On Aug. 10 the Windsor Regional Library hosted a special memorial for former children’s librarian Anne Marie Murphy.

Murphy started with the Sonoma County Library system in 1979, and worked as a children’s librarian at multiple branches before her retirement in 2011, after which she became a consistent volunteer. She died in July 2015, and the Friends of the Windsor Library commissioned an art project that would “highlight reading and writing and the importance of a library” in honor of Murphy.

Murphy’s daughter Sonja, who works as Sonja Kari, won the commission and produced 12 portraits of authors who were favorites of her mother’s along with quotes from them. The 12 watercolor pieces are tied together by style and color palate. 

The authors included are Maurice Sendak, Neil Gaiman, Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Gary Paulson, Louisa May Alcott, Harper Lee, Dr. Seuss, Jacqueline Woodson, JK Rowling, Charles Schulz and Isabele Allende.

At the memorial and ribbon cutting, friends and family stood up to read selections from works by the 12 authors, including “Chicken Soup With Rice” by Sendak, “Crazy Hair” by Gaiman, an essay from Tan written when she was 8 years old that won a Sonoma County Library contest, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Angelou, “How Angel Peterson Got His Name” by Paulsen, “Little Women” by Alcott, “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Lee, “Cat in the Hat” by Seuss, “The Other Side” by Woodson, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by Rowling (the original UK version of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”), “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” by Schulz and a poem in Spanish by Allende which details the feeling of new owners of a house sensing the spirit of the previous owners.

“In the four years since she passed not a single day has gone by that I haven’t thought of her,” said an emotional Tiffany Broznan, Windsor children’s librarian who introduced the readers. “Most of us here today had a connection to Anne Marie, and I’m happy we have one more morning together with her.”

Sonja then gave a brief presentation on how she created the mural and then the ribbon was officially cut on the collection, which now hangs in the front entryway of the Windsor library.

Prints of the individual portraits are available for sale, with some of the proceeds going back to the library. 

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