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.
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.