On a beautiful Sunday evening supporters of the Norman Williams Public Library gathered first at the library for cocktails then at the Woodstock Inn for dinner. The event was the library’s 12th annual Gala. Last year this event raised between $35,000-$40, 000. According to Board of Trustee President Jack McGuire this year’s event will have been the best attended event so far with 210 confirmed tickets sold. McGuire also explained that the Library “Wish List” brought in over $10,000 last year. McGuire attributed the success of the event to the new Library Executive Director Jennifer Belton and also to the event’s guest speaker Lynne Olson.
Before Lynne Olson began writing books full time, she worked more than ten years as a journalist, including stints as Moscow correspondent for the Associated Press and White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. She has written six books of history, including the national bestseller “Citizens of London.” Her latest book, “Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight for World War II,” tells the story of the brutal, no-holds-barred debate that raged in America over what its role should be in the Second World War.
Olson said she jumped at the chance to attend this event for two reasons, one she and her husband Stan Cloud have many ex-patriot friends from Washington D.C. now living in Woodstock and two “it honors and raises money for a wonderful library.” She spoke of the time when she was a little girl living in a house with nine children and her only real escape to peace and quiet was her local library. She also spoke about how library have been invaluable for her research on her six books. She said libraries are the true archivists of history they hold a wealth of journals that have been kept and preserved through time.
Olson has won the Christopher Award and has been shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in history. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Stan Cloud. Visit Lynne Olson at http://lynneolson.com for more information about he books.
Nancy Nutile-McMenemy Photos
A portion of these photo first appeared in the May 2, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.