Veterans Go to Bat for Leominster Library

November 6, 2018

By Nick Mallard

nmallard@sentinel andenterprise.com

LEOMINSTER -- For nearly a year now, Sondra Murphy has paid close attention to the suggestion box at the Leominster Public Library.

Since taking over as the library’s director in February, Murphy has taken to heart the serious suggestions left by patrons, often posting them on a corkboard in the main hallway with her own responses.

One such suggestion came in on April 26. The note, still hanging, suggested “a bench for outside,” for those waiting for a bus or ride.

Murphy’s response was posted on the board on June 1. “This is a great idea -- we will try to find a donor who would like to gift us a bench!” It didn’t take too long to find that donor.

“It was less than a month after we posted that Rick came in and said he’d like to donate the bench,” Murphy recalled Sunday during a ceremony unveiling the bench to the public. “We got things going and here it is.”

The Rick referred to by Murphy is Richard Voutour, Leominster’s director of veterans services. Voutour worked with the city to provide a park bench for the library and Sunday’s ceremony saw it dedicated to Leominster’s veterans.

“It’s a great facility here, a great library, and I know a lot of the city’s veterans visit it,” Voutour said. “And we’ve got veterans’ housing nearby, but a lot of these people have to wait for a bus or a ride, so it made sense to do this for them.”

For now, the bench will remain indoors. Murphy says the goal is to get it outside in the spring.

“It’s a little late in the year to put it out now,” she said. “Winter will be here soon.”

The International Veterans Chorus performed during Sunday’s event, singing several patriotic songs to the nearly 30 people who attended the ceremony.

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