recently bestowed its highest honor for only the third time in its 65-year history.
Board of Directors member Ed Laput of Colchester received the Fremont Rider Award for Lifetime Achievement, Dedication and Vision in Genealogy. His work in cataloguing the state’s cemeteries has provided valuable information for anyone seeking ancestors buried in the state.
Barbara Prymas chairs the board committee charged with overseeing volunteer efforts. “This award is not given annually, and that the recipient can only be someone who has been exemplary in his or her service to the library. It has been, and should continue to be, reserved for special recognition.”
Laput “single-handedly established the cemetery program with his army of volunteers, which now numbers 13 who have put in more than 1,500 hours of their time in 2011,” Prymas said.
Executive Director Beth Mariotti said that Ed himself devoted 2,800 hours in just 2011 to his project, crossing the state photographing graves and uploading loading the photographs with biographical information so that it is available online. His years of devotion to the project have produced thousands of records.
She noted that in addition to his hard work on the cemetery project, “Laput has brought unprecedented publicity to Godfrey with newspaper articles and television interviews.”
In recognition of his efforts, Laput received a crystal trophy bearing his name and the year 2011. The library will add his name to the plaque mounted in the main room to the right of the fireplace.
Godfrey is a library of genealogy, history, and biography that is open to the public and offers thousands of resources both in the library and online.