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Farewell to Pam (and How I Became the Book Goddess) November 2, 2007

Posted by bookgoddess in West Palm Beach Public Library.

Today is the last day at work for our director of ten years, Pam Sandlian Smith.  So today my blog is about her.

It’s pretty easy to write about books.  At least for me, it’s much harder to express my feelings when someone important in my life moves away.  And you need to understand that Pam led an amazing transformation in our library.  If we are creative, if we are generous, if we are “The World’s Nicest Library,” it’s due in large part to her leadership.

I remember that our administrative assistant, Tish, once referred to Pam as “My dear Pam.”  Well, she’s dear to me, too, and I’m truly sorry she’s leaving.

I know she has good reasons.  She has a challenging new position waiting for her, and family in the area, including a son who is about to become a father.  All good reasons for making a move, so I can’t try to talk her out of it. 

She actually did try to leave several years ago, but we got a reprieve.  I remember writing on her memory quilt, “Thank you for inspiring us.”  She still has the quilt to remember us by, and we still have the inspiration.

Pam is quiet and gentle – and brilliant and visionary.  We were so lucky to have her with us for more than ten years.

“My dear Pam” – You really are my hero.  I wish you all the best and I hope we live up to the vision that you inspired us to create.  And many, many thanks for naming me

The Book Goddess


1. Tim Van Hooser - March 6, 2008

Congratulations and best wishes to Pam in her new adventure. As a former employee of the WPBPL, I say that Pam is pretty terrific, and she led an amazing group of people of whom I have such fond memories. Her new district is extremely lucky to have her.

I must also say that I think the Book Goddess is pretty terrific too. I will always be in her debt for leading me to the writings of John Kennedy Toole.

Wishing continued success to a GREAT Library.

2. Tina D. - July 21, 2008

I had the opportunity to work for Pam for about 2 years at the Children’s Library in the Denver Public Library system back in the early 90s. She was the most inspiring, creative, supportive, and encouraging boss I have ever had. I’m so glad to read that West Palm Beach had her for 10 years and that she has so many folks missing her… Even though she’s now in a different COlorado library system (I am a librarian at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Library), I have to admit that I’m glad that Colorado managed to get her back! Thanks for sharing this and best of luck with everything!

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