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Shirley Steere, Battey-Campbell Memorial, and Book Endowment Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
Three people, all for whom the Greenville Public Library was an important part of their lives, are honored through this fund which will help ensure a permanent source of funding for the 132-year-old library. At the same time, the library transferred its Book Endowment Fund to the Foundation.

The late Shirley Steere served the library in numerous capacities – children’s librarian, assistant librarian, and acting director. Upon her death in 1981, Shirley’s family requested memorial gifts be made to the library. For the past 33 years, the library has used the fund to purchase books and furniture for the children’s room. “She was very popular at the library and in the community. We don’t want that to get lost, for people not to know who she was,” explains Library Director Christopher LaRoux.

Former Greenville residents David and Eleanor (Battey) Campbell were honored in 2003 when their daughter and her husband, Janice and Richard Lindsay, established a fund at the library to purchase children’s books in the couple’s honor. In a letter establishing the fund, Janice wrote, “Books and libraries have been so important to our family life that this seems like a fitting, permanent, and special way to honor these two individuals who continue to do so much for so many people.”

The Book Endowment Fund helps fill an ongoing need at the library. “We never have enough money for books which represented about 90% of our circulation last year,” Chris states.

The library and its director have many ties with the Foundation. Two funds at the Foundation, the Moore Fund, in honor of Thomas Winsor, and the Mattie A. Walcott Fund, are designated for Greenville Public Library. Chris has participated in programs offered by the Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence and is a member of the Smithfield Rotary Club which has a scholarship fund at the Foundation.

Of the library board’s decision to partner with the Foundation, Chris says, “We need to have our endowment where it will be safe-guarded. We think, too, we’ll have a better chance of getting additional donations for the Book Endowment if it’s held at the Foundation.”
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