Doris Valis; Gerry Bernard; Judy Davis, book sale chair for more than 15 years; Gladys Hertzberg; Karin Currie; and Denice Shaw
Twenty-five years ago, Karin Currie had the foresight to launch the first Friends of the Library Chapter in Montgomery County at the Potomac Library. Since that time, the group has grown to more than 110 volunteers who organize and run a monthly book sale, coordinate numerous programs throughout the year for Potomac residents of all ages and who serve as a support group for the librarians and staff of the Potomac Public Library.
“I decided to start the Friends of the Library because Head Librarian Barbara Harr and Elie Pisarra-Cain twisted my arm and said we need a Friends Group,” Currie said. “I was originally from Europe and had spent many hours learning English at the Potomac Library — and I was so fond of the staff and volunteers. I was already involved with the Library Advisory Committee and thus I agreed to start the Friends of the Library. Almost immediately we had 90 people interested in joining — and they have remained extremely loyal to the group and to our mission. I have been on the board ever since the group was founded.”
The Friends of the Library celebrated 25 years of service with an award presentation to their dedicated volunteers on Wednesday, Nov. 2. President Edie Wingate was recognized with a bouquet of red roses, and all volunteers received a gift card. Tina Rawhouser, director of the Potomac Library, acknowledged the dedication of the Friends of the Library and said, “I would like to recognize this amazing group who do so much to support our library. It is a wonderful organization that is committed to making our library better.”
Members of the Potomac Village Garden Club (PVGC) were also celebrated for their service in beautifying the grounds around the library. Linda Rieger and Julie Perlman represented the PVGC and Perlman explained that the PVGC volunteers have worked extremely hard creating the gardens.
“We are particularly enjoying teaching the skills and love of gardening to the Potomac Girl Scouts, ages 6 – 13 who are working on Badge requirements. They are learning to love the beauty they create,” she said.
Others who were honored were Doris Valis, Gerry Bernard, Judy Davis, Karin Currie and Gladys Hertzberg for their work each month at the book sale.
Denise Shaw was recognized for outstanding service as Hucklecat at Potomac Day and as other children’s book characters during the year. “Children just fall in love with me when I’m dressed up,” she said. “It is so much fun to be petted and hugged by them.” Both Shaw and Bernard served as president of the organization in the past.
Karin Currie was pleased to make a special announcement: “I have served on the board of the Friends of the Library ever since I founded it. Usually have a volunteers party, but this year, we scaled it back to just refreshments and gift cards. There was a very important reason for this.
As we look around us, this meeting room that is so often used needs updating. The Friends of the Library is pleased to give the Potomac Library a check for $2,500 to refurbish the library meeting room.”
The Friends of the Library has donated funds for furniture, computers and painting the walls. They have also provided musical entertainment, author talks, children’s programs and a wealth of educational events throughout the years.