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Donna Cote's memories of George Van Sant's contributions to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library
A group performs at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library for the monthly Music on the Steps event, a series that evolved under George Van Sant's leadership.
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As a library board member, Van advocated forcefully for the library as an essential public service deserving of priority status for funding. Perhaps his most valuable contribution to the CRRL and to all Virginia libraries was his determined and successful campaign to achieve full funding for libraries from the General Assembly.
He repeatedly made contact with the area's delegates and senators and traveled frequently to Richmond to speak on the importance of state-level library funding. He was recognized by the Virginia Library Association for his library advocacy, being named Trustee of the Year in 2000 and awarded life membership in 2005.
In addition to these stellar accomplishments, Van was personally kind and generous, always ready with a humorous story to tell. His booming voice was well-known at the Friends book sales, where he would enthusiastically announce the availability of tote bags and other bargains. On the occasion of the 2008 publication of his memoir, "Taking on the Burden of History, Presuming To Be a United States Marine," Van spoke at the annual Friends meeting, regaling the audience with stories both witty and inspiring. His leadership, vision, and commitment are responsible for the success of public library services in the CRRL region.
Library lovers will always be grateful for his many contributions to the region and to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.
Donna Cote is director of the Central Rappahannock Regional