Sullivan Free Library's Blog

June 28, 2010

Memorial Gifts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sullivan Free Library @ 4:05 pm
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When a friend or family member passes away, it’s hard to know what to do to show how much you care.   Sending flowers and making food are time-honored ways of giving support, but often families are overwhelmed when receiving  many at once.

Some people  designate a charity to receive donations in lieu of flowers such as hospice or another organization that has been particularly helpful or meaningful in their lives.

When there are no specific  suggestions from the family, another way to celebrate and honor the life of a loved one is to make a donation to a local library in their name.  If the person had  interests or hobbies, the library can purchase books in those subject areas and place a bookplate memorializing the person.   Larger donations could purchase needed furniture or equipment with a plaque acknowledging the person in whose name the gift was made.  Most libraries have donor walls or plaques acknowledging gifts over a certain amount.

Public libraries received thousands of visitors every year;  what better way to memorialize an individual than through a book or item that will be seen and used by so many?

Our library has a rocking chair that has been in our children’s library for longer than I have been here.  It has a small tag identifying the donor, but until recently, I didn’t know the story behind it.  A former Board member told me last week about how this particular man came in the library one day (in a different building at the time), looked around and said “This place needs a comfortable chair where a man can come and get away from his wife from time to time!”.   In consultation with library staff, he bought the rocker and donated it to the library.    It has since been used by librarians reading stories to groups of children, by parents rocking their babies to sleep and occasionally, by an adult who needs a comfortable place to doze off.   That chair has a lot of history.

Many years ago, the library lost a treasured staff person to a heart condition.   Many people made donations in her name, which were used to purchase an upholstered platform rocker and ottoman.   It was placed in a quiet corner of our then tiny library.   A piece of embroidery made by that person was framed and hung behind the chair, and library patrons  had a comfortable place to read the newspaper or  just sit and relax.   When the library moved to a larger building, those were the first two pieces of furniture in a whole area devoted to quiet reading.   We like to think that E. would be happy to be in the new library with us.

At the library, we are always honored to be chosen a recipient for memorial gifts and do our best to work with the donor  to find something that is meaningful to all involved.


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