Last week, our Library lost an able advocate for literacy and libraries. Phyllis Fleming was a valued Library Trustee since 2007 and rock solid leader. Her commitment to the written word spanned a lifetime.
I first met Phyllis two summers ago when interviewing for the job to lead the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Phyllis offered me a ride to the airport. We had both recently finished the same book and discussed it at length. Phyllis helped me make valuable connections in the community. In her role as a Trustee, I found Phyllis to be tough and fair.
In March 2010, Phyllis was our Trustee representative at the Public Library Association conference in Portland, Oregon. Our Library was fortunate to send a good compliment of staff to this conference to identify industry best practices and plan the library’s future. All of us were challenged to keep up with Phyllis. Following the conference she remarked to me that our Library has not even begun to advocate effectively for library service in Cedar Rapids.
Since last May, Phyllis was one of two Library Trustees that carved out considerable time in their weekly schedule to sift and consider the myriad of design details that go into a top-tier public library. Phyllis had the ability to balance excitement for the project with a good dose of common sense.
Phyllis made a real impact on our community that will last for generations. She will be greatly missed.
Director, Cedar Rapids Public Library