Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another Loss

I earlier mentioned my personal and the CT library community's loss with the death of Jan Gluz. This week I received further bad news with the death of Margaret Paylor. While Margaret did not have the same impact on the Library community, she did have an impact in Wilton. Margaret was the Business Manager at the Wilton Library Association. The obituary summed her career at the library in a simple sentence which very much understated her influence.

Margaret was hired by Dan Wilson in the 1970s as the Business Manager. When Dan left, Yvonne Given became the Library Director, and was succeeded by Joan Foster. I became the Director in 1985. It was my first experience as a Director, and first experience running a 501(c)3 organization. We wrote all our own checks in Wilton. That meant that payroll and all the other bills were paid every other week. That was a lot of checks to write.

Margaret taught me a great deal about cash flow, budgeting, budget negotiations, and dealing with the auditor. The simple sentence in the obituary clearly understates her worth to the organization.

After I left Wilton, Karen Ronald became director and was then succeeded by the current director, Kathy Leeds. Karen was director when Margaret retired, and was nice enough to invite me to that party.

Many times, Margaret and her husband, Bob, would take time in the summer and canoe in the Allagash Wilderness in Northern Maine. I never understood why they kept going back until the summer of 2004 when I had the opportunity. I canoed the length of the Allagash with a group of Boy Scouts. It was a great 70+ mile seven day canoe trip to an incredibly beautiful part of New England.

So in the last two weeks, I have lost the two library business managers who trained me, and taught me a great deal. I owe them a lot. (The good news is that the Business Manager at the Bridgeport Public Library is younger than I and is in great health, and my current Business Manager is also in splendid health.)

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