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Memorial fund started to honor Albin

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Durham residents have started working with Durham Public Library Director Trish Connolly on a memorial fund in memory of former children’s librarian Melissa Albin, who died in September.

Albin’s friends Jody Benbow and Sheryl Slight of Durham have been coordinating the memorial efforts and have met with Connolly to start the fund.

Benbow said that a memorial effort has a lot of moving pieces and the end result is not yet known. “There’s a lot of ideas being discussed.”

Albin’s affection for children’s events at the library could be recognized by funding children’s programming. Also, memorials of a more permanent nature are being considered. Some permanent ideas include a dedicated book collection or a bench with a statue of a reading child outside the library.

“I can guarantee it’s not going to be spent on staplers,” Benbow said. “But we’re not saying exactly what it will go to because we don’t know. Every dollar will be spent after consideration and discussion with Melissa’s family.”

Albin’s mother, Pat Konecny, will attend future discussions once the fund has been established.

Albin was a fixture at the Durham library for over 10 years, welcoming young readers to the children’s room, reading to Story Time groups, and running themed parties. After her death, many patrons recalled her presence as a reading volunteer in the elementary schools and her attention to each individual child.

“People are so generous in this town and loved Melissa,” Benbow said. The library is administering the fund and town is handling the accounting. She put her confidence in the administration of the memorial fund at “150 percent.”

Donations can be sent by check payable to the Durham Public Library, 7 Maple Ave., Durham, CT 06422; attention Trish Connolly. “Melissa Albin Memorial Fund” should be indicated on the check.



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