The world is Judith Umbach’s oyster and everywhere she visits she looks for a pearl.

In Judith’s case that natural gemstone is a library—a place she’s felt at home ever since her mom would take her as a youngster in her native Calgary.

To recognize and acknowledge that affinity Judith has made arrangements for a sizeable donation to Calgary’s library system in her will—something she urges others to consider.

“It doesn’t mean you need cash on hand—it’s difficult for many of us to say ‘I’m giving something right now’—but for many people it can be possible to make a legacy donation,” said Judith, shortly before leaving on another overseas adventure to southern Africa.

Once there she intends visiting local libraries—something she’s done whenever in a new city or country.

“Wherever I am traveling, I always look for the library then go inside and get a feel for it and the culture I am in,” she said.

Judith, who worked for many years in information technology for the City of Calgary, was appointed to the Public Library Board in 1996 and served as chair for eight of 12 rewarding years.

Now she chairs the Council of Champions of the Calgary Public Library Foundation where she is helping spearhead fundraising to augment services at the planned new Central Library.

She is also a keen photographer, with her images of our ever-changing Calgary being housed as a Library collection. She’s now recording the rise of the new Central Library in the East Village.

“I took some photos when there was nothing on the land, then they were drilling cores and now they’re getting on with the encapsulating of the LRT. It is a very exciting project,” said Judith.

– Story by Chris Nelson, Photo by Rob McMorris Photography

Enjoyed this story? Please share it!

Make an impact...