KENT—During the recent annual meeting for the Kent Memorial Library Association, a handsome illuminated globe was dedicated to the memory of Paul-Henri Nargeolet, an international oceanic explorer and Titanic expert who lived in Kent and served on the board of directors for the library.
Nargeolet was one of the people killed when the submersible Titan imploded in June 2023.
“He was a delightful, wonderful man,” said library Director Sarah Marshall. “He was an international figure and the foremost explorer of the Titanic. He had led such an interesting life, going to the bottom of every ocean on Earth, and would talk to you as if you were the most interesting person in the world. He was terrifically supportive of the library.”
The globe is now housed in the Reading Room at the library.
During the meeting, Marshall reported on a year of growth for the library, noting that the institution, which is largely supported through its own fundraising efforts, is number one in Connecticut for volunteerism.
“We are not only a community center, but a community of volunteers,” said Sandy Edelman, president of the Kent Library Association Board of Directors. “It is because so many help that we can punch above our weight.”
Edelman said a capital campaign has begun to renovate the library to provide space for even more community activity.
“It is going well,” she said, revealing the library has been awarded a $2 million grant. “We got the grant, but we didn’t get the check,” she said, explaining that it is a matching grant and the library must raise funds to show it can complete the project.
Library Associates Treasurer John Walker reported that the library is in good shape financially.
It receives about $130,000 annually from the town, 27 percent of its operating budget. The rest is raised by volunteers.
Warner said that while the library leads the state in volunteerism, it is second from the bottom in the amount received from town coffers. Nearly $300,000 is raised annually.