Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monona Library Director Demita Gerber Passes

Below is the statement issued by the Monona Public Library regarding the passing of their leader Demita Gerber. I was on the Library Board when we hired Demita and I think we sort of knew we had a keeper, but she exceeded all expectations, reasonable and otherwise. Demita was a woman of great depth and breadth of interests, knowledge, and insights. We are richer for having known her.


The Monona Public Library regrets to announce that Library Director Demita Gerber passed away on Saturday, June 12. Gerber had been on indefinite medical leave following a brain aneurysm and hemorrhage in late-April. After emergency surgery, she never regained consciousness, remaining in a coma.

Gerber was named Director of the Monona Public Library in 2006 after a long, distinguished career in New York public libraries. She was a driving force behind the recently completed "Booked for Life Endowment Fund Drive" that raised $153,000 for the Library's future vitality. She also worked closely with the staff and board to improve patron access to technology, establish new early literacy initiatives, launch online tutoring, and foster a new teen program. Library circulation under her leadership reached record highs.

Acting Library Director Erick Plumb said “Demita’s passing is a tremendous loss for Monona and for the library world. Her achievements throughout her career speak for themselves. Demita always believed that libraries could make a significant positive impact on peoples' lives, no matter a person's age or background. Her career was devoted to improving the communities she served."

Library Board president Andrew Taylor said “Our community has lost an extraordinary leader, whose tenacity, vision, and stewardship truly transformed the Monona Public Library and all that it serves. While we grieve with her many family and friends, we can also celebrate the gifts she brought among us.

Demita’s family is welcoming cards and well-wishes. Please send them to the Library at 1000 Nichols Road, Monona WI 53716, or drop them off at the Library’s Main Desk. The family has not yet announced any plans for a memorial service.

Please contact Acting Library Director Erick Plumb at 222-6127 or eplumb@mononalibrary.org if you have questions or comments regarding the Monona Public Library.


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