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Mary Jane Anderson, Tough Cookie

I have some tough news and some good news. The tough news is that Mary Jane Anderson, who some of you may know from her many years of service in LibraryLand, has been battling cancer; not only that, just before this diagnosis, she had a bad fall and shattered her femur. Mary Jane is now recovering from having a rod put in from pelvis to knee.

The good news is is that Mary Jane is fighting this battle tooth and nail, and has advised her friends that she has no intention of going off into “that good night” anytime soon. Mary Jane just spent a month away from the computer while her leg healed and she received treatment, which if you know Mary Jane is quite a record for her. In addition to heating up the electrons with her thoughts about librarianship, Mary Jane is well-known as a lively and thoughtful participant in online faith communities. Mary Jane was hip to the new technologies long before some librarians had even found the power switch on their PCs. I once roomed with Mary Jane at ALA, and she’s one of the few people I can honestly say I enjoyed rooming with. Of course, I hardly saw her, as she rose at the crack of dawn, fired up her jet rockets, and propelled herself through the work of ALA until the wee hours. She was dressed and out the door before I could even get my glasses on, and she was as lively on Day 7 of the Hostage Crisis (as I think of ALA Council) as she was on the day she arrived.

I’m going to think about Mary Jane’s struggles the next time I can’t find my favorite shampoo at the supermarket or I have to drive in circles for ten minutes to find a parking place. I thought about her all this week, after we learned that Gerald Hodges had died. If there is just a little bit of justice in this world, it is knowing that feisty MJ is a formidable opponent in any battle. I personally would not bet against her any time soon.

I have both land and email addresses for Mary Jane in case you want to contact her. But I also know Mary Jane welcomes your prayers. Please keep her in your hearts.

Small Prayer (An FRL First, Specially for Mary Jane)

Creator, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll help Mary Jane spend a few more years on this planet. I strongly recommend you help give her strength now, because if you don’t, you’re in for a bad surprise. She’ll have a checklist and an irrefutable argument, and she’ll stare at you with those sensible eyes until you feel uncomfortable. I know we are not supposed to petition you for special favors, so just consider this a friendly heads-up from someone who knows her. You have been warned.

Let us be at peace with our world in its infinite, heartbreaking beauty; with your creations and their cycles of being; with all tides, high and low.

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