Mead Witter Foundation to Receive WLA President's Award

Posted by Lisa Strand on Wednesday, October 03, 2012 in Awards

With contributions to Wisconsin's public and academic libraries now totaling $2.49 million, including $407,000 just in 2012, the Mead Witter Foundation of Wisconsin Rapids was an easy pick for this year's WLA President's Award.

Individual grants of $2,500 to $100,000 have made a huge impact on libraries throughout Northcentral Wisconsin. But for Darla Allen, director at Charles & JoAnn Lester Library in Nekoosa, it comes down to two leather club chairs that the library was able to purchase because of a grant from Mead Witter - little luxuries, she says, that libraries like hers with annual budgets under $100,000 can't afford.

Says Allen, "Those chairs have a lot of stories to tell....The widower who is raising three children after his wife passed away in her early 30s. He walks down on his lunch hour, and when he hits the chair, you can see him entirely relax for the first time that day. The grandma who is reading to her grandson after the mom left the family. Or the little boy who sits reading his I Spy books while his mom is working late. You wouldn't think a few chairs could mean so much, but when you think of all the memories that are being made in those chairs, the value is priceless."

Hear more inspiring stories from other library luminaries at this year's awards and honors banquet, Thursday, October 25, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel La Crosse.

If you've already registered for the conference and want to add the awards banquet, call Lisa, Tom or Brigitte at 608.245.3640. If you can't attend the conference but would like to register for the banquet, please use the conference registration form.

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