With great sadness, RMSLA notes the loss of former chapter president Kathleen Rainwater-Stanton. Kathleen was known in the SLA community and beyond as a friend and “information professional extraordinaire.”
Kathleen ran the library at the Gates Corporation in Denver, Colorado, for 26 years. More recently, she launched an independent career with her business, Competitive Business Research, and was a business librarian for the Arapahoe Library District in Englewood, Colorado. A lifetime learner, Kathleen earned both an MLIS and MBA from the University of Denver.
Kathleen was a long-time member of SLA. Besides her service on the board as president, one of her most notable contributions to SLA was her service as Local Arrangements Chair for SLA’s annual conference in Denver, in 2007, which directly benefitted more than 5,000 attendees. She was a mainstay in the Rocky Mountain Chapter and was recognized in 2007 with the chapter’s Meritorious Service Award.
Chapter president Rachel Bates Wilfahrt stated,
Kathleen was a dedicated and cherished member of our organization, and our thoughts are certainly with her family at this time. I remember meeting Kathleen at both the Spotlight on Your Career and Colleague Connection events in 2009. She encouraged my involvement with both the DU and Rocky Mountain Chapters of SLA, and I was struck by her kindness in providing guidance to me, a shy library student at the time.
Some years ago, I worked with her on a project and was so impressed: she was so efficient, knowledgeable, and kind. In everything she did, she was awesome. She set such high expectations for herself that those working with her would strive to do their best for her. Kathleen had a beautiful smile and an infectious laugh. She brought a good number of us into the information profession’s associations, SLA and AIIP (the Association of Independent Information Professionals). Her enthusiasm, selflessness, and love were an inspiration to those that knew her.
Nicole Steffen added,
Kathleen was a longtime advocate for special libraries in her position as library director at the Gates Rubber Company/Gates Corporation. Over the last several years she changed hats, moving over to public libraries and working as a business librarian for Arapahoe Library District. An inspiration and good friend to many, she will be missed by friends and colleagues.
Marcy Rodney wrote,
Like so many others, I met Kathleen when I was an awkward library student. We were standing in line at Colleague Connection at the University of Denver. Kathleen turned that always warm and welcoming smile on me, and introduced herself, told me who everyone was, how the evening worked, and most importantly, how I should handle myself to get the most out of the event and how to make connections. I never stopped learning from her. And laughing with her.
When I became active in SLA, she taught me how to really get the most out of a conference – that it wasn’t just about the seminars, the classes, and the meetings. There was a freezing cold winter expedition in New Orleans to the warehouse where Mardi Gras floats went to hibernate. There was dancing, there was laughter. And boards and committees and endless email. And there was friendship.
And there was the reality of corporate librarianship. Kathleen was the one who smacked me until I paid attention to the Solo Librarian Division’s discussion list, even though I wasn’t a solo librarian, because they shared so much and she knew what was gold. And in our region she and I were able to share the confidential benchmarking problems you wouldn’t post to a list, but you lived every day in a corporate technical library. As the overhead axe drew near, I watched her do her own market research and add more arrows to her quiver, going back to get her MBA and working occasional shifts in a college library while still working full time at Gates, because Kathleen was a realist.
My favorite memory, I think, happened after we both addressed a group of Kim Dority’s graduate students at DU. We were catching up in the lobby outside the class, and for reasons lost in the mists, we started singing and dancing the “Sisters” duet sung by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen in the movie, White Christmas. We both knew all the words. I always thought of her as the Vera-Ellen character, the young, pretty, fun-loving scamp of a sister. And Kathleen replied that she always felt like the older, responsible sister. I guess we could both be the young, fun sister (and take turns with that dress).
That’s Kathleen – she always found room for everyone to play.
Scott Brown wrote,
I have nothing but fond memories of Kathleen as a warm, welcoming, and fun-loving person. Kathleen was one of the first people who welcomed me into SLA. Her enthusiasm and selflessness, and her love of the information profession, was an inspiration to many members, including myself. She readily gave her all to her volunteer roles and projects. She will be sorely missed.
Mary Ellen Bates added,
Kathleen was so warm and welcoming to me when I arrived in Colorado. Her contributions to SLA were legion, and often below the radar. I feel so sad about her passing.
Marcy Phelps wrote,
This is such a loss. I will always remember Kathleen’s beautiful smile and infectious laugh. As part of the team that’s taking care of local arrangements for the AIIP conference in Denver in 2013, I have tried to emulate the excellent job Kathleen did for the 2007 SLA conference in Denver. In this as with everything else she did, Kathleen was awesome. She will be missed here in Colorado.
Ty Webb worked with Kathleen and other RMSLA members on the SLA Denver Conference and shared this remembrance.
Working with her when she was the Local Arrangements Chair for the Denver Conference was one of the most enjoyable parts of chairing SLA’s 2007 Conference Committee.
When the announcement was made that Denver would be the site of the conference, Kathleen immediately volunteered to take on the responsibilities of local arrangements. The innovative things she did that year have been used/copied/built on by other chapters ever since.
Her organizational skills, enthusiasm, imagination, creativity, dedication and can-do spirit motivated us and bonded us together in a very warm way. She raised the bar for all host-chapters, and she was certainly key to the success of the Denver conference.
These photos were taken as part of the creative promotional work for the 2007 SLA conference in Denver.