Santa Paula Times

Retired Blanchard Community Library Trustee Brenda DeJamaer (right) shares a smile with Board President Linda Spink at the December 16 meeting where DeJamaer was lauded for her years of community service.

DeJamaer lauded for devotion
to Blanchard Community Library

December 24, 2014
Santa Paula News

Blanchard Community Library recognized service at a recent meeting where they honored retired Board Trustee Brenda DeJamaer who stepped down in December.

Those governing the independent library district at the special reception at the December 16 meeting lauded DeJamaer, a BCL Trustee since 2001.

Board President Linda Spink said DeJamaer built a solid reputation of hard, diverse work during her years of board service, as attested to by former Trustees Ed Geis and Gene Marzec, who both attended the reception. 

Spink noted the BCL accomplishments and milestones that occurred during DeJamaer, who also served various terms as board president, ranging from her support of the library remaining a special district and refurbishment to the facility and parking lot to selling the vacant lot just north of the library.

DeJamaer helped craft the agreement with the city on development fee payments and create new vibrant space in the back of the library building by participating in the cleaning and shelving projects.

She also served on the BCL Personnel Committee, established the Employee Recognition program and “Came to every meeting,” committee, board and otherwise.

DeJamear was also active with library fundraising including the gala Swing for the Seats celebration to replace library chairs and the Tea, Tarts & Art event. 

Spink noted she has been on the BCL board for two years and found early on that DeJamaer was not only helpful, “But became one of my mentors... “

DeJamaer was presented with a plaque recognizing her service inlaid on a wooden storage box and a watercolor of Blanchard Community Library painted by Trustee Maureen Coughlin.

“It’s gorgeous, I just love it,” said DeJamaer, who noted her BCL board service, “Truly has been a labor of love... and I’ve had the opportunity to work with a wonderful board,” through the years. I’ve lived at this library since I was my grandchildren’s age.” 

DeJamaer’s early library devotion spawned a career: a school librarian who is Santa Paula Unified School District Library Educational Specialist, she is recognized for being a strong advocate of reading programs for children. She also has and continues to oversee the school district’s annual Young Writers Contest that each year draws hundreds and hundreds of entries.

Spink noted that DeJamaer is a devoted Western dancer and now, after retiring from the BCL Board after serving three terms, she can now devote more time to dancing at Toby Keith’s. 

Linda Wilkinson of the Friends of the Library presented DeJamaer with an elaborate succulent and noted “We really, really thank you... and we’ll see you on our side now,” as a BCL volunteer. 

“I appreciated your commitment,” to the library and its patrons, said Trustee Beverly Mueller.

DeJamaer offered her thanks for the “years of opportunity of working with so many,” including board trustees, staff and volunteers.

“Brenda had a goal to merge programs” of BCL with the SPUHSD said her husband Jack DeJamaer.

DeJamaer’s daughter Shannon Munoz, son Jack DeJamaer, their spouses and various grandchildren were among those at the reception. 

“My mom,” said Munoz, “is amazing! Her passion for the library has influenced our family in such a positive way. We are all avid readers because of my mom. We feel Blanchard Community Library is a second home.”

And, she added, “I know her ultimate goal while on the library board was for the entire community in Santa Paula to feel the same way.”

DeJamaer said she certainly intends to continue her devotion to the library and its needs but shaking the mantle of leadership is hard.

“When they made a motion,” she laughed, “it made me want to say ‘aye!’ “