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Date: June 23, 2003

The Trustees of the Library are continuing to seek donations for the historic renovation and expansion of the library. Our wish list includes plans to restore the 1902 reading rooms to their original splendor. When finished, these rooms will have fully restored working gas fireplaces and will be prized reading areas or gathering spots for quiet conversation. Recently, the Friends of the Public Library and Canton Art Association offered to help pay for suitable carpets for these formal rooms.

The desire to seek oriental carpets drove Trustee Marcia Connors and me to the Dover Rug Company in Natick. There we met with owner, Mahmud Jafri. He invited us to share with him our story of the Canton Library Project. When we indicated that our budget was based on money raised by the Friends of the Library through such activities as the Book Sale, this gracious man smiled and said he would work with us to reach our goal. He praised the community's outstanding support for this project and expressed his belief that one gift can inspire the generosity of others. We were treated to a tour of his remarkable showroom and viewed magnificent oriental carpets that simply overwhelmed us. We replaced the "affordable" carpets that we had selected and he showed us the beautiful Bijar carpets of India that he felt were the carpets that deserved to be in our newly renovated rooms. He offered his help in purchasing these carpets as a gift to the people of Canton.

Mr. Jafri's desire to help the Canton Public Library was based on the hours his family spent in the Dover Public Library. He spoke of the importance of the Friends of the Library work in Dover, and the joy his children found in the library.

An article about Mahmud Jafri in the May 29, 2003 Boston Globe describes "his family's interest in education extends beyond the PTO groups at their children's schools to embrace a wider circle of philanthropy that includes the Walker School and the Hole-in- the -Wall Summer Camps. Mahmud is also founder of the Islamic Mosque of Hopkinton and the Interfaith Council of Dover-Sherborn, and he's a trustee for the Newton Philharmonic Orchestra, Brown Bag Opera, and WGBH." Mahmud oversees carpet factories in India, Nepal, and his native Pakistan.

It was Mahmud's wish to support the Trustees in urging our citizens to continue supporting the library's fund raising efforts. Please feel free to contact Betty Chelmow at 781 828-1626 to discuss the many ways that your financial support can add highlights to our Library. For more information, please visit the Canton Public Library Website at:

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For additional press information, please contact: Mark Lague, Director, at 781-821-5027