The library staff sadly lost another colleague on Monday, February 17 when the former head of the Audio Visual Department, Mary Gorman, passed away. We all remember Mary as being exceedingly kind and extraordinarily funny and extend our deepest sympathies to her family.
“Mary Gorman worked with us and made us laugh for 30 years. Mary built the library’s cutting edge VHS collection back in the days when it was a controversial thing to do, and became our first Audio Visual Librarian. Lucky for us, after an early retirement, Mary has been a regular substitute in the Children’s Room. Bright, energetic, and funny as hell, she will be dearly missed.” Kate Tranquada, Library Director
“How we will miss Mary! Any time one was with her the day was brighter. She had such a wonderful sense of humor, such warmth and joy. She brought a smile to everyone’s face with her stories of everyday life.
I remember how the late John Kilderry ( long time library volunteer) enjoyed Mary and Sharyn (another library employee). He called them “Mary-Sharyn and Sharyn-Mary” as they both made his day with their funny experiences. We and the Waltham Public Library have lost a wonderful friend and co-worker.” Marjorie Hartman
“Mary was just ‘retiring’ as I was starting at the library so I didn’t get to know her before she was gone! When Mary came back as a sub I got to know her better. She greeted everyday with a smile, which made it a pleasure to work with her. There’s a saying: ‘Many hands make light work’. In Mary’s case, that smile did the trick! I’ll think of her often and try to keep up the ‘Smiling’ tradition she brought with her to WPL, every day!” Jeanette Curnyn
“I loved talking with Mary in the library staff room. She always had a nice word, and she never failed to make me laugh. Every time she greeted me, she would say, “Are you sure you’re old enough to work here? You look 12!” Later she would change that to, “Have you had your 13th birthday yet?” Once I was leaving work, shortly after applying some lipstick. Mary observed me leaving, and said, “You’re wearing makeup! And a huge grin! You have a date, don’t you?” Sheepishly, I admitted that, yes, I did. “Good! Because you’re adorable!” I couldn’t tell you how the date worked out, but I always loved that Mary considered me adorable. After all, it takes one to know one! Laura Bernheim
“Mary was one of the librarians when my family frequented the North branch library as a child. I don’t have distinct memories of her then, but I know she contributed to my becoming a librarian through providing reading adventures. My memories of her as an adult are both personal and professional. I enjoyed listening to her talk about her children and grandchildren who she loved dearly, but who were also the subject of some of her dry wit. I also appreciated her practical wisdom on issues such as leadership and collection development. This past year I was her “person” for a departmental birthday gift swap. She bought me festive hostess platters because she knew I like to bake cookies. Whenever I use these platters I will think of the type of person she was, inspiring people to go a bit beyond what they were doing already. I am truly glad to have known Mary.” Lisa Aucoin
“I have worked with Mary for more than 27 years and although she was very funny she was very serious about her kids and spent a lot of time supporting them. We both had school age kids in the early years and her son was almost the same age as my daughter. She would work with her son every night with his homework making sure everything was right. Of course he would leave work to the end like most kids but she would stay up and help him finish the paper, making sure his grammar and spelling were right. She was also very helpful with her daughters, helping with weddings and kids when they came. Our kids were around the same ages so we had the same kind of problems coming up and I was always impressed with how supportive she was. We would commiserate but no matter what, she was there for them. I loved her for that.” Susan Weddig
“Mary had a great sense of humor, and was a joy to work with. I had the pleasure of working directly with Mary when she became a sub for circulation. I enjoyed listening to her stories. It was clear how proud she was of her children and grandchildren. She was a treasure. I will remember her fondly.” Doreen Buchinski
“When I came to work at the library 20+ years ago, Mary Gorman was the Head of the Audio Visual Dept. She was compassionate and caring towards her co- workers and the library patrons as well. She knew her patrons and their preferences and would be sure to let each of them know when a new audio book was available. Looking back now I realize that Mary was a true Reader’s Advisory person. She never seemed to run out of suggestions of what a particular patron might like to try for his wife who was homebound. By connecting with such patrons Mary taught us the meaning of true customer service. Mary also kept us entertained with stories about events in her life. These stories were always accompanied by expressive hand gestures. I can still picture Mary reenacting a story about her son, Alex, struggling into his suit pants to get dressed for a wedding with no time to spare. Obviously something happened to the pants that were inexplicably too tight and too short. Mary desperate to fix the pants thought she could let out a seam to fix the problem until she discovered the tag…Talbot’s petite!! The cleaners had put her pants with his suit jacket. This episode was just one of many that demonstrated Mary’s wonderful sense of humor that left us laughing on numerous occasions. Mary was a wonderful boss and friend to many people, always ready to listen and offer suggestions, we will miss her smiling face and her thoughtful suggestions but most of all we will just miss Mary. ‘Good friends are like stars…. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there’. Confucius quotes” Maureen McEneaney
“I first met Mary about 25 years ago when I brought my youngest son to the library for Story Time. Mary was one of the Children’s librarians. When she wasn’t reading the story or doing crafts with the children, we would spend the hour chatting about our families, the beach and Regis, where Mary and my oldest daughter were students. In no time we became friends and I looked forward to my weekly trips to the library. A few years later I applied for a job at the library and was thrilled when I was hired for the Audio Visual Department and discovered that Mary would be my boss. Mary was easy to work for and with. She treated her staff with respect and fairness. She trusted our judgment and abilities and made coming to work a pleasure. One of my favorite Mary stories is the morning I noticed that she was wearing two different shoes! When I pointed it out, we had a good laugh and the day continued as usual. A few minutes later she
returned to the desk laughing even harder and remarked, not only did she have on two different shoes, but the heels were two different heights and that explained why she was walking funny! There is a quote that is a favorite of mine, ‘Friends are the Flowers in the Garden of Life’. Mary you made my garden exquisite! I will miss you. I know you will be keeping an eye on your family, whom you loved dearly, I hope you will do the same for your ‘Library Family’. Rest in Peace dear friend, until we meet again.” Gerry Chiasson
“I always looked forward to dinner with Mary during our Monday night dinner hour. She had wonderful stories to tell about her family and Cape Cod. Mary was witty, smart, energetic and a fantastic librarian!” Paula Cerrato
“Oh how I will miss my dear friend Mary! Recently we have worked many Sundays together at the Children’s desk. We were both reminded of all of the fun we used to have working side by side at the North Branch Library…doing storytimes and programs and becoming friends with so many of the patrons there. We were sidekicks so often both at work and out. We held each other up during the sad times and our joy was doubled when we shared the happy times. The sound of her laughter and the wonderful way she told a story will remain with me forever. No one will ever fill the ‘Mary shaped’ hole she has left in the library and also in my life. I know her family, whom she loved so passionately, will miss her desperately and I keep them in my prayers. The hole in their lives is unimaginable to me. I hope that wherever you are Mary, there is a well stocked library, a comfy beach chair and some nice summery cocktails.
Farewell my dear, dear friend. PS…Say hi to Don for me :-)” Sharyn McGannn
“I had the good fortune to have Mary as my boss when I came to work at the library nights and weekends because my son was little. She was so much fun to be around and had such a great way of telling stories…coming to work was like a girl’s night out for me! Mary was someone you could trust to give you good advice and she could always make you smile! She was a wonderful person and I feel blessed to have known her.” Seana Rabbito
“It’s so hard to believe Mary isn’t here anymore. She has left a hole in my heart. She was so full of life, always telling great stories of family and friends with such wit. She could always make you feel better even if you weren’t having a great day. Mary, you made my life brighter by being in it. May you rest in peace dear friend.” Nancy Womboldt