Mathews Library’s new wing dedicated

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Nov 20, 2013 - 01:36 PM

Photo: The dedication ceremony for the Mathews Memorial Library’s new addition, the H. Bland Hudgins, M.D. Wing, was held on Saturday. Cutting the ribbon, from left, are Mathews Memorial Library Board of Trustees’ chairman Carolyn Taylor, Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library president Maree Morgan, and Mathews Board of Supervisors’ chairman Edwina Casey. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

The dedication ceremony for the Mathews Memorial Library’s new addition, the H. Bland Hudgins, M.D. Wing, was held on Saturday. Cutting the ribbon, from left, are Mathews Memorial Library Board of Trustees’ chairman Carolyn Taylor, Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library president Maree Morgan, and Mathews Board of Supervisors’ chairman Edwina Casey. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Photo: The dedication was well-attended, with a crowd of people packing the John Warren Cooke Room, where the ceremony was conducted, and taking tours of the new facility. Here, guests pour into the new Teen Territory center. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

The dedication was well-attended, with a crowd of people packing the John Warren Cooke Room, where the ceremony was conducted, and taking tours of the new facility. Here, guests pour into the new Teen Territory center. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Mathews Memorial Library’s newest addition, the H. Bland Hudgins, M.D. Wing, was dedicated on Saturday with a celebration that included speeches, entertainment, refreshments and tours of the new space.

The crowd that gathered for the dedication listened to songs performed by the Mathews High School chorus under the direction of Doug Sutton and watched as Boy Scout Troop 124 and Cub Scout Pack 124 presented the colors.

Carolyn Taylor of the Library Board of Trustees and Maree Morgan of the Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library talked about the vision for the library and recognized the people who had spearheaded the project and worked on the capital campaign.

"This is another milestone in the extraordinary legacy of our library—the heartbeat of our community," said Taylor.

Morgan announced that the meeting room in the new wing would be dedicated to library director Bette Dillehay, whose "creative and innovative spirit has made the library what it is today."

Dillehay said she had played a game of "what if," asking herself "what if Edith Legg in 1926 had not posed the question, ‘why doesn’t Mathews County have a library of its own,’ and what if the citizens hadn’t raised the money for that first library…"

Dillehay touched on milestones in the library’s history, including the Storm of ’33, when the building, which is now the school board building on Church Street, was flooded and the collection destroyed; the establishment of the Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library in 1982; the move to the current location, which was once the Farmers and Fishermen’s Bank of Mathews; and the decision in 1997 to renovate and expand the library.