Business Law

Carol Ginsburg Receives 2010 B&F Distinguished Leadership & Service Award

On June 14, Carol Ginsburg, currently the Fund Raiser and Finance Director of the New York Chapter of SLA for 2009-2010, was honored at the SLA Business & Finance Awards as the 2010 recipient of the B&F Distinguished Leadership & Service Award during the SLA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since its 2009 inception, which was birthed by Frances Hesselbein’s inspirational B&F keynote speech at the 2008 Annual Conference in Seattle, the Award has been presented in partnership with Evaluate Pharma USA, Inc. Carol was recently interviewed on the telephone by SLA NYC chapter member Richard Reid.

Richard: Congratulations, Carol, although I know that part of the circumstance surrounding the reason for the award is painful. You’ve been honored by the SLA before, such as in 1995 as an SLA Fellow, and in 2009 by the SLA New York Chapter with its Distinguished Service Award. Can you tell us why this award different from those?

Carol: Thank you, I appreciate your sympathy. Yes, the award is different for two reasons. First, this award is given for service to the larger community in which one lives and not for any specific accomplishment in librarianship. In my case, it acknowledges my involvement over the last 15 years with the Brotherhood Synagogue in the Gramercy Park section of Manhattan, as a member of various committees, President, and Chair of the Board of Trustees, and particularly for leading its annual blood drive for the last seven years. Second, and more importantly, it’s personal. The blood drive is named in honor of my late son, Chuck, who succumbed to a rare form of cancer at age 33.

R: It’s horrible to lose a child at any age like that. Why did you decide to memorialize him in this way?

C: After his passing in 2002, my family and I talked about the importance to us of keeping his name alive. While Chuck’s wife was working during the day and he was home receiving treatments, people from the synagogue would volunteer to keep him company during the day. Blood plasma helped give him energy and some feeling of normalcy during his battle with cancer. My husband and I wanted to find a way to repay all that help. We realized that sponsoring a blood drive at our synagogue seemed like a fitting way to memorialize him. We also found a personal way to remember as well. When our other child, Marge, was expecting our first grandchild nearly five years ago, she and her husband named their daughter, “Charley,” for her Uncle Charles.

R: That’s very sweet. How has the blood drive been doing?

C: It has grown wonderfully over the years, from about 40 pints the first time we did it to over 70 pints in 2009. We hold it annually in November because that’s a time of year when shortages often develop. Chuck’s family and friends remember him with love each and every day. Collecting blood so others can be helped the way Chuck was does lessen the pain a little. Jewish faith tells us that we all have an obligation to leave the world a better place than we found it. This is one step towards that goal. If any SLA members would like to participate in the 2010 drive later this year, please contact me for details.

R: The B&F Award was not just a certificate, correct?

C: Yes, it also came with a donation of $500, to be presented to the recipient’s charity of choice. I assigned it to the Brotherhood Synagogue to continue its community outreach work.

R: Thank you, Carol, for sharing your experience with us. Perhaps it may inspire other SLA members to look at ways they may either begin to help their community or to extend existing efforts even further.

C: Yes, that would be wonderful. And thank you for the opportunity to talk about the Chuck Ginsburg Memorial Blood Drive.

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