May 2012

What’s New · Library Foundation Receives $1 Million Gift
To Celebrate the Life of Eva Jane Romaine Coombe


Library Foundation’s annual donor event Pictured at the Library Foundation’s annual donor event are, from the left:
Library Trustee and Foundation President Allen Zaring IV, James Coombe,
Library Board Secretary and Foundation Director Paul Sittenfeld,
the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director Kim Fender, Tucker Coombe, and Michael Coombe

The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Foundation received a $1 million gift celebrating the life of Eva Jane Romaine Coombe that was announced on May 24 at the Foundation’s annual donor recognition. The gift, received from the Estate of Eva Jane Romaine Coombe through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, will endow the Library Director’s position. The gift is among the largest ever received by the Library or the Foundation.

“I am deeply honored to be named ‘The Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director’ in recognition of a remarkable community citizen,” said Kimber L. Fender.

Mrs. Coombe valued education, especially the joys of reading and writing. She kept a journal of books she had read since kindergarten. A graduate of Seven Hills School and a long-time School Trustee, she earned a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College. After graduating, she worked for the International Department of the Bank of America in San Francisco. She returned to Cincinnati in 1957 and earned an M.A. in Modern European History at the University of Cincinnati. She married V. Anderson Coombe in 1957 and had sons James, Michael, and Peter and five grandchildren. An active volunteer, she served as an active Board member of the Playhouse in the Park, as President of the Junior League of Cincinnati, and as a Director of the Friends of the Public Library.

Paul G. Sittenfeld, a Library Trustee and close friend of Mrs. Coombe noted: “This gift acknowledges permanently Eva Jane’s love of learning and her wish to share opportunities as widely as possible.”

“The Foundation is very grateful for this gift, and for all donations that are used to help expand and enhance the programs and services of our Library,” said Melissa H. Deters, the Foundation’s Executive Director.