Patrick Jones Remembers Dorothy

I know it’s a cliché, but seriously, without Dorothy Broderick, I wouldn’t have achieved anything in my career. I know there are many who can say the same. Her vision to start VOYA provided the profession with a vehicle to share ideas, learn about great books, and be inspired by her words.  Her conceptualization of library services for young adults, in particular the role of the YA librarian as an advocate, inspired me early in my career.  Her patience as an editor allowed me to publish early and often in VOYA, starting with the December 1987 issue. Dorothy was a great editor:  encouraging, yet tough.  She always liked my ideas, but not always my way of expressing them.  She made me a better, more confident writer.  Without her encouragement and her help in building my skills, I never would have  published Connecting Young Adults and Libraries in 1992. She was a gadfly, a mentor, a role model, but first and foremost, an advocate for youth.

Yet more than these things, she was Mary Kay Chelton’s partner in starting VOYA and in building a life together.   From the first time I met Mary Kay, I knew I had encountered a force of nature.  As she goes on from here without Dorothy, all of us who have benefited from her energy hope we can give Mary Kay just a little back in return.



  1. Anthony Bernier says:

    Well said, Patrick!
    Although my own original inspirations and aspirations for YA work were most directly connected to you and Mary K. Chelton, it’s clear that they were also ricochets and reverberations leading back to Dorothy’s ideas and protean energies as well. What’s even more clear to me now is, through her writing and legacy activism, how valuable was her ability to cultivate impatience – not a quality normally endorsed in our profession. Dorothy is huge because she encouraged us to BE tough. She cared about young people so much that she didn’t kindly brook our compulsive desire to enact consensus. Dorothy was direct, strong, and always had her eyes on the ball. 
    And she left it all on the field. Good mentoring values for us all. 

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