Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Waupaca's Youth Services Desk Serves as a Memorial to Mary Calvo
Library desk serves as memorial. (Waupaca Now, 2/2/2011)
Excerpt: The newly installed circulation desk in the youth department at the Waupaca Area Public Library is a memorial to Mary Calvo’s passion for promoting literacy in children and young people.
It was conceived by Sue Abrahamson, the children’s librarian, and was designed and built by local craftsman Steve Morgan. It was a gift from Calvo’s family, the Friends of the Library and the Library Foundation.
Mary Calvo’s bond with the Waupaca community began in 1969 when she was 10 years old, spending summers in the lake cottage built by her grandfather. Already an avid reader, she was a regular library user in the days of Mrs. Brooks in the old Carnegie Library building.
After her 1980 graduation from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn., Calvo saved for and then made a six-month solo journey around the world including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Nepal.
She returned to Waupaca from London to live in the family cottage, "get her bearings" and find a new direction for her life.
Still a devoted library user, she was approached by then director Jerry Brown in 1982 to organize and catalog a collection donated to the Library by Jane and John Christianson following the death of their daughter. Prepared for circulation, that private library became the core of the Waupaca library’s new women’s study section.
It was also the beginning of Calvo’s career and lifetime devotion to libraries, to readers and to literacy.