She loved that library

Katherine Spady
Katherine Spady
Katherine Spady

Spady, a retired English teacher and school librarian in Suffolk, died Jan. 4 at Lake Prince Woods.

An avid reader and booklover since childhood, Spady spent the first 20 years of her retirement as the head volunteer for Chuckatuck branch of the Suffolk Library.

The library opened in 1982 in a spare classroom at Saunders Supply Co., which was originally a school in Chuckatuck. When the library outgrew the classroom, it moved next door, to its current location — the former school cafeteria — at 5881 Godwin Blvd.

“If it weren’t for Katherine Spady, we would not have the library,” said Lynne Barlow, also a retired school librarian and volunteer at the Chuckatuck library. “She was the pusher behind it all and put in many, many hours to that library.”

Spady managed volunteers who staffed the library, initiated “Saturday Story Time” for children, assisted with record keeping and ordering, and processed donated books. Most important, she inspired people to read — her lifelong passion, according to her family.

“We always had books in the house,” said her daughter, Jean Keeling, recalling frequent, highly anticipated trips with her mother to the bookmobile in Chuckatuck.

“She wanted children to love to read and encouraged us to find out for ourselves what we enjoyed reading,” Keeling said. “She was always thrilled that our little community finally had a place to go to check out books and visit with one another.”

Chinell Sanders, who retired as Chuckatuck’s branch manager in 2013, still recalls how Spady welcomed her as the first paid staff member.

“She embraced me,” said Sanders. “She loved that library and worked tirelessly to keep it going for many, many years.”

“I learned so much from observing and talking to her,” she said. “We had great conversations, and she gave me a lot of life lessons.”

Spady, at 93, visited Sanders at the library for a final time when she retired in 2013, Sanders said.

Article taken from The Suffolk News-Herald –
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