Library budget vote time

Library budget vote time

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
3/24/2016


ISLIP TOWN—On Tuesday, April 5, residents will have an opportunity to vote on their library’s budget as well as for library trustee. All of the polls will be held inside the libraries and all of the proposed budgets fall below the state cap.

The polls at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The proposed budget is $4,005,431 with $3,889,931 raised by taxation. On a $40,000 assessed home value, taxes are expected to go up $1.16 annually.

Incumbent trustee Frances Bell is running unopposed.

Library director Michael Squillante said the library has been doing more with less income as a result of the state tax cap. “We realigned staff to have them in the right place to better serve the public,” he said.

Squillante said he anticipates more and improved programs for seniors who are “one of our greatest users,” he remarked. “We want to make sure we’re giving them the services they want.”

In addition to programs, he said community rooms are always booked. And, the demand for high-tech services has grown significantly over the past few years.

“We are trying to help people keep pace with the way the world is going,” Squillante added.

The Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library is located at 1 South Country Rd. Brightwaters. Call 665-4350 for more information. Website: www.bsbwlibrary.org.

The East Islip Library’s proposed budget is $4,023,000 with $3,899,223 of it being raised by taxation. The added cost per household will be $2.71 annually.

William R. Carpluk, the current president of the board, is running for a second five-year term. Steve Rizzo, who once served on the board from 1998-2006, is opposing him.

Guy Edwards, the library director, said that there would be some changes at the library in the near future. “We’re about to open an outdoor play area for kids called The Backyard,” he said. He noted that the play area with a small stage could be used for story time, small productions  “and to let children explore,” he added. It was paid for with grants.

Edwards said the library would continue to provide many programs and would also continue purchasing discounted tickets for families to take advantage of museums and the Long Island Aquarium. He noted that there has been an increase in requests for downloadable books, although the regular circulation remains well used, too. And he said the community rooms are always busy.

“More areas are being converted to community spaces,” he said, noting that all in all, the library still remains a happening place. “Our parking lot is usually filled,” he added.

The East Islip Library polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The library is located at 381 East Main St., East Islip. For more information call: 581-9200. Website: www.eipl.suffolk.lib.ny.us.

Islip Library’s proposed budget is $3,744,141. The amount to be raised by taxation is $3,720,141, which would amount to an increase per household of $3.60. Incumbent trustee Nora Berlin is running for another term unopposed. Kevin Ford, who stepped in for trustee Peter LaSpina when he moved out of district, is running for a five-year term.

“The character of the library is changing,” said library director Mary Schubart. “We see it being used more as a meeting place for library programs or community organizations.” Schubart said the library would continue a volunteer program for high school students, which was started last year. “They need volunteer hours for admission into the National Honor Society and on college transcripts,” she noted.

Schubart said the library would continue to run bus trips, children and adult workshops. “There’s a bottomless well of interest in programming of all kinds,” she said, noting that the library’s webpage has also seen an increase in usage.

The library polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and a shredding service will also be available on that day to all Islip residents. The Islip Library is located at 71 Monell Ave., Islip. For more information call: 581-5933. Website: www.isliplibrary.org.

The West Islip Library polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The proposed operating budget is $3,774,621 with $4,182,496 being raised by taxation. On a home assessed at $45,000, taxes would go up $2.25 a year. Trustee Margaret Bell is running unopposed.

Library director Andrew Hamm said that the library is a very active place that is being used more by community groups. “We’re in the process of turning a periodical reading area to a meeting room and moving the periodical area to the reference section,” he said. He added that the children’s area would experience some redecorating as well. “It will be an under the sea theme, but we’re still working on the details,” he said. “The library is a good place to be.”

West Islip Public Library is located at 3 Higbie Lane. Call 661-7080 for more information. Website: www.wipublib.org.