Technically, Michele Bordeaux was a supervising library assistant for the Oceanport Branch of the Monmouth County Library for 19 years. But you knew her as Miss Michele, your Oceanport librarian, with the bright-eyed smile and the easy laugh, who always knew just what you wanted to read.
To celebrate her tenure in Oceanport, Linda Risden, librarian, threw her a farewell party at the Monday night. Surrounded by friends, library volunteers and some library patrons young and old, Bordeaux said, "I miss Oceanport!"
Bordeaux is now stationed in a big and busy library in Ocean Township where patrons are often just passing through on their way to their summer homes.
Library volunteer Arlene Welch said that it was the little things that Miss Michele would do for the folks she got to know that made her work here meaningful.
"Michele would know you liked a certain movie, and when it came in she would put your name on it," she said. "That's Michele."
"She took care of us," said Borough Clerk Kimberly Jungfer, nodding at Welch's comment. "We were very spoiled."
About Monday's party, Risden said, "I thought this was the best thing to do because she left so quickly."
Indeed, when word got out to residents last month that Bordeaux's transfer was already a done deal,
Cynthia Cortale, now retired after a career as Oceanport's tax collector, said that when she recently visited her hometown library in Malboro she had to introduce herself to the librarian and ask for help. "Because I didn't know how to look up a book," she said. "Michele just always had it ready for me."
The stories like that went on and on as patrons — friends really — recalled how Miss Michele had served them during her time in Oceanport.
Oceanport mom Tara English Sweeney and her fifth-grade daughter Mia have been regulars at the library since they moved here seven years ago. (Mia, by the way, broke the Wolf Hill School record this year for her Accelerated Reader performance.)
Though they are crushed to see her "warm strong presence" go, the Sweeneys were just glad they got the chance to give her a hug in person.
If you didn't get a chance to give your hug, you can leave a message for Miss Michele here in our comments section.