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ALA Washington Office’s Mark Bard

On Monday evening, October 1, the ALA Washington Office’s Mark Bard was seriously injured when struck by a drunk driver near his home. Mark is currently in critical condition at the Washington Hospital Center here in Washington, DC.

We know that many of you have met Mark through his attendance at ALA Conferences and his participation in the Second Life working group.

Mark is the Information Technology Specialist in ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).

Because he is in the critical care unit, the sending of flowers is not encouraged. Anyone wishing to send cards or get well-wishes to Mark is asked to send them in care of:

Kathy Mitchell, Project Coordinator, OITP
American Library Association
1615 New Hampshire Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Mark Bard photoMark Bard, at the Future of Technology and Libraries meeting, May 2007

Further updates will be posted here. Please also feel free to post your thoughts as comments to this blog post.

Edit: Due to the large number of comments received, the blog system has had some trouble with posting new comments. If you experience this, please email your comment to Andy Bridges at

Update: October 30 — Please see this blog update for the most recent information.

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.


  1. Renata [Visitor] Renata [Visitor]

    Dear Mark,

    I’m so happy to hear you are showing “signs of responsiveness”! I can’t wait to get the news that you have woken up. Please wake up soon, there are so many of us worried sick about you! I know there’s an empty hot tub in Second Life waiting for you… You and your family (and Autumn) are in my thoughts.


  2. Jim & Merrelyn Brand [Visitor] Jim & Merrelyn Brand [Visitor]

    You are a fine example to other young people as one who has done well in making it from Fennville to Washinton D.C. and made a lot of friends on the way. Our prayers are with you and your family as you rise to another challenge you will win! C’mon back to Michigan so we can adopt you as an honorary grandson.

  3. Laura Schmidt [Visitor] Laura Schmidt [Visitor]

    Mark, I’m praying for you and your family. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. This list shows that a lot of people are pulling for you!

    -Laura (fellow SI graduate)

  4. Donna Matula [Visitor] Donna Matula [Visitor]

    I watched Mark grow up in Fennville. A wonderful young man with a great enthusiasm for life. I miss his mother’s smiling face at the Fennville Library My prayers for the whole family.

  5. Rick Weingarten [Visitor] Rick Weingarten [Visitor]

    I was Mark’s first supervisor and the person who brought him here to Washington. I have never met someone so eager to learn and share his knowledge, so willing to jump right in and grapple with a new problem (and solve it!)

    My hopes and prayers that you will be back with us soon are with you, Mark. The library world needs your insights and talents, and we all miss your presence in our lives.


  6. Rev. Randall R. Hansen [Visitor] Rev. Randall R. Hansen [Visitor]

    I was Mark’s pastor in Fennville from 1992-2000. He was part of our youth group, and I enjoyed being in several church plays with him. Mark, we are pulling and praying for you. The same for Karrie, Norma and Phil. Randy Hansen

  7. Karen Kupres [Visitor] Karen Kupres [Visitor]

    When Karie first called me and gave me the news I was devastated, after all Mark and I have been friends since sometime around Kindergarten. But knowing him I am confident he is going to make it through just fine! My families and my thoughts and prayers are with Mark and his family (Including Autumn).
    Karie- Remember I am only a phone call away and can be on a plane in a heart beat!

    Karen Kupres

  8. Devon [Visitor] Devon [Visitor]

    Hey Bard Family!
    So sorry to hear about this, but what I know about Mark is that he’s the guy to get through this! My church and family are praying for all of you, may you feel God’s loving arms wrapping around each of you and God’s presence ever-close.

  9. Bill Cron [Visitor] Bill Cron [Visitor]

    Mark – You have so much energy and bring so much positivity to the world around you. I’m sure those same qualities will serve you well as you fight through this! Hang in there Mark!

  10. The Yonkers Family [Visitor] The Yonkers Family [Visitor]

    Dear Mark (Phil, Norma and Karie too)

    We were heartbroken to hear about your accident and are sending bushels of prayers and love to you all.

    We have known the Bard family since the kindergarten days too and know the strength they have as a family. With all this love on your side and that will, we’re confident you’ll make it thru this in no time!

    Anxious to hear about your progress!

    Mick, Cindy, Eric & Scott

  11. Zac Monahan [Visitor] Zac Monahan [Visitor]

    Mark was my first roommate in graduate school, a classmate and a great friend. He is a kind, generous and gentle guy with a fantastic sense of humor. I always knew when 11:00 rolled around in our house because Mark would laugh hysterically at the Daily Show for the entire hour. I look forward to hearing you laugh again soon, Mark!

  12. Kathy [Visitor] Kathy [Visitor]


    We miss you very much at the office. Each day we hope and pray for your recovery. You have a loooooong life ahead of you and we’re waiting in EXPECTATION for you to come back. Besides…. who else am I going to yell at across the hall?? It’s so much fun talking, laughing and debating with you. Come back soon Mark!

  13. The Thompson Family [Visitor] The Thompson Family [Visitor]

    Dear Mark, We have know you since the day you were born (Shawn & you share that birthday) And are hoping you get well quick. We will be praying for you and your family and want you to know all of us in Fennville are thinking of ya!

  14. Donna Kluck [Visitor] Donna Kluck [Visitor]

    Praying for Mark and his family. May God wrap his loving arms around all of you and grant you peace. Good thoughts of Mark come to me, Sunday School, the church plays, him playing with my kids while his mom provided day care. Such a warm, loving person. Take care. Donna

  15. Mary Alice Ball [Visitor] Mary Alice Ball [Visitor]

    Hi, Mark. I hope that you’re reading this as you complain about being stuck in a hospital bed. It’s hard to imagine you being still. After all, a good part of my time at ALA was spent trying to figure out how you could be in so many meetings at once. You contribute a lot to ALA and OITP and I look forward to working with you more. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Mary Alice

  16. I remember meeting Mark during orientation at SI. He was one of the friendliest people I met that week. We were also in a class during our first semester at SI. He was always so engaged and added so much to our class discussions.

    Mark – we all look forward to your next Bay Area visit! Get well soon!

  17. Sonya Ouednag [Visitor] Sonya Ouednag [Visitor]

    Mark- keep fighting. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  18. Kathy [Visitor] Kathy [Visitor]


    God has a special purpose for your life and no one else can take your place…. you are a gift to the world.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery,


  19. Dennis Hogan [Visitor] Dennis Hogan [Visitor]

    Hey Mark. You’ve got to get well again soon, buddy! We need more goofy people like you in the world. I always think of you when my wife and I watch Battlestar Galactica. She loves it almost as much as you do! Hope to see you in November when we come to the Baltimore/DC area for Thanksgiving with her family.

    Dennis :]

  20. Maurita [Visitor] Maurita [Visitor]

    Your patience, your smile, and your quiet competence are some of the wonderful qualities we think about, Mark, as we remember the many ways you contributed to our classrooms and projects. As you and your family face the most difficult test you ever known, please draw on our strength, prayers, and love.
    Maurita Holland (Assoc. Professor)

  21. Eva Reffell [Visitor] Eva Reffell [Visitor]


    I’m terribly sorry to hear about this accident. I remember you fondly from CIC, and I’m thinking good thoughts for your quick recovery.

    ~ Eva

  22. Cari [Visitor] Cari [Visitor]

    You have such a good heart and are such a kind person. I’m thinking of you and praying for your recovery.


  23. Satia Orange [Visitor] Satia Orange [Visitor]

    Mark, you and I have talked briefly when you’ve been to the Chicago ALA office. Know that I expect to see you in Chi town when you get better for a Second Life mtg. I’m praying for you and your family now. Satia Orange in OLOS.

  24. Everett + Andrea Wiggins [Visitor] Everett + Andrea Wiggins [Visitor]

    We both knew Mark from graduate school, and I worked with him at JSTOR before he moved to D.C. Best wishes to the Bard family, and to Mark for a rapid recovery.

  25. Denise [Visitor] Denise [Visitor]

    The ORS staff in Chicago miss you and wish you a steady and complete recovery. You and your family are in our prayers. Sending you virtual flowers and Diet Cokes! Oh….and some cookies, too.
    Denise, Letitia and Larra

  26. JJ [Visitor] JJ [Visitor]

    Mark, my thoughts will be with you and your family. May you recover with the same ebullience you do everything else. JJ

  27. Garret [Visitor] Garret [Visitor]

    Mark — your friends at EDUCAUSE are keeping you and your family in our thoughts. It has been a pleasure watching you grow both professionally and personally since your brief stint as an intern in our office, and we expect you’ll continue to develop as a leader in our community. I look forward to trading stories at happy hour soon!

  28. Mary Alice Ball [Visitor] Mary Alice Ball [Visitor]

    Hi Mark and family,

    We interact at professional conferences but there are many things about each other we never learn. I’ve learned about you, Mark, from these postings and thought I would tell you a happy story from my family that might help at this difficult time.

    My brother-in-law has been a computer consultant in Saudi Arabia for many years. A few years ago he became ill and went into a coma for about two weeks. It was at the time of the SARS epidemic but he was never diagnosed as having it. Anyway, after much visa hassling one of my nephews was able to go over, his father recognized his son’s voice and began to respond to treatment. We learned later that the doctors had given him only a 5% chance of living and that his employer had begun to make arrangements for his body to be flown back to the States. He sustained some hearing loss in one ear but otherwise has fully recovered. Hang in there!!
    Mary Alice

  29. Dan Kraus [Visitor] Dan Kraus [Visitor]

    I worked with Mark helping him obtain video equipment for the Washington Office, and he introduced me to some of D.C.’s best Chinese food during Annual Conference. Get well soon, buddy.

  30. Gary and Jan Frens [Visitor] Gary and Jan Frens [Visitor]

    Mark and family
    Just to let you know that a lot of prayers are heading your way from Arizona. There are churches here that have you on their prayer chains. God Bless you all

  31. Maria [Visitor] Maria [Visitor]

    I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Clearly you bring a force to the world that is noticed and needed! Wishing comfort and strength for you and your family.

  32. Mark and family,
    I have heard so many wonderful things about you–the evidence of your hard work, skills, and good nature is seen through these messages. Let all of these good wishes help support you and bring you strength. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  33. Emily & Andy Smith [Visitor] Emily & Andy Smith [Visitor]

    Mark –

    We are keeping you in our thoughts here in Ann Arbor and wishing you the strength to make it through this. We send our love and hope to you and your family in this difficult time. You can do it Mark!
    Emily (SI LIS student)

  34. Anne [Visitor] Anne [Visitor]


    Even though we have never met after reading all the well wishes you have received I feel like I need to know you! You seem like a wonderful person. 🙂 Best wishes for a quick recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  35. Hey Mark —

    Get well quick, buddy. We’ll finish that Cosmic Comix website one of these days!


  36. mmconroy [Member] mmconroy [Member]


    Just read about your accident and my heart skipped a beat. Yikes! You are one of the most human, coolest persons I’ve ever met, and you even remembered my name months after meeting me for the first time! I hope and pray that we’ll be chatting again at ALA midwinter about what’s new in your life (both your first and second ones!). Thoughts and prayers, buddy, thoughts and prayers

  37. Erin Podolsky [Visitor] Erin Podolsky [Visitor]


    CDK emailed soon after the accident happened to let me and other 501ers know, and I know he’s repping us every time he checks in on you. All the same, I’m still thinking about you and wishing you all the best.


  38. Hi Mark,

    We send our best Michigan healing
    powers your way! I would tell you a
    good joke (as you know I like to do),

    but it might hurt if you laugh – ouch!

    Get well soon so we can help libraries
    be cool places – in person and

    Sheryl Mase
    Library of Michigan

  39. Chris Jowaisas [Visitor] Chris Jowaisas [Visitor]

    Mark – We’ve only met briefly, but I wanted to pass along wishes for a speedy recovery. We are all pulling for you – Chris

  40. Fawn Carr [Visitor] Fawn Carr [Visitor]

    Hey there Bardo…all our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family from my mother and I.

  41. Suzanne Dees [Visitor] Suzanne Dees [Visitor]

    Mark – I just got to know you recently. You are a super guy! Get well! We need you back planning conferences, working in 2nd Life, and making us laugh.

  42. Tracey [Visitor] Tracey [Visitor]

    Mark –

    Irene told me about this horrible accident. I am so sorry you and your loved ones have to go through this. I’ve been thinking about you and sending positive thoughts your way. You need to get better so that ALA can sent you to a ridiculous amount of meetings at Midwinter but regardless you will find time to dine with your SI friends. Many many hugs to you.

  43. Mark,

    I’m still waiting for you to create my 6 foot blond avitar for 2nd Life! Stop lolly-gagging around and get back to us! Who is going to inspire us to exercise and explore new kinds of pies and uses for your home-made pies!

    Your absence haunts us, so wake up and get up and get back to us….


  44. Kate Williams [Visitor] Kate Williams [Visitor]

    really glad to read of your progress out of ICU. take the time you need Mark, get yourself healed, your bright future is waiting for you. we love you. kate

  45. Robin Kear [Visitor] Robin Kear [Visitor]

    Mark, you have obviously made such an impact on so many people. We are all sending positive thoughts your way. I met you briefly at ALA in Seattle but remember you vividly. You have a warm, welcoming, kind presence and offered to help me with Second Life research without a second thought. Get well soon!

    Robin Kear

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