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Magnolia mourns the loss of beloved librarian

July 28th, 2010 · 72 Comments

As children gathered for storytime at the Magnolia library today, someone was missing.  Although the kids didn’t totally grasp what was going on, parents and staff did.  The children’s librarian who had read countless stories to countless children since 1971 wasn’t in her familiar spot.  Zane Goldmanis unexpectedly passed away last week at the age of 67.

“She was an icon in the community,” said library branch manager Lisa Scharnhorst.  “Generations of people had Zane as their children’s librarian.”

 

Goldmanis was born in Latvia in 1943, a time of incredible hardship for her family.  Her sister Mary Miller tells us the family fled Latvia during World War II as the Russians moved in.  The family often hid in the woods to avoid detection. 

Eventually, the family made its way to the United States when Zane Goldmanis was 6 years old.  Goldmanis lived on Anderson Island where she attended school in a one room schoolhouse.  She later went on to Roosevelt High School and the UW before working at Boeing.  During a Boeing layoff she went back to school to become a librarian, a passion she dedicated her life to for almost 40 years.

“Her whole reason for living was to reach out to children and share a love of books,” said Scharnhorst.

Staff members at the Magnolia library have set up a display in the lobby to honor Goldmanis, including a memory book that parents and children can sign.  Some of Zane’s favorite books are also on display, including one called 97 Ways to Make a Baby Laugh.  Library staff members say it’s fitting for a woman who made so many children laugh through the years.

A memorial service for Zane Goldmanis will be held at some point in September when her entire family can attend.  You can also sign this online guestbook.

Tags: Uncategorized

  • Christiane

    Zane will be missed by all of us. Thank you for such a thoughful article.

  • Kate

    Such sad news. Thank you for posting this. She helped my daughter signed up for the book program a few weeks ago. She really made my daughter feel special and excited about the program. We had planned to go back this week to show our finished book list.

  • catperson

    She was the best librarian EVER.

  • David W

    I remember Zane when she was brand new with the library, and so was I! I was six at the time, and the Magnolia branch was one of my very favorite places to visit. I seem to recall that she also came to Magnolia Elementary and did storytimes there for us.

    Now I am a librarian myself with Seattle Public, watching my own patrons grow up and have kids of their own.

    Zane will be deeply missed; we were shocked and saddened by her sudden passing.

  • Lisa Evans

    She was such a wonderful lady and was so involved with all children from the little toddlers to the ten year olds looking for something ‘cool to read’. I loved how she made sure that every Wed. she would keep extra arts and crafts stuff for my little guy as she knew we never could quite make it to story time (in time) and she would let us sit and color/glue/tape projects in the meeting room (eventhough the powers that be told her she wasn’t supposed to do that)… she was a wonderful treasure in our library and for our kids. She will be very much missed.

  • Teresa

    Mrs. Goldmanis was my favorite librarian. She lived down the street from me for a while, and she was just as nice when she was off duty.

  • Hannah

    that was so sudden!! i’ve seen her so many times looking well…i would never expect this! she was so nice and you could tell that she loved being around kids.

  • Debra W

    I will remember Zane as a librarian devoted to her craft and will think of her every time I hear “The Wheels on the Bus Go ‘Round & “Round” because she used it to end every storytime.

  • http://info@discoverymontessori.org Dee

    I find myself at the end of an era with the Magnolia Library. I have been bringing preschool children to the library for Zane’s story time since 1983 and she has visited our preschool to read stories on rainy days so the children did not have to walk for our special group time with her. She understood the need of each child to participate in a story.
    We attended her 20 year celebration at the library and each passing year has built on the treasure of her presence as a great resource to us all.
    I remember my first use of the online library catalog as she said, “just put in any word” to demonstrate how easy the system could be. Zane held the keys to the special place our library has been and I will always think of her cheerful presence there.

  • Valerie

    I wish I could tell her thank you for always being so nice when I have visited the library. I remember her from when I was in grade school, and it was a cool feeling to see her now, bringing my own children to the library. Rest in Peace, Miss Librarian.

  • Larry O

    I am very shocked and surprised to hear of the passing of one great librarian, Ms. Zane Goldmanis.

    I still remember when I was ten back in 1972, she signed me up for a summer reading program when I would get a “baseball player” stamp for each of the ten books I read.

    And even much later when I came in to do some research in the “adult world”, she was still there to provide some great assistance.

    Rest in peace, Ms. Goldmanis. We in the Magnolia neighborhood were very lucky to have your help and amazing dedication to your job at our library.

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