The time has come for the announcement that our long time Youth Services Librarian Joan Bloomfield is retiring on May 9. Joan has worked for the Atascadero Library for 26 years (October 1988) and has been a huge asset to the children of Atascadero. She has engineered some of the best children’s programming ever presented in the county. I would stake a claim that Joan Bloomfield has been one of the single most important people in literacy ever to work in the county. Her storytimes are legendary, and her knowledge of children’s literature has helped parents and children live out their adventures in books. Her work setting up the teen volunteer program at Atascadero Library has given many young adults a chance to learn responsibility and library work through volunteerism. You probably know that she is not only affectionately known as Ms. Joan in the community, but has portrayed Ladybug Girl, Peter Pan, and many other famous characters. She has also made countless connections with the schools and businesses of Atascadero.
Joan has also been a great asset in other ways to the community and to her colleagues. She has been involved with cultural and musical events and has created strong bonds with the community. She is always sharing stories of fun Atascadero activities with the staff. We end up living vicariously through her energy.
In her career, she has advocated not only for a better library but for a more loving, more peaceful, and fun Atascadero. These are the virtues that Joan embodies. She has been a friend and supporter not only to the staff at Atascadero Library, but to all libraries. You could always count on Joan to bring joy and fun to the day or to a meeting through food and celebration of special days and events throughout the year. She has been a consummate professional and has consistently given support to her fellow library workers.
For me, working with Joan was like playing with a youthful friend who is fun and daring and always has your back. We will miss her presence at the library. She has already said that she will be contacting me to provide help if she is available, but for now, I hope you all will help me send off one of San Luis Obispo County’s most beloved librarians, Joan Bloomfield. A Career Celebration Party will be hosted by library staff and the Friends of the Atascadero Library on May 9 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Voltaire once said that true greatness consists in the use of a powerful understanding to enlighten one’s self and others.
Thank you, Joan, for your service to the Atascadero Library, SLO County Libraries, and to the Atascadero community.
-- Joseph Laurenzi, MLS - Regional Librarian, North County San Luis Obispo County Libraries