Library award goes to couple for the first time

By MORGAN SOLOMON/Montana State News

Jack and Barbara Kligerman became the first couple to win the Bozeman Public Library’sCornerstone Award. The award honors outstanding service to the library and the literary community and is typically given to an individual in the Bozeman community.

“They truly deserved to obtain the award together. I don’t think they would have wanted it any other way,” said Sarah DeOpsomer, the development and programs manager for the Bozeman Public Library.

The Kligermans have been volunteering at the library for the past 11 years. They helped the library director’s assistant, participated in multiple book clubs and offered classes in music and literature for Wonderlust, a program of Montana States Extended University.

The two have also coordinated multiple library fundraisers and organized many community readings at the library over the years.

“We just love working and being at the library because the people there are so nice and we really enjoy working with them,” Barbara Kligerman said.

The Kligermans received the sixth annual Cornerstone Award at the Cornerstone Celebration, an annual fundraiser and award ceremony hosted by the Bozeman Public Library.

The award ceremony took place on April 23 shortly after a night of readings organized by the Kligermans themselves.

The theme of the 2014 celebration was Shakespearean in honor of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. The evening attracted over 180 people to the second floor of the library to watch Jack and Barbara, along with 12 readers and three musicians, perform scenes from the plays “Henry the IV,” “As You Like It” and “Much Ado About Nothing.”

“We aren’t really good performers but we wanted to get creative,” said Kligerman. “We had the readers sing their parts, and we encouraged the audience to join in.… They did and it just was so great.”

Jack Kligerman played the part of Falstaff from the play “Henry the IV” while Barbara Kligerman took on the role of Thisbe from the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Kevin Asselin, director of the theater company Montana Shakespeare in the Parks also made an appearance to lead a demonstration of how to train for a sword fight.

“That was really fun and really got everyone involved in the event,” DeOpsomer said. “The room was really quite alive.”

Previous winners of the Cornerstone award include David Quammen for his life contributions to literature and the library, former owner of the Country Bookshelf Mary Jane DiSanti, radio producer and personality George Cole, writer Alan Kesselheim and Montana State University Professor and Reference Librarian Jan Zauha

– Edited by Kaitlyn Nicholas

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