Amanda Itria, of the Sterling Heights Public Library, stands next to books at the library’s Ann Marie Given International Language Collection.

Amanda Itria, of the Sterling Heights Public Library, stands next to books at the library’s Ann Marie Given International Language Collection.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Library welcomes donation for world language collection

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published July 23, 2021

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Sometimes the materials it takes to learn another language require a more universal language: money.

At the June 15 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, the council welcomed a $5,000 donation to the city’s public library to expand its world language resources.

According to Sterling Heights Public Library Director Tammy Turgeon, the donation came from Sterling Heights resident Edward Piet, who retired as a library worker around nine years ago. The money will be used to grow the Ann Marie Given International Language Collection.

Turgeon explained that the donation will fund books and will give residents greater access to materials in the following languages: Albanian, Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese. She said the library collection is “well used and well taken care of.”

“The collection, established in 2002, is named after Ed’s late wife and includes more than 3,600 books, DVDs and magazines — the largest international language collection in the county,” Turgeon explained at the meeting.

“Over the years, Ed has donated over $40,000 to the collection and the fireside reading area on the second floor of the library. He has gone above and beyond in his support of the library and is committed to providing our residents with materials of great quality.”

Turgeon added that she is thankful for other residents who financially support the library, such as the Friends of the Library. She also mentioned a Memorial Honor Book Program that lets residents who purchase certain library materials put bookplates inside books to honor individuals.

After Turgeon’s presentation, Councilwoman Barbara Ziarko thanked Piet and mentioned that, in addition to his financial generosity, he had worked at the library for around 35 years.

“I’m thinking $40,000 is a lot of money to give back to the community, so I truly appreciate it,” Ziarko said.

Mayor Michael Taylor said the library is perhaps among the most popular places in Sterling Heights.

“And with a diverse city like we have, this collection really fits in well here, and we are proud to have you as a resident, proud to have you as a former employee, and we thank you for your generosity,” Taylor said.

Piet declined to speak at the meeting. Attempts to reach him after the meeting were unsuccessful.

Find out more about the Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road in Sterling Heights, by visiting www.shpl.net or by calling (586) 446-2665.

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