On March 29, I had the honor of visiting with librarian Marian McTrusty and her YA book club at the Cedar Park (TX) Public Library.
The full group of 12 teens, plus an enthusiastic mom, Marian, and I discussed Rain Is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001)(Listening Library, 2001). Everyone had read the book ahead of time, enthusiasm was high, and both laughter and thoughtful discussion were abundant.
The event was part of a monthly series of local author visits that Marian had organized. She'd secured grant financing so that, month after month, the participating readers could each receive their own copy of the latest featured book and then have an opportunity to discuss it with the author.
Last Saturday's visit also was the first event to be held in Cedar Park's wonderful new "teen zone" (pictured).
I'm so sorry to report that Marian died unexpectedly the next day.
From the Austin-American Statesman: "After graduating from St. Michaels High School, she attended Austin Community College. She graduated from Texas State and received a Masters in Library Sciences from the Texas Women's University. Marian was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Church. She was also a member of several organizations: Angel Network, Texas Library Association, the National Library Association and was known as 'Miss Marian' by all the children at Cedar Park Library were she served as the children's services librarian. Her greatest loves were all kinds of books, cake decorating, arts and crafts, and shopping." Marian was 35.
Again from the Statesman, "In lieu of flowers; please donate a book to your favorite library in Marian's name."
The Austin area youth literature community and Cedar Park readers have lost a great champion. More personally, I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to work with Marian, putting together her speaker roster. My husband Greg and I visited her library three times in the last two years. She was at my home for the Tantalize launch party. Good memories.
My sympathies to Marian's family, friends, colleagues, and library patrons. I miss her already.