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The memorial gift to the North Adams Public Library was unveiled Thursday afternoon by the family of Jody Gottwald: daughters Katrina, Melissa and Jennifer Gottwald, her husband, Richard, and sister Mary Ann Abuisi, who donated the statue.
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Memorial Statue Unveiled at North Adams Library

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Mary Ann Abuisi displays an image of the bronze plaque that will be added to the statue 'Read to Me.'  
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The late Judith Ann "Jody" LaFortune Gottwald will be remembered for her love of books, reading and libraries. 
 
The city native was memorialized on Thursday with the unveiling of a bronze statue of two children reading a book set by the East Main Street entrance of the North Adams Public Library where she began her long career as a librarian. 
 
The bronze was a gift from Mary Ann LaFortune Abuisi, who remembered how she and her sister would walk from their East Main home to the library on a regular basis. 
 
"She walked to this library almost every day from the time that she was 4, and continued to be so interested in reading that she ended up becoming a librarian, she was so inspired," the former city clerk said. 
 
Her desire, will read an accompanying plaque, was "to inspire everyone, young or old, to enjoy the adventures, imagination and knowledge books can provide."
 
Gottwald, who died on March 2 at age 77, so impressed the staff at the library with her voracious reading habits that became a page there in high school. She went on to earn a master's degree and work as a librarian at colleges in Maryland and Indiana, finishing her career at the University of Indiana at South Bend after 22 years.
 
"It was a long, significant career but she always remembered North Adams, she started here when she worked as a youngster in the library," said her husband, Richard, in thanking Abuisi and the city for the memorial.
 
Abuisi said previously she had been considering how to give something back the city and thought the bronze the right fit. It now sits near the memorial paver to the sisters' parents, Leeward and Ozelina LaFortune. 
 
Also attending the unveiling were here daughters Katrina Gottwald of South Bend, Jennifer Gottwald of Gaithersburg, Md. and Melissa Gottwald of China Valley, Ariz., a couple grandchildren and her great-grandchild Tobias Carrillo.
 
"North Adams has always been an important part of our family," said Jennifer Gottwald. We would come out here twice a year usually when we were kids, so we always knew the library and how this is where mom started. 
 
"So to have a memorial here feels really special, and tp have the opportunity to all come out as a family and see it and share it with the next generation is awesome."
 
The unveiling was followed by a tea party in the library's formal rooms with several dozen members of the community, friends and family, and local officials. 
 
Abuisi thanked those who helped make the memorial happen, particularly retired Library Director Mindy Hackner who "kicked it off" in sending it to the mayor. 
 
"It's clear from what you've told me and from what we read in the story of Jodi's life, how much this library meant to her how much reading meant to her, and how much it inspired her her life and her career," said Mayor Thomas Bernard. "And what's also clear is that she never forgot North Adams and with this gift, North Adams will never forget her."

Tags: memorial,   NAPL,   

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North Adams Happenings: Aug. 21-27

SAVE THE DATE
AUGUST 29th - DownStreet Art
DownStreet Art, the last-Thursday-of-the-month popup program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (MCLA BCRC), returns to downtown North Adams from 5-8 p.m. on August 29, 2019. As always, DownStreet Art is free and open to the public.
More information.

AUGUST 30th - Starry Night Movies at UNO Park Presents: Hidden Figures
On August 30th, we are showing Hidden Figures. The story of "three brilliant African-American women at NASA who serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world" (Google).
The festivities start at 6pm. More information on activities and games coming soon. Movie will begin at 8:00pm. Bring pillows, blankets, and low back chairs to take in this incredible untold story under a starry night on the UNO Park lawn.
More information.
 
Wednesday 8/21
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Terrific Tots Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  

10:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Preschool Story Time North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information. 


11:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Little Wonders Baby Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information. 

5:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Simple Zero-Waste Swaps for the Bathroom: A Zero-Waste Workshop UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

6:30 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Concerts at WIndsor Lake Presents JP Murphy 200 Windsor Lake Drive, (413)664-6180 More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), GAMES, Trivia Night! Ramunto's, 67 Main Street, (413) 398-5152 More information.

Thursday 8/22
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), TUTORING, After School Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

5:30 P.M. (FREE), KIDS, North Adams Public Library Trip North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, Downtown Bike Around Anthony's Municipal Parking Lot More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Party in the Park Presents The Brave Brothers Noel Field, 310 State Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), BINGO, Musical Bingo at Mingo's Sports Bar and Grill 41 Roberts Drive More information.

8:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, The Chalet: Eavesdrop The Chalet at Courtyard D, MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.
Friday 8/23
7:30 A.M. (FREE), MEET AND GREET, Coffee Date at the NAMAzing Eagle Street Parklet NAMAzing Eagle Street Parklet More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Drop-In Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

11:00 A.M. (FREE, PARKING $5), KIDS, Kidleidoscope New England's Natural Bridge, 1 McCauley Road More information.

12:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

7:00 P.M. (By Donation), CRAFTING, Knitting Nights with Common Folk Common Folk, 73 Main Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($1 and up), GAMES, BINGO! North Adams Elks 487 Lodge, 100 Eagle Street, (413) 664-9039 More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), MOVIE, Movies Under the Stars at Colegrove Park Presents: The Goonies Colegrove Park Elementary, 24 Church Street, (413) 664-6180 More information.

8:00 P.M. ($18 - $44), MUSIC, Roomful of Teeth MASS MoCA, 1040 Mass Moca Way More information.

9:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Karaoke Friday! State Street Tavern, 167 State Street, (413) 664-9152 More information.
Saturday 8/24
9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. (FREE), MARKET, North Adams Farmers Market The Wigwam Western Summit, 2350 Mohawk Trail More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE, PARKING $5), TOUR, Natural Bridge History Tour New England's Natural Bridge, 1 McCauley Road More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), GARDENING, Gardening Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Motorama Cruise-in Concert Presents Whiskey City & Live Wire Noel Field Athletic Complex, 310 State Street, (413) 664-6180 More information

8:00 P.M. ($20 - $30), CONCERT, Cha Wa MASS MoCA, 1040 Mass Moca Way More information.
Sunday 8/25
9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. (FREE TO SPECTATORS, CAR REG. $15), STREET FAIR, 9th Annual Motorama Car Show Downtown North Adams, (413) 664-6180 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE, PARKING $5), TOUR, Natural Bridge History Tour New England's Natural Bridge, 1 McCauley Road More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Racks and Stacks- Barbecue and Vinyl Music A-ok Berkshire Barbeque, 2601 MASS MoCA Way, (413) 398-5079 More information.
Monday 8/26
1:00 P.M. (FREE), KIDS, Crafternoons! North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information.
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