In Loving Memory Of Julie Strunk: A Champion Of Early Childhood Literacy

The world lost a remarkable woman with the passing of Julie Strunk, whose dedication to children and passion for literacy left an indelible mark on all who were fortunate enough to know her. Julie, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and advocate for early literacy, spent close to twenty-three years of her life at Lakewood Public Library, working to create a brighter future for generations of children.

Julie began her library career at the Madison Branch. It was here that she found her calling to be a children's librarian. Earning her MLIS degree while working full-time, she eventually became the Manager of Children's and Youth Services at Lakewood Public Library. Julie had a deep love for books and a desire to share that love with others. Her friendliness and willingness to help made every visit to the Library a warm and welcoming experience. She worked closely with the Lakewood school system, forging strong partnerships with local educators and students. She organized class visits to the Library, providing an invaluable opportunity for young learners to explore the world of books. She initiated outreach programs, bringing the library experience directly to schools, and helped in securing for teachers and students the resources they needed each school year.

Julie was also a champion of children with disabilities and served on the board of Connecting for Kids, an initiative that provides education and support for families who have concerns about their child’s development. Recognizing the community’s need and what a valuable resource this organization could be for both parent and child, Julie collaborated with the Healthy Lakewood Foundation to bring Connecting for Kids and adapted programming to Lakewood Public Library.

Julie was a source of encouragement to her colleagues, inspiring and motivating them in their library careers. Her work ethic was hard to match, with one co-worker describing her as “the hardest-working person” she’d ever met. She was a decisive leader who was generous with her time and grateful for her staff. Her impact went beyond the professional sphere; Julie's innate kindness and generosity made her a compassionate listener and a good friend.

Julie was the epitome of class and professionalism. Her wardrobe reflected not just impeccable taste, but a timeless style that she carefully selected each day, drawing inspiration from the colors worn on the Fox 8 morning newscast.

Julie will be greatly missed by both the staff and patrons of Lakewood Public Library. Her life was a testament to the profound impact one person can have on their community. Her passion for libraries and early literacy will serve as an inspiration to us all, reminding us that a love for books can bridge gaps, spark imagination, and change lives.

Donations in memory of Julie Strunk can be made to Connecting for Kids.

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Volume 19, Issue 21, Posted 9:45 AM, 11.08.2023