You are invited to join your neighbors, Alderman Harry Osterman, representatives from the Chicago Public Library, Friends of the Edgewater Library and the Edgewater Glen Association for the dedication of the Betty A Barclay Room at the Edgewater Branch Library.
Where: Edgewater Branch Library of the Chicago Public Library, 6000 N. Broadway
When: Saturday, April 28th. Dedication begins at 12:00pm (refreshments will be served)
Betty was a lifelong volunteer in service to her Edgewater Community. She was a founding member of the Edgewater Community Council (ECC), Edgewater Glen Association (EGA) and Friends of the Edgewater Library. She served in many capacities, including as a long-time member of the ECC Board of Directors and corporate secretary, co-chair of the EGA garden walks and coordinator of the Friends’ book sales.
A supporter of public education, she served in leadership roles for the PTAs at the local and regional levels. She advocated for building a local Chicago Public Library branch for Edgewater that opened in 1973. Later she took up a long and persistent campaign for a larger branch for Edgewater that finally opened in 2013.
The Chicago Public Library honored her with its Volunteer of the Year award. She also was a member of the inaugural class of the “Living Treasurers of Edgewater” presented by the Edgewater Historical Society.
When Betty moved to Edgewater Glen in 1959, the library was a converted bus loaded with books that would pull up and park at the corner of Thorndale and Broadway. Seeing the need for something more, Betty lead the campaign to have the first permanent library building built in the Edgewater neighborhood. After many years of effort, a new one was built at the corner of Elmdale and Broadway in the early 1970s.
In 1990 Betty became a charter member of Friends of the Edgewater Library and served as its long-time president. In that capacity, her accomplishments for the library and community were valuable and long-lasting. For example, she was responsible for the hiring of a children’s librarian.
She was relentless in her support for the Edgewater Branch, meeting the district librarian on a regular basis, pressing for adequate staffing as well as other essentials. Betty saw the need for a carpet and sofa in the Children’s area so youngsters could sit, read and play comfortably.
She raised the money for these amenities through annual book sales. Betty was the leader of these sales for many years, collecting books, setting them up for sale and publicizing the event to raise funds to purchase needed rugs, furniture, equipment, books and supplies.
She didn’t drive or have a car so she walked all over the Edgewater neighborhood from her home on Hood Avenue, persuading merchants to post flyers about the annual book sale. She continued to lead the annual fundraiser when she was long past retirement age.
For years the Edgewater Branch Library lead the city library system in circulation. This prompted Betty to once again lead a campaign for a new, larger and more functional Edgewater Branch. One of her last trips to the library was in 2013 when the new branch was dedicated. During that ceremony, Betty was singled out for honors by Alderman Harry Osterman who lauded her life-long efforts in support of the Edgewater Branch Library and community.
Please join your neighbors in remembering Betty at noon on Saturday, April 28, at the Edgewater Branch of the Chicago Public Library.