Friends of Babcock Library


The Friends of Babcock Library was established in 1975 with the purpose of maintaining a membership of people who are supportive of the library to focus public attention on the library and to encourage gifts for the benefit of the library. The Friends’ contributions help fund library activities for all ages. The continued support provides for materials and equipment that would not otherwise be funded, such as the circulation desk and a children’s literacy station. The Friends organize events throughout the year that include book sales and fundraising activities that provide financial support for the library.  The Friends meet on every 3rd Tuesday of the month (except July and August). Friends of Babcock Library is a 501c3 organization.

Friends of Babcock Library’s email address is


2006 Focused Project Municipalities Under 15,000 (Ashford) for “Roof Relics”

The Friends of Babcock Library envisioned artistic possibilities when the copper roof at Knowlton Memorial Hall was renovated. Ashford artist, Jan McCulloch, was the catalyst behind the copper roof ornament project titled Roof Relics. She designed and painted miniature Knowlton Halls from the copper tiles that sold as Christmas tree ornaments. John Boutin, former caretaker of Babcock Library and Town Hall, showed the Friends how to make three-dimensional stars. Stars were cut and fashioned in various sizes; most of the stars were refurbished to a bright copper color or sold in attractive powder blue with copper color peeking through along the lines where the material was bent to the 3-D effect. With the fundraising proceeds, the Friends furnish items for the library and money that sponsors the many public programs that the library offers.

On June 3, 2006, the Friends of Babcock Library received an award based on the following criteria:

  • the project provided mementos of the copper library roof
  • money for the library and
  • people working together to create the relics

2010 Focused Project Municipalities Under 15,000 (Ashford) for “Curtain Cut-Ups”

The idea to recycle items as a way to make money for the Library was already in existence. Roof Relics was the first such project. Transforming the old maroon colored stage curtain, soon to be discarded, into saleable items became the second project. Christmas tree skirts, purses, stuffed animals, table runner, and ornaments were the results of the creativity and talent of a group of Friends. They sold their items at various events held at the library. This fundraising venture resulted in a total of more than $5,000. A side benefit was in attracting people to the library and raising community awareness to their efforts.

2016 Focused Project Municipalities Under 15,000 (Ashford) 

The Friends of Babcock Library orchestrated a “Gifts of the Vine”: Wine and Spirit tasting, Art Sale and Show.  This major fund raising event heightens awareness of the library by attracting and involving the community. Ashford is fortunate to have access to a lovely property, the ESCU Church Farm Center, owned and operated by Eastern CT State University. The connection brings both student workers and employees of ESCU to Gifts of the Vine.  The owner of Ashford Spirit Shoppe graciously provides a variety of wines for tasting through various distributors.  Attendees are able to order wines at a discounted cost with 10% of the sales going to the Friends.  Westford Hill Distillery, located in Ashford, offers tastings of brandy.  Ten to fifteen artists show a variety of art work including braided rugs, pottery, quilts and paintings.  Local musicians provide music for the event.  The setting is bucolic and attendees enjoy a wonderful afternoon tasting wine, viewing art, listening to music, bidding on silent action items and enjoying the delicious appetizers. The event adds approximately $4000 to the Friends of Babcock’s budget.

How The Friends Help the Babcock Library

  • Supports Summer Reading Program for all ages
  • Provides prizes and books for community activities
  • Purchases museum passes
  • Funds classic literature replacements
  • Provides children’s computers and software
  • Holds book sales
  • Hosts wine tasting and art show
  • Awards scholarships to Ashford high school graduates
  • Provides refreshments for events


Elaine Wilmes-Pandolfo

Vice President
Lorraine Foster

Linda Gardner

Recording Secretary
Carole McCarthy