Chesterfield Township Library Receives $2 Million Gift Bequeathed by Library Patron, Merle P. Davies

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Chesterfield Township Library Receives $2 Million Gift Bequeathed by Library Patron, Merle P. Davies

Chesterfield Township Library Receives $2 Million Gift Bequeathed by Library Patron, Merle P. Davies

The Chesterfield Township Library announced today that it has received a $2 million gift from Chesterfield Township resident and faithful public library supporter, Merle P. Davies.

“We are astonished and humbled by the generosity of Mr. Davies,” Chesterfield Township Library Director Elizabeth Madson said. “This meaningful gift affirms the impact of the vitally important work of the public library, and its staff, in the daily lives of our neighbors.”

Mr. Davies, a retired supervisor from Michigan Bell Telephone, passed away on March 28, 2021, at the age of 91. An avid reader, Mr. Davies was committed to the success of the Chesterfield Township Library from its very establishment in 1994, and served as a founding member of the Friends of the Chesterfield Township Library.

“Merle gifted me with several posters from the November 8, 1994, effort to legally establish a public library in Chesterfield Township with the message, ‘A better Chesterfield Library for you,’” Madson said. One poster was framed and is displayed as a reminder of the vision residents shared about the future of their community, and how such an investment would benefit all. “Merle understood the dream of a new public library and took action to ensure that one day the dream would become reality.”

Circulation Supervisor Shane Stewart reflected, “Merle was a unique character with a charmingly sharp wit. He was a history buff who really believed in the principles and values in the foundation of the public library, a place for everyone to learn about everything. He would often check out books for friends and neighbors because he knew where to find information that would help other people.”

Mr. Davies’ transformational gift ensures the essential resources and services of the public library will grow, and opens opportunities for many new initiatives. The Chesterfield Township Library Board of Trustees is committed to understanding the critical needs of the community and adhering to a sound planning process that enhances the quality of life for residents while ensuring equal access to ideas, information and resources that provide equal opportunity for success.