April 2000

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Ken Wilbur Remembered

by Parry Teasdale, NYSALB President

April 2000 issue of Trustee

With deep sorrow and a tremendous sense of gratitude for his years of service, the members of the Executive Committee of the New York State Association of Library Boards resolved last week to make a contribution to the East Syracuse Free Library in honor of the late Ken Wilbur.

Ken was Treasurer and a long-time member of the NYSALB board. He died suddenly at his home last month. He was 65. He had recently attended a NYLA Leg. Committee meeting in Albany, just one of the many functions he performed as a tireless volunteer on behalf of public library service. He had been a trustee of the East Syracuse Free Library since 1972 and president of the library board since 1978. Those of you in the Syracuse area probably also knew him as president of the Onondaga County Public Library board since 1997, or perhaps you read his summaries of NYSALB meetings, which he diligently circulated throughout the system after each of our gatherings.

The list of Ken's community service activities covers a remarkable range of activities, including elected office as a village trustee and member of the local planning board and the housing authority, not to mention his 32 years in the Army Reserve, from which he retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Those of us on the NYSALB board knew him as a friend, a man of great practical wisdom and a person of constant good cheer. If there was a task to be done for the betterment of libraries, Ken would volunteer. I'm sure that even the legion of politicians in whose offices Ken was a fixture when it came to pressing for more library funding will feel the absence of his broad smile and quiet enthusiasm. He set an example other trustees will find hard to live up to. All of us in the library community will miss him.

(Editor's Note: There has been an outpouring of memorial tribute to our friend and colleague Ken Wilbur. Unfortunately, space limitations do not allow us to reprint them in our newsletter.)

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