NOTES FROM NAPANOCH #16
Marion - Part Two
by Joe Bevilacqua
Part two of the story of Marion M. Dumond, retired Library Director from the Ellenville Public Library, in her own words:
I went to Marywood for four years, graduated suma cum laude; went on to Syracuse University for my masters degree in librarianship and started my professional career as a children's librarian in Thrall Library on Orchard Street in Middletown.
I was there two years when my father died very suddenly, no warning to the family. My mother had never been alone in her entire life and the family decided we had to do something. Mom had been there for us and we had to be there for her.
I was the only practical one. Monticello at that time was looking for a school librarian. They had four either new or renovated schools and they had no librarian. They were finally going to have library rooms.
I got provisional certification as a school librarian, which meant I had to go back to college and take education courses, which I had absolutely avoided all through my four years. I lived at home, commuted every day to one of the Monticello schools. The closest one was, I guess, 18 miles from my house.
The thing that set that year apart was that I had an accident with my car and I was six weeks to two months with a loner from the garage with very bad tires, no radio. It was just a stripped old junker and we had snow.
I would get up very early because I knew I would have a safer trip if I were out in the fresh snow as opposed to when there was traffic on the road. I can't tell you the number of times I made it to whichever school I was reporting to in the morning that day only to see that school had been canceled.
The parking lot wasn't plowed, that was the first sign and I would go in and the custodial staff was wonderful to me.
"Oh Miss Milk, glad to see you made it safely! Come on and have a cup of coffee with us." I always drank my coffee black. There was not a custodian working in the Monticello school district who drank his coffee black. They all had thermoses with milk, or sugar, or both. I drank what I call 'treated' coffee all that winter because they were so kind to me. It was really lovely, but I didn't like it.
I was unhappy in the school system. Public work was what I really wanted. My younger sister was graduating from St. Luke's school of nursing and was going to be working in a Monticello hospital and I was free to go back to my life.
This was 1959 and the state had created public library systems where each library remains independent. They have their own board, their own policy but they do unite to do the things that the couldn't afford to so separately.
They were looking for a children's consultant. I applied and was hired.
One of the things they had was a book mobile which traveled in Sullivan county because that had the fewest libraries and the most open space. They made a few stops in the town of Wawarsing, Napanoch for one.
It was a demonstration book mobile funded by the state and they supplied a librarian. He was on the book mobile for a while but things were not going well.
There were personality clashes and finally my boss asked if I would go on the book mobile.
So I did and the driver happened to be Paul Dumond and that's how I met my husband. We worked together on the book mobile and we convinced Sullivan county to buy a book mobile and to fund book mobile service in Sullivan county.
In future columns, Marion Dumond will tell the story of how she came to live and work in Ellenville, the planned restoration of the Hunt Memorial, and, of course, the volunteer program at the Ellenville Central School District.
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