A Day in the Life #6 – Ruth Schooley, Librarian, Knitter, and Kind Hearted Soul

Boy, this day was a shocking reminder to just how short life is.

Today, we learned we lost a beloved librarian, Ruth Schooley.  Ruth was our poly sci/California gov docs librarian.  She worked on our collections team, gathering use stats every year for databases and tools.  She loved to staff the reference desk, and she would drop everything to help a student or a faculty member.  She networked successfully with our government and poly sci seniors, meeting with many of them individually, helping them gather the materials they needed for their senior thesis.  She was dedicated, above all else, to the library user.  There was many a Friday I would go to relieve her on the ref desk, where I would loiter uselessly as she worked diligently to finish out the reference transaction she began before I came on shift.  Never would she say, “This is what I did and this is where I am.”  No, not Ruth – she’d see it through to the end, she was that dedicated.  The user always mattered most, and they always came first.

Beyond her academic endeavors, she was our knitter and spinner on staff.  Every friday she would bring her spinning wheel and we would sit together at a local dining hall talking to students about fiber, arts, crocheting and knitting, and what the library can do to help them.  Her enthusiasm for outreach and her kind, happy demeanor brought a down to earth perspective to the library.  She was always so happy and willing to help, to do what needed to be done.  Her obligation and level of responsibility to the library and its users set a high bar for all of us.

Ruth and I would go to local crafting events, and she was so kind hearted, always surprising me with neat crochet gems she’d find during her travels through LA.  It was she that gave me that awesome Japanese motif book that I now use to create awesome motif doilies, bookmarks, edgings, and more.

Ruth, I’ll miss you.  We’ll all miss you.

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6 thoughts on “A Day in the Life #6 – Ruth Schooley, Librarian, Knitter, and Kind Hearted Soul

  1. Glenda

    I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear about Ruth today. She was a genuine lady–a gem. It seems she has touched many lives with her knitting as I found her name peppered throughout the search results. I was glad to find your blog. I will always remember Ruth’s contagious smile.

    Reply
  2. Joy Hogg, Cadillac MI

    Ruth belonged to an online fiber group before the world wide web was created! The group started in about 1987. She was the reference person and knitter to whom we all turned when we had a fiber or historical question. She would patiently explain to me how to knit the heel of a sock, and we can imagine how patient and caring she must have been with her students.
    Ruth was happy. She loved Mike, her job, her friends and her fiber world of friends. Right now she is being mourned all over Canada and United States. Thanks for letting us see a glimpse of her work life. She influenced the lives of many.

    Joy Hogg, Cadillac Michigan

    Reply
  3. Sharon

    This news comes from several fronts. As one with a foot in the library world and foot in the fiber world, I am stunned at this news. “I coulda’ been a contender,” from On the Waterfront never entered into her thoughts. She was *the* contender – lucky us.

    Reply
  4. AlisonH

    Thank you for the glimpse into the work side of her life; I’ve had the joy of her friendship that began through the Knitlist. She is sorely missed.

    Reply
  5. cindiann

    This is a wonderful tribute, Jez. Great job. Ruth will be missed by everyone whose lives she touched, no matter how small or long-ago the interaction.

    Reply
  6. GabyM

    I’m not surprised that Ruth was as knowledgeable, cheerful, and enthusiastic at work as she was online. We’ll all miss her very much!

    Reply

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