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Background Information

Employment History


Ulysses Philomathic Library


master of arts degree
library science
Simmons College

art history
Wellesley College

Web References

2 local women, a professor and librarian, honored in Albany - ithacajournal.com

www.theithacajournal.com [cached]

Barbara Melvin was honored at the sixth annual Women of Distinction awards ceremony in Albany for her community service involvement.Melvin is a librarian at the Ulysses Philomathic Library. 'I believe women can learn anything,' Melvin said.

Asma Barlas and Barbara Melvin were recently honored by State Sen.
Melvin, a public librarian and youth specialist, received a degree in art history from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and a master of arts degree in library science from Simmons College in Boston.
In 1959, Melvin married her husband Davis, and while he was in graduate school at Cornell she worked as the children's librarian at the Ithaca Public Library --then the Cornell Public Library.
Melvin has four grandchildren .
In 1973, Melvin's husband, a flight engineer for Pan American Airways, died in an aviation accident.The family continued raising beef cattle for about five years after his death.Melvin said she became used to handling things on her own, even beef cattle ranching.
"I believe women can learn anything," she said.
After being remarried in 1979, Melvin became involved in Trumansburg's library because her children went to school in Trumansburg.She has been involved with Ulysses Philomathic Library for 25 years.Most recently, she became actively involved in obtaining a new building for the Ulysses Philomathic Library.
As the chairwoman and developer of the project's capital campaign, Melvin helped to raise $1.4 million through private grants, gifts and bequests from many sources.The new library was dedicated in 2001.
Melvin is now the library art and display coordinator.
"It's fun because there's so many talented people," Melvin said.
Melvin, who has worked on more than 100 library displays, said, "Visually, they carry really well in the library."
Melvin has just finished coordinating the convention for the New York chapter of the international Philanthropic Educational Organization, a group promoting education for women and assistance for students of all ages.She has also volunteered as an income tax counselor for the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program.She often visits homebound clients who live on West Hill and in Trumansburg.
When asked how she became interested in such volunteer work, she said: "I come from a family of math teachers.I like the details and definiteness."
Melvin also enjoys quilting and painting.Several of the her watercolor paintings are displayed throughout her home.
Melvin said she she was surprised by the recognition because most of her volunteer work involves group efforts.
"Solo feels very strange," she said.

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