Dear EBMA Members,
It's with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of a true champion in the children's and teen book industry. On March 10, 2017, our friend, and past EBMA president, Laurina Cashin passed away in Annapolis, MD. She died peacefully surrounded by loved ones, including her wife Bobbie Combs.
When I first met Laurina at EBMA, years ago, she was glowing with ideas and warmth. It was obvious that children's literature marveled and inspired her. She loved what she did and made a difference in the industry with her soft but thoughtful voice.
In 2005 Laurina and Bobbie Combs cofounded We Love Children's Books, a consulting agency for the children's book industry. She spread her excitement and valued opinion of children's materials using various vehicles, such as social media, book reviews, marketing initiatives, and literary websites. She got her start in the book industry working with Book Wholesalers Inc., in 1990, where she oversaw Collection Development and Marketing, then with Brodart in 1998.
From 1996-1998 Laurina served as President of EBMA, then known as the Educational Paperback Association. She was also an active member of the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. She served on the 1997 Newbery Committee. She was an alumna of the University of Massachusetts and Springfield College in Massachusetts.
Neil Jaffe, President of The Booksource, and a former President of EBMA, said "Laurina was one of the sweetest and gentlest souls in the industry. She will be missed by so many. Laurina's passion for and knowledge about children's literature led to her involvement in many industry associations and award committees, including being President of the then Educational Paperback Association. Our heart goes out to Bobbie and all her family and friends."
You may document a tribute on caringbridge.org. Visitors are welcome to read other tributes and view details about Laurina's upcoming memorial service. She requested that donations be made in her memory to We Need Diverse Books, an organization which she respected highly.
In the words of author Gayle Forman "Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal" (If I Stay. 2009, Dutton Books for Young Readers). When I think of those I know, who have an unbound love of what they do in children's books, I will always think of Laurina Cashin.