CDL Celebrates the 2022 Friend and Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients


From CDL

Chelsea District Library (CDL) staff and volunteers were excited to gather at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party on Saturday, December 3. At this celebration, CDL honored two individuals who have been particularly generous in their service to the library. The awards originated in 1992 as a small way to recognize the enormous gratitude CDL has for those individuals who help to further its mission. These dedicated individuals provide great value to the library by doing work above and beyond the normal scope of the CDL staff. This year CDL celebrates the services of 2022 Friend of the Year Bill Personke and 2022 Volunteer of the Year Marilyn Kuehl.

Bill Personke and his wife Shawn moved to Chelsea 33 years ago and raised their two children here. Bill worked as a sales representative for Ecolab for 29 years and retired in 2017. Since retirement, he has been involved with the Friends, mostly on the book sale. “It’s a great time sharing the love of books with so many people.” Bill reflects, “I have been a library supporter all of my life as the Garden City Public Library was my home away from home as I was growing up. I became involved at the CDL after we first moved here, becoming a board member on the last elected Village board and an appointed member of the first Chelsea District Library Board.” Bill brings a love of nonfiction to his work at the library observing, “I have loved reading all my life and especially like nonfiction, particularly history and social issues. With a great writer crafting a story, history becomes alive. As Mark Twain once said, ‘the difference between fiction and nonfiction is that fiction has to be believable.’”

CDL’s Volunteer of the Year, Marilyn Kuehl, moved to Chelsea in 2017 and immediately shared her talents and joy for life with Chelsea District Library. Marilyn observes, “I view life as a wonderful adventure—good, bad, happy, or sad, it is ever changing and ever challenging. I love reading—specifically fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and history (especially women in history). And I've loved creating a myriad of different things throughout my life.” CDL has been the grateful recipient of Marilyn’s joy in creating things as she first helped with CDL’s table at Chelsea Senior Center’s Festival of Tables. Her design skills and imagination were immediately recognized and the staff at CDL quickly put her generosity of time and skills to use to create displays in the library lobby. Most recently, Marilyn has taken her skills to help create and sell merchandise for the Friends of Chelsea District Library and spearheaded the successful purse and jewelry fundraiser in the summer of 2022. Marilyn generally prefers to keep her talents out of the spotlight and shares that “I wish I could share this with all the volunteers. Every volunteer is special. If someone gives you an hour of their time, that is precious!”

The staff at CDL could not agree more with this sentiment and gives thanks to all of our wonderful Friends and volunteers. It is with the help of many hands that we are able to engage, inspire, and equip our community! For information about volunteering, please contact Linda Ballard at 734-475-8732 x202. For more information on becoming a friend, visit

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