Happy Trails Ann & Rita

By , October 9, 2009 4:02 pm

October 9th, 2009 will forever be known as Black Friday in the annals of LLOPS, for we are saying goodbye to two wonderful colleagues today, Rita Kaiser and Ann Hemmens: two past-Presidents, two reference divas, two people dedicated to our profession.

Goodbyes can easily descend into desperate and maudlin affairs, so let’s instead part with laughter rather than tears. Here are a few fond memories from fellow LLOPS members and colleagues.                              


Most of us know Ann Hemmens as a calm, cool, collected individual, but underneath her serene demeanor lies an organizational whirling dervish. Whether she was cajoling volunteers for LLOPS, or organizing events as the Social Responsibilities SIS Chair (did you know she was the LLOPS President and a SIS Chair at the same time, without a body-double?!), she did so with her characteristic poise. Penny Hazelton recalled Ann rallying a group of about 40 law librarians to sort food at a local food bank at the 2007 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, rolling up her sleeves to help out with her customary quiet gusto.

Ann works hard, but she also finds time to have fun. Cheryl Nyberg gleefully described Ann’s alter-ego “Party Animal Ann” who often emerges at social gatherings, especially nocturnal ones! Cheryl “can’t remember the circumstance when I first discovered Party Animal Ann—but I’ll never forget how much fun it was. I already envy those people down in New Mexico. Sure, they are famous for those hot air balloons, but wait’ll they get a load of Ann ‘lifting off!’”


Rita Kaiser, renowned for her pies, her podcasts and her 2.0 proficiency, has been an intrepid and energetic LLOPS leader. Famed for her reference savvy and investigative know-how, Rita is also surprisingly quite gullible. Upon discovering this Achilles’ heel, her mischievous colleagues, Rick Stroup and Craig Burgess, conspired to create a bogus website devoted to a fictitious fruit they called the “guzorntzberry.” They blended content from several legitimate web sites with some tongue-in-cheek original material, disguised the navigation links and convinced Rita to visit the site. The ruse worked for a short while, and she blithely read through articles about National Guzorntzberry Day, shipping accidents that threatened the health of the European guzorntzberry market and a wonderful recipe for guzorntfiske. Pleased with the early success of their joke, her colleagues decided to take it to the next level and asked Rita to bring a guzorntzberry pie to the next staff meeting. Rita searched everywhere for guzorntzberries but was, of course, unable to find any. True to her kind nature, however, she showed up at the staff meeting with a bumble berry pie instead. At her staff farewell party, she was presented with an updated version of the guzorntzberry web site on CD-ROM.

We will miss you Rita and Ann, and we wish you luck in your future adventures.

One Response to “Happy Trails Ann & Rita”

  1. Rita K says:

    Thanks, Rick. I will miss the KCLL staff and your tricks. Yes, gullible is me!

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