|Pictured with Laura Harper (third from left), are|
Library Trustees Jill Billman-Royer, Janet Shailer,
Board President Lisa Leasure, Kay Byard, Richard
Curtiss, Patricia Moncman, and Donna Carter.
Laura Harper, a Friends of the Library member and long-time library supporter presented library trustees with a check for $100,000 at their June meeting. The donation is the largest in Southwest Public Libraries' history. Fittingly, it honors the woman who served nearly 90 years ago as its first librarian.
Harper donated the money to honor the memory of both her late husband, John, and his aunt, Irene Harper, who is recognized as the SPL's first librarian hired in 1924.
"This is really kind of a bittersweet moment," Harper said. "I wish John was here. I'm only the messenger."
Harper's original plan was to bequeath the money in her will, but decided she would enjoy watching what can be done with it at a new Grove City Library.
Plans are underway to construct this new facility at Broadway and Grant Avenue in Town Center, in a partnership with the city of Grove City.
"SPL is what it is today because of the foresight and hard work and sacrifice of its early pioneers, especially the first librarian, Irene Harper," SPL Director Mark Shaw.