Tuesday, August 21, 2007

BCALA member in the News: Blanche Parker

Blanche Parker: Darien Librarian Visits With Volpicelli

Source: Darien Times, The (CT)
August 9, 2007
Author: Lou Volpicel

Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered week an weary..."

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

"To be or not to be, that is the question..."

"What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"

These are just a few thoughts penned in the past, by some of our peers in the world of the written word.

The lady who has stored in her mind many of these immortal words is Blanche Parker, assistant head of information services at the Darien Library. Ms. Parker is the able assistant to Mary F. Freeman, head of information services.

"Blanche is the face of our information desk," Ms. Freeman told me.

Ms. Parker is most helpful to our young people.

During her many years at the she - plus our library - has grown with the modern technology that is ingrained in the library's operations.

She helps youngsters use e-mail and computers. And teaches them the many short cuts to help further their education.

Ms. Parker has taught us all. Her knowledge of where to find anything is amazing!

"I was born in Farmville , N.C. ," Ms. Parker told me. "I lived with my grandmother until I was 20 years old. My mom and Dad, like many blacks, moved to Norwalk when I was 10. They went north to get a job to support the family.

"Two things stirred my desire for book knowledge," Ms. Parker said. "A grammar school teacher introduced me to the Weekly Reader, a weekly educational classroom magazine designed for children in pre-kindergaten through sixth grade. We had no library in Farmville. The first library I used was the Bookmobile that would come around in the summer months when I was in elementary school.

"When I said good-bye to my grandma, I joined my mom, Cerlene, and dad, Freddie, in Norwalk . They helped me receive a master's degree in library science at Southern Connecticut State. Twenty-five years ago, I started here as an apprentice. Each day I find my job most fulfilling."

Ms. Parker's southern heritage is expressed on a daily basis by her wonderful wardrobe choices.

"We all feel that Blanche must have the largest closet in the world - she wears new colorful outfits daily," Theresa Ritche, a fellow librarian said. "This petite lady has a regal, classic bone structure. That face especially expresses itself when she greets small children and seniors with tenderness."

Ms. Blanche Parker, evidently your dream has not been deferred!

Lou Volpicelli, a longtime Darienite and Emmy Award winning television producer, has covered title bouts, the Olympics, presidential inaugurations and produced documentaries across the world. Each week, he shares his visits with the people who make Darien run.

Darien librarian Blanche Parker. (Darien Times/Laureen Vellante photo)

Section: News
Page: A002

Index Terms: story
Copyright, 2007, The Darien Times

Congratulations to Blanche and many thanks to SD Harris for sharing the article.