We honor long time FoIL members for

their many years of service!

Mary Ruth Crawford has been in love with books all her life. She spent much of her career in Acquisitions and Collection Development at the Middlebury College Library. When she retired she continued her association with books by taking on the books section of the Project Hope retail store, and she quickly expanded and transformed it. When the long-time manager of the Friends of Ilsley monthly booksale ‘retired’, Mary Ruth was the first person the Board thought of to succeed her. Despite volunteering at Hope full-time, Mary Ruth agreed—and, with her loyal cohort Bob Wallace, promptly expanded and transformed it too, adding ‘specially priced books’ to the mix—which she priced. It has required a greatly increased crew to handle what she and Bob did. And so we honor Mary Ruth Crawford’s important contributions to the Friends of the Ilsley Library.

Lorrie Muller has an elementary teaching degree with a specialty in reading. She was instrumental in organizing and directing a county-wide volunteer adult literacy program for 15 years in Ulster Co., NY. There she learned how to set up the 501c3, lobby for NYS funds, visit the service organizations for support, train the volunteers, etc. She has agreed to continue on the board of Ilsley  for one more year as consultant, membership committee member, and book sale helper.

Raymond Hudson is the creative one—a poet, an author, an artist, jack of all trades who spent time in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska before coming to Middlebury in 1999. He has been helping with the Friends activities since he arrived, and was secretary of the board for almost that long. Luckily, he has agreed to continue making his lively posters that advertise the book sales.

If you see any of these people, please thank them for all they have contributed to our library community.

We also honor Bob Wallace. Bob had an interesting background. He was a dancer, an actor, and Illustrator of published books. He worked in research at the NYC Public Library. He lived abroad in Japan and Paris. And then he came to us in Middlebury. When he joined the Friends, he quickly took over helping with the sorting of books for the book sale. Faithfully, every day he came to the library to sort the donated books.  By magic, we would arrive at meetings and sale day with everything in order.  He left a legacy behind that is taking many people to replace. Always a perfect gentleman, he lived his life to the fullest, and he is greatly missed!

The Friends of the Ilsley Library is a non-profit, volunteer organization working to extend the Library’s services and facilities. Organized in 1967, Friends’ members now number close to one hundred families and individuals. Funds raised by membership contributions and book sales have provided nearly $20,000 in support in the past year and a half. The invaluable assistance of the Friends has allowed the library to host innovative programming, purchase and implement new technology, develop staff competencies, assist low income non-residents obtain borrowing privileges, initiate building improvements, and countless other wonderful things.

Ilsley Public Library has about 2400 Middlebury addresses where at least one person holds a library card, and 900 addresses outside Middlebury where people pay a fee for borrowing privileges. Of these households, a mere 91 are members of Friends of the Ilsley Library. Yet it is through membership dollars that we are able to support many of the library’s programs.


A few of the boxes of children’s books at a sale

Our annual budget is close to $20,000, but the book sales raise only one quarter of that amount. We welcome your support, either through membership, a donation and/or as a volunteer.  An annual contribution of $5 or more automatically enrolls you as a member of the Friends. Access to the online (or USPS) newsletter is available to those who fill out a membership form and return it to Ilsley Public Library.  Click on the ‘Renew’ link in the sidebar to access this form, or pick up a form near the Friends display at Ilsley (on the wall to the right of the main desk).