Photos by Scott Halasz | Greene County News

Library and elected officials join Carol Graff in cutting the ribbon on the newly renamed Carol Graff Beavercreek Library. An avid reader, Graff has been on the library board for three terms and was instrumental in the construction, expansion, and renovation of the Beavercreek branch.

This sign greets visitors as they walk in the library.

Beavercreek Township Trustee Tom Kretz talks about Carol Graff, while she and Trustee Debborah Wallace listen. The township owns the land and building which now has Graff’s name on it.

Carol Graff addresses the crowd prior to the ribbon cutting.

BEAVERCREEK — Carol Graff first went to a library as a young child and was instantly hooked.

And now after decades of reading books and promoting libraries — and all they can offer — a branch of the county library system has honored Graff for her dedication and enthusiasm. The Beavercreek Township Board of Trustees and Greene County Public Library leaders officially dedicated the Carol Graff Beavercreek library last Friday, forever linking the long-time public servant with the building she helped create in 1978.

“I am very humbled and honored that this building bears my name,” said Graff, who has been on the board for nearly two decades. “This is an incredible, incredible honor. I have been part of the renovation of each of the seven branches over the past 19 years I’ve been on the board. But I’m especially proud and privileged to be in on the construction, expansion and renovation of this the Beavercreek Community Library, my home library. I truly enjoy being able to give my time and effort to make it a better place in which to live, play, and work.”

Putting Graff’s name on the building was a consensus. According to library Director Karl Colón, when he contacted the township trustees about renaming the library, they were already thinking about it.

“I am so proud of our community for recognizing the dedication of an amazing public servant like Carol,” Colón said. “Her name is a huge part of the story of Beavercreek’s success. And not only Beavercreek, but the whole Miami Valley. I am grateful beyond words to my friends and colleagues at Beavercreek Township and to the Board of Trustees of the Greene County Public Library for their collaboration and work to bring this great day to the whole community.”

Graff, who has been the library board chair for 17 years, said instilling the love of reading and learning from early childhood fosters “readiness to learn from the get go.” It also makes the country better, she said.

“We live in a democracy,” Graff said. “I firmly believe that the foundation of a thriving democracy is universal literacy and the ability to access learning materials throughout our lives. I always have a book ready to read as well as one or more downloaded on my tablet. Reading is a lifeline to the past, present, and future.”

But places to check out books is only a portion of what libraries are, according to Graff.

“They are learning centers, community meeting places, maker spaces, art galleries, museums, music (and) movie houses, computer centers, and concert areas,” she said. “Libraries nourish both the mind and the body.”

For Graff, that nourishment began at an early age and continues today.

Reach Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.