The Lynnfield Library held its annual Volunteer Reception on June 19, 2014 in the town’s 300-year-old Meeting House. It was one of those perfect early summer evenings– the historic building’s interior bathed in the waning sunlight. The attendees enjoyed a fine variety of hors d’oeuvres, sandwiches, and desserts provided by a local caterer. The spirit of volunteerism was lauded in the speeches by library advocates, library employees and Friends of the Library.
In fact, outgoing Friends’ President Janine Saldanha researched the history of volunteerism in America from Colonial times forward. Janine revealed that, “Benjamin Franklin formed the first volunteer firehouse in 1736, and even today, more than 70% of firefighters are volunteers.” Women, in particular, donated many selfless hours to the effort during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Janine emphasized that “we are part of this rich and valuable tradition,” and “the heart of any organization.”
Library Director Nancy Ryan focused on the countless hours donated by volunteers in wide-ranging variety of activities: mailings of newsletters and calendars, maintaining library grounds, working on book sales and fundraisers, and assisting in the Genealogy room. She and the library staff are very grateful and appreciate our boundless “skills, good humor and talents.”
The guests were privileged to hear from three town dignitaries: Library Lynnfield Trustees Faith Honer-Coakley and Bob Calamari and Selectmen Tom Terranova. Faith professed her belief that each and every volunteer means a lot to the community and is appreciated. Tom’s theme was much the same. He asserted that the community is rooted in volunteerism, and that the library benefits accordingly. Residents from youth to adults are becoming increasing aware of the important role the library plays in town. Bob Calamari noted recent important developments that make it an exciting time for the library. He expressed gratitude to Faith Honer-Coakley and her husband Peter for providing seed money for a foundation to benefit the library. Bob also announced to the group that the library was the recent recipient of a $50K planning and design grant from the state. This grant will allow us “to plan for our own future on our own terms,” including retaining “professional help to thematically plan what we want our facility to look like over the long term.”
This evening marked the end of Janine Saldanha’s two-year service as President of the Friends of the Lynnfield Library. It was the perfect occasion for incoming President Priscilla March to thank her on our behalf. “Despite her extremely busy personal and professional life, Janine never fails to demonstrate unflagging enthusiasm for the Friends of the Library. She takes special care to nurture relationships with town officials and trustees.” Described as “gracious with a demure smile, Janine is persistent and very good at what she does.” During her tenure she presided over numerous successful events, “generously giving of her time and talent.” The Friends of the Library presented Janine with a lovely bouquet of flowers as a gesture of appreciation. Her presidency was a memorable one.