Community Mourns Library Director
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Friday, October 3, 2008
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Lane Memorial Library will close early today, Friday, Oct. 3, so staff members can attend the funeral of Catherine Redden.
The town's former library director died Sept. 26 at age 59 after losing a courageous one-year battle with cancer.
A celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m. today at the First Congregational Church at 127 Winnacunnet Road in Hampton.
William Teschek, head of technical services for the library, said everyone at the library from the staff to the patrons are mourning the loss of Catherine. "Everyone liked her," Teschek said.
"She was a lovely person to work for and a true class act," said Marija Sanderling, who is the head of the reference services at the library. "She always sought the high road even when things got bumpy."
Redden, who was diagnosed with cancer in June of 2007, fought the disease with treatment up until a week before her death.
"We were all hoping she would win the battle," Teschek said.
Redden was the library's director for the last 15 years, resigning from he post on March 31. When she was hired in January 1993, Redden called it a "homecoming" of sorts. The 1967 Winnacunnet High School graduate noted she used to visit the Hampton library as a kid when she lived in Hampton Falls.
Her great-grandfather, S. Albert Shaw, was also the first librarian at Lane Memorial Library, serving in that capacity from 1881 to 1937.
During her tenure as library director, she won several awards, including the Ann Geisel Award for Distinguished Service in the New Hampshire Library Community in 2005. The award of merit was given to her by the New Hampshire Library Association in honor of two decades' of service to libraries.
"It's probably the best thing that I've ever received," Redden told the Hampton Union in 2005, "because it's from my peers."
Redden told the Hampton Union in 1993 that she always wanted to have a career working at a library. But she postponed that dream after graduating from Plymouth State College with a bachelor's degree in education to become a teacher. At the time, she said she couldn't afford the tuition to get her master's degree in library science.
But after 15 years of teaching English at Pinkerton Academy, Redden was able to save enough money to get her master's in library science. Prior to working at the Lane Memorial Library, she was the director of the Londonderry Public Library.
She was very active in the Hampton Rotary Club and played on the group's softball team the year before she became ill.
"One of the things everyone who worked for her will remember is her penchant for buying little trinket gifts to give with many of our weekly paychecks," said Teschek. "You'd never know what it might be. When she went on vacation or travelled anywhere, she'd scour stores for little gifts. It could be anything from mundane objects like pencils to odd little toys."
Sanderling fondly recalled her knack for giving out candy to the patrons and staff.
"It was just one of those things she did to brighten up everyone's day," Sanderling said.
The celebration of Redden's life at the First Congregational Church will be immediately followed by refreshments in Fellowship Hall. The Redden family will be at the church at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, send donations to the Hampton Rotary Club, P.O. Box 353, Hampton, NH 03843-0353 or the Lane Memorial Library, 2 Academy Ave., Hampton, NH 03842.