In Memoriam Dorothy Vickers-Shelley

I learned today that my grade school librarian, Dorothy Vickers-Shelley, passed away last week. It’s difficult for me to explain how much she affected my life and the lives of all the children she taught. She struck fear into our little hearts by threatening to hang us up by our toe-nails or skewer us with her purple-pointed stick if we were naughty, and thrilled us by reading us stories and personally picking out books she thought we would enjoy. She gave me a job when I was in middle school and I spent part of a glorious summer working in the library. She was the library at Yankee Ridge. But the most important thing she taught us is encapsulated in the creed she wrote that we would recite every time we went to the library:

Life is short. Therefore I shall be a crusader in the fight against ignorance and fear, beginning with myself.

Goodbye, Ms. Vickers-Shelley. You will always have a place in my heart.