Our wonderful colleague and talented Youth Services Librarian, Liz Stewart, passed away on February 3, 2022. Many, if not all of us, have been aware of her courageous battle against cancer twice in the last few years. Although she was able to emerge successfully the first time, she was unable to do so this time and died peacefully with her family in her hometown of Bakersfield, CA.
Liz joined the Library as a Senior Librarian in 2015. She started at the Rinconada Library, then moved to Children's, and finally joined the staff at Mitchell Park in 2020. Liz helped coordinate popular youth events like our annual Summer Reading Program and Kids & Teen Writing Contest, but enjoyed presenting storytimes the most. She held weekly storytimes at Rinconada, Children's, Downtown and College Terrace Libraries, and was the first librarian to offer a virtual storytime recording back in 2015. During the pandemic shutdown, she created many short videos for the our Library's YouTube page. When staff returned to the Library in July 2020, she happily presented her weekly storytime on Facebook Live from Mitchell Park. You can see she was quite a natural in front of the camera, and she was really looking forward to getting back in front of crowd of children again.
In addition to be being an amazing storyteller, Liz was an exceptional booktalker and could convince anyone to read one of her suggestions. As a voracious reader, Liz gave wonderful recommendations for all ages, and created lots of book lists for customers. Her library profile serves as a tribute to her contributions. She used her love for learning and reading to select teen titles, and helped make all youth collections inclusive and vibrant. Liz’s love for her family, friends and anything Disney was featured on everything she wore or displayed at her work desk.
Liz will be missed dearly by our staff and customers, especially the youngest, whom she passionately advocated for.
My favorite graphic novels that were published this year!