MONONGAHELA – Tiffany Jean Fleet has continued to draw people into Monongahela Area Library, even in her death.
More than 60 people attended a tribute Monday to the former library director, who died unexpectedly Feb. 24 at the age of 37 from a heart attack caused by blood clot.
“We’re all better for having known Tiffany,” said former library board member Scott Frederick while he spoke at the event in the library’s community room.
Fleet was remembered as a dynamic person who attracted new patrons into the library at 813 W. Main St. by offering creative programing such as bringing live chickens into the building for a program on raising backyard chickens.
“She continued to make Monongahela Area Library relevant,” Frederick said.
One of her programs, Color Me Happy Hour, was picked up by inmates at a state prison as a way to use adult coloring books to lower stress levels, said library board member Terry Necciai.
SCI-Fayette inmate Richard A. Guy sent a complimentary handwritten letter a year ago to Fleet thanking her for inspiring him to begin a coloring book program for his fellow inmates after he read about her program in the Observer-Reporter.
“So I hope you don’t mind if I stole (no pun intended) your idea and got one going here,” Guy wrote in the letter, which was on display at the library for the tribute.
Fleet, who lived in Fairchance and worked in Monongahela for the past three years, also had programs about bats for Halloween, seed planting, cursive writing and Indians.
“She had a knitting class and left behind her unfinished quilt,” Necciai said.
Fleet also was remembered Monday as a successful fundraiser by Betsie Trew, president and chief executive officer of Washington County Community Foundation, which sponsors an annual Day of Giving for local charities.
She said the first time the library entered the fundraiser in 2013 it drew only six donations. Under Fleet’s participation, the donations grew last year to 125 and earned the library $7,000, Trew said.
“I was so shocked, shocked that she passed away,” Trew said. “She was so young.”