BURLINGTON — On the heels of her 10-year anniversary of retiring from her library work and her 35th anniversary of moving to Burlington, the timing could not have lined up better for Barbara Del Duca.
To mark both occasions, Del Duca donated $3,500 to the Burlington Public Library, which will be used to purchase new furniture for the library as well as museum passes for the local museums that library patrons, like she and her family, have enjoyed over the years. Del Duca, who worked at the Medford Public Library for 42 years, made the donation in honor of her late husband, Ben, who worked as a Latin, French, Italian and Spanish teacher at Burlington High School from 1963 until he retired in 1994, and her stepdaughter, Sarah, who died in 2011.
“I figured that would be a good blend of practical and cultural,” said Del Duca. “Everything just came together so easily. This was something that had been on my mind for a while, I just figured this was the right time with everything that’s been going on. Libraries do such important work.”
The timing was ideal for the library as well, as it navigates a new normal and traditional fundraisers became impossible amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the year, the Friends of the Library hold fundraisers, the two largest being their spring and fall book sales that aim to raise $3,000 each. Due to the pandemic, the group was unable to hold the spring book sale, since the building remains closed to the public.The group was looking at other options to sell some of the books they had on hand to help make up for the loss of the fundraiser when Del Duca called to set up the donation, easing the sense of urgency felt by all.
“Barbara’s donation means the Friends can keep the books to use for the next book sale, which is incredibly important since we cannot accept donations of used materials at this time,” said Library Director Michael Wick. “In short, Barbara came in at just the right time and saved two book sales, while helping us continue to offer services people love. We are incredibly grateful for her generosity and the support we’ve received from the entire community over the last few months of the pandemic.”
Plans have yet to be finalized for the fall book sale at this time. For updates or to become a member of the Friends, visit their website here..