President: Lorrie Muller
Vice President: Helmut Hietzker
Secretary: Ray Hudson
Treasurer: Cynthia Watters
In my lifetime I have moved 15 times and now am happily sharing a house in Middlebury with my daughter Lyn. My growing up years were in Ohio and I graduated from Valparaiso University in Indiana, outside of Chicago in 1958. My husband and I restored and enlarged a 19th century Dutch farm house in upstate NewYork which prepared me for the job of helping to change the Annex to include an apartment for me.
My final career was to launch a county-wide volunteer adult literacy program and act as director for 15 years. We graduated thousands of adults into the literate world.
When I moved to Middlebury, I planned to volunteer so that I would be meeting the nicest people in town. I promised myself that I would choose areas of interest where I had never volunteered before. This led me to accept the role as a board member of the Friends of Ilsley Library. It has been my pleasure to be elected president several times.
Our goal is to support our wonderful library staff and financially support the programming for adults, children and youth. Our funds come from the membership and donations from the public and this energetic board continues the once-a-month book sales on the first Saturday every month.
Helmut H. Hietzker
I was asked to join the Friends of the Ilsley Library Board four years ago. As a community volunteer and avid reader my goal is to have the Ilsley Library provide a positive and productive service to the residents of this area. Since my wife, Gail, and I serve on a number of boards, I value the time and effort I provide to this group.
Ray joined the Friends shortly after moving to Middlebury from Alaska in 1992. However, several years passed and he had never been to a meeting until Linda Burdett asked him one afternoon if he would serve as vice-president of the board. Foolishly, he agreed. Since then he has served in a number of capacities. At the moment, he is secretary and prepares the occasional newsletter. And reading? He generally reads either non-fiction or murder mysteries. At the moment (March 2014), he is into A Place of Greater Safety, Hilary Mantel’s historical fiction about the French revolution—having just finished her two novels about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII.
Cynthia was a librarian in Vermont for many years—first as a regional librarian for the VT Dept. of Libraries (her region included Middlebury) and then as a catalog librarian at Middlebury College—until her retirement several years ago. She has always been committed to public libraries and served on the Ilsley Board of Trustees for a term in the late 1970’s. Shortly after she retired she accepted an invitation to serve as Treasurer for the Friends of the Ilsley Library and has been happily overseeing their funds ever since.
Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of time spent being read to, reading, and visiting the library in the small Connecticut town where I grew up. I have two adult daughters and taught in Barre, Vermont for 32 years. As a parent and teacher, I read to learn, to teach and to escape. I also enjoy reading aloud to others. I moved to Middlebury in February 2018 from Randolph, Vermont, where I served on the board of the Friends of Kimball Library for many years. Libraries welcome and provide essential services for people of all ages and backgrounds; serving on the board of Friends of Ilsley allows me to help support the vital work of our community library.
Sheila spent the majority of her working years in libraries: first in a hospital medical library concurrent with her library school attendance, then followed by eight years as the children’s librarian in a small town public library, and finally capped by 18 years as a school librarian for grades K-8. She always loved going to work because every day was different. While her professional goal was to make her libraries a little better each day–usually by discovering and meeting the needs of her clientele–an additional benefit was spending so many hours in surroundings both stimulating and comforting. When one of her brothers asked, “What do you librarians do for fun,” Sheila considered responding, “We go to our jobs,” something that many employed folks would never understand. So even after retirement, Sheila is still fortunate to spend time in another wonderful library, volunteering both for the Ilsley Library and for the Ilsley Friends of the Library.
My interest in libraries began when our public library in Massapequa, NY, was still in a storefront. I began, at age 9, as a volunteer shelver, then later as a paid employee when the library’s permanent home was built. I worked there after school all through high school, and also in the summer after freshman year at Middlebury College. My English major led to five years as a middle school English teacher in Massachusetts, then seven more after we moved to VT. During my interview for the position of branch librarian in E. Middlebury in 2003, I explained to library director David Clark that my entire home library was organized by the Dewey Decimal System. That may have swung their decision my way. I was branch librarian for 17 1/2 years, retiring August 29, 2020. During all my years as teacher and librarian, I have always found time for volunteer work through my church or with groups like Hospice or Habitat for Humanity. Currently I volunteer at Nifty Thrifty clothing resale shop in Brandon.