hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


January 2, 2014

Remembering Sara Jaffarian


A humble woman from modest Armenian roots, she thought nothing of traveling to Georgia in 2006 at 90 years old for reasons that dictate extreme humanitarianism. Hurricane Katrina had ravished a library in that state and she wanted to be there on a personal mission.

The contribution she made was only second to a donation rendered by then First Lady Laura Bush that day, another true school library advocate.

“I’m so happy to meet you,” Sara told her benevolent counterpart.

“No, the pleasure is having met you,” the First Lady told Sara. “The honor is all mine.”

The two posed for photos together as pledge dollars did their part in getting a new library erected.

In an interview conducted by her hometown paper, Sara indicated her work was just beginning and she wanted to do something for her beloved Haverhill Public Library. As you enter the front door, immediately to your right is the Sara Jaffarian Reading Room she financed shortly after Katrina.

Intended to be used by seniors, it covers all patrons of the library who come here to sit and read and be tutored, filled with magazines and other publications. Generations lay privy to the room and appear all the better for it.

“Throughout my career, I worked in many capacities to promote the idea that every school needs a library,” she said. “In order to have an excellent school, there must be an excellent school library.”

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