Mother’s Love of Hudson and Books Recognized

Rachel Sheffer 1952 Born and raised in Hudson, Rachel (Borrelle) Sheffer emphasized the importance of the Library and books to her children, Valerie, Ken, Gary and Paula. As a tribute, they have now dedicated the Circulation Desk in the new Hudson Area Library in memory of their Mother

When the doors to the new Hudson Area Library open, in a building filled with new furniture and fixtures, one focal point will be the circulation desk. Custom built and curvilinear, it is situated centrally, directly in line with the main doors. Considered the “go to” spot for anyone with questions, it also has a 360 degree view of all the activities in the space. – Sort of like a Mother’s position when keeping track of her kids.

Valerie, Ken, Gary and Paula Sheffer’s Mom kept track of them in just this way. When they were growing up Rachel Sheffer took extra time to make sure her children were not only familiar with the Hudson Library, but respected the information that was contained therein. Even when they weren’t behaving quite up to her expectations, she’d send them to the library as punishment – providing them with opportunities rather than depriving them.

The kids never forgot. And now, 40 plus years into their own adulthood, they’ve found a way to honor their Mother’s memory. By providing a substantial donation to The Campaign for the NEW Hudson Area Library, they were able to take advantage of a “naming opportunity” for the new circulation desk.   The result will be a permanently affixed brass plaque engraved with the following: “This circulation desk is dedicated to Rachel (Borrelle) Sheffer. Our beautiful mother who loved Hudson and instilled in us a love for books and each other. The Sheffer children. January 2016.”

Rachel was born in Hudson in 1934. She lived at 223 Warren – now Tanzy’s, where her father ran a pool hall known as Ritz Billiards for almost 50 years.  She attended Hudson schools and counted many in the community as lifelong friends. Initially a secretary in Albany, the birth of her children changed her focus to her family and she stayed at home for the remainder of her life.   Her father-in-law was The Honorable Elmer Sheffer, two-term Mayor of Hudson.

“When we learned it was possible to dedicate something in the Library to our Mother, we felt very positive about it right from the beginning,” said son Gary. “Our Mother took us to the Library all the time. She was an avid reader – consuming book after book.   And she loved this city. She was a Hudson person through and through. This couldn’t be a more perfect tribute.”

Naming Opportunities

Naming opportunities are available for a wide assortment of spaces and objects in the new Library. At the August fundraiser, Raise the Roof!, items purchased during the Call for the Cause – from an Early Literacy Station to Computer Chairs and a Teen Monitor Cart will all include engraved plaques identifying supporters. The Sheffers donated $50,000 to honor their Mother in perpetuity at the Circulation Desk.

For more information about this program, contact Theresa Parsons, Co-chair of the Campaign Committee (