Dean and Shirley Garrett are committed to giving back to their community and have done so by donating $100,000 to the Washington Public Library to benefit the children’s program.
For Shirley, who grew up in Crawfordsville, the library was not easily accessible as a child. Dean, who grew up in Washington, visited the library often as a child. Once the pair married and had children, reading became a big part of their lives.
Dean said when they donated the money, they specified for it to be used for the children’s program and were surprised to find out the room was named for them. He said their intention was simply to help keep the library thriving and a beneficial place for the community.
“It’s an integral part of our downtown right now. It’s the busiest place on the south side of the square because there’s always something going on for the children and lots of things for the adults, too,” Dean said.
The pair said they hope the kids who use the room find it a comfortable place to be and that it encourages them to visit the library more often.
“It’s a good thing that will help parents and children bond,” Dean said.
“It’s a family thing,” Shirley agreed. “I hope they spend a lot of time there not only as a group, but as individuals when they take their book home and read it.”
Washington Public Library Director Bryna Walker said the money was invested and used to be part of the foundation fund for the library. The foundation fund helps provide upgrades for the library and was most recently utilized for the purchase of 21 security cameras.
Walker said without donations like ones from the Garretts, upgrades would not be possible. She said financial support is what helps the library provide upgrades and new resources for the community.
“We would not be able to do a lot of these projects without the foundation and the funds,” she said. “(We appreciate) the support for our mission of literary and education of children in the community.”