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Best-Selling Author Guest Speaker At Library Gala On Sunday

April 27, 2014

in News

The 2014 Gala Fundraiser features guest speaker Andre Dubus III, well known author of many books including NYT bestseller House of Sand and Fog and his latest Dirty Love. Reception at the Library Sunday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at the Woodstock Inn.

By John Mathews, Special To The Vermont Standard
Andre Dubus III, an acclaimed novelist and short story writer, will be the guest speaker at the 13th annual Ex Libris Dinner of the Norman Williams Public Library on Sunday, April 27.

A best-selling author, Dubus’ recently published book, “Dirty Love,” four novella-length stories, was dubbed a “staggeringly good collection,” by a New York Times book reviewer. His well-known novel, “House of Sand and Fog,” was made into an Academy Award nominated film with Ben Kingsley.

Son of an equally notable author, the late Andre Dubus II, who was primarily a short story writer, the younger Dubus has published three novels, two short story collections and “Townie: A Memoir.” Growing up poor in Haverhill, Mass., after his parents’ divorce, the memoir recounts a contentious relationship with his father and a gritty life of street fighting and eventually boxing.

The gala begins on April 27 with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the library, followed by a 6:30 p.m. dinner at the Woodstock Inn. Invitations are being sent to previous attendees and library patrons, but the event is opened to all. Information about invitations is available by calling Michael Ricci at the library, 457-2295, extension 126.

The Ex Libris Dinner is the library’s major fundraising event.
The 2013 Gala dinner at the Woodstock Inn. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy Photos

While the institution is called a “public library,” and receives about 40 percent of its support from public funds, it is in fact a private entity operated by a board and its incorporators. Fundraising, grants, gifts, fees and its endowment supply the bulk of the library’s budget.

Under the leadership of Jennifer Belton, executive director, the library in recent years has increasingly become a community hub with a wide variety of programs and services.

Last year, more than 2,000 children, youth, parents, grandparents and caregivers attended programs at the library. Evening programs drew 2,336 patrons for book and poetry readings, classes on writing, literature and history and workshops on business skills and blogging. The library has also increasingly focused on digital literacy and applications, including downloading of e-books, teaching patrons how to use technology and marketing with social media.

Underwriters for the gala are Dead River Company, Joy Gray and the Woodstock Pharmacy. Nancy and Lynn Peterson are Friends, and Sponsors are Mimi Baird, William Chorske, David Green and Margaret Edwards, Mark Knott, DDS and Rigali Orthodantix.

The library has compiled a “Wish List” of various needs that can be met by special gifts. These include: a color laser printer, award-winning children’s books, a front lawn kiosk for library hours and programs, audio and large prints books, a file server replacement and benches for the foyer and front lawn.

For more information, contact John Mathews at


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