Westport Library Donor Q&A: Nancy Beard

Tue, Jan 3, 2023
EJ Crawford
Nancy and Gene Beard

Nancy Beard is one of the Library’s most generous supporters. She contributed to the 2017-19 transformation project and recently pledged a landmark donation through the Nancy J. Beard Foundation to create the Nancy J. Beard Lifelong Learning and Education Fund, a sustaining endowment that will support educational courses, lectures, special workshops, and hands-on training activities at the Library.

Nancy, a longtime Westport resident with her husband, Gene, recently sat down with us to discuss her philanthropy, why libraries matter, the importance of community, and more. Here are excerpts from that conversation:

Westport Library: Why did you decide to support the Library?

Nancy Beard: The Library has become a real part of the community and it has something for everybody, which I like. Everybody can come, from a 2-year-old to a 92-year-old, and there is something there for them. It’s a real community center.

[Related: Landmark Pledge to Endow Nancy J. Beard Lifelong Learning and Education Fund, Support Westport Library Programs]

Why do you think libraries matter still today?

Because it’s a source of information and I think it’s a source of true information. It’s not the television telling you how it is or how it should be. At the Library, you can find out for yourself.

What have been the personal rewards of you donating to the Library?

I’m very happy with it. This library is one of the best in the United States and certainly one of the best in the Northeast, and I’m very proud to have been a part of that.

What would you tell others who are considering donating to the Library?

It’s a great cause. If they ask me, I’d say that if you believe in libraries and you want a place to go and take your children, the Library is a great place.

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