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Nov 16, 2018
Charlton Heights Elementary SchoolPashley Elementary SchoolStevens Elementary SchoolO'Rourke Middle SchoolBH-BL High School

District NEWS

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June 5, 2018



Board of Education dedicates Stevens Elementary School library to Mary Joan Egan

Local dignitaries and nearly 75 family and friends attend dedication ceremony to honor Mary Egan

At a ceremony on Friday, June 1 the Board of Education officially dedicated and renamed the library at Stevens Elementary School the Mary Joan Egan Library Media Center in honor of long-time librarian and BH-BL administrator Mary Egan. maroon Library dedication plaque with white lettering

The evening began with current BH-BL Director of Library Media Suzanne Rayome welcoming many of Mary's family and friends, colleagues and admirers, and guests who spoke to the audience about Mary's far-reaching career highlights and achievements as well as about her character and her love of learning.

Guest speakers included President of New York Library Association Tim Burke, Town of Ballson Supervisor Tim Szczepaniak, Senator James Tedisco, Assemblywoman MaryBeth Walsh, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter read by Suzanne Rayome, Board President Jennifer Longtin, BH-BL Superintendent Patrick McGrath, Stevens Elementary School Principal Rick Evans, retired BH-BL Director of Library Services Marge Rizzo, Mary's daughter Maureen Egan Buhrmaster, and current library media specialist Alison Cuyler and Heidi Brower.

Stevens music teacher Cathy Mele lead a group of students through several songs and just before concluding the ceremony Mary's four daughters and great-granddaughter presented the librarians with a copy of Mary's book, "Mary's City."

Guests then flowed into the newly named Mary Joan Egan library for refreshments and to view the new name plaque and memorabilia from Mary's life as a librarian, author, educator and life-long learner. A bronze plaque will be commissioned soon and hung at the entrance of the library.

Mary Joan Egan was a librarian and administrator at BH-BL for more than 40 years. She retired in 1999 at the age of 80. Mary was known as a pioneer and fearless innovator, integrating new technologies into traditional libraries.

Throughout her career, Mary sought to advance librarianship through her service to state agencies, regional groups, and her many professional affiliations. She was a highly successful grant writer and acquired funding for many of her groundbreaking advances, often with the help of one of the more widely known library supporters in New York State, Senator Hugh Farley. She projected her influence into the future by generously donating thousands of dollars to the BH-BL Education Foundation to establish endowment in her name, for the exclusive use by BH-BL library media centers.

"Her inimitable legacy is one of service, leadership, and innovation. We are left to admire the fortitude and passion that she brought to her every endeavor," says Maureen Egan Buhrmaster.


Mary's record of service, achievements and recognitions:

  • Adjunct Professor at the University at Albany, 23 years
  • District liaison to Albany-Schoharie BOCES School Library System
  • Capital District Regional Educational Center, member Steering Committee, chair Committee to Develop Regional Processing Center under Title III, member Media Advisory Committee
  • Project Director for NYS ESEA, Titles II and III
  • Consultant and advisor to NYS Education Department's Bureau of School Libraries
  • State Chairperson for Junior Great Books program
  • Consultant to H.W. Wilson Company for their Senior High School Catalog
  • American Library Association, Committee on Educational Media
  • American Association of School Librarians, Committee on Library Instruction, Publications Committee, Committee on Social Studies in World Affairs, and secretary
  • New York Library Association, chair of the Personnel Committee, Technical Resources and Services Division
  • NYLA, School Library section, chair of the Committee on Architects Award, president of the School Library Media section
  • Encyclopedia Britannica's Award for Greatest Improvement in Libraries in the United States
  • 7th edition of Who's Who in American Women
  • New York Library Association's Outstanding School Library Innovation Award
  • New York State Senate award for her statewide promotion of Parents as Reading Partners
  • 1999 NYS PTA Founder's Day Lifetime Membership Award
  • 1999 Capital Area School District Administrator (CASDA) Administrator of the Year
  • 2003 University at Albany Excellence in Education Award
  • University at Albany, School of Library Science Alumni, terms as secretary and president
  • Senator Farley introduced a Legislative Resolution to the New York State Senate honoring Mary, posthumously, for her service and success