Library’s new reading room dedicated to Palumbos
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Copperas Cove Public Library’s crowning jewel of its renovation, the reading room, officially received its name on Monday at a dedication reception held at the library on Monday.
Last June, the Friends of the Library presented a $14,000 check to Library Director Kevin Marsh and secured the naming rights for the reading room, now called the Joe and Marion Palumbo Reading Room.
The funds came from a combination of the Friends’ used book sale and a major portion of the Friends’ fundraising account.
Marion Palumbo, part of the room’s namesake, was present for the dedication. Palumbo now makes her home in North Richland Hills, closer to family, as of last year.
Both Marion and her late husband, Joe, had major roles in the development of the Copperas Cove Public Library.
John Gallen, president of the Friends of the Library, talked about why the Friends selected the Palumbos for the honor. The couple belonged to the Friends of the Library, and both Gallen and Joe Palumbo spent at least a decade in the positions of president and treasurer, respectively.
“This room is dedicated to them because of their love of children, their love of books, and literacy,” said Gallen. He pointed to the room, where the Friends’ book sale racks line one side of the room.
“All the money we take in there, goes back into the library for the children’s programs. All along, I was adamant about naming the room for Marion and Joe.”
Library Director Kevin Marsh said the Friends really stepped up to acquire the room’s naming rights, and agreed with the decision to name it after the Palumbos.
“They have done so much for this library and this community, over decades, we just can’t do enough to thank them,” Marsh said.
He then invited the sharing of anecdotes about the couple, and shared a story of his own.
“Within the first week of my becoming director of the library, Marion stopped by my office. She was chair of the library advisory board, and we had a visit and a talk. I was just so taken with her. She reminded me a lot of my grandmother,” Marsh said. “It was a good working relationship from day one. We talked about where the library was and where it could be, and we made a lot of progress.”
He also shared about the habit he developed of bringing the Palumbos’ morning newspaper to their front porch, when Marsh would go past their home during his morning run.
Cindy Hutcherson said she first met Marion when joining the Friends of the Library, and then through Altrusa. “I fell in love with both of them,” she said.
On Monday, she presented a check from the Altrusa Club to Marsh for the library to purchase a book in Marion’s honor for the reading room.
Linda Ledger shared a story of when shortly after the Palumbos first moved to Copperas Cove, and Marion’s vehicle accidentally slid into the Ledgers’ delivery truck, and the two women ended up riding together to a PTO conference, the beginning of a longtime friendship for both of them.
Palumbo, a retired educator, talked about her late husband and his passion for the library.
“For him, it was always about the kids, and always about books,” Palumbo said.
The reading room space, located at the former site of a semi-enclosed entryway which had become a roost for pigeons and other birds, is a high-ceiling room with plenty of windows and natural light. Inside the room are the Friends of the Library’s used book sale stacks, along with chairs which have USB plugs.
During the two years leading up to the library renovation, completed in late 2018, Marsh raised funds for new furniture and other elements of the renovation not related to the construction project itself.
Naming rights for other rooms and areas at the library are available, such as naming rights for the library’s lobby at $16,000. A donation of $10,000 can earn someone the right to name the Teen Zone, a 27-by-32-foot area with space for the teens and their books. The public computer area and the meeting room can each be named for donations of $8,000.