In anticipation of the upcoming library renovation, some residents have asked what will happen to the library mural.
In 1994, funding for the Ida Benigno Children’s Room was given to Library of the Chathams in memory of Ida Marie Benigno by her husband Russell and daughters Rosemary Fuss and Valerie Olpp. Mrs. Benigno lived in Chatham Borough and was a teacher at the Fairmount Avenue Elementary School and later a volunteer at Library of the Chathams.
Author/illustrator of Goodnight Goon, Michael Rex was commissioned to create original art in the Benigno Room where library programs and community meetings have been held ever since. Mr. Rex is the creator of more than 40 delightful books for children. He learned to draw in Chatham and studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Over the years, the walls and mural have been damaged, and they will be further affected by the planned renovation. The images will be preserved and moved to a new children’s program room on the upper level of the library through digitization. The library has initiated a Kickstarter campaign at http://chathamlibrary.org/save-the-mural/ to raise funds for the project. We are excited for the opportunity to preserve this irreplaceable artwork for the enjoyment of current and future generations.