Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sad News from Bookshare

We had a Bookshare all-hands meeting this week, where our entire team gets together and talks about the latest activities and news about the Bookshare project. One piece of news struck me as being particularly poignant.

Melanie Sorensen, who had recently joined the Bookshare Advisory Board, suddenly passed away last month. She missed what was supposed to be her first in-person board meeting because she had the flu. It turned out to be H1N1, and its impact was devastating, as recounted in the Whittier Daily News article: Whittier College student dies from H1N1 complications.

I was especially surprised at the prominence Bookshare had in Melanie's life, by what her family chose to share with the newspaper.
Her love of reading led to a position on the board of directors of Bookshare, an organization making accessible books and periodicals for readers with vision disabilities.

"Members are allowed to download 100 books a month," Joi Sorensen explained, "but Mel had to call for a dispensation several times because she went over the limit."

On Bookshare's radar, they invited Melanie Sorensen to represent readers on the board.

"She was supposed to go to Palo Alto this year to meet other board members in person," Joi Sorensen said.

Other meetings had been via teleconference.

"Mel never felt different from anyone else," said her mom. "She just used a different way to see."
I know that all of the Bookshare community will join me in extending our condolences to Melanie's family for the loss of this outstanding young woman, role model and lover of reading.

1 comment:

Donna McNear said...

Thanks, Jim, for your thoughtful comments about Melanie and keeping her in our thoughts.