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Karin Currie: "Businessperson of the Year."

Library funding makes up less than one percent of Montgomery County’s annual budget. To truly be centerpieces of the community, libraries need supporters like Karin Currie.

Currie started Friends of the Potomac Library 12 years ago — the first such group for a local branch — and she’s been involved ever since.

Currie earned the honor of being named this year's "Businessperson of the Year" by the Potomac Chamber of Commerce.

“We just thought [the library] was a great community meeting place and people should get involved with it, that people should benefit,” Currie said. “Potomac doesn’t really have meeting places. You can come into this library at any time of the day, six days a week, and there are people meeting here. It is very much a focal point for the community.”

FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY raises money through its monthly booksales and other events. The funds go to fill the librarians’ “wish lists" — things such as new shelves, new carpeting for the play area that is part of the library’s “Born to Read” program for toddlers, and, this year, a new sign.

“She’s done a terrific job,” said Potomac resident Tristram Kruger, who nominated Currie. “It’s a very thankless job. It takes one person to organize the meting and send out the flyers and do all the things that she does, and I just think it's time that she gets recognized.”

Currie runs the before- and after-school programs at Wayside Elementary School.

She is the mother of four adult children: Jennifer and James, who publish “On Tap,” a monthly newspaper in Arlington, Va.; John, a sixth-grade teacher at the Norwood School; and Julie, who lives with her fiancée in New Hampshire.

Currie’s favorite thing about working with Friends of the Library?

“It would be hard to pick one thing,” she said. “I’ve gotten to know the community better because of my involvement. It’s very much a two-way street. … You get back more than you give.