2 local women, a professor and librarian, honored in Albany - ithacajournal.com
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
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
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
became used to handling things on her
own, even beef cattle ranching.
"I believe women can learn anything," she
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
, 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
said she she
was surprised by the recognition because most of her
volunteer work involves group efforts.
"Solo feels very strange," she