In Memoriam

Obituary for Kate McClelland

Hello ALSC.

Kate’s family forwarded me the text for her obituary, which will appear in tomorrow’s (2/5/09) Greenwich Time. If anyone wishes to make donations, the families’ suggested places are the Perrot Memorial Library, and/or the Connecticut Storytelling Center (see below).

I know they, and we, have been amazed and gratified at the incredible outpouring of love and support from everyone in the ALSC community so far — many thanks to all of you.

Diane Foote, Executive Director
Association for Library Service to Children
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Kate McClelland

Kate McClelland, who worked at the Perrot Memorial Library for 29 years, most recently as associate director and director of youth services until her retirement in 2007, died last Wednesday morning, January 28, in a car accident en route to Denver International Airport, where she had been attending the American Library Association conference. She was 71.

For all who knew her, including the children at Perrot Library who called her “Mrs. Mac,” her spirit will live on through the stories she told. Kate had a gift for igniting in young people a love of reading. Even after her retirement, Kate continued to lead her 25-year-old Young Critics Club at Perrot. “Kate’s untimely death is a tragic loss, not only for those of us associated with Perrot Library, but for our whole community,” said Kevin McCarthy, Director of Perrot Memorial Library. “In her 29 years at Perrot, Kate introduced countless numbers of our children to the joys of storytelling and, through her Young Critics program, went on to instill in so many of them a lifelong love of reading. Kate did so much for us and yet there was so much more she wanted to do.”

Kate learned from the reading experiences of the children in her own community and translated their reactions to those of young readers nationwide. As vice-president/president-elect of the Association of Library Services to Children (a division of the American Library Association), Kate is often credited with forward-thinking ideas that shaped libraries across the country concerning children and books in a technological era (as contributing intellectual architect of “Radical Change: Books for Youth in the Digital Age,” by Dr. Eliza Dresang and published by H.W. Wilson). Kate served on the ALSC Board and chaired the 2002 Caldecott Award Selection Committee. She was a member of the ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee, Newbery Award Selection Committee and the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Michael L. Printz Committee, and was also a contributor and reviewer for School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews. In 2006, Kate was honored with a New York Times Librarian of the Year Award.

Kate was born on May 26, 1937, to Elizabeth Hull Roe and Charles Roe in Monongahela, Penn. She was graduated from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, where she met Arthur David McClelland, whom she married on June 7, 1958. She earned her master’s degree in library science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Kate, whose husband died of heart failure in 2002, is survived by a daughter, Lauren McClelland Mendoza, and son-in-law Baltazar Mendoza of Stamford, Conn.; a son, Graham William McClelland of New Milford, Conn.; and a granddaughter, Sara Elizabeth Mendoza.

The family will hold a private memorial service. A public Celebration of Life Memorial Service is being planned for March at the Spring Equinox. Please visit the Perrot Memorial Library website in the near future for further details on this event – . Memorial donations may be made to The Connecticut Storytelling Center, In Residence at Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Avenue, Box 5295, New London, CT 06320; or Perrot Memorial Library; 90 Sound Beach Avenue; Old Greenwich, CT 06870.

One comment

  1. Pingback: More Tributes to Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz | EarlyWord: The Publisher | Librarian Connection

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