Farewell Message from 2020 President Liz Riordan

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Person on left passon gavel to person on right in zoom window

My dear friends, 

I want to start by just taking a moment to say, you did it.  

Really, let’s take a moment to sit and think about thatDespite the world throwing all of us what seemed like unsurmountable challenges, you rose to meet them, continuing to serve faculty, students, and community members at your college or university.  

That is no small feat. 

When I took over the presidency for Iowa ACRL at the beginning of 2020, I could not have imagined the journey I was about to embark on with this group. None of us could.  

However, as I sit here reflecting on this last year, I am reminded of Carl Sandburg’s quote, “Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me. 

2020 has certainly been unexpected, and anything we did have planned had to be dramatically adapted to meet a virtual world. It has been a year fraught with tragedies and challenges, yet despite it all, I am grateful for having served as president of this group during all of it. You have proven time and again how remarkable and compassionate the people of Iowa ACRL truly are 

Despite being apart, we have found ways to come together and continue to learn new things, advocate for each other, and look for ways to make the future better for when we are able to meet again in person. This year has shown that we still have a lot of work to do moving forward. We will have to continue advocating for ourselves, as well as our coworkers. Importantly, we must also continue to strive to raise awareness of underrepresented voices within our communities and commit to inclusive library services. After watching all of you this year and knowing the remarkable leadership we have on Exec Board for 2021, I know we can rise to meet these needs as well In fact, I find that we will excel in the possibilities of making our group even stronger. 

So, no, 2020 did not go as I had planned. However, this unexpected year has given me a chance to create deeper connections with you and this group. I know I have become a better librarian because I got to share this difficult year with all of you.  For that experience, I’m incredibly thankful 

With that, all I have left to say is keep safe, keep kind, keep going.

Elizabeth Riordan, former President of Iowa ACRL