Marion Eaton of Virginia Tech has been named the 2013 Outstanding Paraprofessional of the Year! Her peers are quoted as saying “She personifies every quality of what this award is all about!”
Marion has worked at Virginia Tech’s Newman Library in the Jean Russell Quible Department of Technical Services for over twenty years. Her role in the acquisitions area has evolved from working with the all-print world to the electronic and online domain of today’s libraries. As with all of us working in libraries today, she stomped the ground and ran the obstacle course to succeed in this career-changing transformation. Marion has been involved in both library- and institution-wide committees. In fact, recently she accepted the offer to spotlight her widely-recognized singing talent at the retirement event for one of Tech’s faculty members. The word through the grapevine was that she was the “hit” of the event considering that the audience was rendered virtually speechless by the end of her musical interlude. She serves on her library marketing committee and is a leader in the Virginia Tech Library Staff Association, advocating for continuing education for her coworkers. She is the first to step up and volunteer for all library wide programs in need.
As a member of the Virginia Library Association and the Paraprofessional Forum, Marion has made an even greater impact. In joining the VLAPF Board around 1998, she immediately jumped in with all “fours” and served on a number of committees within the Forum. Several years later Marion and Jean Martin agreed to become Forum Co-chairs for 2001/2002, one of the last years the conference was held at the beautiful University of Richmond campus. Marion served on VLA’s Scholarship Committee and in recent years, she became the face for VLAPF’s social and raffle committees. Having also served as VLAPF’s chair for at least two one-day regional conferences, Marion demonstrates an uncanny ability to “crack the whip” and get folks involved and excited in the planning and execution of a solid program and she gets results with high attendance and positive evaluations. She has now, once again, agreed to serve as Co-chair for 2013/2014.
Throughout the years there have been struggles with personal loss and uncertain and devastating turns in the road; however, Marion faces every day and every task with a persistence of smiles, laughs, faith, and dedication to work, family, and her organizational endeavors. She wears the VLAPF hat proudly and promises professional and personal fulfillment and fun to everyone becoming a Board member and to all conference attendees.
Marion Eaton is the quintessential example of a VLAPF Paraprofessional of the Year … devotion to one’s obligations and choices, enthusiasm in every aspect in one’s life, the ability to engage and stimulate growth for all in one’s circle, and the belief and faith that all should have a voice and ample opportunities to use that voice.
Thank you Marion for your years of service and inspiration to all.
Mary Fran Bell-Johnson, Greenwood Library, Longwood University