Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bernardsville Library to Honor Volunteer of the Year

Bernardsville Public Library will honor 2013 Volunteer of the Year Pat Bankowski at a reception in the library hosted by the Board of Trustees on Sunday, September 22 at 2:00 pm.  

"Pat Bankowski has been the moving force in bringing the information in the library's Edwin S. Spinning Local History collection into the digital age," said Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers' Services Manager at the library, "She uploaded our record of obituaries dating back to the early years of the 20th century and worked with us to make the historic Fred Pitney Crater collection of local photographic images available to the public; now she keeps the obituary record up-to-date and is working on making wedding records available online."

After retiring as a data analyst for AT&T and Prudential, Ms. Bankowski was recruited to join the Local History Room volunteer committee by Marion Kennedy, former committee chair.  "I frequently met Marion while walking my dog, and she told me about the Local History Room.  I had to admit that I had never been in there.  I loved the library, but somehow I had missed the Local History Room," said Ms. Bankowski.  She started to volunteer in 2010 and was amazed by the richness of the materials in the collection.  "So many photographs, the old Bernardsville News volumes, the files of information—it was overwhelming and exciting," she said.  "I have lived in Bernardsville all my life except for eleven years, and working in the Local History Room I can see how it was at various times and try to ensure that our own times are documented as well for the future."

"The library couldn't be as effective as it is without the dedication and volunteerism of people like Pat," said Donald Burset, President of the Library Board of Trustees.  "Their contributions and expertise, truly make Bernardsville Library 'a world at your doorstep.'"

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