Organization honors local volunteer

Published 9:23 pm Monday, November 12, 2012

Outgoing Friends of the North Carolina Public Library President Renee Griffin (left) presents a Volunteer of the Year award to Washington resident Nancy Nash. (Submitted photo/Friends of Brown Library.)

When Dave and Nancy Nash first held a book sale to raise money for Brown Library, they made about $40. Twenty-five years later, the January sales gross about $20,000 a year.
The Nashes revitalized the Friends of the Library program. Under their guidance, membership grew from about 40 members to more than 450 today.
Although Dave Nash passed away in 2011, Nancy Nash is still active on the Friends board, continuing to take charge of volunteer coordination for one of the most important activities of the Friends, its annual book sale each January, which she initiated.
The Friends of the North Carolina Public Libraries recognized her for her volunteer work. Nancy was named Volunteer of the Year for eastern North Carolina at the annual meeting in Greensboro.
The directors of Friends of Brown Library nominated her for the award.
“I’m kinda tickled about that,” Nash said. “The one thing this proves is if you stick around long enough, somebody will notice.”
The Nashes retired to Washington 25 years ago and were looking for something to get involved with that would help them meet people.
“You know, you meet people at cocktail parties, but you don’t get to know them until you work alongside them,” Nash said.
Meeting so many great people has been the best part of volunteering, she said. Their efforts began with a box of paper slips they were given. Katie Lake, current president of Friends of the Brown Library, said the box constituted the Friends of Brown Library.
Nash became the new president of the Friends, with her husband bringing publicity support.
“In her tenure with the Friends, Nancy Nash has worked miracles to keep public attention on library needs, but the four-day Friends’ annual Book Sale was the shining case in point for her award,” Lake said. “Their projects drew the attention of state and local representatives and funding for the expansion of the library followed.”
In her award-presentation speech, Frannie Ashburn, former state librarian for whom the award was named last year, cited Nash’s involvement with the Washington Garden Club, Lake said. The club built a quiet garden of seasonal flowers, a pergola and benches on library grounds. The Friends appropriately named the garden after the Nashes.