Norfolk Library Associates celebrate 50th anniversary

Guests enjoyed a festive spread at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Norfolk Library Associates.

Jennifer Almquist

Norfolk Library Associates celebrate 50th anniversary

NORFOLK — Despite icy roads Saturday, Jan. 20, enthusiastic guests gathered in the Great Hall of the Norfolk Library to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Norfolk Library Associates.

Library director Ann Havemeyer opened the party with her remarks: “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Norfolk Library Associates, a remarkable organization that has done so much for the Library over the past five decades. When Isabella Eldridge built the library in 1888, it was her wish that it would not only be a library, but also a gathering place for the community.

“Since its founding in 1974, the Library Associates have brought Isabella’s vision to life by organizing a wide variety of cultural events, book groups, children’s programs, concerts, films, and lectures, all open to the public, free of charge. These programs are funded primarily with monies raised at the Associates Annual Book Sale, first held in 1976 and now considered one of the best in Southern New England.

“Among the Associates’ other achievements has been the creation of a monthly art exhibit program, which features talented artists and raises additional funds for the library. Over 250 artists have had solo shows at the library since 1974.”

After awards were presented to the current co-presidents of the Associates, Galene Kessin and Louise Davis, thank-yous and flowers were given Ruthann Olsson, and past presidents, and Havemeyer gave special thanks to indefatigable Associates annual book sale organizer, Bridget Starr Taylor, the celebrants enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by the Associates, which filled the long oak table in the Hall.

Wine glasses were filled, seltzers and a refreshing punch served, old friends hugged, and welcomed some new members of the community. Local musicians Grant and Kristin Mudge and their band The Grantville Dawgs raised the roof of the sedate, historic Library with their vintage rock and roll. The songs evoked the spirit of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s — some people even danced.

The spirit of the visionary Isabella Eldridge was felt by one and all.

Membership in the Library Associates is open to any person who wishes to contribute to ensure that the cultural and artistic events continue to be a vital part of the Norfolk Library.

A monthly meeting of the Associates is held at noon on the first Tuesday of the month. This is an open meeting that anyone may attend.

Kristin and Grant Mudge and their band, the Grantville Dawgs, played music from all five decades the Norfolk Library Associates have existed.Jennifer Almquist

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