Friday, March 01, 2013

Mayrie ReNae Annual Valentine's Day Scholarship

Last November, Mayrie ReNae, a beloved colleague and part of our Bookshare extended community, passed away after a battle with cancer. Mayrie was a Bookshare member, volunteer and staff person, who contributed hundreds of books to the Bookshare collection and provided invaluable guidance to our volunteer crew for many years.

This week, in remembrance of her birthday, we are pleased to announce the creation of the Mayrie ReNae Annual Valentine's Day Scholarship. Through this scholarship, Bookshare will donate one new membership every Valentine’s Day to a person with financial need.

Mayrie, who was blind, began working with Bookshare as a volunteer in August 2006 and earned her membership by scanning and submitting books to the collection. By the time she was hired as a proofreader and scanner in December 2008, Mayrie had played a key role in contributing more than 1,000 accessible books to the collection. She said her primary motivation when starting out with Bookshare was to help provide timely books for young adult and teen readers. "When I was a teenager, I never got to read what the other kids were reading because the books were not available until long after," said Mayrie. She therefore set out to make many more books available to young readers.

It wasn’t just the volume of her work that was incredible, but also the quality: as an avid reader and an admitted perfectionist, it mattered to Mayrie that Bookshare texts were carefully proofed and high quality. She was an impeccable proofreader and scanner, and helped recruit the help of other wonderfully dependable volunteers. In September 2012, Benetech honored Mayrie as our Contributor of the Quarter and saluted her exceptional service to the Bookshare community. Sadly, a month later, Mayrie passed away.

Mayrie was a vibrant person and a dynamic force for good. We can think of no better way to honor her memory than with a contribution of a Bookshare membership in recognition of her birthday. Each February, Bookshare staff will accept nominations for the Mayrie ReNae Annual Valentine's Day Scholarship throughout the first two weeks of the month and will announce the recipient. We are still accepting nominations for this year’s Scholarship. If you wish to nominate someone, please contact Alisa Moore, our Volunteer Program Manager, this week!

We miss you, Mayrie.

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