West Virginia Book Festival

Book Festival chairwoman Pam May exits

If the West Virginia Book Festival is to return — and we still hope it does, in some fashion — it will have a new director.

Pam May (right) with Diana Gabaldon at the 2010 West Virginia Book Festival.

Last month, Pam May left her job as marketing supervisor at the Kanawha County Public Library — where her duties included being chairwoman of the Book Festival — to take a similar job at the YWCA Charleston.

Pam had been the Book Festival’s chairwoman since 2008or. Anyone who’s enjoyed themselves at the festival in the intervening years — or even before then, since she also worked with the festival’s original director, Cindy Miller — should thank Pam for the incredible amount of work she did in shepherding the event each year.

After this year’s festival was canceled, I talked with several people who wondered why it was necessary to shut down the event months before it was scheduled to happen. They didn’t understand that the planning process for the Book Festival is practically year-round, and that there was only a small break between the end of one festival before Pam and others would begin planning the next one. (As someone who was occasionally on the periphery of that planning, I don’t fully understand it either; I just know it was a lot of hard work.)

But now, maybe now she’ll get to celebrate her birthday — which always fell around the same time as the Book Festival — in peace.

So bon voyage, Pam. Best of luck, and thanks.