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Library director grateful for ‘Big Read’ volunteers, donors

To the Editor:

On behalf of the staff and Trustees of the Shrewsbur y Public Library, I wish to acknowledge the generous community support for the Shrewsbury Big Read Project. The eff ort, which culminated on June 7, involved over 1,300 people who took part in fortyfour programs or activities that focused on the novel "My Antonia" and the immigrant experience of our community and our country.

First, I wish to thank the many people who read the book or participated in any of the project events. We greatly appreciate your willingness to discover something new about the book or author, our immigrant past or the community's history.

I also wish to thank the grant planning team partners in the School Department, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Council on Aging, the Friends of the Library, Shrewsbury Media Connection and the Library's Adult Service Committee. Special thanks go to Sharon Yager of the Senior Center for her generous assistance throughout the project, and for taking on all the tasks of hosting the kickoff event at the Senior Center. Thank you to Anne Wentzell of the School Department for attending the orientation session, helping with grant logistics and supporting the project's activities and events. Thank you also to Paton School Media Aid Rosemary Royer and Floral Street School Art Teacher Robert Wilson for bringing such enthusiasm to the project and lending their support to the kick-off event. Great credit also goes to Bill Nay of Shrewsbury Media Connection and his staff for embracing the project's goals and spending countless hours developing video promotions, recording the public reading of the novel, the various grant programs, and the personal immigrant stories.

Thank you also to the members of the volunteer coordinating committee, who answered the call to help plan the project's kickoff event. Thank you to John and Elaine Cosmas, Karen Mungal, Martha Paine, Marianne Joubert, Weichu (Brian) Chu, Claire Donovan, Rosemary Royer, Heidi Wolf, Bator Lachmann, Tippiwan Burns, Saipin Favre, Carolyn Passey, Peo Nathan, Jenny Wang, Kathleen Rochelau and Maria Massaides. What a tremendous joy it was to work with these volunteers and witness the joyous cultural festival they created.

Thanks also to my staff Ge orge Brown, Cindy Creedon, Dan Barbour, Nancy Colby and Linda Johnson Dashnaw for holding book discussions, offering great children's programs, helping with promotions, organizing trips and special events and generally giving attention to all the details that made the project a success. Thanks also to former library employee Ann Biggins for bringing her "librarian skills" back to life to assist with the book discussions.

To the businesses and groups who hosted Big Read events, including the Shrewsbury Senior Center, Shrewsbury School Department, Black Diamond Coff ee House, Shrewsbury Towers and Dunkin' Donuts, we thank you for your support. I also wish to thank the following organizations who provided supplemental funds for the effort: the Council on Aging, the School Department, the Recreation Department, the Friends of the Shrewsbury Library, and the Trustees of the Shrewsbury Public Library. While the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts MidWest substantially funded this great project, the enthusiasm and dedication of the local volunteers and supporters gave life to the eff ort. They developed a successful event that not only brought attention to reading and great literature, but also celebrated the tremendous sense of community to be found in Shrewsbury. Thank you to all.

We look forward to next year's Big Read! Appreciatively, Ellen M. Dolan Library Director Shrewsbury

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=3007

Posted by on Jul 25 2008. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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