Students at the Rhodora J. Donahue Academy in Ave Maria began using the new, spacious Karen Laub-Novak Library on their second floor Thursday, replete with more than a dozen computers, thanks to a substantial seed grant from Michael Novak and other donations for the long-desired facility.
Named for Karen Laub-Novak (as portrayed in a portrait in the library), an artist and the beloved wife of Mr. Novak, the media center/library will operate under the direction and guidance of Mary Claire Dant, a certified media specialist who has worked in that capacity for many years at Poinciana Elementary and Vineyards Elementary in Naples.
As the students assembled in the hallway before processing inside, Headmaster Dr. Dan Guernsey addressed those gathered and said that Mr. Novak had made the donation for three reasons: because he loved his wife and wanted to honor her; because he loves knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge; and because he loves Ave Maria and its young people.
Mr. Novak gave a short tribute to his wife, Karen Laub-Novak. Fr. Michael Goodyear gave a blessing, and all entered the bright, airy library with its high ceiling, high enough to accommodate a second-story loft which is planned for a future phase.
Ms. Dant says work on the library went rapidly once the project commenced this past autumn, with books coming in from donations and work performed by staff and volunteers. She noted that the media center was still taking donations, and that checks for that purpose could be sent to the Academy, with "media center" noted on the memo line.