Baldwin Public Library’s Adult Reference Desk has been renamed the Ileane Thal Reference Desk in memory of long-time, well-respected Baldwin Reference Librarian Ileane Thal, who passed away in 2015.
After earning her Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan in 1983, Ileane worked at Baldwin for over 18 years. Upon her retirement, she continued her dedication to Baldwin by serving on the Baldwin Public Library Board of Directors for eight years, including a term as Library Board President. In 2012, she established a Library endowment fund in her name, from which earnings are withdrawn each year to benefit the Library.
In 2019, her husband Bruce and children Robert, Denise, and Susan expressed interest in donating money for the naming rights of the Reference Desk where she worked with such devotion for two decades. Since her name has been prominently displayed on the desk, many patrons have stopped to share their memories of Ileane with staff. Many comment on her excellent book recommendations and enthusiasm.
“Ileane was a truly marvelous person who cared deeply about our Library and the community it serves. It is a great honor to have the Reference Desk named after her,” said Library Director Doug Koschik.
Library Board member Melissa Mark stated, “Ileane was a fantastic mentor to me. I greatly admired her and would not have gone to library school without her guidance. When I worried about attending library school at age 50, she told me that was the age she was when she started school, too. She was a wonderful person full of knowledge and always ready to help you out.”
I worked with Ileane for several years. She was a lovely person and a devoted librarian. I am so sad to hear of her passing but happy to hear about the naming of the reference desk in her honor. May she rest in peace.