A Letter From Our 2020 Co-Chairs

This year, we cannot guarantee that we can safely physically gather for Celebration of Learning. Instead, we are inviting you to join us in spirit! We are working hard to develop a unique virtual experience to continue this beloved tradition. On Friday, November 6, no matter what shape it may take, we look forward to joining together to champion our library.  Our author, Dr. Abraham Verghese, will also share his unique perspective as an infectious disease physician who’s acclaimed novel, My Own Country, focuses on the impact of a health crisis on a community.

Celebration of Learning is the library’s only fundraising event and we need your support. In these challenging times, the need for our services has never been greater. And frankly, with steep decreases in our funding, we will depend on donors like you now more than ever.

We look forward to enjoying this inspiring, somewhat unconventional, Celebration of Learning with you and thank you for giving to one of our community’s greatest treasures, your library.

John Behal and DeeDee Glimcher
2020 Celebration of Learning Co-Chairs


Healing Power of Community

Dr. Abraham Verghese is a nationally bestselling author and a prominent voice in medicine with a uniquely humanistic view of the future of healthcare. His warmth and vision as well as his world-class gifts as a storyteller make him a powerful speaker both to health­care professionals and the patient in all of us. 

Dr. Verghese has a deep understanding of the new tools being placed in doctors’ and patient’s hands, but he also has a deep faith in the human hand itself as one of the most powerful tools in a doctor’s kit. He grounds his vision of technological progress in a humanistic commitment to listening to the patient’s story and providing what the patient most wants — a true caregiver. This dual-pronged approach, incorporating both an appreciation of tech develop­ments and a profound commitment to the relationship between doctor and patient, makes Abraham a leading voice in the discus­sion about what quality care means now and in the future. 

In addition to being a deep thinker about the future of healthcare, Dr. Verghese is a phenomenally successful author with tremen­dous popular appeal. His novel, Cutting for Stone, was a runaway hit, topping the New York Times bestseller list for over two years and earning a movie deal. His upcoming book, The Maramon Conven­tion, is highly anticipated. 

Dr. Verghese has served on the faculty of many universities, including the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, where he was the founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a Master of the American College of Physicians, and was elected to the Association of American Physicians, as well as the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • John Behal 
  • DeeDee Glimcher
Committee Members:  
  • Lauren Bonfield
  • Barbara Brandt
  • Laney Burgdoerfer
  • Darci Congrove
  • Mary Jo Conte
  • Sue Cooper
  • Melanie DeAscentis
  • Barbara Derrow
  • Sandy Doyle-Ahern
  • Marjorie Duffy
  • Scott Gaines
  • Diane Garland
  • Tracy Harrison
  • Charlotte Kessler
  • Gale King
  • Patrick King
  • Wayne Lawson
  • Vicki Linville
  • Victoria Losinski
  • Jennifer McNally
  • Katharine Moore
  • Lynne Redgrave
  • Corde Westwater Robinson
  • Renée Shumate
  • Barbara Siemer
  • Sheila Smith
  • Catherine Strauss
  • Hope Wolman
  • Ed Yen
  • Ellen Yen 

    As of May 31, 2020


Columbus Metropolitan Library is facing one of the biggest challenges in its history, and we need your help. People from all backgrounds depend on us. With your support, we can adapt our services to meet the changing needs of our customers: assisting our neighbors struggling to find work, supporting students while out-of-school learning and providing access to help narrow the digital divide. With steep cuts in our funding, we will depend on contributions from donors like you to help make our critical work possible now more than ever.

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