March/April 2015

Circuit Librarian Ann Fessenden Retirement Reception

On April 15, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals honored retiring Circuit Librarian Ann Fessenden during its annual Employee Awards ceremony. Judges, court staff, members of the Historical Society Executive Committee, and Ann’s family were in attendance. Ann received her 30 year service award, a retirement certificate from the Administrative Office, and a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Chief Judge William Jay Riley presided, calling Ann a library legend and thanking her for her 30 years of excellent and dedicated service and for making the Eighth Circuit judiciary more efficient. Ann is the longest serving Circuit Librarian for the Eighth Circuit. She began in 1984, a time when print reigned, and successfully led the U.S. Courts Library into the digital age. Ann brought the library into the national spotlight by serving as president of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 2007-2008. She will be inducted into the AALL Hall of Fame in July.

Ann served as Historical Society Secretary Treasurer from 1997-2004 and as Secretary from 2004-2015. Historical Society President F. Richard Lyford presented Ann with two gifts, a vase from the Historical Society and a wooden spurtle (an historic kitchen implement used for stirring porridge) that he made himself. He also presented her with a certificate of appreciation for her many years of service.

Earlier in the week, Historical Society Chair Judge Richard G. Kopf thanked Ann for being the “glue that held the Society together” and for sharing her “good counsel” and “immense institutional knowledge” that served the Society well. Among other acknowledgements Ann received during the week were a set of engraved bookends from Ann’s fellow Court of Appeals unit heads and a bobblehead made in her likeness from her staff at the U.S. Courts Library. The library made a biographical display and booklet to honor Ann. The display, booklet, and bobblehead may all be seen on the Historical Society web site. A reception for Ann followed the awards program.

Congratulations, Ann!