Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Buona Fortuna Signora Manfrotto

Our dear friend Karen McBride is bidding farewell to us tomorrow. Our loss is Barrington Area Library's gain when Karen assumes the position of Head of Public Information for them.

If you have had any contact with the Des Plaines public library including (and especially) our website, you have been the benefactor of Karen's great gifts. Her job title is "Web Librarian" but that's like the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Not only did Karen develop and maintain our website, she also (brace yourself): wrote and directed all our library videos, created all the videos created for Des Plaines businesses; acted as an instructor for numerous computer and social media classes; lectured and presented several times at the Illinois Library convention, the Public Library convention and other venues on behalf of Des Plaines Public Library; wrote much of the copy for the library website and database information; wrote the "Plain Talk" blog daily; was a star member of the Singing Librarians which have entertained us in numerous July 4th parades and Christmas shows; taught staff and patrons how to blog, use Twitter; use Facebook, use iTunes and use iPads; worked the Reference desk and Readers' services desk; worked on the online catalog committee for almost two years and helped design our new "MyCatalog."

This remarkable work product is not the best thing about Karen, however. The best thing about Karen is, well, she's Karen. She is super smart, creative and gracious. She likes platform shoes and Ronzoni pasta. She loves her family and Bono. She sings like an angel, or at least like a blond Barbra Streisand. If you need to laugh, she's your gal.If you need to cry, she is also your gal.

When I think of Karen, I see her in my mind's eye setting up the video camera on the Manfrotto tripod (hence, the moniker "Mrs. Manfrotto".) And I see something else too - her generosity. In the all the time that Karen and I worked together, I never once saw her turn down a request for help. And believe me, when you're a tech wiz, there are plenty of requests for help. Like endless waves rolling to shore, everyone wanted Karen's assistance with something, and never once, not once did I ever hear her say no. They say human cloning is wrong, but when it comes to Karen McBride, I'm all for it.

So, our good friend, in Irish it's said Go n'éirí an t-ádh leat. In Polish, it's Powodzenia! In Des Plainesian, we say you were a joy to work with and we wish you every good fortune that life can deliver.

And thank you.


Linda K. said...

What a great tribute to Karen. She deserves it and so much more. She's certainly done her share of tributes for others over the years. I will always love her for the beautiful tribute she gave our cat Toozer when he died. She knew how we felt about that little guy and surprised us with the beautiful picture and thoughtful memories. I will remember her funny videos, her work on the Harry Potter Extravaganza, The Wizard of Oz, singing on that crazy huge float down the middle of Center Street with the Singing Librarians... so many good times. I hope Barrington knows how lucky they are to have such a terrific person. I'll miss you!

BW Des Plaines said...

Thank you for all your hard work, Karen.

Karen said...

Wow, thank you, Jo - today it is my turn to laugh and cry from this lovely tribute. It was easy to do good work here because everyone around me was kind and fun-loving and made me part of the team from day one. I am so grateful for my (almost) 4 years here at DPPL. I have learned so much from all of you and I'll treasure those memories. Except maybe the memory of throwing up after riding on the parade float. ;') Love you guys! This is a fabulous library because all of you are wonderful people - never forget that and never let anybody make you feel otherwise. XO!

Mrs. M. said...

I'm posting as Mrs. M -- the persona Karen helped me create for our fabulous Caudill Club blog. Heck, she created the Caudill Club blog itself, at my request! Karen, you will be sorely missed here at DPPL. As Jo said, not only did you lead us into the worlds of 2.0 and social networking, you were the voice of all of us during some very trying (and also very joyous) times. Thank you for everything you've given us.

Cathy F. said...

I don't think anyone mentioned what a Dynamo Karen is with Dynamic URLS!! Thank you for encouraging all of us Positively Ellinwood bloggers to go the extra mile. You certainly did with the breadth and variety of your PlainTalk posts! You will be missed by all. Enjoy your new endeavor.

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