“There’s something in my library to offend everyone.”
So read a favorite t-shirt of Dorothy Broderick, a legend in YA librarianship, a great defender of intellectual freedom, and an unforgettable personality. Dorothy died Saturday, Dec. 17, at 8:45 p.m.
Dorothy was an active member of ALA, including YALSA. Her work was recognized repeatedly in the library field, from the prestigious Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award in 1987 to the Grolier Award from ALA in 1991 and the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Roll of Honor Award in 1998.
Dorothy’s greatest contribution to YA librarianship, however, is the mentoring and personal guidance she gave to hundreds of librarians throughout her career, as a librarian in the field, a professor at five major library schools, an author, and through her work as editor of VOYA (co-founded with her partner, Mary K. Chelton, in their home in 1978).
YALSA and YA librarianship wouldn’t be what it is today without Dorothy. The YALSA Board of Directors offered a resolution in her honor in 2007, calling her “the glue that that bound many of us together in earlier YALSA years,” and noting her “wicked wit,” which belied a “a heart of gold, a brilliant mind, a love of librarianship, [and] a strong sense of right and wrong.”
In my early days in YALSA, in the 1990s, Dorothy was still attending conferences. It was always a delight to see her, and to hear her asides about whatever was going on at the time. Dorothy was also one of the first editors to publish my writing—articles and reviews in VOYA–so I am personally grateful to her. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to know her and work with her.
She will be missed, but never forgotten. The Board of Directors, and all of YALSA, are grateful to Dorothy for everything she gave to YA librarianship. Our thoughts are with Mary K. and their family.
Sarah Flowers, YALSA President