On Wednesday, November 10th, Cook Memorial Library’s Friends Group was honored by the New Hampshire Trustees Association. The Friends of Cook Memorial Library received “The 2010 Sue Palmatier Award for Outstanding Support by a Friends of the Library Group.” After a short speech, Conrad Moses, President of the N.H. Library Trustees Association, presented the award plaque to Kim Mathison and Donna Whipple, the FoCML presidents, past and present. The ceremony was attended by community members, trustees, Friends Group members, Jay Rancourt, the library director, as well as Ann & Carmine Fabrizio, and Gene & Carol Theoharous of the NH Library Trustees Association. Sue Palmatier, now retired, was a dedicated and tireless 40-year employee of the NH State Library who supported libraries and their friends groups throughout the state.
The following passage is excerpted from the nominating letter written by Nancy Sheridan, CML Library Trustee: “Run entirely by an active board and enthusiastic volunteers, our Friends sponsor activities and raise funds for the enrichment of all library endeavors. Their efforts gained a renewed vigor after the library completed its addition and renovation project in 2001. The Board of Trustees created a position of “Liaison to the Friends” to enhance communication and coordination between the two groups. In addition to the Library Director, this trustee attends all Friends’ meetings and serves as an important conduit for sharing information.
As part of our new building plan, a separate space in the library’s lower level became “The Annex”, a cozy place for the Friends to sponsor their monthly used book sales. Their tireless efforts to organize it “library-style” have brought delight to buyers and significantly increased their sales.
The CML Friends are integral not only to our library, but to the greater community as well. They created a “Welcome Baby” book bag program — a decorated tote bag full of age-appropriate books is delivered by a Friend who visits the family of every new Tamworth baby. This outreach has encouraged young families to read to their children and helps the parents become acquainted with the library’s services.
Our Friends are connected throughout the community, and have had recent success in their efforts to coordinate fundraising activities with other groups – to benefit people of all ages in Tamworth. Last spring, the Friends collaborated with the service organization Altrusa for a “Spring Book, Bake and Plant Sale”. This joint effort brought in more people, attracted more attention, built a bridge of cooperation with another community group, and raised needed funds. Mindful of the larger community, the Friends scheduled the event on the opening day of the nearby Tamworth Farmer’s Market – something that draws local residents as well as many others from surrounding towns.
Tamworth people have a strong commitment to local history and genealogy, and the library plays a significant role in its preservation. Last fall, the Friends funded publication of a book based on the life of a young boy in the 1800s. Edited by our Library Director Jay Rancourt, “The Diary of a Tamworth Boy” was transcribed from an actual diary and combined with historical photographs to capture Tamworth’s daily life in the mid 1800s. This piece of history, in its newly published form, is a gem that residents and visitors have bought to add to their own collections. To help preserve another segment of local history, the Friends funded the costs of recording onto CDs a group of audio tapes containing old interviews with some of Tamworth’s colorful characters.
In support for other community-based programs, the Friends annually purchase passes to the Remick Farm and Museum in Tamworth and the Squam Lake Natural Science Center that can be obtained at the library. These passes allow local families free access to wonderful educational activities – visiting the Science Center is a favorite activity for people of all ages in our town.
This year, in addition to many other donations for books, equipment and technology, the Friends are sponsoring the library’s entire programming budget (adult and children). This allowed the Board to present voters with an acceptable budget at a time of great economic stress for local economies and taxpayers.
Other Friends’ contributions in recent years include hosting a contest to design a new logo for the library book bag, the annual “Cabin Fever Book Sale”, and production of a beautiful calendar, each month represented with art by Tamworth artists, that was sold as a fundraiser.
Our Friends’ group continues to grow because they have demonstrated their value to the library and community. They are our friends and neighbors, connected to people and organizations throughout the town, and casting a wide web of support for the library and its mission. We can think of no better way to say a heartfelt “THANK YOU” on behalf of the Board and Library Staff than to nominate the Friends of Cook Memorial Library for the inaugural Sue Palmatier Award for their outstanding support!”
Refreshments and a FoCML meeting followed the presentation.