On Thursday September 20, the Springfield Town Library along with the Friends of the Springfield Town Library dedicated a garden in memory of D.J. and her work at the library. The garden is located between the Springfield Town Library and the Furman’s building on Main Street in downtown Springfield.
|The Springfield Town Library dedicated a new garden on the south lawn in memory of Donna Jean “D.J.” Fusonie.|
Photo: CHRISTIAN AVARD PHOTO
"New garden dedicated in librarian’s memory
SPRINGFIELD — Donna Jean “D.J.” Fusonie by all accounts loved libraries and loved books.
Her husband, Alan, on Thursday said the quality of the Springfield Town Library was a deciding factor when the Washington, D.C., area couple — professional librarians — retired and moved to Vermont in 1994.
Alan Fusonie said he and D.J., as she was universally known, loved the library, and it was natural that a small garden was created along the south lawn of the library in her memory.
On Thursday, a group of the Fusonies’ friends and colleagues gathered at the dedication of the garden, which was built by Shannon Stevens of Springfield.
The garden includes many perennial and annual flowers, a small flowering crab apple and other blooming shrubs.
“She brought her extraordinary library skills, extensive experience and love of helping others to the library,” said the library’s director, Russell Moore. D.J. Fusonie worked part time as a reference librarian. “She was a very accomplished reference librarian,” Moore said.
Moore said D.J. Fusonie had an accomplished professional life, working as a librarian for the Smithsonian Institution, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and as director of the Reference Center for the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Moore said after the ceremony that Fusonie had started her career as a children’s librarian in Maryland.
D.J. Fusonie died suddenly last December after a short, shocking illness, said Moore. She felt sick one day at work, shortly after Christmas last year, and within two days, she was gone, he recalled Thursday. She was 66.
The garden space was filled with blue myrtle and pink lily of the valley, butterfly bush, purple coneflower, Siberian iris, and day lilies and peonies.
Moore said the space, which creates a pocket park between the library and the Furman’s building to the south, was once hidden from Main Street by a large crab apple tree.
But Moore said the tree had grown too big for its location and its roots were starting to invade the neighboring buildings. Its removal in the spring created the opportunity for the memorial park, he said. There is a bench in the small garden for reading and contemplation.
Moore said Stevens had designed, planted and maintained the garden, and she had spent countless hours as a volunteer to create it. Funding for the garden was provided by the Friends of the Springfield Town Library, as well as donations in D.J. Fusonie’s memory.