Word Patriots – Laura Bordas / Holt Memorial Library
My guest this week on Word Patriots is Laura Bordas, President of Holt Memorial Library in my hometown of Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. Everyday, all across this nation, in small towns and big cities, a wide assortment of individuals battle ceaselessly and untiringly for the cause of the word. These frontline soldiers include teachers, librarians, library staff and board members, as well as government and non-profit learning agencies which offer basic literacy, English as a Second Language, and family literacy services to adults and children who lack the basic communication skills needed to navigate through their day-to-day activities, and the thousands upon thousands of tutors who volunteer and sign up at such agencies or who on their own initiative work one-on-one to help those who have difficulty reading to succeed and accomplish their goals. Laura is one of these frontline soldiers. Prior to her retirement this year, Laura spent thirty years on staff at Penn State University, first as Assistant to the Dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences at University Park and finally as Assistant to the Campus Executive Officer at Penn State DuBois. For over seventy years, Holt Memorial Library has been seeking a permanent home. On a blustery evening last January, a ribbon cutting ceremony marked the grand opening of the new downtown location of the library. This week Laura relates the story of the decades-long struggle of the library to find a permanent address. She also details what services are presently available at the library. On a more personal level, she tells how she fell in love with reading and books as a child and how her taste in literature and poetry evolved over the years. To conclude the program, she reads four poems from “Robert Frost Seasons,” an anthology of Frost poems arranged by spring, summer, autumn and winter.