Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Greater Part of Excellence

"The greater part of his excellence was the product of his own genius." -- Samuel Johnson (1765), reprinted in "Preface to Shakespeare." Famous Prefaces: The Harvard Classics. 1909-1914.

If Samuel Johnson had been writing in the early 21st century instead of the 18th century, and if he had worked at my Library, he might well have scribbled that famous quote a bit differently:

"The greater part of her excellence was the product of her own genius."

Mr. Johnson, of course, would have been writing about our own Wild Thang, Miss Jaymi Edwards, who will be leaving MPL's staff on Friday, August 3, 2012, for new adventures and challenges.

Wild Thang at the MPL Youth Services Reference Desk
at the Library's 100th Anniversary Celebration
(May 12, 2012)

As the Library's early literacy specialist, Wild Thang demonstrated excellence in young children's programming, blogging, and videography by invoking her genius in developing highly engaging patron programs that were simultaneously educational, informative, and enjoyable.  She would be quick to deflect this praise by offering that it's just a matter of surfing the web and borrowing established ideas.  That response is both modest and inaccurate.  While it is true that Wild Thang trolled the Internet for interesting ideas to use, it takes true brilliance to meld a variety of suggestions into results bearing one's unique hallmark.  Each program, blog posting, or video that Wild Thang crafted became her own creation, imbued with her personality, organization, learning style, and, mostly, her spirit for fun.

Her young patrons and their caregivers could readily testify that a Miss Jaymi program was a fully-energizing sensory experience that would stimulate young children's interest to know more about practically everything.  This was due to Wild Thang's universal coverage of myriad topics and her use of innovative methods that her charges found absorbing and entertaining.

Wild Thang was also a full-service reference librarian.  She intimately knew MPL's youth services collections; that goes without saying.  What was truly impressive was her underlying understanding and knowledge of resources that adult patrons wanted.  She willingly undertook reference questions in every department, because she knew that information access knows no collection codes or artificial boundaries.  A librarian must wrest answers from every available source when patrons need them.

I'm using the past-tense even though we still have a couple more weeks in which to enjoy Wild Thang's extensive skills.  It is by way of mental and emotional preparation.  We (staff and patrons alike) must condition ourselves to MPL life after she has left for greener pastures.  It is a painful process, but we are comforted in the assurance that her new employer, and the new customers served, will be beneficiaries of the kind of excellence that impressed the likes of Samuel Johnson.  Being in the company of Shakespeare is an outstanding feather for your cap, Wild Thang.  Wear it proudly.

I Hereby Declare Wednesday, August 1, 2012, as Wild Thang Appreciation Day, (If It's Okay With Boss Lady),

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Staff News Beat

P.S.  Here's our program (promo) trailer for Wild Thang's early literacy blog.  She hates it, but we think it's cute, because I am (or, rather, my flat counterpart is) included.


  1. Jaymi, we will miss you! Broadway Gal

  2. Yes, we will. That goes without saying!


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