Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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Farewell
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These were notes for speaking to the PALNI members on the occasion of a celebration of my retirement from the library.

Grateful. Few words for the occasion.

I was appointed to the Archabbey Library in 1949. It was the library of the monastery only.

In his letter of appointment my superior said: “…you will need to put your heart and soul into this work and strive to become an expert librarian.” I can honestly say I have tired.

He had a vision for the library, “as one of the most important adjuncts of a community of monks” that I shared. In time, we expanded our services to include the College and the School of Theology.

I am proud of what has been accomplished at Saint Meinrad. We have built a good collection, now over 160,000 volumes, and we have a well established philosophy of service.

The Saint Meinrad administration supported my getting a degree at Catholic University and has allowed me to nurture the professional ideals instilled there. I have taken my profession seriously, in the State and nationally. In the early years I attended a good number of the ILA meetings where I was one of few academic librarians present. I remember a Senate Committee meeting that eventually led to the establishment of COBICIL where I testified that the public libraries put together in three counties in our area, serving tens of thousands of citizens, were spending less for books and periodicals than Saint Meinrad. That was a disgrace. It is a mark of good government and the efforts of people like Barbara Markuson, and countless others that library service has improved so much in Indiana over the past 30 years.

Saint Meinrad was the 16th library in our State to move to OCLC. That was 1976.

I have been an active participant of PALNI since before it had a name. I went to organizational meetings about automation for almost two years before I opted for less expensive system than was offered. I am grateful now while I am still at the helm, Saint Meinrad, with the help of Lilly Funds, is a full participant in this important cooperative organization. I treasure this program for its high professional quality and for the fine spirit of cooperation among the librarians. I will urge my successor to continue full participation.

Let me conclude by expressing even in this distant forum my gratitude to my staff whose hard work and patience have contributed so much the success of our program all along the way. I am grateful for my monastic vocation, for my call to the Catholic priesthood, and for having been allowed to serve as a librarian for over fifty years. It has been a lovely ride! And I treasure your friendship. Thank you.
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