Friends Newsletter - chestercountylibrary
The Friends of the Chester County Library, 450 Exton Square Parkway, Exton, PA 19341
www.chescolibraries.org [email protected] (610) 280-2685
A Message from the Friends President
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
1 A Message from the Friends
2 Spring Book Sale
2 Memorials and Honor
3 Writing the Past
There are many in our community with a serious love for our library. They truly
appreciate the materials and services the library provides, and support the important
role of the library in our community. Many of these people become library volunteers,
who share their knowledge and skills with those in need. We have also had long-time
patrons ask if there are other ways to show their support.
We are pleased to offer opportunities for folks to show their library love, to celebrate a
special occasion, or to honor someone extraordinary with a book tribute, or sponsorship
of a new library shelf end panel.
4 Book Review
4 Matching Gifts
A book tribute is a gift which enhances the Library's
collection by adding books that the Library could not
otherwise purchase. For a donation of $25, a person or
organization will be recognized with the placement of a
personalized bookplate in a library book, for the entire
community to enjoy for years.
2015 Friends of the Chester County Library
Board of Directors
Book Sale Chair
Book Sorter Chair
Members at Large
A. Michael Broennle
The Board meets on the first Tuesday of each
month with the exception of July.
The Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Chester
County Library is held the first Tuesday in
Contact us at [email protected] for more
We also hope you noticed the new end panels on the shelves as you traverse the
Library’s main corridor. These end panels give individuals, clubs and other
organizations a chance to support the library. We recognize their support with a
personalized engraved plaque, placed on the panel.
Donations fund the Chester County Library’s
extraordinary materials purchases and fund programs for
children and adults.
You can sponsor a shelf end panel or a book tribute in
your name, in the name of a family member or friend, or in
memory of a loved one. Forms are available at the library.
Take a moment to see our new column in this newsletter,
with a list of recent Memorial & Tribute Donations. We
hope you will find this a worthwhile means of celebrating
an anniversary, graduation, retirement, or a life, while
supporting the Chester County Library.
Spring Book Sale Coming Soon – April 10 through April 12, 2015!
The Friends of the Chester County Library are preparing for their annual Spring Book Sale
scheduled for April 10, 11, and 12.
More than 30,000 books in a variety of subjects, from the sciences to the humanities to
fiction and poetry will be available for purchase at bargain prices, along with current and out
of print hardback and paperback novels, first editions, biographies, history and children’s
books, cook books, music CDs and movie DVDs, and much more.
The book sale starts with a preview night for members of the Friends of the Chester County
Library on Friday, April 10, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. All Friday night attendees must have a
CURRENT membership BEFORE they get into line outside the Struble Room (back parking
lot). Place-saving in the entrance line using boxes, crates, etc. is not allowed.
Memberships - $15 for an individual and $20 per household - can be purchased prior to the sale on Friday night by:
• Mailing in the membership form (from the mailer or the website).
• Purchasing a membership at the Library’s Circulation Desk (main Checkout) prior to 4:30 p.m. on Friday night.
• Purchasing a membership on Friday night at the membership table located at the staff entrance at the rear of the library. The
membership table will open at 5:00 p.m.
The sale is open to the public starting on Saturday, April 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 12, is Bag Sale Day, which takes
place from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. All are welcome to come and fill a grocery bag for $10 per bag. Want just a few books? Un-bagged books
will be sold at half-price on Sunday
The book sale accepts only cash or checks. All proceeds from the book sale benefit the Chester County Library. For safety, no strollers
will be permitted in any of the Book Sale areas and children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
“The Friends would like to thank the many volunteers who work to make our Book Sales a
success. We simply could not do it without you. We would also like to thank Buca di Beppo
Italian Restaurant in Main Street Exton, Rino’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria in Exton, and
Carmine’s Parkside in Chester Springs for their support of both the Spring and Fall book
sales. Thanks also to the Exton Giant for donating the bags for our Sunday sale. We
appreciate your support in making the book sales a success!”
Please email your
comments on the
book sale to us at:
Memorials & Honor Donations
Thank you to the following people for Memorial & Honor Donations received in 2014:
• For Robert Koenig: by Margie Stroman.
• For Anna Mae Falkenstein: by Her Book Club Friends.
• For Marie Claire McCann Stockmal: by Mr. & Mrs. Richard McCann.
• For Marjorie Guiser: by Paul & Carol Craig; by John & Pamela Freehafer; by Joan & Harry Guest; by The Hankin
Foundation; by The Penn State Extension Staff; by Richard & Jane Plummer; by Elizabeth Tinley; by The Paul V. Fly
Elementary School Staff; by Cheryl Osborne, Kaitlin D’Lauro & Jamie Windheim.
• For John Davis & Sam Blank: by Mr. & Mrs. Bob Steele
WRITING THE PAST: Yesterday Was Once Today
A Symposium at Children’s Literature New England, by Anna Marie Black
“Passionate about children’s literature,” describes the sentiment of so many of the teachers,
librarians, and writers who are involved with Children’s Literature New England, Inc. They all
have a love of story. That includes me. Thanks to a Friends grant, I traveled to attend the
symposium “Writing the Past: Yesterday Was Once Today” held Nov. 14-16, 2014 at
Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont.
Attendees were expected to read 21 titles in advance, with The Book Thief as an overarching
title. Presenters included stellar children’s authors Katherine Paterson, Jack Gantos, Susan
Cooper, Elizabeth Partridge, Brian Selznick, and Shane Evans. In a breakout session,
participants discussed aspects of how the literature engages young readers or how the
author’s use of accurate historical detail enables the reader to understand the historical context. Each day moves us forward to
the narrative of our past.
Each morning the assembly began with singing led by author Gregory Maguire, a founding member of CLNE. Then it was poetry
with Ashley Bryan. Presenters Gantos, Partridge, and Selznick spoke about how their historical fiction had been shaped by
personal experiences and meticulous research. The consensus among all presenters for writing history, whether fiction,
nonfiction, memoir, or poetry, was accuracy and the choice of precise historical details that convey a sense of the time period and
move the story along.
M. T. Anderson showed how a simple image of a rotary-dial telephone places an event in historical context. In Wilborn Hampton’s
Kennedy Assassinated: The World Mourns: A Reporter’s Story, Hampton’s knack in working the phones, including a pay phone,
gave him the edge in getting his story. Leda Schubert and her publisher Neal Porter discussed their collaboration and attention to
detail in producing award-winning biographies. Paterson, who by virtue of her age now considers all her books historical fiction,
advised would-be authors: “Read! Read! Read!”
During a panel discussion among the presenters, I posed the question: When will we see children’s or YA fiction about 9/11?
(There is very little on this topic for children.) Two surprise answers: Suzanne Fisher Staples, who spent years as an UPI reporter
in India and Pakistan, said that when she heard the phrase “collateral damage,” she felt compelled to write Under the Persimmon
Tree. Ashley Bryan responded by reciting from Shakespeare a passage that included the words two towers. (Sorry--I can’t cite
the source of that passage!)
Friend the Friends….
Find us on Facebook at “Friends of
the Chester County Library, Exton”
I talked with Deborah Taylor who reviews for several publications about her criteria
in assessing quality fiction and nonfiction and was gratified to know that she and I
share the same list of concerns. Taylor chairs the 2015 ALSC Sibert Informational
Book Award Committee.
I was among a group of stalwart respecters of children’s literature, inspired surely
by one of CLNE’s founders, British author John Rowe Townsend (1922-2014) for
whom a memorial service was offered at the symposium. Townsend deserves the
last word: At its 1999 summer institute he had declared, “CLNE has always
insisted….that children’s literature is literature and that illustration and picture book
creation are arts; they need and deserve to be approached as such.”
Book Review – Recommended Fiction
Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend (translated from Italian, 2012.) - Review by Dwight McCawley
This novel is a masterpiece. It is the richly detailed story of two girls, Lila and Elena, born the same year (1944) in
Naples, Italy, growing up in a rundown neighborhood where too many families with too many kids live too close together,
and where children have to learn to cope somehow without much sympathy or help from the adults. This novel deserves
the status of “masterpiece” in that it presents, in more painstaking detail perhaps than any novel before, the daily fears
and miniscule triumphs, the hidden hopes and suppressed disappointments, of young minds and spirits thrown into a
world that doesn’t care much how they fare nor where they wind up. The author keeps all the events of these
youngsters’ lives subtly organized by putting Lila and Elena into the foreground and relating the riotous, unpredictable yet
utterly realistic incidents in the lives of these two girls to those of the other young boys and girls living in the same streets,
attending the same schools, and facing the same baffling necessities.
It is an odd friendship that develops between these two. They are both “brilliant,” each in her own way. Elena’s way is to
knuckle under, study hard, get good grades, try to finish at the top of the class. Lila’s way is to defy all attempts to tame
her; determinedly independent, she learns in her own way; she often refuses to answer when called on by the teacher. With no apparent effort, she
ends the year ahead of Elena and the rest, yet remains indifferent to that outcome. Elena admires her style, wants to emulate her, wants Lila to
befriend her; she seems almost obsessed with Lila, who only pays attention to her on occasion.
Yet we know they remain friends through decades, because the brief Prologue of the novel shows Elena at age 66, receiving a phone call from Lila’s
grown son Rino, who tells her that Lila has vanished from her house and left not a single trace of her existence behind. Elena knows quite well what
her bizarre “brilliant” friend is up to, but is not about to let Rino in on it. Days pass with no word from Lila. Elena becomes angry. “We’ll see who wins
this time,” she says to herself. She sits down at her computer and begins to write. This novel is the result.
[Note: This book is the first volume of a trilogy; necessarily so, given that they are only 16 when it ends, yet the Prologue shows that they are still in
touch at age 66. Still, My Brilliant Friend is a complete work in itself, with a very definite and quite unpredictable ending.
Two recent books are well worth the plaudits they have received: Dick Cavett’s Brief Encounters, full
of witty but thoughtful short essays (“blogs”) on a spacious spectrum of topics; and Richard Zoglin’s
Hope: Entertainer of the Century, a very thorough, well-researched biography that is a delight to read.
Matching Gift Donations – by Mike Broennle
Consider increasing the amount you give to the Friends without increasing your personal
membership donation. Many employers have Matching Gift Programs in which the
employer makes a gift in an amount equal to or less than the employee’s gift.
Ask your Employee Benefit or Human Resources office if your employer matches gifts.
Corporations are generous donors and matching programs are common. Some
employers will match contributions from retirees and/or spouses. Inquire!
If needed, complete required paperwork. There may be a form to complete and send us
with your gift.
The Friends of the Chester County Library is a 501(c) (3) federally designated non-profit
organization, a condition required by all matching programs.
The Friends would be glad to supply any needed supporting documentation - Let us
know of any questions at 610-280-2685 or at [email protected]
If your company does have matching gifts, let us know! We are compiling a list of area
employers who match, and we will share the news on our web site.
Friends have arranged for matching funds over several years. Many of these programs
may not be well publicized and are often underutilized. By asking, you may stimulate an
employer without a matching gift program to begin one!
2015 Friends Support
In 2015, the Friends are supporting
the following Chester County
• Spring volunteer luncheon
• Community Day sponsorship
• Sponsorship of adult
• Replacement chairs for the
• Teen penny auction and VA
• Bee Bot Hive set for STEM
• Carpet pads for reference desk
• Supplies for the poster machine
in Youth Services
• And of course, aquarium
maintenance for the fish!