Annapolis resident and library donor Deborah "Debbi" McGlauflin has come to realize that material things are not what is important at this point in life.
Finding a way to celebrate her mother had her searching for an impactful, meaningful gift, which led her to the Anne Arundel County Public Library. After discussion with the foundation staff, a tribute gift seemed to be a way to celebrate her mother's remarkable life.
Geneva McGlauflin raised her family to embrace reading and lifelong learning and spent her career at four public libraries developing those same traits within the communities she served. Notably, her special love is children's library programs that help instill a love of reading early on.
Geneva McGlauflin at Troy Public Library, Troy, NY.
Growing up in Waterville, Maine, she remembers what a magical place her beautiful brick library was, going up the circular staircase to storytime or curling up in a window seat and getting lost in a book. After college, she would later return there, having been hired to present her own literacy programs to the next generation of children.
Geneva was quick to embrace technology in the workplace and was one of the first librarians to welcome computers. She launched interlibrary loans, participating in creating a library without walls allowing anyone to borrow a book from any New York library. With Geneva's incredible library career, Debbi knew that donating a tribute gift to the library was the perfect way to celebrate her mother's legacy.
In recognition of Geneva's milestone birthday and her many contributions as a children's librarian and library computer pioneer, personalized bookplates were placed in ten Playaway Launchpad tablets that circulate throughout the library's 16 branches.
"Libraries are exciting, free and are for everyone. All are welcome," said Geneva. "Over the years, I do not know what I would have done without the library."
In true 2020 fashion, Geneva's family held a Zoom virtual birthday party. Family gathered near and far and watched Debbi present her mother's tribute gift showing off a library Launchpad so Geneva could see the device and learn about all that it offered to the youngest library users. This meaningful tribute gift allows Geneva to be part of educating children through technology and espouses all that matters to Geneva. It honors her lifetime of supporting literacy and social-economic justice. She is so pleased that the library continues to make learning accessible and fun to young children and, specifically, that Launchpads do not require Wi-Fi access or electricity. This gift allows Geneva to share her love of reading to all the children in our county.
"A gift to the library impacts so many in the community, far beyond books and reading," said Debbi. "Especially now with the pandemic. The library connects our community in such a profound and essential way."
Both Debbi and Geneva, as soon as the COVID-19 crisis subsides, look forward to returning to see their library staff and to enjoy all the wonderful in-person activities at their branch, Eastport-Annapolis Neck.
To learn more about tribute gifts and how they impact the community, contact the foundation office at 410.222.1199 or via email.