Brundidge honors library namesake at open house (PHOTO GALLERY)
Published 7:14 pm Wednesday, May 14, 2014
The memory of Tupper Lightfoot guiding Richard Lightfoot and his sister, Sue, into the basement of his home to give the young boy a tin pan stands clear in Richard Lightfoot’s memory.
“The pan was probably one of the few things Mr. Tupper had left,” Lightfoot said.
Tupper Lightfoot was, at one time, a man of wealth. He died penniless.
Lightfoot was a philanthropist who valued education and provided the money for many young people in the Brundidge area to receive higher educations. His house was filled with hundreds of books and he generously shared them with people of all ages. Tupper Lightfoot’s house was a library long before the City of Brundidge purchased the historic home (1897) and made it the city’s public library.
On Wednesday afternoon, the library board and staff of the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library hosted Open House at the city’s public library and invited the community to come and visit the new addition to the library and the renovations to the library’s historic wing, which is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Historic Places.
Richard Lightfoot is a distant cousin of Tupper Lightfoot and his story was one of many that were shared at the Open House.
Mayor Jimmy Ramage said the library is a great tribute to “Mr. Tupper.”
“I can’t think of anything that would please him more than to know his home remains a library today,” Ramage said. “This library is his legacy and he will always be remembered.”
Ramage said the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library is a source of pride for the Brundidge community and an outstanding facility for study, research and recreational reading.
“It took us a while to get all of the work completed but it was worth the wait,” he said.
“The work was done ‘in house’ and Steve Roberts and his staff did an outstanding job. We have a library that is both historic and functional. I love this place.”
Cynthia Pearson, Brundidge City Council member, said the way of the modern world seems to be to take books out of circulation.
“But I want kids – people – to continue to read books,” Pearson said. “Social media is one thing but there’s nothing like having a book in your hand and turning the pages and reading the stories. Our library provides that opportunity. It is a Brundidge landmark and I’m glad that ‘Mr. Tupper’ was a godly man who knew the value of books.”
Jean Carroll, librarian, said that, although the library is actually two buildings joined by a breezeway, it is the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library.
“We are one,” she said. “The library is very attractive and we invite the public to use it on a daily basis. It is well staffed and the staff is available to our patrons. We have an excellent collection of materials for circulation and the computers are available for daily use.”
Carroll said the front library houses reference materials, adult non-fiction, genealogy, children’s books and DVDs, CDs and recorded books.
The back library houses the adult fiction section, computers, testing room, conference room, mini conference room and copier and FAX machines.
Library memberships are available free of charge.