Lent Letter #36

Dear Maureen Bell,

The last of my professional influences; Maureen, I’m forever indebted to you. You are my mentor. When I first considered the idea of becoming a librarian, I had no idea what to do. I was completely lost. My mom told me that she cleaned the house of a woman who is a librarian and said she would ask you. I remember that feeling so awkward, but when asked, you were willing, nay eager, to help. You sent your contact information.

I called you, a perfect stranger, and asked you to help. You met with me, you toured me around Southdale (where I would eventually go on to work!), you patiently answered every single question I asked, then answered some I never even considered. You even ended up writing me a recommendation to get into grad school.

You kept up contact, even after I moved for school. You offered to help me with getting an internship and ended up recommending me for the ultra-exclusive internship in HCL, which you tailored to me and my schooling. You were my intern director and I don’t think I ever learned so much as in those two months working for you.

Throughout every stage of my development as a librarian, you have always been there. You helped me get my first job and have met with me, discussed options with me, explained politics to me and just plain been someone I can trust and rely on. I’m a firm believer in paying it forward and I’ve done whatever I can do for young librarians I’ve met along the way, but I’m still hoping for the day that I will get to mentor someone and pass along what I’ve learned from you.

I’m forever grateful to you and the chance you took on a young woman you’d never even met. Your grace and kindness, not to mention your generosity of both time and spirit, are an inspiration to me every day.

Thank you for being part of my life,

Olivia

(to see why I am doing this, read here)

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