October 23, 2007

Remembering Susan Roberts

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 11:21 pm

In 1996, I took a job as the “technology coordinator” at the Grande Prairie Public Library in Hazel Crest, Illinois (one of Chicago’s south suburbs). It was my first real technology-related position, and Susan was the director who hired me. Although I was there for less than a year (moving on to the Suburban Library System), we accomplished a lot in that short time. GPPL became the first public library in Chicago’s south suburbs to have a web page, offer [dial-up] internet access for the public, and teach patrons about email (using free PrairieNet accounts). I even started a group to teach patrons about the web, and we started showing users how to find jobs online.
I had a vision for bringing internet access and web-based information to the community, and Susan made it happen. She was committed to the values of equity of access for everyone, so she found the money for the computers and the monthly dial-up fee because she understood that the emerging web of information would help level the playing field for her patrons. She never stopped fighting for libraries and their users, which is something I’ve always admired about her. I don’t think I’d be where I am today if she hadn’t hired me for that job.
Sadly, Susan died yesterday morning. Megan Heligas has written a blog post where anyone can leave a comment In Memory of Susan Roberts. I left sympathies there, but I wanted to link to the site for those who may not yet have heard this news, and I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Susan’s family.

1 Comment

  1. HI Jenny!!,
    I remember you!!!, I left Grande Prairie Library in 1996 but remember you very well. I
    worked at the Reference Desk, ordered the Fiction books and supervised the pages.
    I am deeply uspet over Susan’s sudden death. I have signed her Obituary at the Chicago
    Tribune’s site. I knew Susan for many years, over 23 some years and first met her when I
    was a page at the Oak Lawn Library. She was a close friend and I will never forget her.
    Thanks for posting this info as I would like to visit the other blog site.
    Michelle Tolbert aka Michelle Pierre

    Comment by Michelle Tolbert (Pierre) — October 25, 2007 @ 2:25 pm

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