Award Committee reminds me of how exceptionally articulate she was. Kate was a proud grandma, and some of us had a chance every time we were together to hear about that precious relationship! When I ran into Kate and Kathy on Monday morning at the Denver Midwinter ALA conference, I remarked jokingly that I thought they hadn’t come to Denver at all since we hadn’t crossed paths before that moment; Kate had been completely busy with her ALSC President-elect responsibilities, and Kathy, too, with her ALSC committee. We laughed, and we hugged, and of course I stole a look at what Kate was wearing. The three of us knew we would have all the time in the world to catch up, because there would be another ALA, a forthcoming Keats meeting, a future CLNE gathering. If before Wednesday we didn’t realize that these communities of the book do matter, we can affirm that they do – right now. My heart goes out to Kate and Kathy’s families, their personal friends, their co-workers, community members of all ages present and past – and to all in the professional circles in which each of these Wonder Women made such a difference.

  84. Brian Selznick

    In her comment above, Pam Munoz Ryan quotes Kate as saying, “I’m everywhere.” She was right. Kate IS everywhere. And so is Kathy. Wherever there is a kid happily reading a book, wherever anyone is talking or arguing seriously about children’s literature, wherever anyone is thankful for having a true friend: Kate and Kathy are there.

  85. Young Critic

    Mrs. Mac

    I can just picture Kate McClelland sitting at her desk decorated by the unique model house on chicken legs. Using the eraser on one of her minute pencil stubs, she flips through a book, laughing hysterically or wearing a deep face of concern.
    Before I even reach the top of the library stairs, I know the stylish, carefree woman, who runs the Children’s Room, will be waiting for me. Not a hair out of place, not a wrinkle in her dress, Mrs. Mac runs over, her bright eyes dancing as she straightens the scarf tied loosely around her neck. Beaming, she holds up the book she has just read and gives me a quick, friendly wink.
    Unfortunately, no matter how much I enjoy Mrs. Mac’s company, I cannot keep her to myself. All the children want to talk to her as well. But if Mrs. Mac is tired or annoyed, she never lets it show. Even the rudest person cannot extract an unkind word from her.
    Nevertheless, this calm, collected woman has a fun-loving childlike side. When she spots a new book, her eyes light up like those of a child in a toy store. Her forehead is never creased with worry, and her constant smile never fades. Wherever she goes, Mrs. Mac creates an aura of happiness which brightens the world.
    Anything I write cannot possibly express Mrs. Mac’s influence on my life. For as long as I have known her, Mrs. Mac has supported me in everything I have ever been and done. One word of praise stays with me forever, and her honest opinions are the best I can receive. Since fourth grade, I have always wanted to be exactly like Mrs. Mac. She is beautiful, intelligent, caring, and understanding, but most of all, she is the light in the center of all my hopes and goals.
    Many people do not believe in the perfect person, but I do: I have found her.

    SC
    Perrot Library Young Critic
    12 years old

  86. Ed Spicer

    I served with Kate on the 2005 Printz. Brilliant. Stylish. Wickedly funny! Exceptionally kind. These are the phrases circulating in my thoughts. I wish there were words guaranteed to help the families of Kate and Kathy. What a loss. What a sad day.

    Ed

  87. Deborah Wright

    I cannot possibly add anything new to what has been so generously shared here. I did not know Kathy, but Kate was on my first ALSC committee, the National Reading Program Committee in 1993. I was new to ALSC participation and a fairly new librarian. Kate was so encouraging, such a wonderful mentor. And I see others have noted that about her as well. So while maybe her more official life’s work was about matching up the right chld with the right book, certainly mentoring newer librarians was a very productive sideline! Kate was an ALA conference fixture for me, though I did not often speak directly with her. What an inspiration she has been for so many.

  88. Nancy Paulsen

    Kate’s kindness and fabulous taste will be missed by all of us. Her excitement and curiousity made it so much fun to share the pleasure of good books with her. I wish I had known Kathy too. This reminds us to enjoy our community as they surely did.

  89. Teresa Walls

    [The following message was sent to the ALSC Blog’s email account]:

    What an immeasurable loss – two so very special people. I have known Kate over the years – so warm, so friendly, so funny. I feel blessed to have seen her in the busy Mid-winter for what would be a last Hello Hug. God bless Kate and her grieving family.

    God’s hand is seen in things that happen. I met Kathy for the very first time at a publisher’s dinner on Sunday We laughed as we all tried so very unsuccessfully to pry the name of the Newbery winner from one of the guests. I felt I knew Kathy a little because my roommate raved constantly about her leadership as chair of the Notable DVDs committee.

    These two very special people are forever engraved in a book of memories.

    Henrietta M. Smith

  90. Aria Tatelman

    Kate and Kathy were not only incredible mentors to me but they were also my friends. They were committed, bright, and kind in every way possible. I was excited to be in Denver, especially to have the opportunity to see them and I always cherished being able to spend time with them. About four years ago, I was introduced to Kate and Kathy through their colleague and long time friend Mary Clark, a librarian at the Greenwich Country Day School. Kate and Mary worked together closely with the Young Critics Club and invited me to see their great group in action. As I was a new librarian, Kate and Kathy were always so supportive, kind, and inspiring to me.

    On Monday, January 26, after the Children and Young Adult Awards announcements, Kate and Kathy invited me to join them for breakfast along with several other librarians. As we enjoyed a big meal, they were so thrilled with the awards results and were excited about going home to Greenwich to share the news and all their great ideas from the conference. I will always remember their goodness, their passion for children’s literature, their respect for children, and their sheer love for their profession, families, and life. They represented to me the very best and may we all continue to strive for the excellence that they demonstrated.

  91. Susan Patron

    I wrote to Kate in January, commenting on her terrific review in the New York Times Book Review, thanking her for a great gift idea for my great-niece. In Papyrus font (which was so suited to her) she responded, “Hooray! Everyone who has written me says they are buying the book for a young reader in their life!” Her exuberance radiated off the screen, as it did in life, in her presence. She showed me a spectacular kindness once–and of course denied that it was kindness at all, just a straightforward act of librarianship–and I’ve always thought of her as an angel among us.

  92. Kathleen Whalin

    What sad, sad news. I’ve been struggling for several days to write more than that sentence, trying to convey what having intelligent, alive people working on behalf of children and reading meant, and have failed. My path crossed Kate’s when I worked in CT and I’ve always admired her true mastery of so many realms- literary criticism, storytelling, the art of personal correspondence. I am so glad she found a kindred spirit in Kathy, someone to whom she could entrust her beloved library patrons. When your own words fail, as Kate herself might have said, trust those from children’s literature. Thank you Katherine Paterson for giving me these words to use: “And when he finished he put flowers in her hair and led her across the bridge- the great bridge into Terabithia- which might look to someone with no magic to him like a few planks across a nearly dry gully. ‘Shh,’ he said.’Look.’ Where?’ ‘Don’t you see ‘um?’ he whispered. ‘All the Terabithians are standing on tiptoe to see you?’ ‘Me?’ “Shh, yes. ‘There’s a rumor going around that the beautiful girl arriving today might be the queen they’ve been waiting for.’
    I submit that 2 queens arrived in Terabithia this week.

  93. Mary

    I will add a quote to Kathy Whalin’s.
    Thank you, Kate, for sending me this quote for my birthday.
    QUOTE OF THE YEAR (said Kate’s card)
    Olmert’s final quotation from Virginia Woolf captures the heart of that business: “I have sometimes dreamt …that when the Day of Judgment dawns…the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when he sees us coming with our books under our arms, ‘Look, these have no need of reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.'”

  94. Laurie

    A highlight of working at Perrot Library Youth Services has always been working with Kate and Kathy. They both brought so much to our department, to our library and to our lives.

    Kate had such a talent for pushing people to their full potential, taking children seriously, wanting the best for everyone. In addition to library business, we shared many great political discussions which I will sorely miss. In her last email to me she signed off with a hopeful comment about our new administration; it makes me so sad that she won’t be here for the positive changes she was so counting on.

    Kathy was like a sparkling ray of sunshine everyday. She would drop everything she was doing to answer a question or have a chat – she had a unique ability to make everyone she spoke to feel like they were the center of her attention. And talk about a perfectionist – everything she touched turned to gold! I spoke to someone today who only knew Kathy by sight; he said something about how pretty she was and I told him that her physical beauty was a mere fraction of her inner beauty.

    Kate and Kathy were each a star in her own right – so bright, so intelligent, so witty, and what team they made. I can’t imagine how it will be without them at the library but moreover for their families. We are all so much richer for having known and loved them.

  95. Jane Marino

    My heart breaks at this incredibly sad news — for Kate and Kathy’s families, for their libraries and for ALSC. They have touched so many lives, with their work, their love of books and children, with their humor and spirit.
    It’s hard for me to believe the truth of this awful event. I can only pray for them and their families and know the legacy of these two women will live on.
    I will miss you Kate — you have never failed to make me smile. I will miss you Kathy — I will never forget the last conversation we had and what a good friend you were to me.
    Jane

  96. Penny Markey

    My deepest condolences to Kate and Kathy’s families, colleagues and friends. Kate and Kathy will remain in our hearts and minds as we think of them both with love. Their legacy will continue as the seeds of curiosity and joy of books, literature and reading grow and flourish in all whom they have touched. They will never be forgotten.

  97. Cyndi Giorgis

    Over the past few days, I have read through each loving tribute and memory of Kate and Kathy, wanting to add my own, but struggling to find the words. Finally, I read through the letter that Kate had sent to each of us on the 2002 Caldecott Committee for which she served as chair. Kate talked about the bonding experience of being part of such a committee and how we “carry a little bit of each other.” She also quoted Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem which she had read at her husband’s memorial service. “Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart/and try to love the questions themselves as if they were/locked rooms or books written in a very foreign/language. Don’t search for the answers, which could/not be given to you now, because you would not be able/to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live/the questions now. Perhaps then, some day in the/future, you will gradually without even noticing it,/live your way into the answer.”

    Kate was wonderful, witty, and wise. Kathy possessed a warm smile, a welcoming hug, and an infectious laugh. I adored these two women. I am truly blessed for having known them as both colleagues and as friends.

  98. Linda Williams

    I was a great admirer of Kate McClelland in 2003 when I summoned the courage to phone her to ask her if she would be willing to do a program, “What Makes a Great Children’s Book?” for librarians in Connecticut’s northeast corner. Kate agreed and quickly put me at ease.
    Both women came the day of the workshop. Kathy drove the 2 hour drive. She was the organizer, handing Kate the right book at the right time, supporting her in the presentation. She was charming, delightful to talk to.
    Our paths have only crossed once or twice since that workshop, but I have always smiled when I’ve read reviews written by Kate or Kathy, or about their respective work with ALSC.
    I am happy to have the memory of Kate keeping 60 librarians spellbound as she read a passage from Nancy Farmer’s House of the Scorpion, how knowledgeable, kind, and pleasant each woman was. How dynamic a duo.
    Though I knew neither well, sadness has been a companion all week. I’m so sad we have all, especially their friends and family, had to experience this unfathomable loss.

  99. Virginia Walter

    It’s all been said. These two remarkable librarians have left us with such vivid memories and such a deep loss. I, too, grieve for their passing but rejoice in a community that remembers them so well.

  100. Barbara A. Genco

    It is difficult to find words that can express this loss.
    Kathy and Kate were extraordinary, kind, excellent women and briilant librarians. They each had a unique gift for friendship.

    As I can write no more, I am including a few lines from The Gates of Repentance/ Shaarei Teshuva: The New Union Prayerbook for the Days of Awe. They have helped me so much over the years. I hope they will sustain you as well.

    “In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
    We will remember you;

    In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
    We will remember you;

    In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring,
    We will remember you;

    In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,
    We will remember you;

    In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
    We will remember you;

    In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
    We will remember you.

    When we are weary and in need of strength,
    We will remember you.

    When we are lost and sick at heart,
    We will remember you.

    When we have joys we yearn to share,
    We will remember you.

    For as long as we live, you too shall live,
    For you are now a part of us,
    As we remember you.”

  101. Rose

    My heart is clouded with sadness. Kate was the sunshine in every room and her smile was oh so genuine. I will miss you Kate. My sincere condolences to her family. Although I did not know Kathy, I send prayers her way as well and hope for peace for both families as they carry this very heavy cross and go through this very difficult journey.

  102. Wendy Woodfill

    I first meet Kate when we served on the Notable Children’s Books Committee. I was so impressed by her knowledge of children’s books and her unique perspective when examining books. We bonded immediately. When my mother died during one of our Midwinter discussions, I left DC abruptly. Kate wrote me a lovely letter about losing one’s mother, a letter I carried with me for months. Her letter was such a comfort. Kate’s high level of passion and compassion are standards that I admire and aspire to.

    What so impressed me about Kathy was her quick smile and her enthusiastic passion about children and reading. She had a wonderful sense of humor and her admiration for Kate was charming and endearing. I will miss both of their presences at conferences.

  103. Gretchen Wronka

    Kate’s voice resonates in this excerpt from a 9/25/07 e-mail formally accepting the nomination for ALSC president:

    “…I appreciate the honor accorded me by the nominating committee and, whatever the outcome of the 2008 election, I look forward to serving our exceptional members in some capacity….”

    This sincere, professional response to the 2008 Nominations Committee nestles in an archive file on my server.
    It wasn’t composed for publication and its modesty and simplicity are indicative of Kate’s high regard for ALSC members and her on-going committment to ALSC. She exuberantly modeled service to our association no matter what the committee, task force or project!

    Kathy infused her ALSC work with a similiar spirit of joy, collegiality, and curiosity. Both leave a legacy that will endure.

  104. Maeve Visser Knoth

    As I read all these comments about Kate and Kathy I realize how much we all appreciate our professional friends- the librarians we see once or twice a year at conferences but who play such an important part in our lives. I too served on the Notable Book committee with Kate and loved every minute of it. Who could not have fun talking books with such a passionate woman? Kate led me to many books- I read “Donuthead” because she collared me at a conference and swore up and down I had to read it because there were so many young readers out there who needed to hear about it. I knew Kathy much less well but enjoyed the conversations we did have and know she too was a beacon for children’s librarianship. Kate is the kind of librarian I aspire to be and I am thankful to have known both of them.

  105. Little Willow

    My thoughts are with their loved ones.

  106. Kiernan Daisy D'Isernia

    I am Kathy’s niece. I knew Auntie Kathy was wonderful, successful and brilliant. However, I never would have known how far she exceeded my perception had everyone not posted their kind words. These postings have shown me what an exemplary person Auntie Kathy was professionally, and I’d like to share my memories of Auntie Kathy in our family. Auntie Kathy was our Martha Stewart (without the scandal). Her Christmas Parties were the glue that stuck our family together. And what a paste! Auntie Kathy would make Lasagna, Ham, Turkey, Baked Bree, (I capitalize these items because it would be an injustice to their deliciousness not to do so)! She and my cousins created Gingerbread houses we were allowed to devour, and there was always a happy birthday cake for Jesus. The ambiance and decor were not over looked. I mean the boughs were hung over the chimney with care, a fire crackled in every fire place; there were party poppers, and mistletoe that would give us kids endless hours of entertainment…. all set against the backdrop of Kathy’s historic and immaculately decorated home. It was a warm, earthy atmosphere where we were able to sing, play musical instruments, talk, or even act in a skit. At at the center of it all, making sure everyone was having fun and being fed would be my Auntie Kathy, with not a hair out of place. She truly could do it all. But for me, she was a beacon of beauty, down to earth refinement, etiquette, and taste. I just wanted everyone to know.

  107. Emily Ferren

    My deepest sympathy to Kate and Kathy’s family and friends. I remember Kate from the days when she started as a Children’s Librarian in Brook Park, Ohio. She loved being a librarian and telling stories and truly bringing stories to life for children of all ages. Kate’s vibrancy, sense of humor, and passion for youth services will be her lasting legacy.

  108. Sharon Cerasoli

    I am so saddened by the loss of these two fine talented and good women.
    As a Children’s Librarian in CT, I knew of both Kathy and Kate by reputation and through book reviews, and unfortunately never had the chance to meet either one.

    The tributes and memories shared are so moving, and I hope that these memories and images help sustain the families of Kate and Kathy, in the difficult days ahead.

    God bless both Kathy and Kate.

  109. Teresa Walls

    I have two “in their own words” I feel compelled to include in this tribute to Kate and Kathy.

    As ALSC Blog manager, I corresponded with Kate as I planned an “interview” for the ALSC VP/President-elect candidates. She took the process quite seriously, but stressed the importance of family first as I was delayed in the process to care for an ill child. After I sent an apology for the delay, she responded in this 2/20/08 email:

    “You have your priorities straight; you are doing exactly what you should be doing right now. Please do not apologize, b/c your apology could assume that I will be instantaneous in answering your questions when they come. Indeed, I am a rather deliberative person, so there might be some small delay.

    Meanwhile: chicken soup, plenty of liquids and reading some good books aloud.”

    *******
    Kathy did not know me. But, as a subscriber to the RSS feed of the ALSC Wiki, I know that she was a dedicated and caring professional. She updated the wiki on January 27, 2009:

    “Well, the dust – or rather, the Denver snow – has settled, the lists have been submitted to the ALSC Office, and it is my great pleasure to let you know that you can find the list of 2009 Notable Children’s Videos at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/childrensnotable/notablechivideos/index.cfm I’d like to take this chance to thank my amazing committee, who worked tirelessly, who supported me in every way, and who have become my friends. This is what ALSC is all about! Now we turn this task over to Sue Rokos and the 2010 NCVC. Best of luck to you, and happy viewing! ~ Kathy”

    ******
    The families, friends and colleagues of Kathy and Kate are in my thoughts and prayers.

  110. Pat Clingman

    Teresa, thank you for letting us know what Kathy posted to you about our committee work. I know that each committee member has been dealing with this unbelievable tragedy in their own ways. Her words to us the night we had finished our committee work meant so much to us, but even more now. Her words to you have brought me a measure of comfort. Kathy will always be the light in our lives, a glow that will never fade, as long as we remember the brightness she gave to each of us, her family, friends, and the children whose lives she illuminated with a love of children’s literature.

  111. Hilda Kuter

    Life has not been the same since I received this news and I have found my mind centering on Kate and Kathy as the days go by. For a certainty, we will continue to hear their voices and feel their presence with deep gratitude for having known them. Kate, especially, has been with me in the ups and downs of life – a true friend as well as a professional colleague. So many memories…

    Thank you to all who have shared their thoughts in these postings. You have spoken my mind and helped in the grieving.

    May Kate and Kathy’s light continue to shine in each of us.

  112. Dudley Carlson

    The warm breadth of comments about these two remarkable women attest to their impact – separately and together – on all of us, and on the children and communities they served so well. What a loss to the world of books and libraries. My thoughts are with their families and those close to them.

    Kathy served on the 2005 Sibert Award Committee, where she was a singularly eloquent spokesperson for important change and a thoughtful wordsmith. I met her then and was impressed at each subsequent encounter by her warmth and dedication to her work, her sparkling enthusiasm, her gentleness and generosity towards friends and colleagues. She was a shining, and rising, star in ALSC, and her loss is enormous.

    Kate is one of those whom many of us have “always known,” thanks to her long and deep involvement in our professional association. To lose her as she was preparing to assume the presidency of ALSC is to lose not only her wisdom, judgement and experience but also the wit and humor, the directness and thoroughness, and the down-to-earth “glamour” that made her such a wonderful role model and effective leader.

    Both of these women have given generously to ALSC and to the communities they served. Their loss is tremendous for all of us; they will long be remembered and cherished.

  113. Beth Crowley

    I didn’t know Kate or Kathy but the loss of these two women who obviously have touched so many has left a profound impact on me. I am a children’s librarian and while I love my job, sometimes the stress and busyness of the day-to-day can get in the way of the work I am trying to do.

    After reading all the wonderful things written about Kate and Kathy, I thought about the kind of an impact I am having on the children I serve. So in the spirit of honoring the work of these two special librarians, this past week I let all the joy and love I have for children’s services shine through as I led storytime. I stopped and really listened to a young reader as she explained the plot of the new favorite book she had found. I tried to make each child feel important and special when they approached my desk.

    All my love and sympathy to the families and friends of Kate and Kathy. I hope you find some peace in knowing the spirit of their work will be carried on and continues to serve as an inspiration for those of us who are fortunate enough to have this amazing job serving children in libraries.

  114. Linda Perkins

    When I first met Kate at an ALA conference, she was working at the Brook Park Library of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. A good friend and colleague Marianne Fairfield, the Brook Park Branch manager, was excited about her new children’s librarian and wanted to make sure I met her. At that time, I was working in California, but my first children’s librarian position had been at that Brook Park branch. So Kate and I immediately connected and would reconnect at ALA conferences over the years. Like so many of you who have already written, I looked forward to her quick wit, spot-on frequently acerbic observations, and hearty cackle. Sitting beside Kate at an ALSC Board meeting was a prime seat but also an open temptation to fascinating side-conversations. I was lucky to have that prime spot — and a few engaging tete-a-tetes at our last board meeting in Denver. I treasure those memories.
    I only knew Kathy through ALSC business and through Kate who was so proud of Kathy’s professional growth and so pleased to have left the Perrot Memorial Library’s children’s services in her capable hands. Can there be higher praise?

  115. Leigh Barbour Deehan

    I have been avoiding most of the websites about Kathy Krasniewicz’s and Kate McClelland’s accident because it is way too painful for me. Kathy was my best friend for 51 years and this is all to unreal for all of us. But, I did finally look at your site and I have to thank Molly Collins for sending the photo of Kathy to your site. It is so beautiful and, although it ripped me apart to see it the first time, it will be a photo I treasure always. She loved being a librarian, loved children, and looked forward to your meetings and seeing her library friend.

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