Honoring Peggy Jean Peter Chalaron, former SLIS Librarian

 Peggy Jean Peter Chalaron, 74, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on July 6, 2017 after a brief illness. 

We would like to salute Peggy for her long years of outstanding service to LSU and her profession.

Peggy received her BA in Education and a Masters degree in Library Science from LSU. She worked as a librarian at LSU for more than 46 years. She was the Head of the Education Resources Library, a position which she retired from in 2013. She also had a small antiques business for many years. She enjoyed reading, gardening, and birding. 

Peggy began her library career at LSU before she got her library degree. She worked as a Library Associate while a student in LSU’s School for Library & Information Science. After completing her degree, she continued at LSU Libraries fulfilling a wide variety of job responsibilities as thelibraries’ needs changed, including Head of Newspapers and Microforms, Head of Acquisitions, Head of Instructional Materials, and Head of the School of Library & Information Science Library (before it was merged with the Middleton collection). In her role as Head of Education Resources and Distance Education Librarian, she advanced library services for distance education students at LSU.

Peggy held a variety of offices and committee memberships at the local, state, and national level, including serving on various American Library Association committees, twice president of the Louisiana chapter of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a member and chair of LSU’s Commission on the Status of Women, three separate terms on the LSU Faculty Senate, and a member and chair of the first LSU Library Faculty Policy Committee. She was especially concerned with intellectual freedom throughout her career, hosting regular displays in Education Resources commemorating “Banned Books Week” and winning the Louisiana Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Award.

Her career spanned a remarkable period in the history of academic libraries, going from the era of the card catalog to the age of online discovery, and it was partly the rapid advances in information technology that kept her interested in and part of the library profession. 

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A few words in honor of Peggy from her friends, co-workers, and colleagues

Robert Bigelow

"Peggy Chalaron was my immediate supervisor in the former Education Resources Library for a decade and a half. Under her supervision and mentoring, I was introduced to how to think like a librarian and discovered what I wanted to do for the remainder of my working life. For the years in which I was her library associate, she was very progressive, diplomatic, approachable, and quite tolerant, too.

In the role of Education Librarian, Peggy authored, initiated, and maintained a policy for providing borrowing privileges to teacher in grades K-12 throughout the state. She deftly crafted a workable policy for borrowing "high-risk" materials such as aptitude, ability, and personality assessment tools for children. Peggy was instrumental in the observation of ALA's "Banned Books Week" during the last month of each September. She was in the forefront of creating and maintaining a more patron-centered service point for library patrons.

I'll always remember what we accomplished as a team, the funny cat pictures we shared back and forth, and what I learned from her."

-Robert Bigelow, Library Associate, LSU Libraries

Nancy Faget

"Of course, as a peer I would call her Peggy. But somehow I always called her Ms. Chalaron because of her gentility and grace.

Ms. Chalaron dedicated her time and her passion to being a great librarian, and I believe she found joy in doing so.

I'll never forget her kindness in going above and beyond to help David get through his MLIS program. As one of the few blind MLIS candidates, David was open to assistance and friendship and laughter which he was received from Ms. Chalaron. Only when I turned to her for assistance did I learn that she was open-hearted and caring for everyone who sought her help.

She was a great teacher and role model for generations of librarians."

-Nancy Faget

Luis F. Interiano

"Peggy Chalaron was one of the first people I met on the SLIS Faculty when I started the program in 2006. She was a friendly face in a huge campus -  a good thing to have as I returned to school as a second-career librarian after a gap of twenty years. Her knowledge of LSU Libraries resources was top-level, and her advice helped me complete many assignments. Plus, she was always such a nice and calm person to talk to in the middle of a busy day. I will miss her. May she rest in peace."

-Luis F. Interiano, MLIS

Adult Services Librarian, WBRPL