Library unveils 'card catalog' for donors

In its 164-year history, the Fond du Lac Public Library has enjoyed the generosity of individuals and organizations in the community to augment municipal funding. On Tuesday, the library unveiled a display in the Main Library that honors new donors to its endowment fund.

Donors of $2,000 or more are honored with a faux drawer in a display that is modeled after old-fashioned wooden card catalog cabinets. Libraries across the country largely have done away with card catalogs, in favor of computerized records, but nostalgia over thumbing through hand-typed records remains.

“Donors to our endowment fund today are securing a bright future for the library,” said library Director Jon Mark Bolthouse. “We thought it would be fitting to honor our past while we plan for a bright tomorrow.”

On hand on Tuesday to unveil the display were Bolthouse, City Manager Joe Moore, library board President Ed Barnes and library board members Mel Kolstad and Sharon Simon. Donors on hand for the unveiling:

  • Judith Berger O’Brien, whose “drawer” is in memory of the Joseph S. Berger family.
  • Library board member Lori Pain, honoring the memory of her daughter, Sarah Abraham. Pain’s donation included funds awarded to her as the Cheers for Volunteers 2013 Board member of the Year.
  • Tony Leon and his granddaughters Isabel Aguado, 15, and Victoria Aguado, 13, both of Milwaukee, in memory of Tony’s late wife Anita Leon, who was a lifelong reader and library supporter.

The Fond du Lac Public Library Endowment Fund will be managed by the library board of directors, which will allocate a portion of the fund’s earnings yearly on special projects, programs and equipment that supplement – but not replace – regular municipal operating and capital improvement funding.

The display cabinet was made for the library by Jon Nicoud, of Fond du Lac, and was based on a design that was discovered and envisioned by Lori Pain.

In the photo: The Fond du Lac Public Library has installed a display modeled after an old-fashioned card catalog to honor endowment fund donors. Present for the installation were donors and dignitaries. Seated, from left, Isabel Aguado, Victoria Aguado and Tony Leon. The girls are Leon's granddaughters. The family dedicated their "drawer" to Leon's late wife Anita (pictured in the photo held by Tony), whose well-used library card is held by Victoria. Middle row, from left, donors Judith Berger O'Brien and Lori Pain, and library board member Mel Kolstad. Back row, from left, library Director Jon Mark Bolthouse and City Manager Joe Moore. Photo by Brian Kolstad. 

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