Thank you Paul, and thank you Lynn, and thank you Wake Forest.
Some of you may not even know or realize that I am, actually, a librarian myself – MLS from the University of Pittsburgh, many, many years ago.
In fact, I’ve worked in and around academic libraries most of my whole life — at reference desks and systems offices and in collection development capacities and even in library administration. Which I was terrible at, which is why I moved on to working with library booksellers and distributors,
and now library publishers.
And as such I have been lucky enough to work with (and in) many libraries over the years. I might be so bold as to suggest that I’ve probably worked in more libraries than many if not most of you. I’m very old, is the point. (I tried to make a joke about being a “horseless drifter,” but Stephen Colbert beat me to it.)
Either way, I’ve been in enough libraries to know what makes a good one — one that’s busy but friendly — organized but not necessarily always neat – modern but comfortable — all-business, but still kinda funny — serious, but kind.
But how can a library be kind, people sometimes ask me? The answer, of course, is that the library is really more about the people than the books, or the building — libraries are the people who work there.
Meanwhile, I have discovered one more thing about what makes a library nice – and I suspect that you have too by now.
I have found that one of the things that distinguishes a nice library is whether or not Lynn Sutton has anything to do with it.
And so maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I would like to say that I have — both professionally and personally — never felt more welcome, in any library, in my life, ever, than I have at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, at Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
And I wanted to thank you for that.
Really, it’s been a high honor tagging along with Lynn, and with you – and for whatever it’s worth, I am quite proud of the work that gets done here at ZSR.
Meanwhile, we simply cannot thank you enough for putting up with both of us – not everyone does.
(And I of course want to thank Lynn for putting up with me too.)
Together, we wish our part of this gift could’ve been a million dollars. If we had a million dollars, you’d have the nicest staff lounge money could buy – your staff lounge would be gold-plated.
But we just wanted to say thanks again – thanks for the swell lunch, and thanks to Lynn and to Paul for extending me this opportunity, and thanks to all y’all — the finest faculty and staff of ZSR library, the finest library in all the land.