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Library Advocacy Day – March 1, 2017

March 16th, 2017 No comments
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A group of 27 library supporters from Westchester joined the New York Library Association’s (NYLA) Library Advocacy Day in Albany on Wednesday, March 1st.  The group was made up of directors, trustees, staff, and advocates representing the following libraries:

Eastchester Public Library, Chappaqua Library, Larchmont Public Library, Mount Kisco Public Library, Mount Vernon Public Library, New Rochelle Public Library, Rye Free Reading Room, Somers Library, White Plains Public Library, Yonkers Public Library, Westchester Library System (WLS) and WLS HSE (High School Equivalency) Connect! & Westchester Seniors Out Speaking (WSOS) Volunteers.

We visited all the offices of the 14 legislators who represent Westchester County as follows:

Senator Jamaal Bailey [36th District]

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne [94th District]

Stewart-Cousins_Group

Pictured (l-r front row): Rob Caluori, Westchester Library System (WLS); Jane Prendergast, Mount Kisco Public Library; NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District); Donna Pesce, Chappaqua Library; Denise Bennet, WLS HSE Connect! Volunteer
(l-r back row): Michele Rogers, WLS Westchester Seniors Out Speaking (WSOS) Volunteer; Joe Maurantonio, WLS; Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library; Tom Geoffino, New Rochelle Public Library; Doug Wray, WLS; Haina Just-Michael, New Rochelle Public Library; Aviva Lazarus, WLS HSE Connect! Volunteer

Senator Jeffrey Klein [34th District]

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow [89th District]

Senator David Carlucci [38th District]

Assemblyman David Buchwald [93rd District]

Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer [90th District]

Senator Terrence Murphy [40th District]

Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti [92nd District]

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin [88th District]

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef [95th District]

Senator George Latimer [37th District]

Assemblyman Steven Otis [91st District]

This year’s proposed Executive Budget for FY2016-2017 included $91.6 Million in Library Aid. This amount represents a 4% decrease over the final Library Aid amounts included in the FY2016 17 enacted budget and is 11% less than what is required by Education Law [$102.6 Million]. Our main focus asked for Library Aid to be funded to the full extent of Education Law.

Our Advocates spoke eloquently about how libraries continue to creatively adapt to meet the needs of their communities. This year we had a strong group of volunteers from WLS’s HSE Connect! program [that assists those seeking to complete their high school equivalency diploma] and the Westchester Seniors Out Speaking (WSOS) program [that helps adults age 60 and older achieve a better understanding of the benefits provided by Medicare and other related services]. These innovative outreach programs are excellent examples of the evolving role of libraries to partner with governmental and other agencies to better engage, inform and empower their communities.

Libraries are education and an excellent example of shared services.  They provide educational and recreational materials, access to high speed internet service and programs that focus on digital literacy, early childhood education, and online/virtual learning to all.  These tools allow people to build their own learning opportunities to help them reach their full potential and transform their lives.

Continue to let your Legislators know that supporting an increase to Library Aid is crucial.  There is still time — click here for NYLA’s Online Advocacy page today!

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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WLSLogo

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 – February 26, 2014

March 6th, 2014 No comments
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Library Advocacy Day – February 26, 2014

Pictured: Back Row (L-R): Robert Cartolano, President, Eastchester Public Library; Senator George Latimer, 37th District; Haina Just-Michael, President, New Rochelle Public Library; Tom Geoffino, Director, New Rochelle Public Library; Front Row (L-R): Patricia Fontanella, Trustee, Westchester Library System & Library Trustees Association of New York State; Sue Neale, Trustee, Westchester Library System; Pam Bernstein, Librarian, Irvington Public Library; Elise Burke, Executive Assistant, Westchester Library System

Pictured: Back Row (L-R): Robert Cartolano, President, Eastchester Public Library; Senator George Latimer, 37th District; Haina Just-Michael, President, New Rochelle Public Library; Tom Geoffino, Director, New Rochelle Public Library; Front Row (L-R): Patricia Fontanella, Trustee, Westchester Library System & Library Trustees Association of New York State; Sue Neale, Trustee, Westchester Library System; Pam Bernstein, Librarian, Irvington Public Library; Elise Burke, Executive Assistant, Westchester Library System

A group of 14 library supporters from Westchester drove up to Albany to join the New York Library Association’s (NYLA) Library Advocacy Day on Wednesday, February 26.

The group was made up of directors, trustees, staff, friends and advocates representing the libraries listed below:

Armonk-North Castle Public Library

Bedford Free Library

Briarcliff Manor Public Library

Eastchester Public Library

Irvington Public Library

Larchmont Public Library

Mamaroneck Public Library

Mount Pleasant Public Library

New Rochelle Public Library

Ossining Public Library

Pound Ridge Library District

Scarsdale Public Library

The Warner Library (Tarrytown)

Westchester Library System

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

Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer [90th District]

Senator George Latimer [37th District]

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef [95th District]

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson [36th District]

Assemblyman Steve Katz [94th District]

Senator Greg Ball [40th District]

Senator Jeffrey Klein [34th District]

Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti [92nd District]

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow [89th District]

Senator David Carlucci [38th District]

Assemblyman David Buchwald [93rd District]

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins [35th District]

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin [88th District]

Assemblyman Steven Otis [91st District]

This year Governor Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget for FY2014-2015 included $81.6 Million in Library Aid, an amount which reflects levels from 1996.  Library visits have increased 46% since 1996, and libraries have been keeping pace with the technological changes and information needs of their communities.  Additional funding is necessary as libraries continue to expand their role to provide workforce development resources and provide essential portals, along with guidance, to the increasingly important world of digital information.

Blog_Post_Stats_14

 

Pictured: Back (L-R): Kate Meyer, Westchester Library System; Lucinda Manning, Trustee, Ossining Public Library; Claudia Mausner, Ph.D., Environmental Psychology Consultant & Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Pace University, and Westchester Library User & Advocate; Front (L-R): Patricia Kaufman, Retired Director, Mahopac Public Library, Westchester Library User & Advocate; Julie Ann Polasko, Westchester Library System; Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, 95th District; Elaine Sozzi, Westchester Library System

In addition, users from the libraries noted below signed a letter of support calling for a 4% increase for Library Aid (same as the increase proposed for School Aid).  A total of 971 signatures were collected and the signed letters of support were delivered to the Legislators.

Briarcliff Manor Public Library

Bronxville Public Library

Dobbs Ferry Public Library

Irvington Public Library

The Field Library (Peekskill)

Tuckahoe Public Library

John C. Hart Memorial Library (Shrub Oak/Yorktown)

A special thank you is due to this year’s great group of Library Advocates.  All contributed in some way—sharing insightful success stories from their libraries, taking pictures, driving, writing, tweeting, participating.

Thanks to those who signed on in support of library funding and to those who sent messages to their legislators via other means.

And special thanks goes to New Rochelle Public Library for providing this year’s transportation to Albany!

The deadline for an on-time budget is March 31st, so there is still time to contact your legislator via NYLA’s Online Advocacy page per the link below:

NYLA_Advocacy

Meanwhile, libraries will continue to provide the essential services that are an investment in New York’s educational and cultural infrastructure, shaping a brighter future for all New Yorkers.

Library Advocacy Day

March 13th, 2013 No comments
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(l-r) Guest speaker DavidVinjamuri and Senator Hugh Farley at the Legislative Office Building’s “Well” at the Rally hosted by NYLA

(l-r) Guest speaker David
Vinjamuri and Senator Hugh Farley at the Legislative Office Building’s “Well” at the Rally hosted by NYLA

A group of 23 library supporters from Westchester car pooled up to Albany to join the New York Library Association’s (NYLA) Library Advocacy Day on Tuesday, March 5th.  The group was made up of directors, trustees, and staff from all of our member libraries, as well as Westchester Library System and Westchester Library Association. We visited the offices of the 14 legislators who represent Westchester County. This year’s emphasis with all legislators was restoration of Library Aid to $102 Million vs. the $89.9 Million included in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget.

WLS President Dave Donelson sums it up best in his blog post.

Library advocates from across New York State filled up the Legislative Office Building’s “Well” at the Rally hosted by NYLA which featured speakers Senator Hugh Farley and guest speaker David Vinjamuri.  A special thank you is due to this year’s great group of Library Advocates.  All contributed in some way—sharing insightful success stories from their libraries, taking pictures, driving, writing, tweeting, participating!

Since our visit, the Senate has included a proposed restoration of $4 Million in Library Aid for the FY 2013-14 Budget.  However, the NYS Assembly has not followed suit, including only the $89.9 Million the Governor proposed in his Executive Budget.

There is still time to contact your legislators!  Check out NYLA’s Virtual Advocacy Effort page for resources to show your support for libraries via social media as well as NYLA’s Online Advocacy page to contact your Assemblyman. The deadline for an on-time budget is March 31st.

Libraries do provide essential services—let’s be sure our legislators understand the value they bring to New York.