Monday, July 11, 2011

WMRLS End of Era Picnic

On Saturday July 9, 2011, WMRLS staff got together for a picnic to catch up, say good-bye and in general, celebrate almost 50 years of service to the libraries and communities of western MA. We had staff from the very beginning and those who served until this past week. As usual we gathered over food, and a certain baseball rivalry was brought to the fore. The picnic was held at the D.A.R. State Park in Goshen on an absolutely gorgeous day. There was more than a little 'remember when' and a lot of discussion of plans for the future.

We were privileged to have three of our four past Regional Administrators present. Frankin P. Taplin was the Region's first Administrator (1961) and was responsible for encouraging libraries to join and support the new organization. Bruce S. Baker (RA from 1972-1990) took the Region and its first budget increase (yes 10 years on the same budget) through an expansion of services, the move from Springfield to Hatfield, and to becoming a nonprofit. John E. Ramsay (RA from 1991-2010) guided Regional services through the expansion from a public library system to include all types of libraries, the building of the new WMRLS HQ in Whately, and the eventual, budget induced merger into a single statewide system.

The picnic was sponsored by the Western MA Library Advocates, and we offer our sincere thanks for their support. We have a lot to be proud of and much to look forward to. What a grand history of service and a great group of people with whom to share a major portion of our lives.

~Jan Resnick, Former WMRLS Assistant Regional Administrator

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