Findholt honored for years of work for Chester library

CHESTERTOWN The Friends of the Chestertown Library honored longtime member and volunteer Marigrace Findholt Saturday in a ceremony of appreciation for her volunteer work. Findholt has spent the last 23 years laboring to build an institution that is fundamental to the intellectual vibrancy of a community, library officials said at the event. Findholt said her volunteer work grew out of a community need that she perceived. When I moved up here, there was no permanent library, Findholt said shortly after receiving the Mary Murphy Service Award. A community needs a permanent libraryI just love books. Findholt said that when she moved from Massachusetts to Chestertown in the mid-1980s, she was surprised how little access to books was afforded to local residents. We had the Bookmobile for awhile, but that was discontinued, Findholt said. Chestertown needed a public library. Findholt and her husband Elwood, along with other local citizens, were determined to create a library for the town. With Janet Zachara and Evangeline Mills, petitions were circulated, convincing the local officials the town needed a public library. Marigrace Findholt said that the response from local citizens and officials was positive. Without peoples help, we wouldnt be here, she said. Throughout the ceremony, which was the capstone of the Friends annual meeting, Findholts many contributions were detailed with reverence and appreciation. Findholt was among the several volunteers manning the first library housed in what is today the flower shop on Main St in Chestertown. She helped move the library to its second location, a storefront that today is a hair salon. And when the library moved to the town Municipal Center, Findholt, her husband, and others including Lloyd Greenidge and Bob Bartholomew, helped set up and stock shelves there. At this point, Marigrace Findholt spent hours learning the librarys computer management program. She (Findholt) was always involved in all aspects of the librarys growth, said newly-elected Friends Co-Chair Linda Taverni Saturday. It was her goal to see a permanent library established she did everything from fund-raising to shelving books. Friends board of trustees president Kathleen Roberts said the Library has settled into its new home. We feel as if we have found our place now, said Friends of Chester Library Board President Kathleen Roberts. It is a unique social spacepeople seem to love to come here. Roberts said that the main objective of the Friends group at present is to boost the Librarys endowment, which she said is vital to its operation in perpetuity. We never touch the principal, Roberts said. Roberts said that the Friends organization is always looking for new members, especially board members. We are very lucky, Roberts said. The staff and the board work very well together. For her part, Findholt remained humble. What can I say I am totally overwhelmed, she said.

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