'Free public library' established at Massena Community Center in honor of Massena woman

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Aug. 6—MASSENA — A "free public library" has been set up at the Massena Community Center in honor of a Massena woman, an avid reader, who passed away in May at the age of 87.

Mayor Gregory M. Paquin told village trustees that Phyllis J. LaCourse's daughter, Kathleen Ahlfeld, wanted to honor her mother's love of reading by installing a "give a book, take a book" library at the Beach Street community center.

The white mini-library is located in the community room at the Massena Community Center. It was built by Mrs. Ahlfeld's husband, Timothy J. Ahlfeld, and carries an inscription that reads, "Take a book, leave a book, love a book, keep a book."

"Kathleen Ahlfeld came up with this idea. Her mother, Phyllis, who passed away, was an avid reader," Mr. Paquin said. "Kind of in honor of that, what they wanted to do was kind of a 'take a book, give a book' kind of a situation. They wanted to put it in the community center so citizens have access to those books."

He showed trustees a photo of the mini-library.

"Kathleen put Tim to work. You can see what it is that they're going to do. It's going to be obviously in honor of Mrs. LaCourse," he said. "Kathleen came up with a wonderful way to honor her mother. She was a wonderful lady. It's a great idea. It's a wonderful way to honor Phyllis."

"That's awesome," Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire said.

Mrs. LaCourse, who died on May 25, worked for a time in the cafeteria at St. Joseph's School before starting at Trinity Catholic School, where she worked for more than 35 years until her retirement. She was an active communicant at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in St. Peter's Parish. Throughout her life, she volunteered for many community organizations and greatly enjoyed reading, crocheting, and cooking.