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Total Construction Grant Award of $654,899 to 12 Library Projects in the Westchester Library System

August 5th, 2016 No comments
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ALBANY, NY – A grand total of $654,899 has been awarded in connection with the New York State public library construction grant program.  This program is funded from $14 Million provided in capital funds for public library construction included in the FY 2015-16 State Budget.  Below is a chart of the projects that these funds will enable.

Applicant Name

Title / Abstract of Project

Overall Project Cost

Submitted Project

Cost

Actual Award Amounts

North Castle Public Library (Armonk)-Main Library HVAC Replacement/ADA Compliance/Young Adult (YA) Lighting:  This project will replace an aging HVAC system, add ADA access to a room for public programming use and install LED lighting in our YA Room.

$39,912

$19,956

$19,956

North Castle Public Library (Armonk)-North White Plains Branch Library Branch Expansion, Lighting & Electrical Upgrade:  This project will upgrade lighting/electrical and add a deck to improve lighting, support expanded computer usage and add space for our North White Plains patrons.

$107,530

$53,765

$53,765

Eastchester Public Library Renovation of Main Floor Adult Services Area:
The renovation includes the installation of LED lighting, replacement of ceiling tiles and installation of carpeting on main floor and mezzanine.

$126,753

$63,376

$63,376

Greenburgh Public Library* Four Adjoining Glass-Partitioned Study Rooms: Installation of glass walls and partitions anchored to an existing library wall to create four 5’x6.5’ individual and group study  rooms.

$59,824

$44,868

$44,868

Larchmont Public Library ADA Compliant Bathrooms:  Remove the existing, out-of-date, bathroom in the main Library building and replace with two fully ADA compliant bathrooms.

$45,115

$22,557

$22,557

Mount Pleasant Public Library Bathroom Renovation:  We have five bathrooms: one for staff and four for public.  These bathrooms are original to the building and will be totally renovated.

$65,345

$32,500

$32,500

Mount Vernon Public Library* MTVPL Elevator:  Library seeks to modernize elevator to improve safety and access to the library.

$312,622

$156,311

$168,981

New Rochelle Public Library* Chiller Replacement Project: The scope of work is to replace the existing hermetic screw chiller with a modular chiller system and associated controls.

$553,200

$225,000

$93,487

Pound Ridge Library Automatic Door Installation:  Installation of automatic doors to make the Library more easily accessible to our patrons.

$35,200

$16,600

$16,600

Rye Free Reading Room Energy Efficient Lighting & Insulation Installation:  The library is replacing 16 fluorescent lights with energy efficient LED lights & adding spray foam insulation to the attic to reduce energy usage.

$38,701

$19,350

$19,350

Somers Library Bathroom Accessibility Renovation:  The two public bathrooms on the main floor of the library will be completely renovated in order to bring them up to ADA compliance.

$177,450

$88,725

$88,725

The Warner Library
(Tarrytown)*
Automatic Meeting Room Divider Project:    This project will enable staff to easily and efficiently create two public meeting rooms from one large room.

$40,979

$30,734

$30,734

*Meets criteria for economically disadvantaged community TOTALS $1,602,631

$773,742

$654,899

“The projects supported by the NYS public library construction aid benefit everyone,” said Terry Kirchner, WLS Executive Director, “local contractors gain business opportunities, the local communities gain economic benefits and improved property value, and local residents gain enhanced library facilities that offer lifelong learning for all.”

Library Advocacy Day 2015

March 13th, 2015 No comments
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Library Advocacy Day – February 25, 2015
 A group of 13 library supporters from Westchester joined the New York Library Association’s (NYLA) Library Advocacy Day in Albany on Wednesday, February 25.  The group was made up of directors, trustees, staff, and advocates representing the following libraries:  (Armonk) North Castle Public Library; Bedford Free Library; Eastchester Public Library; Irvington Public Library; Mamaroneck Public Library; Mount Pleasant Public Library; Mount Vernon Public Library; New Rochelle Public Library; Pound Ridge Library District; The Warner Library (Tarrytown); Westchester Library System.
Pictured (L-R): Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, 37th District, and Chair of the NYS Assembly Libraries & Education Technology Committee; Maureen Petry, Director, The Warner Library/Tarrytown; Pamela Bernstein, Librarian, and Carolyn Gallagher, Head of Children's Services, Irvington Public Library; Patricia Fontanella, Trustee, Westchester Library System & Library Trustees Association of New York State; Elise Burke, Executive Assistant, Westchester Library System; joined by Ric Swierat, Trustee, Mid-Hudson Library System (standing) and Joanne Sold, Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti

Pictured (L-R): Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, 92nd  District, and Chair of the NYS Assembly Libraries & Education Technology Committee; Maureen Petry, Director, The Warner Library/Tarrytown; Pamela Bernstein, Librarian, and Carolyn Gallagher, Head of Children’s Services, Irvington Public Library; Patricia Fontanella, Trustee, Westchester Library System & Library Trustees Association of New York State; Elise Burke, Executive Assistant, Westchester Library System; joined by Ric Swierat, Trustee, Mid-Hudson Library System (standing) and Joanne Sold, Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti

We visited all the offices of the 14 legislators who represent Westchester County in the following order:

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Our main ask of the legislators was to have Library Aid funded to the full extent of Education Law or $102.6 Million.  This year’s proposed Executive Budget for FY2015-2016 included only $86.6 Million in Library Aid, an amount which reflects levels equivalent to 1997.  The cost of living alone has risen 47% since then!  Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, Chair of the Assembly’s Libraries and Education Technology Committee, has sent a letter to Carl Heastie, Speaker of the Assembly, and Herman Farrell, Chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, in support of additional aid for libraries.

Through the efficient, centralized services provided by the public library systems, like Westchester Library System, millions are saved:

            • Facilitating sharing of library materials across the 38 libraries in Westchester
            • Ongoing maintenance of technology services including computers and wireless
            • Cataloging collection holdings for easier discoverability
            • Centralized purchasing of databases
            • County-wide collaboration and innovation

For those who could not attend Library Advocacy Day in Albany, a postcard campaign was held at the libraries in Westchester.  Over 1,700 postcards were sent to our Legislators.

2015 Advocacy Day Postcard-Image

            • Ardsley Public Library
            • Briarcliff Manor Public Library
            • Bronxville Public Library
            • Chappaqua Library
            • Croton Free Library
            • Dobbs Ferry Public Library
            • Eastchester Public Library
            • Harrison Public Library
            • Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library
            • Irvington Public Library
            • Lewisboro Library
            • Hendrick Hudson Free Library (Montrose)
            • New Rochelle Public Library
            • Ruth Keeler Memorial Library (North Salem)
            • Ossining Public Library
            • Pound Ridge Public Library
            • Somers Library
            • Tuckahoe Public Library
            • Yonkers Public Library
            • John C. Hart Memorial Library (Shrub Oak/Yorktown)

Thank you to this year’s dedicated group of Library Advocates—for all the ways in which you participated!   Library Aid is only 1/10 of 1% of the total State budget, and you helped to make our voices heard!

To quote a recent article by Joe Queenan in March 2015 edition of The Rotarian:

The public library is an indispensable institution that somehow manages to get taken completely for granted. Like the clouds above us, like the birds that fill those skies, it is a glorious creation that is hiding in plain sight. Society pays little attention to it, even though society cannot survive without it. Not any real society.

Let’s not take our libraries for granted.  The deadline for an on-time budget is March 31st, so there is still time to contact your legislator and ask them to sign on to Thomas Abinanti’s letter.  You can also click here for NYLA’s Online Advocacy page to send an email message to our legislators that libraries are an excellent investment in New York’s educational and cultural infrastructure.

Elise Burke
Executive Assistant
Westchester Library System
 

 

 

Got Numbers?

February 13th, 2015 No comments
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As we start to collect data for the New York State Annual Reports, I thought I would have a little fun with the numbers from 2013, as shown below.  The numbers really do tell a story, so even though completing these Reports can be boring and annoying, let’s try to think of the unlimited possibilities for using all of these facts and figures to convey the importance of libraries and how they can impact the world!

Fun Stats Blog Picture

Westchester’s Big City Libraries

June 7th, 2012 No comments
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Recently, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative put out a study entitled, The Library in the City: Changing Demands and a Challenging Future.

For those who work in an urban library setting, there were no surprises in the Executive Summary, which stated:

 ”Big-city public libraries have rarely been as popular as they are today and rarely as besieged.”

The report goes on to document the growing popularity of various library services for 14 big cities around the nation, most of which are represented by a number of interesting graphs.

I thought it might be interesting to see how Westchester’s big cities would compare to the data found.  Some of the charts could not be replicated exactly.  Our latest available data is from 2010; we are in the process now of collecting the 2011 data.  Below are a few samples of the charts from the report along with their Westchester renditions.

 

One interesting note is that the current Director of the Philadelphia Free Library is a former Director of the Westchester Library System, Siobhan Reardon.