This year’s Outstanding Library Advocate award is being awarded to Mary Beth Tomeny and Natalie Tomasco for their service to the Friends of the HTFL as co-chairs for the Book Sale. We’re so delighted for them! Allow us to introduce them.
Natalie D. Tomasco has lived in Havertown for over 40 years. She is married with one grown son. Natalie is retired from Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library after 26 years. “I used the HTFL for several years when my son was little and I was a stay-at-home mother. I didn’t use the library very often during my working years. I’m glad to be back.”
Natalie began volunteering with the Book Sale in 2005, and in 2009 she joined Mary Beth as co-chair. “I have always loved libraries and like spending time with all the books. Joining the Friends seemed a good way to support the library and contribute to my community.”
What is your most cherished book? Anne Lawrence of Old New York by Gladys Malvern (1947). I fell in love with the story when I was 12 years old and have read it many times. My grandmother, Marie, bought me a hardbound copy when I was 14. The book tells of life during the early 1800s when the city began to plan its growth and revolves around a family of seven siblings whose parents have died. The book includes family problems, annoying relatives, city people, farmers, sickness, strife, death, sorrow, laughter and love.
Favorite Writers: Georgette Heyer, Anna Quindlin, David Sedaris, J.D. Robb, Mary Higgins Clark
Who is your hero of fiction? Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. He is an incredibly wise and gentle father as well as an honorable human being. As a lawyer, he does what’s right even though most people in his society disagree with him.
Favorite Movies: West Side Story, South Pacific, Overboard, Four Feathers and all of Astaire and Rogers (I actually have a list of over 90 favorites.)
Happiness is …retirement. I now have the freedom to set my own schedule.
If you were stranded on a lonely island, what are the five things that you would want? encyclopedia, matches, classic books, hatchet, Johnny DeppFavorite Vacation: I have loved every one of my vacations—never had a bad one. I am totally awed by the natural beauty of the California coast and Hawaii.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Having a photograph of mine—graves in a local cemetery—published in a book entitled A Cruel Wind: Pandemic Flu in America, 1918-1920 by Dorothy A. Pettit, PhD and Janice Bailie, PhD.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Amelia Earhart was the only famous and accomplished woman I knew about when I was a young girl. I admired her daring and adventurous life. I believe I got my love of flying and traveling from Ms. Earhart.
What’s your motto? “To thine own self be true” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet—really tough one to follow. It has been the main struggle of my life to come even close to living it.
Our interview with Mary Beth Tomeny will appear next week.