President of library board is Falmouth's Citizen of Year

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FALMOUTH — Marsha Clark, president of the Falmouth Memorial Library board, was recently named Citizen of the Year.

She was honored not only for her leadership in raising $2.81 million required for a long-awaited library expansion project, but for the years she has volunteered at the schools and served on the Town Facilities Planning Committee.

Clark said her husband, Peter Goffin, tricked her into attending the annual municipal banquet, where the award is presented. She had no idea she was even nominated, let alone that she was the winner.

It wasn’t until Town Council Chairman Caleb Hemphill began describing who had received the award that Clark realized she was being honored.

In an interview, Clark said she’s proud to follow in the footsteps of other Citizen of the Year winners, particularly the 2016 winner Mayer Fistal, whom she called “a great man. Following him is an even greater honor.”

Clark said the fact that she was selected shows “the importance and value of the library to the community.” She was nominated for the award by former Town Councilor Karen Farber, and called the honor “very special.”

Andi Jackson-Darling, the library director, said she is “very pleased” that Clark was chosen as Citizen of the Year. “I’ve seen Marsha in action (and) it’s great to see her work formally recognized by the community,” Jackson-Darling said.

She said Clark deserved the recognition because “she quietly puts in an amazing number of hours into service to the community.”

“Town residents may see her once in a while at a council or Planning Board meeting. What people don’t see is her hauling bags and boxes of donated books to our book sale,” Jackson-Darling said. “They don’t see her working on quilts, pottery, or other creative works to donate to the library or other groups for their fundraising efforts (and) they haven’t seen her shop-vacuuming water up from storm damage in the library’s Reading Room over a holiday weekend.”

What Jackson-Darling said she most appreciates about Clark is “her passion and dedication to the need for a vibrant community library and the important services libraries provide. She is a great role model. Her definition of failure is not trying.”

Jackson-Darling is also glad that Clark’s “service to the library is (being) recognized as a service to the overall community.”

Clark moved to Falmouth in 1985 and from the beginning was active in town affairs, especially at the schools, but she’s best known these days for her work on the library board.

She joined the board in 2001 after volunteering at the library shelving books and doing other odd jobs. “We were big library users and being on the board was a way to give back to the community and support the library,” Clark said.

She served on the board until 2007 and then rejoined it five years ago.

Clark’s been the board president for the past three years and said what she’s most proud of is “getting the funds needed to get the library project underway. This project is very big for this community.”

In his remarks, made during the June 28 municipal banquet, Hemphill said, “We could talk for a long time about this year’s recipient of the Citizen of the Year award because her service literally spans decades.”

After naming some of her other contributions, he said, “It is the Falmouth Memorial Library that perhaps has benefited the most from Marsha’s talents, energy, positive attitude and failure-is-not-an-option mentality.”

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Falmouth Memorial Library President Marsha Clark was named the town’s 2018 Citizen of the Year. She received a print of the Town Landing Market, one of Falmouth’s most iconic and historic buildings.

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