After close to 16 years, Taryn Edwards - librarian, writer’s advocate, history nerd, and guardian of Mechanics’ Institute’s past - will be leaving the Institute as of Friday, May 5th. Taryn joined the Institute in 2007 during a lull in activity in the library, and she helped bring in a new vibrancy that included updated programming, member initiatives, networking with like-minded organizations, and many celebrations! Taryn helped build and foster the Institute’ writers’ programs, running our monthly Writers’ Lunch and facilitating classes and lectures on the craft of writing. She also organized large events in the spirit of our historical industrial fairs such as Book’toberfest, Our Story, and Wine, Women and Start-ups (honoring local beer and publishing, local history, and local entrepreneurship respectively). One of her largest events was a costumed celebration honoring Emperor Norton’s 200th birthday. Proud of Mechanics’ Institute’s place as one of the oldest cultural institutions in the region, Taryn connected the Institute with San Francisco’s other heritage groups as an organizer of the annual History Days Festival at the Old Mint at 5th and Mission. She also was instrumental in getting the Institute listed on the San Francisco Legacy Business Registry.
Taryn is changing course and will be using her research and writing skills in a new role on the other side of the Bay. Her understanding of the rich history of Mechanics’ Institute and her ability to connect it to current programming will be missed. Everyone at Mechanics’ Institute wishes Taryn success and appreciates everything she has done for the Institute. She promises to stay in touch, but if you’d like to say goodbye in person, please come by before she leaves to bid adieu.
I have met my dearest friends at MI - staff and members - and had truly the best of times over the past 15 years. I am fiercely proud to say that I am a librarian for the Mechanics’ Institute of San Francisco. It is truly a society like no other.
Be Just And Fear Not.