NEW MADISON — According to New Madison Public Library Board of Trustees Member Mike Ross, the library is a focal point in the community.
“It’s not just a place to get books,” he said. “It is a meeting place, service oriented and a source of pride.”
Another source of pride for the library, according to New Madison Public Library Director Brenda Miller, is Volunteer of the Year Carol Bradford. She was recognized Tuesday during the library’s Holiday Open House, and honored with the Phyllis Cole Dubbs Library Service Award. Miller said Bradford is an avid reader, and a patron of the library for quite a while. One day she joined the Friends of the Library group.
“She has been a vital part of our group and really has a heart for service,” Miller said. “She has a lot of interests and passions, and spreads herself very thin. One of my best examples is the six dozen cookies and punch she made for the solar eclipse. I just need to tell you this; they disappeared much quicker than the sun did that day. But that is the kind of thing she does. Last week, she brought four cheese balls, fruit and punch to our new writers’ group. I can’t say enough about her, or thank her enough for what she does whenever we ask. For those reasons and many others, she is our Volunteer of the Year for 2017.”
According to Miller, Bradford took on the Chair of the Hospitality Committee, because she comes from a long history of food service-about 28 years.
“I can cook for 750 or 12-it doesn’t make any difference,” Bradford said. “I like cooking.”
Miller said Bradford is very active in the Abbotsville United Methodist Church, especially the Ladies Group. She is also very involved with the Darke County Steam Threshers, and has received several ribbons from the fair for her quilts. Bradford said she has been a volunteer at New Madison Public Library for about three years.
“The people that are here are beautiful to work with,” she said. “If you have an idea, they will listen to you. We bounce ideas off of each other. I thoroughly enjoy it here, and I love volunteering. In this day and age, I think that it is very unusual when people are so busy. It’s nice to take time to do something I enjoy.”
Miller described Phyllis Cole Dubbs as a wonderful woman.
“She was my neighbor when I first moved to town, and an amazing woman,” Miller said. “I didn’t know that she was also such a foundational part of this library, until I started working here. Many of you know that she spent a great deal of her life in service to many organizations, and the library was one. When we lost Phyllis, one of the things that her son Phil and the rest of her family decided to do, was to each year honor one of our volunteers, or one of our supporters with the Phyllis Cole Dubbs Library Service Award. And since 2011, we have done so.”
In addition to Bradford, Kenny Baker received an award for his approximately 10 years serving on the library board. According to Miller, Baker served on the Finance and Facility committees.
“We are going to miss Kenny because he has a role to play on our board,” she said. “We all talk, we all discuss, and then Kenny, who has not said a word, suddenly starts to speak. And he comes out with something that we haven’t even considered, a different avenue or angle. On top of that, he is our proof reader and gives us feedback on the thought and presentation. Your quiet leadership and quiet service will be very missed on this board. I am very thankful for your service. “