New chapter for West Tisbury library

Library director Beth Kramer, heads up a knowledgeable and friendly staff, that makes a library visit a pleasure for West Tisbury residents of all ages. — Photo by Susan Safford

Some of West Tisbury’s finest talent was on proud display on Sunday evening at “Library After Hours.” More than 250 people enjoyed gourmet food, great music, and reflections by renowned local authors as the newly formed West Tisbury Library Foundation kicked off its capital campaign to fund a major library facility expansion.

Richard Knabel, chairman of the town selectmen, began by reading a proclamation that launched the Year of the West Tisbury Library. David McCullough delivered an impromptu but impassioned speech about the importance of supporting public libraries. John Hough spoke about the extraordinary help he had received from the West Tisbury Library. Paul Karasik, author and designer of this year’s Summer Reading tee-shirt, added a special plea for the children’s room. Other local authors — Ward Just, Paul Schneider, Mary Beth Norton, Peter Kramer, and Jenny Allen — spoke on the vital role of libraries in their lives and work.

Joe Keenan, Paul Thurlow, and Al Schackman formed the core of a jazz group that provided the musical backdrop for the occasion. Food was donated by local chefs including Jan Buhrman of The Kitchen Porch, Dee at Tea Lane Caterers, Jim and Kim O’Connor of Chefworks, Jen DeVivo, Cathy Walthers, Jean Marc Dupon, Sarah Hibler, and David Thompson. Water was provided by the Dunkls. There was a raffle for autographed books donated by authors and other treats.

The West Tisbury Library Foundation aims to raise $1.2 million by the end of 2011, in order to qualify for a state construction grant that could pay about half the cost of the library addition. More details will be provided at an upcoming forum at the library on Monday, Aug. 16, at 4 pm.