The Ligonier Valley Library Board of Trustees will honor retired library director Janet Hudson with a virtual unveiling of her portrait in recognition of her 44 years of dedication to the library at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, on Facebook Live.
“With the announcement of Janet’s retirement, the board began looking for a way to adequately honor the lifetime of commitment, dedication and love she has given to our library and our community,” board secretary Stacey Strecker said. “We could think of no better way than to make Janet a permanent part of the library by placing a portrait of her by the entrance to the Diamond Room.”
Robert Daley of the South Hills Art Center in Pittsburgh was commissioned to paint the portrait using a photograph of Hudson taken by staff member Kathy Giesey at a Novel Art event.
Strecker and board member Zlata Ryan explained why the board wanted Hudson to be a permanent visible part of the library in recognition of her work to help create a library atmosphere for present and future generations of patrons to enjoy.
“When I first met Janet only four short years ago, she welcomed my husband and I to the library and showed us around the renovation that was in the early stages,” Strecker said. “The level of excitement, passion and vision she showed for the gutted spaces and for the programs, learning and community building that would take place when finished is hard to put into words.
“Realizing that she had been showing that level of enthusiasm, vision and commitment for 40 years as director at that point was astonishing and made me very excited to work with her when I was asked to become a member of the board. What a beautiful and inspired life she has dedicated to our library.”
“Janet’s true legacy is immeasurable in the dedicated work she performed as director of the Ligonier Valley Library,” Ryan said. “One of Janet’s most memorable characteristics is her warm personality. It always drew you in and made you feel like you were a close friend even if you only saw her a handful of times.”
The board is asking community members to stop by the library between now and the end of November, with a message, card, picture, etc. to be given to Janet to show how much they appreciate all that she has done to make the library what it is today. There will be a box in the lobby in which to place them.
Current concerns for public and staff safety, plus limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to the decision to conduct the unveiling via Facebook Live on the library’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ligoniervalleylibrary/.