The Toledo Lucas County Public Library mourns the loss of one of the community’s kindest, most altruistic voices, Helen E. McMaster. The McMaster family’s partnership with the Library began over two decades ago, when then director Clyde Scoles approached Harold and Helen about supporting an innovative concept the Library was undertaking — the creation of a new multimedia auditorium.
This auditorium, now simply known throughout the region as the McMaster Center, would provide the community with a cutting edge, 300+ seat theater. At the time, the forward thinking McMaster family released this statement about their commitment to the Library (July 13, 1999):
“Today’s students need newer technology to expand their scope of knowledge and to do research. We must provide these modern tools in this new structure under construction, not only for students, but also for adults trying to be competitive in this more technical environment.”
Since its creation, the McMaster Family Lifelong Learning Center, has hosted countless educational programs, entertainment events, political debates, naturalization ceremonies, and more. Its uses have far exceeded the expectations of its original collaborators and will continue to have a positive impact in the community for generations to come.
Helen’s commitment to the Library did not end with the gift of the McMaster Center. In 2008, she was the Honorary Chairwoman of Midsummer Night Up on the Roof, raising nearly $50,000 for the Library.
Helen was also a longtime fan of the Library’s Authors! program. Whenever she was in town, Helen made it a point to attend every event. She enjoyed meeting each author, more often than not, accompanied by her loving daughter, Jeanine Dunn. Helen often found it fun to share with the authors her age and found it especially delightful to let Alan Alda know that she was nearing her 101st birthday at his event. The last event Helen attended, at 102 years young, was the Main Library Grand Opening Gala in September, 2019, with special guest James Patterson.
As a life-long reader and long-time supporter of the Library, Helen E. McMaster, was a friend and partner to the Library. We consider her family. Her presence will be missed by every life she touched and will impact generations to come.