[Carol Kramer (1933 – 2021), center right at table, at the Brighton Memorial Library annual dinner for volunteers held at a local country club. Each volunteer brought home a gift. To Carol’s left and right are fellow book menders. Circa 2000. In Jane Keller’s comment on the Miller Funeral Home site, she mentioned the dinner: “More than 20 years later, I saw Carol a time or two at the Brighton Memorial Library’s annual dinner for volunteers. . . What a wonderful person she was!”]
The Friends of Brighton Memorial Library is fifty years old and going strong. Last week, in the Friends of Brighton Memorial Library Learning Center, the Friends celebrated with a slide show and a table offered literature on the group. The Friends happily explained their mission to library patrons.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the Friends. My mother, Carol Kramer (1933 – 2021), was a Friend. Although, Carol was most enthusiastic in her role as a BML volunteer book mender. Every week, until Parkinson’s hindered her, Carol was on her shift repairing books. On nice days, she walked the 7 tenths of a mile to the library.
Carol’s partners, also elderly women, gathered in a back room to mend books, some in dire distress, damaged by a negligent patron or just suffering from old age.
Using some variety of Bone Folders and Burnishing Squeegees, Book Repair Glues, Weights and Press Boards, Book Cleaners, Book Repair Tape, Paper Trimmers and Scissors, Rulers and Measuring Devices, and Magnifiers, the ladies resurrected books otherwise on their deathbeds. Carol became so good at her craft that she repaired dog eared books in her husband’s collection.
When Carol passed, Reference Librarian Matthew Bashore sent me a nice note recalling that era:
Sorry to hear about your mother. I always looked forward to the days she came to the library to repair books. Carol, Sally Springer, and I would have amazing conversations on a vast variety of topics. She was a wonderful person, and I am deeply saddened this world will be without her.
Media & Network Services Manager Kory Yerkes fondly remembered Carol and her team. Kory explained that since the latest remodeling the back room is gone; staff members now repair books at their desks. We both agreed expert book mending is a lost art.
When I heard about the 50th anniversary event, I recalled the photo of Carol at the annual dinners pinned to the “old photo wall” in the eating/tv room. Wondering if the Friends might know more, I brought the photo to the event. Much to my surprise, the Friends had recently seen a copy of the photo!
When creating the slide show, they went through a trove of photos accumulated over the years — and one of them was the dinner at the country club, circa 2000. The photo did not make the slide show, but knowing the Friends had seen the over 20 year old image felt serendipitous.
The mission of the Friends can be found on the BML website:
The Friends advocate for the Library at the local, state and national government levels; provide extra equipment for new library technologies; support the development of new services, and provide financial gifts with funds raised through membership, the Friends Store & book sales.
You can follow them on Facebook.
The Friends originate or support programs for the library including, but not limited to:
Books Sandwiched In Book Reviews ,Children’s Summer Reading Program, Computer Training Classes, Movies for Kids and Adults, Sunday Serenades and Tuesday Travelogues.
My favorite program is the Dorothy & Jack Pitlick Store located in the year of the library. The store sells books of many genres and time periods, as well as audio material and even board games. The interesting element is that over the years, the top of the shelves have been decorated with paintings, memorabilia, two small sculptures, and odd looking rock and a clock.
Monday-Thursday: 10:00 AM-8 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM-6 PM
Saturday: 12-4 PM (closed June 15- Sept. 15)
Sunday: 12-4 PM (all year)
We invite you to visit the Friends Store when you are in the library. Stop in for a great selection of quality used books, audio books, and videos at bargain prices. Items for sale are updated regularly.
All books are $1 and up.
The History of the Store
In honor of Dorothy and Jack Pitlick for their many contributions to the Brighton Memorial Library, a major gift was made to the Brighton Memorial Library Capital Campaign by their children and grandchildren. In tribute to the Pitlicks and in recognition of the gift, the library named the Friends bookstore the Dorothy & Jack Pitlick Store of the Friends of Brighton Memorial Library. The naming and reception were held on Friday, November 26, 2004 at the library.
Library Board Vice President Rose-Marie B. Klipstein, Executive Director Angela Bonazinga, and Friends Co-President Judy Engerman acknowledged the Pitlicks’ generous contributions of time and talent toward the growth of the library. Jack joined the Library Board of Trustees in 1989 and was instrumental in planning the new library building and advancing a public referendum that was overwhelmingly passed by the community.
Both Jack and Dorothy lent their dedication and enthusiasm to the development of the Friends Store that operates out of the library. Since its inception, they recruited volunteers and oversaw operations. The Store raises funds for the library from the sale of quality used books.
Though they are no longer with us, Jack and Dorothy’s passion for the store and the library lives on through their friends, family, and the volunteers who staff and stock the store each day.
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