Friday, December 30, 2005

Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re

I hadn't put much thought into anything special for the final post of 2005.

Foremost on my mind is that today is the last day Laura Frakes will be the head librarian at the West Hollywood branch of the LA County Library.

If this town had any sense, they'd honor Laura as the Grand Marshall in next year's pride parade (better late than never). That's just the type of accolade that she'd never seek for herself, though she deserves that and more.

One expects as a matter of course for a librarian to be able to assist with the most challenging of research requests. It would be natural for a librarian to be a champion of the written word, a surrogate teacher to the legion of students that depend upon her. Then there is the ever evolving technology that is as promising as it is challenging to stay abreast of and formidable to operate and maintain.

Then there are the unique situations that occur with such frequency in this community that require ingenuity to navigate, along with the incredibly diverse populations to serve.

Laura has made the West Hollywood Library a sanctuary during a most uncertain period for me particularly. She has safeguarded and nurtured the special collections at the WeHo Library with vision and enthusiasm.

And West Hollywood can't be discussed without mention of the sanity challenged and sensitivity deficient. Many a time, I've seen Laura diffuse a potentially volatile situation stoically with diplomacy and tact.

With creativity and good humor, Laura has moved the West Hollywood Library into a model institution whose special collections have served as a prototype for many other facilities. She has been the very embodiment of the all the best that her profession entails. To see her treat society's cast asides with the same dignity and grace that she has greeted world famous authors is a reminder to me of that aspect of what a learned person should be.

With every end comes a beginning, so it would be only right to wish Laura well in her future endeavors.

The New Year ought to be a time of new opportunities, and we should all be so fortunate as to look ahead with anticipation to new horizons and successes, even as we remember those no longer with us.

Change is inevitable; how we change with it or how it is to change us we can only hope for the best on the road ahead.

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