Liberge’s Retirement, One for the Books

Dedicated is a term used to describe an individual who is committed to a cause or activity. Calling Malden High School's own Mary Liberge a dedicated individual when it comes to the library and its purpose is an understatement.

Liberge has spent time and money on countless occasions in her nine years at Malden High School. Liberge’s dedication to the library and school as a whole has led her to create not only a diverse selection of books but also places for students to relax and catch up with friends. She stated that one of her favorite memories at the school was when “Melinda Lo, an award-winning book author, came to talk to our students about her books and her writing process." Sadly, all good things must come to an end. She plans to “graduate” with the class of 2024.

Liberge has set new goals for her life in light of her retirement, from traveling the country with her loving husband to enjoying the moments with her beloved grandson and of course, as all librarians do, reading. One hope she has for the future generation of students is having an affinity for reading. She hopes students will once again fall in love with books as they did when they were small. Lastly, Liberge stated, “I will miss the students and staff at Malden High School. I enjoy seeing the students when I am out and about, and when they happen to be at the establishment I am visiting,” claimed Liberge. 

 

Many students share a fondness for the upcoming retiree as she has impacted their general growth. “As a student, I feel that Mrs. Liberge has enhanced my love for reading by promoting the library and exposing me to so many wonderful books. She has impacted my growth as a student by personalizing my learning environments and ensuring there is always access to any book that I want to check out,” claimed Ivana Marinkovic, co-president of LTAB (Library Teen Advisory Board). “To me, Mrs. Liberge is more than just a librarian. She is always available to chat and I've grown very close to her these past few years in high school. Mrs. Liberge always provides a comfortable area to get work done or enjoy a book,” stated Marinkovic.

Liberge holding her favorite books in the Malden High School library. AIDEN LUCIANO

Students appear to share many memories with Liberge and reminisce on good times with how she has affected their general perception of school life. “Some memories that I share with Mrs. Liberge include those from the Library Teen Advisory Board. We have done bake sales together, set up displays, and have spent lots of time making crafts during our Joy block. She has wonderful ideas for crafting and I've been able to embroider a lot of projects, as well as make little figurines, such as pumpkins, from fabric. She always has good ideas!” added Marinkovic. Liberge is heavily involved with the LTAB, which is a group of a bunch of teenagers that get together and discuss book recommendations and expand on their passion for the library.

“I feel like she has like left a lot of impact on the school library. It's like her character, I feel like it's displayed throughout the library with the things that she brought in. We would feel a missing board here without her. I'm excited - well, not excited, but, well, I guess I'm curious as to what the next librarian would bring to this library,” said Milan Nguyen, a junior at Malden High School.  It’s lovely to endure all these different perspectives and opinions towards such an amazing teacher and how she has contributed to the good of the community of MHS. 

Liberge holding a newspaper featuring her first appearance in the Blue and Gold. AIDEN LUCIANO

 "I started kindergarten and Mrs. Liberge was my librarian. It's so bittersweet to be able to graduate high school with her by my side. I was able to grow up with her and now I can walk the stage as she calls out my name,"

-Guilia Gabriela De Sousa

“She's provided a great safe space for students to come in and have like comfortable time  just studying, talking to her or reading. I think she's done a great job at trying to integrate the community. I know it's been hard, especially after COVID, how a lot of students just prefer to not read, which I think is a shame, but seeing her put in her best effort has made me think she really has done her best for this community and it's disappointing to see that not many people have noticed just how much she's impacted Malden,” stated Hadjar Yousfi, co-president of the LTAB. 

 

Inspirational sign made and hung up in front of the Malden High Library. AIDEN LUCIANO

Beverly Tong, a junior at Malden High, shared some insight on Liberge as she has known her since middle school at the Ferryway School. “Miss Liberge is honestly one of my favorite librarians and one of my favorite people in this school. I've known her since elementary school because she was a librarian for Ferryway before she came here and she basically came along with us. It wasn't the exact same year, but it's nice to see someone that I've known for so long and interact with her,” claimed Tong. 

“I didn't even know she was going to retire. That's crazy to me because I've literally known her more than half of my life. I'm going to miss her too. She really does like a great job maintaining your library and she always like asks for recommendations and it's really nice. I hope the new librarian or whoever replaces her is going to be just as good,” exclaimed Tong.

As Liberge is retiring, a couple of seniors will be joining her as she takes her leave from the school: Hadjar Yousfi and Guilia Gabriela De Sousa.

“I don't know anyone who could be half as passionate as Mrs. Liberge when it comes to constantly improving the library and making it into a fun and inclusive place where you can go to do more than reading,” said De Sousa.

“Knowing that we're both moving forward with our lives, I think it's nice. I do think it's going to be a little sad seeing Malden High and then not seeing her there because she's been here since I was a freshman. To me it's a big change,” Yousfi explained.

As Liberge’s legacy comes to a close, the best thing she can take with her as she is retiring is the fondness and the amount of joy and gratitude the school feels for her. The type of love that Liberge has shown is destined to leave a permanent effect on Malden High School for many decades to come. 

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