Betty Barclay

Betty Barclay was born in Detroit, but has spent most of her life in Edgewater. When she arrived in Chicago she saw needs in her neighborhood that went beyond food and shelter for her family. Betty has said many times that she never intended to become a leader; she wanted others to take on that role. But because the “others” didn’t step up Betty filled the void: Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and PTA at Hayt Elementary, then later at Senn High School. She did work for the community that is long remembered.

But her most enduring legacy is the creation of the Edgewater Branch Library. She knew in her soul that her community was incomplete without the comfort of easily accessible books. She started out small, with book sales. Eventually, through her new organization, the Friends of the Edgewater Library and also her work in the Edgewater Community Council, her creative efforts resulted in the building of the Edgewater Branch Library at Broadway and Elmdale. Indeed, this focused, consistent, dedicated effort has made Edgewater a better place to live.

Betty Barclay:
She taught us not to say, “Can we . . ?”
but to say, “How can we . . ?”

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