President: Lorrie Muller
Vice President: Sheila House
Secretary: Ray Hudson
Treasurer: Cynthia Watters
In my lifetime I have moved 15 times and now am happily sharing a house in East Middlebury with my daughter Lyn and Peter DeGraff. 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.
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.
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.
Anne E. Taylor
Anne moved from the Chicago Metropolitan area to Middlebury in 2011 where she continued her life-long heavy use of the local public library. After taking over the production of the monthly online newsletter for the Middlebury Garden Club she heard about the need of the Friends of Ilsley Library to have someone assist with posts on its webpage. Having kept friends and family informed through a WordPress blog of the changes encountered in her new semi-rural life she felt equipped to help. The next thing she knew she was a member of the Board. As the mother of two sons who prided themselves on signing up for a Summer Reading Program on its first day, checking out piles of books, reading all day, and returning at the end of the day to claim all three completion prizes at once, and top listing on the posting of children completing the program, Anne is happy to be a contributor to the work of the Friends of Ilsley Library. Now, if only she could bring herself to donate to the Book Sale more of the estimated 1,500 books she moved from Illinois to Vermont life would be complete.
Kevin took the reins as Ilsley’s director in 2013. Before coming here, he managed three satellite branches as well as the Borrower Services department for the main public library in Middletown, New Jersey a community of 66,000 residents. Previously to this he was Area Manager for four branches, including the main branch, of the public library system in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Unrath earned his Master’s of Library Science from University of Illinois in 2000. Although he grew up in Florida, Kevin is happy to now call Vermont home – the people are every bit as laid back here as there, even without the calming influence of Jimmy Buffett.
Robert (“Bob”) S. Wallace
Bob assists Mary Ruth Crawford in the receiving, sorting, marking, organizing and setting up of monthly, first Saturday, Used Book Sales. Generous gifts of books from members of the public and the Library offer a large variety of titles and subjects for sale each month, helping fund the many activities The Ilsley Library has to offer.
Check back for information on more Executive Board members.