Tiverton Community Honored Ann Grealish-Rust and Prudence Fallon

Tuesday April 24, 2018 the Tiverton Community celebrated the retirement of our Library Director Ann Grealish- Rust and Adult Services Librarian Prudence Fallon. The Union Public Library hosted a special tea in their honor. The Friends of Tiverton Library hosted a beautiful evening of entertainment and refreshments. Dancing was provided by the Tir Na Nog Irish Dance School. The room was filled with warm wishes for Ann and Prudence. Below you can read some of the speeches given throughout the day.

Union Public Library Hosted a Special Tea to Honor Ann and Prudence

Tuesday April 24th, 2018
Gayle Lawrence shared the following speech:
"Thank you all for coming!

Today, we honor two very special and capable women, Ann Grealish-Rust, our library director, and Prudence Fallon, our adult librarian.  We want to express our gratitude to each of you because you have contributed so much, and in so many ways, to enrich the lives of everyone who has used and will use the libraries in Tiverton.   We have enjoyed innovative approaches, fine programs, research assistance, greatly expanded access to information in many forms, responsive and helpful service… and much, much more. Thanks to both of you.

And not to be forgotten, the realization of a long-time goal for our town:  the design and construction of a beautiful new library.  We want to express our thanks for the exceptional efforts, in your respective roles, that have been required to bring library services in Tiverton to these new levels for all patrons.

Prudence, can you even think of all the times you have guided patrons, solved problems, arranged programs, selected material, been on hand to introduce speakers and completed many, other behind-the scenes and public tasks each day?   Countless, right?  And also help move from Essex to the new library?  We thank you for all you have done to make our experiences at the libraries so worthwhile.

Ann, can you recall those long hours of work on the design and planning a new building, the numerous administrative issues (including such things as doors that won’t lock or pipes that leak?), meetings to prepare for and reports to give, stats and lists and figures to create, staff to hire, and guidance to give whenever someone appeared at your office door?  As director, you have done all of this, and more, and very importantly to Union Public Library patrons, you have also given your friendship and support to this historic library we gather in today.  We greatly appreciate your leadership and friendship.

Three books for younger readers are being added to the collection in your honor to help spark their imaginations and their love of reading and learning.  Captivating titles of enterprising youngsters who pursue their passions and their dreams hint at the stories within:  Iggy Peck Architect; Ada Twist Scientist; and Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts.   We have the thought that, like Iggy, Ada and Rosie, the imaginative and creative spirit you have exhibited in your work will carry on as you enjoy more time to pursue your passions and dreams in retirement.

We have been so very fortunate to have had your valuable skills, your willingness to work hard, and your leadership – our community has reaped many rewards as a result of all that each of you has given to your work in our town.  We congratulate you, Ann and Prudence, and wish you both lots of time to explore new interests, visit new places, use your imaginations, and do whatever you will enjoy most!

We will miss you!  Come back to see us, please!"

Gayle Lawrence on behalf of the UPLA members,  board and directors

Evening Celebration included Irish Step Dancing and Speeches

First, we are gathered here to congratulate and celebrate with Prue and Ann as they continue on to new horizons. Before you go, it is important that we acknowledge a job well done!

In the 10 years Prudence Fallon has served this community, she has given us the gift of her dedicated professionalism sprinkled with humor, curiosity, respect, caring and wisdom.

I would also like to express a resounding chorus of gratitude to Ann Grealish-Rust. Over the last eight years, Ann has led the way with unswerving commitment toward realizing the long-held vision of this beautiful library. Both Prue and Ann would be the first to tell us that what makes a library thrive is entirely dependent upon all of you who share their passion for books and learning and especially a desire to support the growth and well-being of all within the community.

Ann and Prue, I hope you know what an inspiration you are to us as we continue to fulfill the dream of the best a library can be. It has been a pleasure working with you.

We wish you all the best!

Dianna Parente,  Branch Librarian

Speaking on behalf of the staff

When I was first asked to present a tribute to Ann, I refused, because to do so would mean I would have to come out of denial that she was leaving.

But she is, and the truth is, we don’t know what we are losing.

Will the next Director of Tiverton Library Services have her calm demeanor? Her great smile? Will she or he be eminently capable? Have her depth of experience? Still take notes longhand in a series of spiral notebooks?

I know, I know… it’s going to be great. And we’ll make sure it works out — in part because that will be carrying on her work, right? That’s the basis of community service that so many people she has touched, in this room and throughout her career, all believe in and are passionate about.

And while Ann is probably hoping that I’d be done by now, because she likes to be pretty low-key, I have to mention that she has been a mentor to a lot of people. There are a lot of us out there who ask ourselves: WWAD. What Would Ann Do?

Well tonight I think I found the answer, on the brick she had engraved just outside this room. It is a quote from Voltaire that says: “Let us read. And let us dance.”

I hope tonight captured some of both of those.

~Stuart Horwitz, Foundation Chair

Dear Ann,

On behalf of Trustees of the Tiverton Public Library, I would like to congratulate you on the occasion of your retirement.  We are excited for you as you will now have the time to read, travel, and spend time with grandchildren.  You should know that you will be missed at the library.

For the past 8 years you have worked diligently to build our library into the great library it is today.  You were instrumental in moving the library from Essex to the new building we’re in now.  Many long hours were spent in the planning stages, construction and finally the move to the new building.

You have built a library staff that is second to none in Rhode Island.  In a recent survey of the community, it is clear that the library is loved and valued by the community.  It still amazes me how many people comment to me what a wonderful library we have.  You have every right to be very proud of your accomplishments!

During your tenure as Director you managed the library efficiently and effectively.  You worked to solve numerous problems and issues all in the most highly professional manner.

In conversations with the staff, it is clear you are loved by and respected by them.  You have treated them fairly and consistently, and helped to build the staff's wonderful, communal spirit.  The library is much more than just a building.  It is the staff that makes the library work, and it is to your credit how well the staff works; furthermore, it is a testament to your abilities as a leader that the staff works so well together.

Over the years you have worked with the Trustees to keep the library working as well as it does.  You have weathered staff issues and other crises to guide the library to be a well-run professional library that we are all proud of.  You have made the difficult budget trade-offs each year and defended them to the Town Council and Budget Committee.

On a personal note, I want you to know that it has been wonderful working with you.  You are the rock upon which this library is built.  It will difficult to replace you, but I hope I can call you for advice during this transition.

Best wishes in your retirement.  Congratulations on a job well done.

Best Regards,

Greg Jones

Chair, Board of Trustees

Tiverton Library Services

Dear Prue,

On behalf of Trustees of the Tiverton Public Library, Congratulations on your retirement.  And while you may miss the library, I can assure you that you will learn to love retirement.  You will have more time to enjoy travel, family, and many other activities.  Nevertheless, we will miss you at the library.

In the 10 years you have been with the Tiverton Library you have certainly made a positive impression on the community.  You have helped more patrons than we can possibly count.  You have always been eager to help with any problem you’re confronted with, willingly and professionally.

As one of most senior employees, you saw the library through the transition from Essex to the new library.  But more than that you have helped to build the wonderful staff we have today.  I’m sure many of the new employees look to you for guidance.  To your credit we have a library staff that works well together and keeps the library running smoothly.

You began your career as Assistant Director, then moved to Reference Librarian then finally Adult Services.  You’ve also been instrumental in building our historical collection as well as the adult collection.

In my conversations with the pubic as well as staff, I am impressed with how much you are revered by the them.  For many, you are the person they seek out for help.  There is no doubt that you will be missed.

You have mentioned to me that you would like to stay involved with the library.  I’m sure that we will take you up on that offer!  Your experience with the library would prove invaluable as we move forward with a new director and new staff.

Best wishes in your retirement.  Congratulations on a job well done.

Best Regards,

Greg Jones

Chair, Board of Trustees

Tiverton Library Services