More than 300 guests attended the 47th Annual Richard Dodge Whittemore Friends of the Port Washington Public Library Book and Author Luncheon at the North Hills Country Club on May 13.
Amy Bass, president of the Friends of the Library (FOL), told the audience, “The FOL is 50 years old this year. We are proud of our 50-year history of service to our library, still advocating for passage of the library budget, still funding creative programming in all library departments.” She thanked the community for its continued support.
Susan Isaacs, Port’s very own treasure and highly acclaimed author in her own right, served as moderator, peppering her remarks with humor and insights into the rather solitary endeavor of writing.
Guest authors Garth Risk Hallberg and Stacy Schiff both emphasized how important libraries were to their respective development as writers.
Hallberg grew up in a small eastern North Carolina town. He said he always felt he was an outsider. Hallberg sought escape from his world at the local library where he discovered New York and was captivated by the fantasy of the city. The outcome of this escape is City on Fire, a big-hearted, grand and complicated narrative of New York City in the ’70s.
Stacy Schiff’s most recent novel of her highly acclaimed nonfiction works is The Witches: Salem 1692. Witches follows the events that lead to the accusations of witchcraft that culminated in the Salem Witch Trials during the summer of 1692. Along the way, Schiff debunks some myths. The witches were not all female, nor were they burned—they were hanged. Schiff’s objective in writing the book was to correct some misconceptions that surround the Salem Witch Trials. She said it is the most “misconstrued tale” in American history.
Schiff recounted that she was put out of the adult section of the library as an 11-year-old in Adams, MA, which made her determined to find out what was inside. The incident lead to years of wonderful hours
of pleasure and painstaking research in libraries.
FOL is an independent nonprofit organization with its own volunteer board of directors.