Herncane Gift in Memory of D’Alessandro Provides Online Language Learning for Children

Every year since 2006, Mel and Ann Herncane have made a generous $1000 donation to the Massillon Public Library in memory of their friend, Cleveland native Ed D’Alessandro, who as a child found his life’s work at his local public library.  Mr. D’Alessandro never lived in Massillon, but would visit and admire our wonderful library when visiting the Herncanes. 

Mr. D’Alessandro was born in Cleveland in 1913 and started a long career in the Cleveland Public Library at age 14, shelving books.  He retired 40 years later as library director.  He later accepted a position on the management team of the Library of Congress in Washington DC, finally retiring again in 1993 from the Library Environment Resources Office.  A gift to a library makes a perfect memorial to Mr. D’Alessandro, who died in 2004.
The memorial gifts have been earmarked for services to children in our community, and in past years have been spent on a day-long International Festival or the purchase of books.
In 2012, the donation funded the purchase of an online language learning service called Muzzy.  Developed by the BBC, Muzzy is an award-winning tool for teaching eight languages at all levels to children.  It has been described as “Rosetta Stone for kids.”  Muzzy is available either in the library or at home from the library’s website at: www.massillonlibrary.org/muzzy
Massillon Public Library director Sherie Brown announced the recent gift and stated that, “Once again, the Herncanes show their deep understanding and involvement with services that broaden and elevate experiences for the children in this community.  We are incredibly grateful for their continued generosity, and we seek to honor Mr. D’Alessandro’s memory by opening a world of learning in all formats to all ages of library users.” 
For more information, contact Laura Klein at 330.832.9831 ext. 319. 
The Massillon Public Library is located at 208 Lincoln Way E. The Second Street entrance is handicap accessible.