I just had to look up the definition of pomp and circumstance after I decided on the title. It is defined as: splendid celebration with ceremony and fuss. And that is just what I attended Sunday afternoon at the OHSU Auditorium (Old Library Building) in Portland.
The 12th Cohort of the Emporia State University School of Library and Information Management Oregon Program held commencement exercises and I witnessed the splendid celebration with ceremony and fuss. I even got to help with the fussing!!!!
Last year I found out that one of the responsibilities of the State Librarian is to welcome these Candidates for the Degree of Masters of Library Science into the profession. How incredibly cool is that? I have the best job ever.
My participation in the fuss consisted of brief remarks. The rest of the ceremony and fuss consisted of a greeting from Dr. Gwen Alexander, Dean of SLIM, and then after my remarks we heard from Michele Burke, our wonderful OLA President. Christy Davis provided an excellent speech as the Student Representative. She was followed by our amazing Oregon Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen, who graced us all with a reading of two of her poems. The main event, aside from the graduates of course, was the Commencement Address by the City Librarian of the Seattle Public Library, Marcellus Turner. It was a pleasure to meet him and he gave a great address that was everthing from deep thoughts to practical advice. Thanks for being there, Marcellus.
Then came the best part…I got to assist Dr. Andrew Smith, Interim Associate Dean, with “hooding” the candidates. We only knocked the hat off one student, she was very gracious about it, and once we got the hang of it we were quite efficient. I make light but it was very satisfying and affecting to interact, however briefly, with each and every one of those new librarians. And as I said in my remarks “I don’t believe there has ever been a better time to be a librarian”.