Letter: A lot of thanks go into our celebration

By on August 13, 2010

Our building : 20 years in the making, six years in the planning, two years in the building, now one year in, and worthy of celebration.

It is hard to remember the old place. As a reminder, we were good with books and answers, and plenty bad on space and computers. This place has met the demands of our dreaming … we have seen a great increase in library use to fill where we were short in the old place. Imagine University of Illinois Extension classes, Lifelong Learning classes, early voting, business and room fee income. All only here. Computer use, free wifi, classes—thank you Anthony Rich, may the memory of Janice Katherine live on in our center as a fitting legacy of learning.

At the old place, people happened in to one another and felt rushed to move on—there was no space to visit. Here, people make dates and attend regular gatherings, they sit and visit, study, work and play.

The parking lot has six times the space, and it is often filled. Yet the building rarely feels crowed. It absorbs the users off to their own corners. It is a pleasure working in a place that commands such awe from a first-time visitor, it is an ever changing space—even repeat customers recognize things fresh on a visit.

This year in, has shown us, as will the years to come, that we are not without new challenges. Our ability to meet increasing demands for service, the desire to have more hours, more programs, more books must be measured against the resources available to us.

To this end, thank you to the Library Board, volunteers, fellow library staff and Library Friends. Together, we have experienced strong personal and community displays of strength and resiliency. I trust that the next year brings us more support and great results.

Another purpose of this gathering is to recognize, as we did at our benefactor night last year, the contribution of a few special individuals. The Library Friends have a special program for this, but first I must recognize Pat Graceffa for her tireless effort in managing, as a volunteer, the business of the Friends counter in The Book Nook Cafe. She is always looking for volunteers. When others cannot, she is here. In her role as Library Friends president, she has established an award to recognize Friends and volunteers that have given in efforts well and above.

This year, we recognize Mari Johnson for her efforts in spreading good news of the library and Library Friends activities. She is always there to help. She has invested hours in hauling books for the books sales, assisting in the setup and managing of those sales. Especially key this past year, Mari was a key player in developing, putting in long hours for setting up and hosting the Holiday Designer Show Case. Looking ahead, her work is not done—the next showcase is November 2011. Mari, Thank you.

Also being recognized this year is Don Meisinger. Don also is part of the used book sale effort, hauling books for the books sales, assisting in the setup and managing of those sales. The hours put into the sale set up is amazing, especially at Corn Boil, but Don is always there and always as I see it, in a good mood. He is a steady volunteer at the Library Friends counter. And our regular oil can man—helping keep our book carts running as quietly as possible. Thank you, Don.

Our last recognition for this year is a bittersweet one as she is not in attendance, having moved from our state. We miss her contributions, as over the years she was key to the Library Friends with work on essay contests, raffles and corporate support. Tina Cella helped to shape the Friends from a club into an organization. Thank you Tina.

Pat promised you all a great announcement to follow on the heals of “we own the statue at the fireplace.” In truth, part ruse to bring our recipients here, but true as it is also to state our efforts for the year to come, which involve working to raise funds to keep our programming and collection vital and active.

One step is our BYKI language programs to be instituted soon, as take home flash drives, paid for by the Friends, as well as online classes for home and our lab. This will help us all learn, in a variety of languages, to say a phrase we hope to repeat—acknowledging your support during this new year: Thank you, merci be coup, gracias, Bitte … I hope to learn many more ways to say thank you.

Thank you, Library Friends, for making this and so much more possible here in our library.

Beverly Holmes Hughes
Director, Sugar Grove Public Library