Little beach library a tribute to beloved Rye librarian

Union Leader Correspondent
May 23. 2018 11:52PM

Jeff Quinn cut the ribbon at a ceremony Sunday dedicating a little memorial library to his late wife, Tricia Quinn. (COURTESY)

Tricia Quinn, who died in 2016 after a battle with cancer, worked at the Rye Public Library for 30 years. (COURTESY)

RYE — Tricia Quinn loved her morning walks along the beach and always liked the idea of little library huts filled with books for beachgoers to enjoy.

A year and a half after Quinn lost her brief battle with pancreatic cancer, a little library has been built in her memory near the town beach at the end of Cable Road Extension.

Known as the Tricia Quinn Little Memorial Library, the hut sits atop a post, holds about 40 books, and is free for public use based on the take-a-book, leave-a-book concept.

For the volunteers and donors who supported the project, it seemed like the perfect tribute to the 69-year-old Rye resident who was the associate director of Rye Public Library until her death on Nov. 17, 2016.

Quinn was a fixture at the library where she worked for 30 years; her loss was felt by family, coworkers, library patrons, and many others in this seaside community.

Those who knew her said Quinn cared about the library patrons and was interested in their lives.

“She was a bit of a Pollyanna in a good sense of the word. She just made people feel good,” said Jeff Quinn, her husband of 44 years. “She made people feel welcomed when they came in. She knew their name.”

The little memorial library was erected on a corner of private property owned by the Doykos family. A ribbon-cutting was held Sunday.

It’s believed to be one of the only little libraries near a New Hampshire beach.

The memorial library isn’t the only tribute to Quinn. A stained glass window created in her memory through another community project was installed at the library and dedicated last fall.

Rye Public Library Director Andrew Richmond said volunteers will care for the little library, which will be removed during the winter months.

Richmond worked with Quinn for about 10 years and said he often joked that she was like a private detective.

“If something was out there she would always track it down,” he said, adding, “She had a great personality. She was outgoing with both our staff members and the public.”

Richmond said the little library is stocked with books of various sizes for different age groups. He said the hope is that people will take a book and leave a different book or return the one they took.

“It’ll be interesting to watch the type of content that gets assembled there over time,” he said.

Quinn’s husband recalled how quickly his wife’s cancer progressed after she was diagnosed in October 2016.

“It was a total shock to everybody. In three weeks she was gone,” he said.

But since her death, he said his family has been touched by the outpouring of love and support.

More than 50 people attended Sunday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, including five of Quinn’s six children.

“I was just struck by the amount of people that took the time to come,” he said.

NH PeopleRye

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