Visit from Pulitzer-Prize winning author Tracy Kidder boosts Wareham Free Library
Pulitzer-Prize winning author Tracy Kidder visited the Wareham Free Library on Wednesday, praising the staff’s hard work and dedication toward their annual Author Series fundraiser.
“These guys are great,” Kidder said. “They’re so dedicated to what they do, and it’s just fantastic to see.”
Kidder is best known for his work in nonfiction. His latest book, "A Truck Full of Money," explores the life of Paul English, the co-founder of travel search website Kayak.com.
Kidder met with fans at the Wareham Free Library to sign books and give a free lecture. He talked about the writing process and answered a variety of questions from audience members.
According the Kidder, the success of a writer has a much to do with talent and hard work as it does to do with luck.
“The luck of a writer is a lot like the luck of a fisherman,” Kidder said. “As I’m sure can relate to here in Wareham.”
According to Library Association President Liz Wiley, attendance for the event was near capacity.
“Tracy gave us an amazing turn out,” Wiley said. “We’re so honored he came out to see us.”
Following Kidder’s lecture, a $100-a-plate fundraising dinner was held at the Rosebrook Event Center. Kidder was interviewed by by Naomi Ahrenburg of NPR. The two discussed Kidder’s work, as well as the need for literacy and libraries in today’s world.
“People desperately need libraries,” Kidder said. “They’re such a valuable part of their communities.”
In 2014, the Wareham Free Library lost its state certification due to insufficient funds. According to Library Association Vice President Kerry Mello, the money the library received from the town just wasn’t enough to cover expenses.
“We couldn’t hire the kind of staff we needed,” Mello said. “We cut hours, we didn’t even have a director. Surrounding towns wouldn’t accept our library cards.”
Fundraising efforts by the Wareham Library Foundation and the Friends of Wareham Library are what make all the difference going forward according to Mello. The two organizations help to cover the cost of things maintenance, salaries and outreach programs through events like the Author Series.
“We’ve gone through some really lean times,” Mello said. “And the staff deserves some serious credit for all they’ve done.”