The Ruddicks are just good people. They are kind and giving to others, quick to smile broadly and offer a pat on the back. They are the kind of people who make good friends, especially award-winning Friends!
Local residents and South Brunswick Public Library volunteers Lease and Ruth Ruddick were recently awarded a Certificate of Appreciation plaque from the Libraries of Middlesex(LMx) for their many years of devoted service to the Friends of the South Brunswick Public Library.
“We do it because we love the Library,” explains Ruth, adult volunteer coordinator on the Friends Board. “We think the Library is a special place.”
The couple has been especially helpful in setting up and organizing items for the Friends sales held three times a year, as well as for the ongoing sale in the SBPL lobby. Library Director Chris Carbone says he is grateful for the pair’s efforts and proud of their LMx recognition.
Ruth and Lease have Life Long Memberships in the Friends of SBPL, a non-profit organization, composed of individuals, families, local businesses, and corporations whose mission is to support library services and programs.
“It’s a nice thing to do and you see the results,” Lease says of helping with the Friends book sales. “One hundred percent (of the money raised from sales) goes back to the Library.”
The book sales are also a good deal for the shoppers, Ruth pointed out, explaining that romance novels, for example, can be purchased 10 for a $1. “Where else can you buy a book for 10 cents?”
The couple spends about 20 hours the week of each sale, coordinating volunteers and sorting and stacking the hundreds of donated books and movies. And, on Tuesdays during the weeks in between sales they can be found doing general shelving and sorting and such.
Lease, a retired civil engineer from AT&T, says “it’s not a big commitment” to help the Friends, plus it’s a nice social outlet especially for retired folks.
While Lease and Ruth have been volunteers for several years now, she has been a part of the Library for much longer. She worked at the Library for 26 years before retiring in 2001, serving as Head of Circulation for the last 15 years of service. She hired many of the current staff, including our current Director Chris Carbone when he was just a college student.
"Working quietly to do good, Ruth and Lease Ruddick have played an enormous role in the success of our book sales. They have contributed endless hours helping to screen and organize our donations before most of the volunteers have their bite of the apple," says Friends President Susan Edelman, adding, "They never toot their own horns. They are intrinsically motivated, not drawing attention to their achievement. I commend LMX for its wisdom in selecting the Ruddicks for this honor."
When not at the Library the Ruddicks enjoy healthy endeavors such as regular trips to a local gym and buying produce through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program at Honey Brook Farm, which they’ve done for about 20 years now. Since retiring Lease has learned canning skills to preserve the CSA produce for gifts and home. They also enjoy listening to books on tape (borrowed from the Library of course!) for long drives to the Adirondack Mountains.
In February they will gear up for another big Friends book sale – the Love Them and Read Them sale on Feb. 16 and 17.
Joining the Friends of SBPL:
Join or renew your Friends membership in-person at the Library during operating hours or online anytime for as little as $10 a year. To learn more or to join/renew online now, go to http://www.sbpl.info/help-the-library/friends/. Watch for upcoming details on the For-Friends-Only Annual Membership Tea. In addition to the Annual Membership Tea, Friends also enjoy perks such as coupons for fines and coupons for free movie rentals. The higher the membership the greater the perks!