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Remembering Julie Herrin Laliberte (1946-2020)

MCLS was saddened to learn of the passing earlier this month of former Michigan Library Consortium Interim Executive Director Julie Herrin Laliberte. Julie assumed the role of Interim Executive Director after then-Executive Director Kevin Flaherty was unable to continue due to illness.

Former MCLS Associate Director Ruth Dukelow recalls that, “Julie was an innovative force at MLC, and took on the role of interim director at a difficult time in MLC’s history. Former Executive Director Kevin Flaherty died, MLC’s finances were shaky, and the network library staff needed support. Julie took the problems into hand and worked with the Board to get MLC moving forward again. She convinced the Board to hire another network librarian, and she worked with the Board to hire a new executive director with a vision to build MLC to a consortium that Michigan librarians needed. When the new Executive Director, Randy Dykhuis, was hired, Julie worked with him for a smooth transition.”

Former MCLS Executive Director Randy Dykhuis remembers that, “Julie returned to her position as Associate Director when I started. She was an immense help during my first few months on the job. We had much to do and hard decisions to make, but Julie never shied away from the challenge. When a job opened up at Northville in 1996, she couldn’t say no. It was much closer to home and afforded her an opportunity to return to the library work she loved. Our paths crossed many times in the next 20 years, and she was always gracious and positive about our work at MLC/MCLS. I’ll always remember her fondly and am grateful to have worked with her.”

If you would like to make a gift honoring Julie’s memory, please direct your gift to the Northville District Library.