BARRE — Dozens of residents turned out Saturday to support their local library at the Friends of the Aldrich Public Library Annual Winter Banquet and Auction.
The evening at the Elks Lodge in Barre started off with drinks, appetizers and a silent auction where residents wrote down bids for items such as handmade hats and mittens, a pair of granite bookends from Rock of Ages, a Vermont Teddy Bear, a bird feeder made from recycled glass and several gift certificates from area businesses.
There was a then a roast beef dinner followed by a live auction for items such as an antique sofa, a quilt, a season pass to Thunder Road and 30 tickets to the Vermont Mountaineers for the 2019 season.
Peggy Henry said she’s been coming to the library since she was a little girl.
She was there to support the library because she said it plays an integral part in the community.
“They support the community by offering a great source of books for pleasure, books for education. They have a lot of other events they do in the community. They post art from the schools which I think is great,” Henry said.
She said the Aldrich Library and its branch in East Barre are valuable partners in the community.
Marianne Kotch is a member of the Friends and a librarian herself. She also made the quilt that was up for auction. Kotch said she’s visited most of the libraries in the state as a consultant and the Aldrich is one of the best.
“I really love the Aldrich,” she said.
Kotch said she used to own a bed and breakfast on Washington Street with her husband and when they moved 10 years ago she wanted to stay in the Barre area in part because of the library.
Loren Polk was named the library’s director in September after taking over on an interim basis in May because her predecessor, Sarah Costa, resigned due to her family’s plan on moving out of Barre.
Polk said Saturday’s event is one of two major fundraising events the library holds every year. T
he other being the book sale on the library’s lawn during the Barre Heritage Festival. She didn’t know how much money would be raised Saturday and didn’t have a goal for the event, but it made over $5,000 three years ago.
Polk said the money raised will go towards the library’s summer programs and its budget for books.
She said she’s finding her footing as the library’s director and there are a few long-term projects she’d like to tackle.
Polk said the library is looking into improving its security system and is working on a plan to update the technology there.
“Making sure we’re keeping our computers up to date that are available to the public. We want them to have access to the most current programs and computer hardware available,” she said.