Z is for Zelda Thayer

is for Zelda Thayer.

Mrs. Thayer was the librarian at Sonoma Valley High School. I was hired to replace her after she retired. I was hired. I did not replace her.

A loving, white-haired, grandmotherly woman, Mrs. Thayer loved kids of all ages. She loved being a school librarian. Her long career in the district began as a kindergarten teacher. At the high school, she enjoyed years of welcoming former kindergarten students as high school students.

Doing everything in her power to provide a smooth transition and to make my high school librarian experience successful, Mrs. Thayer left copious notes on library procedures and teaching advice. The spring semester before I took over in the fall, I volunteered one day a week in the library. Mrs. Thayer was a patient and supportive mentor.

With a newly minted graduate degree in library science, I planned on a career in community college or university libraries. School librarianship was not my interest.  Library jobs of any kind were scarce in 1972. Accepting the offer from Sonoma Valley High School put me first in my class with a job following graduation.

The problem of not wanting to be a school librarian was compounded by the lack of education and practical experience required for credentialing. A loophole in the credentialing law provided a way around the credential obstacle.

Hanging on by my fingernails, I was grateful that Mrs. Thayer’s mentoring kept me from appearing altogether clueless.

After she left Sonoma Valley High School, I didn’t see her again. When I think of her and of her kindness to me, I am hopeful she went to her grave without knowing how much I disliked being a school librarian.

After five years, I found a community college library director job. I succeeded a woman whose name was Alpha. A good sign.

0 thoughts on “Z is for Zelda Thayer

  1. Joan Raymond

    “I was hired. I did not replace her.” I really like the depth of that thought. As your mentor, I’m guessing she taught you more about life than library skills.

    Congrats on finishing the A-Z Challenge. Thank you for allowing us to share the memories of 26 wonderful people with you.

    1. Dennis Post author

      Joan, thank you for your comments and support throughout the A to Z Blogging Challenge. It was a good experience. I learned a lot. Not only did I have the joy of sharing fond memories of twenty-six important people in my life, I had the pleasure of making new friends along the way.

  2. Annis

    Dennis, it’s been a journey of memories, love, and tributes. Thank you for allowing us to witness it through your vignettes of those who have shaped your life in some way. It’s been a privilege to be present.

    This line struck me, too. “I was hired. I did not replace her.” It caused me to pause and think about Zelda, about how outstanding she must have been, and about you, recognizing the differences between the two of you.

    Each day I’ve looked forward to and loved your posts. Thank you so much for jumping in with both feet and doing the A-Z Challenge. Love. xoA

    1. Dennis Post author

      Dear Annis, it has been a privilege and a pleasure to share memories of some important people in my life. I am pleased you enjoyed these stories.

      The A to Z Blogging Challenge was fun, proving, among other things, that I am definitely determined Dennis.

      Thank you for your encouragement and support.

      Love you.


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