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Library honors volunteers

Oct. 16, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Three longtime volunteers and members of Friends of the Cabell County Public Library were honored Monday night in a short ceremony.

The event was part of a kickoff for the sixth annual National Friends of Libraries Week, which is Oct. 21-27, and included a presentation by Huntington native and author John Billheimer. He was there to speak on his latest novel, "Field of Schemes."

But before he did, those three volunteers all got their names on a plaque. All three -- M. Madeline Harmon, Charlotte McCray and Bruce Stout -- have died within the past year, but their generosity lives on.

"The plaque is for people who have given their time and talent to Friends of the Library," Judy Rule, the director of the Cabell County Public Library.

All three provided tremendous help to the group's book sales, which are held three times a year. They worked shifts or managed sales for a number of years.

Pamela Ford, the president of Friends of the Library, said there are about 250 members who have made some monetary donation and who help with various aspects of the book sales. The proceeds help support the adult and child summer reading programs.

Among the books that could be included in the reading program in coming years is Billheimer's new novel. In his latest work, readers meet a new character, Lloyd Keaton, a newspaper sportswriter who lost his money, his wife and his big-city sportswriting job to a gambling habit. It's set in the fictitious small town of Menckenburg, Ohio, with side trips to the gambling establishments of East Wheeling, W.Va. Keaton becomes embattled in trying to clear the name of a minor league baseball trainer who is accused of providing steroids to a player.

A 1956 graduate of Huntington's St. Joseph Central Catholic High School, Billheimer went on to study engineering, earning a master's degree at MIT and a doctorate at Stanford University. Today, he lives in Portola Valley, Calif., where for 30 years he was vice president of a small consulting firm specializing in transportation planning. But in recent years he's also made a name for himself as a writer of whodunits.

To learn more about Billheimer, visit www.johnbillheimer.com. To learn more about becoming a member of Friends of the Library, call the library at 304-528-5700.