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Dr. Jernigan and Frank Kurt Cylke

Frank Kurt Cylke

From the Editor: Frank Kurt Cylke is the Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. These are the remarks he delivered at the memorial service:

Kenneth Jernigan

God saw you were getting tired,

And a cure was not to be,

So he put his arms around you

And whispered, "Come to me."

With tearful eyes we watched you,

And saw you pass away.

Although we loved you dearly,

We could not make you stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,

Hard-working hands at rest.

God broke our hearts to prove to us,

He only takes the best.

Only once in a generation, perhaps only once in a lifetime, does an individual enter into our sphere with power and drive to change humankind for the best. We are all fortunate that Kenneth Jernigan was with us for the time that he had here on earth. An intellectual, an educator; a leader; a guider; an administrator; and, yes, a book man. While Kenneth Jernigan held no library degree and indeed never served as a librarian, he may be considered the librarian of all times—for blind and physically handicapped individuals. Under his direction, the State of Iowa built a magnificent library with a superb collection and outstanding service pattern. As President of Friends of Libraries for Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals in North America, Kenneth Jernigan advised and consulted with the National Library Service and other library and information services in the United States as well as in other countries.

Kenneth Jernigan loved books, Kenneth Jernigan wrote books, Kenneth Jernigan edited books, Kenneth Jernigan published books, Kenneth Jernigan recommended books, and Kenneth Jernigan distributed books. Not once, to my knowledge, did he ever suggest removing or not adding an item from any collection. He believed only in building the store of materials available to the blind and physically handicapped community.

Kenneth Jernigan believed that knowledge would set the blind free. It has and will continue to do so.

God saw you were getting tired,

And a cure was not to be,

So he put his arms around you

And whispered, "Come to me."

With tearful eyes we watched you,

And saw you pass away.

Although we loved you dearly,

We could not make you stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,

Hard-working hands at rest.

God broke our hearts to prove to us,

He only takes the best.

In closing, I can only say—Kenneth Jernigan, we will meet again...some sunny day....