Hi, I’m Kristy. I was Shane’s supervisor at the Kelly Library.
Shane approached me to ask if we were hiring at the perfect time. It was the beginning of September and I was scrambling to fill open shifts when he introduced himself to me at the front desk. He answered my on-the-spot questions with ease, and I knew right away that we would want him working with us.
There’s a few things that come immediately to mind when I think about Shane. The first thing—which everyone else has already mentioned—is what seemed to be his never-ending energy. I think I remarked to several colleagues how amazed how he even walked with a “pep in his step”. He just radiated joy without even speaking. Even when he was tired, or swamped with school, he still had that unwavering enthusiasm.
We also saw this when he was volunteering for the annual book sale. He was so excited that, by volunteering, he got vouchers for free books. I don't know how many books he left with [LAUGHTER], but he was particularly excited last year when he found a book in the rare book room from the 1700s. He couldn’t wait to take it home, and was eager for tips on how best to preserve it.
Which leads into the next thing that stood out about him—his passion for learning. He’d often come downstairs from shelving with a stack of books that he had found for himself, saying, “Hey! Look what I found!” These would usually be obscure books that went over my head [LAUGHTER]; he couldn’t wait to read them.
He would also always ask how or why we did things within the library. He was curious about the systems and procedures, and could find amazement in the things that the rest of us found ordinary. He loved comparing our cash system and inventory project with the grocery story he had previously worked at. It was fun to see him make connections between his experiences.
His thoughtfulness and desire to help people was also evident. I can recall one night, during a snowstorm, when a student who lived on the other side of the city wasn’t going to make it in for her shift. It was the closing shift that would have gone until midnight. Shane had already worked that day, and was planning to get up early to begin studying the next morning. But, he said, if she felt unsafe travelling, he wanted to help her, so he would come in. This is just one example. He would often take shifts for other students—even if it wasn’t convenient for him—because he wanted to help them.
I could go on and on, but I’ll wrap this up with a final memory, that—to me—sums Shane up. Every shift, as soon as he would arrive, he would say, “How can I help?” This was usually before even taking off his coat or his bag. And when I think of Shane, this is what I remember.
To Shane’s family: Thank you for coming all this way today and allowing us to have this day to remember and celebrate Shane. He talked about you all so often and was always so excited when he was going back home.
Thank you for sharing him with us. I know I speak for all at the library and everyone here that we felt very blessed to know him. Thank you.