As a lifelong reader, Carolyn Osgood Hannum enjoyed few things more than a good book, according to her friends and family.

As a lifelong reader, Carolyn Osgood Hannum enjoyed few things more than a good book, according to her friends and family.

In her honor, former Medford mayor Lou Hannum, her husband of more than 71 years, and their three daughters have established a memorial fund for the cash-strapped Medford library, according to the Jackson County Library Foundation.

The family has donated $5,000 in seed money to start the Carolyn Osgood Hannum Memorial Fund. The former librarian passed away on Jan. 17. She would have been 100 on June 29.

"After Carolyn's death, our three daughters and I wanted to celebrate her life and our love for her with a memorial that would also contribute to the well-being of this community," her husband wrote in a prepared announcement.

"Our family is pleased to provide this gift of $5,000 to start the Carolyn Osgood Hannum Memorial Fund, in the Jackson County Library Foundation," he added. "We are asking your help to honor Carolyn and help our beloved community participate in and learn to value the libraries in Jackson County."

A Navy officer during World War II, Lou Hannum served as Medford mayor from 1982 to 1986. Before becoming mayor, he served two terms on the Medford City Council. He also served on several other commissions, including the Medford Water Commission for 10 years.

He stressed the importance of libraries to a community.

"With your contribution, we can grow this fund and increase the impact and enhance the results the Hannum family seeks," he concluded.

A native of White Plains, N.Y., his wife graduated from Akron University in Ohio and also received a bachelor's degree from Western Reserve Library School.

She worked as a children's librarian at Grosse Point Public Library in Michigan and served 12 years as a reference librarian at the public library in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

In Medford, she was named Volunteer of the Year by the Friends of the Medford Library in 1981, thanks to her efforts to increase book-sale proceeds from a little over $1,000 to more than $4,000 during her tenure as the group's book-sale coordinator, according to Shelley Austin, executive director of the Jackson County Library Foundation.

Lou Hannum has asked the foundation to use the money to draw nonusers to the Medford library, she said.

"The proceeds of the fund will be used to attract Medford residents, families, youth, students and business people who may not currently use the libraries, to come in and participate in library services," Austin wrote in an email to the Mail Tribune.

"Jackson County Library Services provides a variety of outreach programs, and our first priority for the use of these funds is to support Outreach to Child Care," she added.

Outreach to Child Care is a program in which staff and volunteers deliver bags filled with age-appropriate books to child care homes and local centers each month, she explained.

"Outreach to Child Care can help give children a lifelong advantage by developing a love for books and reading," she observed.

She noted that, although library services are free to the public, they depend on a combination of limited public support and generous private contributions.

Local residents are asked to make a $25 or larger contribution to the fund, she said, noting donations would support literacy while instilling the love of reading in local children and investing in the community's future.

Checks can be made payable to The Jackson County Library Foundation and mailed to 205 S. Central Ave., Medford, OR 97501.

Donations can also be made online at Click on the Carolyn Osgood Hannum Memorial Fund icon.

Donations can be made via credit card by calling the foundation office at 541-774-6572.

Meanwhile, the library foundation will celebrate the creation of the Carolyn Osgood Hannum Memorial Fund on June 29, in honor of her 100th birthday, in the garden patio of the Medford library, Austin said.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 541-776-4496 or