Donation aids Talent library

Gift made in the name of Rosemary Bradley

By Vickie Aldous
Ashland Daily Tidings

TALENT — The Friends of the Talent Library group is off to a strong start on its ambitious campaign to raise $150,000 to boost the size of the new library that will be built in town.

Friends members recently announced Philip Bradley, who died late last year, donated $10,000 to the campaign in honor of his deceased wife, Rosemary Wiley Bradley.

While the couple never lived in Talent, they made regular trips to visit their son, resident Jim Bradley.

The donation continues Rosemary Bradley's legacy of helping children learn and reflects her commitment to education, according to Jim Bradley, himself a Friends of the Library member.

Born in 1914, Rosemary Bradley received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and became the first woman to teach at that institution, her son said.

"She was a tutor and a lecturer during the war. It was another form of Rosie the Riveter," he said, noting her students were all male. "Her students all fell in love with her."

Although her husband was an economics professor at Harvard, Rosemary Bradley never became a professor. Instead, she raised her two sons and served the community. In the 1960s, she organized the mothers' guild that ran the library where her children attended school, Jim Bradley said.

"She was extremely modest. You could put her in charge of something, and she would run it to perfection, but she was really self-effacing," he said.

The $10,000 donation made in Rosemary Bradley's name jump-starts the fundraising campaign, which will be launched next week with the mailing of 200 letters to potential donors, according to Friends member  Judy Jordan.

With $150,000 the planned 5,661-square-foot library could be increased by 800 or 900 square feet and amenities could be added to better serve Talent's growing population, she said.

The extra money would provide a larger meeting room, additional children's space, a mini-kitchen, larger windows, an outdoor reading area and other improvements.

Funds for the basic library construction will come from a bond approved by Jackson County voters in 2000 to build new libraries and expand existing ones in multiple communities.

The new Talent library will be built on the site of the city's unused fire station after it is demolished. Following an extensive design process guided by a design team that will include citizens, as well as public meetings, construction will begin in late 2005 or early 2006, according to county library staff.

"We encourage people to make donations in 2004," said Jordan. "We need to be able to tell the architects when they start the plans how much money we have. If we want the square footage to be increased, we need to have those donations."

Campaign organizers will continue to accept donations in 2005. Donors can make a single contribution, or make a pledge for a 2005 donation as well, she said.

In addition to the Bradley donation, Friends members raised $1,600 last year raffling prizes donated by local businesses, the Talent Garden Club has pledged $500 and youngsters Noah and Riley Price gave $29 that they raised in sales from their lemonade stand.

"We wanted to have a lemonade stand. We set it up and had a lot of fun, so we wanted to do it the next day, but we didn't know what we'd do with the money. So we decided to give it to the library," Riley Price said. "We're probably doing another one this summer."

For more information on the fundraiser or to make a donation, call Betty Smith at 535-4246 or Marilyn Havill at 535-2940.

[Reprinted with permission and courtesy the Ashland Daily Tidings. April 27, 2004 edition.]

Rosemary Bradley 1930s

A GIFT IN THE NAME OF Rosemary Bradley, pictured in the 1930s, was made to support a larger Talent Public Library.

Philip and Rosemary Bradley 1990s

PHILIP AND  ROSEMARY BRADLEY never lived in Talent, but spent a fair amount of time in the city.