Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pam Nissler

"Now I know that I have a heart -- because I can feel it breaking." - the Tin Man

Today I announced to Douglas County Libraries' staff and libnet (a Colorado library listserv) that one of the most extraordinary librarians and administrators I have ever worked with or known is retiring.

Pam Nissler was the director of the Bemis Public Library in Littleton, the first manager of the Koelbel Library (of the Arapahoe Library District), the manager of the new 42,000 square foot Highlands Ranch Library (in the Douglas County Libraries' district), and our first Associate Director of Community Services. She also has held many other significant leadership positions in Colorado.

When she told me she was retiring my heart almost stopped. I thought, "Irreplaceable." I have relied more than I can say on her wise counsel. Pam is more experienced than I am. She is a better supervisor than I am. She is more attentive to trends than I am. She is, I suspect, a better person than I am.

I console myself with this: no one is irreplaceable. Not me. Not Pam. But I can't imagine that anybody could be as good as she is.

I've known lots of wonderful librarians. I have never known anyone as competent, as insightful, as dedicated, as Pam. I admire her.

What a gift it has been to have her with our library these past 12 years. I am deeply grateful.

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