‘Exceptional librarian, colleague and friend’ mourned

Liesel Hearn was a role model for many colleagues throughout her career.

There has
been an outpouring of grief for Liesel Hearn, a Brackenfell librarian who
passed away last Wednesday after a long battle with cancer.

The City’s mayoral community member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien, said Ms Hearn (nee Rall) was
born in November 1956 and
worked for a period at Durbanville Library, close to
where she grew up. She then applied for a position at Parow Library and worked
there from 1994 until she transferred to Brackenfell Library in 2010, to be closer to her home. 

She took early retirement in October 2018 due to illness but remained an active and valuable member of
the Brackenfell Library Reading Circle, said Dr Badroodien. Colleagues said she
would really be missed, not only for her caring personality, but also for her
valuable input and creative touch. They said s
he was an inspiration to many people and was always
immaculately groomed, very stylish and creative and had a taste for
the finer things in life.

“She was an
exceptional librarian, colleague and friend, always willing to go the extra
mile,” said a post on Brackenfell Library’s Facebook page. “We will sorely miss her hearty
laugh, loving and caring ways, as well as her wonderful eye for detail. She was
a role model for many colleagues throughout her career.”

The post continued: “Liesel’s
departure leaves a huge void in the library family; not only with her
colleagues from Brackenfell Library, but also with those who worked with her for many years at Parow library. O
ur thoughts
and prayers go out to her family and loved ones.”

Devene
Kabeya, who worked with Ms Hearn at Parow library, remembers how she cared for the
homeless, while Jarrod Peters remembers her as a stern, direct, yet caring and very
helpful person, and Pum Mbinda described her as an exceptional
librarian and a “tough cookie”.

Her husband
Patrick said they are a very private family and that it had been her wish not to have a funeral but that her ashes
should be added to those of her father. 
Ms Hearn leaves behind three sons and a grandson. 

  • The City’s Library Services is in the process of putting
    together a return-to-work plan, said Dr Badroodien. “The department is
    required to take all the necessary precautions to safeguard firstly their
    staff and their facilities, before we can consider opening facilities to
    the public, who will also need to be safeguarded when they visit our
    premises,” he said.
  • The children’s section at Brackenfell Library was
    flooded on Christmas Day 2019 and the contractors are currently repairing
    the damaged shelving and circulation counter, Dr Badroodien added. This work had been due to start in March 2020, but could not proceed due to the nationwide
    lockdown.