On March 6th the Lucile M. Bluford Library (30th and Prospect) was reopened after extensive renovations on a cool but glorious Saturday morning. I could feel Ms. Bluford watching down on us with a big smile. Ms. Bluford, former long time Editor of the KC Call Newspaper, would be so proud to see how wonderful her new building looks and how accessible books, computers, magazines are to children and adults who live in the neighborhood. Ms. Bluford was all about learning and discussing what was happening all around the city and nation. She also was a lady of action and who was a tireless advocate for causes she believed in.
I was fortunate to know Ms. Bluford. In 1995 I was working for the Kansas City Business Journal and one day my phone rang and it was Ms. Bluford. I certainly knew of Ms. Bluford but we were not close friends. In her own direct way she asked what I knew about publishing a newspaper. I was honest and said that I had a lot to learn about the newspaper industry. She asked if I wanted to come over to the Call and she offered to educate me about the newspaper business. Over the next three years I would spend an hour or so four or five times per year sitting at Ms. Bluford’s cluttered desk. We would talk about story ideas, she would critique our paper, she would give me ideas of people in the community I needed to meet – in short, she became a mentor to me and she became my friend.
Having a library named after Ms. Bluford is a perfect tribute to this remarkable person. This library is an extension of Ms. Bluford’s life and passion for all of us who have followed and learned from her in our journey through life.