Two Swanton Public Library trustees were honored Friday for a half-century of service to the library.
A dinner and recognition ceremony was held at the Swanton Community Center to honor Rheba Burtch and Dan McQuade. Each has been a trustee for 50 years, going back to when the library was still in the Cherry Street high school.
“Dan and Rheba both believe that the public library is an asset to the community. They have worked for five decades to expand and create the the library that all of us now know,” said Swanton Public Library Director Adam Walter. “Be it through securing new sites to ensuring we received proper funding, they have been active members.”
Walter said the new board president, Neil Toeppe, had the idea to hold the dinner in their honor.
“We decided to invite people who have been involved with the library over the years,” said Walter. “This included current and past employees, board members, and volunteers. Altogether, over 40 people attended. One person said it was like a family reunion.”
Toeppe said that Burtch and McQuade have seen it all and done it all over their 50 years on the library board.
“They are the living history of the Swanton Library. They served on the board when the library was in the Swanton schools, when it moved to Main Street, and then they were a driving force to have the current library building built,” said Toeppe. “They have been both the rudder and the anchor that have guided us and grounded us.”
The longtime trustees were presented with letters acknowledging their commitment and will be presented original paintings of the Swanton Public Library. They were also presented Certificates of Recognition signed by Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, recognizing their contribution to the library, the community, and the State of Ohio.
Burtch also served as board president for 20 years before deciding this year to relinquish the position.
“At the party, Dan talked about the long road that lead to our current library,” Walter said. “He and Rheba joined the board when they met at members’ homes. Eventually, a bond issue was passed, and the library moved to a store front on Main Street. During the late ’70s, the current location was built. It has allowed us to expand and offer services that would otherwise be out of reach. They still push for the library to stay current and accessible.”
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise