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The Martha Koleda Fund: She’s Still Helping Arlington Public Library

Martha Koleda fund header copy

Supporting the Friends of the Arlington Public Library

The Martha Koleda fund was set up by Marte’s family at the time of her death in 2014, and helps the Friends of the Library support music programs at the Library.


Marte Koleda

October 6, 1940 – January 11, 2014

From a tribute given by Margaret Brown, head of Central Library, at her memorial service:

Marte Koleda headshot

Marte worked at the Arlington Library for many years before retiring in 2010. Happily for us, after she retired she came back as a highly valued volunteer, and, though we didn’t see her as often, it was a wonderful way for us to stay connected.

Marte was described by one of her colleagues as a “bright light” in our workplace. She was positive, cheerful, open, genuine and caring of others, and she had a unique knack for discovering people’s passions and then finding commonalities on which real and continuing conversations took place and real relationships were forged. Whether it was 1950s jazz, liberal politics, best mystery writers, horseback riding, sailing, memories of Maine, children or grandchildren, another country’s language or literature, Marte genuinely engaged, listened and shared. She brought us a warmth and a goodness that enriched each of our lives and served as a model for how one person can make a significant contribution to the lives of many.

It is an honor for the Library and a fitting tribute to Marte that Michael and his family chose to celebrate her with a Friends of the Arlington Public Library Memorial Fund in her name.  

To us, Marte personified the generosity of spirit, the compassion and the commitment that defines volunteerism. We at Arlington Library feel lucky indeed to have known Marte and to have worked alongside her and are grateful now for this gift in her name. We miss her, but the Martha Koleda Memorial Fund and the programs it supports will keep her spirit alive and among us for many years to come.


Read Marte’s obituary in the Washington Post.