John Henry Graef, Jr. has served on the North Haven Library Board for many years and is a past president and treasurer of the local Rotary club. The semi-retired printer recently presented the group’s $1,000 check to Library Director Lois Baldini with the stipulation that the funds be designated for the Job and Career Corner at the library. In expressing her gratitude on behalf of the town, the director commended the dedicated board member for his lifetime of service to his community and told the group that the Job and Career Corner was initiated by the club in 1980 and has grown from a single shelf with less than a dozen books to an entire section with nearly 2,500 volumes.
Baldini stated that the specialized center has seen a major increase in utilization since the downturn in the economy and the rise in unemployment, with frequent use of a dedicated computer where people can go on line and search for jobs. As she described the morphing of libraries into information centers, she indicated that the Rotary club’s generosity has provided the finest resource of its kind in the state, with donations totaling $34,325 over the years. She explained that the North Haven Library is a member of a consortium of 25 libraries with access to over 2 million volumes and an annual circulation in excess of 180,000 volumes loaned to approximately 85,000 people, with unique on line databases such as Ancestry and Consumer Reports. One sign of the facility’s community outreach is a large collection of donated pans and cookie cutters often loaned to young families.