The Children's Room
On March 25th, I attended the dedication of the Henrietta R. Towne Children's Room at the Port Jervis Free Library.
It took place in the room she loved. Henrietta was the librarian of the Children's Room from 1985 to 2009. An article written in the TriState Kids celebrating her 60th birthday refers to her as "A Library Legend". The article goes on to say that in the 8 years, she has been in charge she had greatly improved the room. Her improvements included filling an empty room with books, and videotapes, and filling the stage with toys to play with. By adding these and much more, such as games, "story hour", films, crafts and projects she turned the room into an engaging and enjoyable space for children.
A proclamation was read by Library Board member Carl Hendrick, proclaiming March 25, 2023, Henrietta R. Towne Day and naming the room in her honor. The proclamation also referred to many of her achievements, her high standards, and her ability to listen. Board member Dick Roberts spoke of her involvement with the youth group at Drew Methodist Church.
It was obvious from the number of people in attendance and the memories shared that Henrietta loved her job, was devoted to the kids, and initiated many changes all to benefit her community. Memories were shared by various members of the community, her staff, and her family. It was a celebration of her life and her influence on the library. Some comments made reference to her as a pleasure to work with, role model, mentor, friend and "Mom to everyone."
After everyone shared their memories and stories of Henrietta, the library director Evelyn Rogers shared the plaque that will be mounted on the wall of the Children's Room in Henriett's name. The inscription on the plaque says: "In recognition of her compassion and dedication to children and adults throughout the years, Port Jervis Free Library Children's Room is now the Henrietta Towne Children's Room".
Refreshments, music and cake were enjoyed by all.
Evelyn Rodgers, Library Director
Crowd in attendance
Copy of picture from newspaper showing "story hour".
Copy of original article from Tri State Kids