“Organized, efficient, kind, gentle, refined, intelligent, a great sense of humor.”: these terms have been used to describe Fanny Marshall, the 2012 Volunteer of the Year at the Hawley Public Library.

"Organized, efficient, kind, gentle, refined, intelligent, a great sense of humor…..": these terms have been used to describe Fanny Marshall, the 2012 Volunteer of the Year at the Hawley Public Library.

A Hawley resident and a Library volunteer for over four decades, Marshall received the Charles and Alma Hames Volunteer of the Year Award for 2012 at the recent Volunteer Luncheon hosted by the Library's Board of Directors.

Commenting on this year's award recipient, Library Executive Director Maura Rottmund said, "Her sweet nature makes her a joy to work with."

The Hames award was established by the Board in 2000 to recognize the late Mr. and Mrs. Hames who were dedicated community volunteers throughout their long lives. In fact Mrs. Hames was one of the founders of the Library which got its start in the early 1960's.


Born in Hawley and educated in the Hawley schools, Mrs. Marshall earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Mansfield State Teachers College and taught for a time in Levittown before marrying and returning to Hawley to raise her two children Melissa Marshall Bartkow and Chris Marshall.

She reports that she has always loved the Library and was an early user when the Library operated in a storefront on Church Street.

After the present building opened she was a volunteer reader at Story Hour and also recalls working then at the "Main Desk": "We sat at a little desk to the left of the door and had only a pen and two stamps, one marked with the current day's date and the other with one two weeks later. It was the system to take the card from a book and keep it filed until the book was returned."

These days computerization has certainly changed the "system" at the Main Desk, she notes, "It's been fun learning what little I have about the computer."

Another of her memories concerns moving books into the then newly-built Louise A. Longworth Wing when she participated in "a long snake of people moving one book at a time from one person to the next on its way to its new location in the book stacks."


Marshall has always worked at the desk in addition to shelving books and "reading" the shelves to assure books are in proper alphabetical sequence of authors. Her particular responsibility has been "A to C".

For 20 of those years she was teamed with her dear friend, the late Nancy Diehl. "Those were the most happy years. We were such good friends."

These days she shares the desk duties with Barbara Ruggiero whom she trained and who describes her as "a really good teacher."

"The staff is so nice, says Mrs. Marshall, "I really enjoy working with them. They are always so understanding and helpful." Describing herself as "always an avid reader," Marshall says of her dedication to the Library, "I volunteer so that other people who love to read will be able to enjoy all the books I enjoyed. I guess you'd call it a labor of love."

Others who have earned the Library's Hames award include: Caryl Schaeder, 2000; Nancy Parke, 2001; Betty Crissy, 2002; Carole Pederson, 2003; Marie Williams 2004; Norma Anderson, 2005; Joan Nilsen, 2006; Grace Frisbie, 2007; Patricia Spruce, 2008; Gloria Cagnacci, 2009; Barbara Novak, 2010; and Fred Hiris, 2011.