Library vote on Tuesday
Libraries throughout our reader areas will be hosting a budget vote and trustee election next Tuesday, April 10. The following is information about trustee candidates and proposed budgets that are all below the state-imposed 2 percent tax cap.
Voting at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library will take place at the library between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. The total proposed budget for the library is $4,123,326, which represents a 1.29 percent increase. Taxpayers on an average assessed home can expect to pay around an extra $4 per year.
There is only one seat open for election this year on the board of trustees. Incumbent Joan Mason-Dollman is running for another term unopposed.
Library director Michael Squillante said that more funding would be allocated this year for programs for children and young adults, and more programs will be held on Sundays. “More people are asking for that,” Squillante said. “[The library] is being used now more than ever.”
Islip residents can vote at the library between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The overall proposed budget is $3,860,741. That 1.93 percent increase would result in an additional $6.05 per year per average household.
There is only one seat on the board up for election. Incumbent William Wexler is running unopposed.
Library director Mary Schubart said that the library has just completed an outdoor terrace off of the children’s room, which was built with grant money. The terrace will open this spring. In addition, the library is awaiting Albany’s approval to move ahead with renovations for the existing parking lot. The work will be completed this year.
Schubart said that the library has been trying to ramp up programs in all areas and has been engaging more with the local school district, veterans and senior citizens. “We have greatly expanded our outreach,” she noted, adding that the programs are designed to better meet the needs of the community by offering more language and ESL courses and also assisting patrons trying to get citizenship.
“We are seeing the same faces [in the library],” Schubart said. “We are trying new programs to bring more people into the library.”
The East Islip Library’s overall proposed budget is $4,160,000, which represents an increase of 1.76 percent and a tax increase of $7.48 a year on an average assessed home. Incumbent library trustee John Flynn is running for another term unopposed. Voting will be held at the library between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Library director Guy Edwards said that over the past year, the library has added more adult programs that include painting and karaoke. “We also started doing outdoor concerts in the Discovery Backyard,” he noted. He said that in the future, more film series and lectures would be added.
The library, which now has four meeting rooms and a conference room, will soon be getting a fifth meeting room. “Groups are always asking for more space, “ he remarked. Architects have already drawn up the plans to create a meeting room from the current staff room. The book processing room will be split to allow for staff space. The renovations will be completed this year.
“We are becoming more and more of a community center,” Edwards remarked.
Voting will take place at the library between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. The West Islip Library’s proposed budget is $3,914,079. Taxpayers can expect to pay an additional $9.32 per year on an average assessed home.
There is one seat on the board of trustees vacant after member Joan Schumaker stepped down in December. Dana Waite Esposito, a member of Friends of the West Islip Library, is running for that seat unopposed.
Andrew Hamm, director of the library, said that after some renovations, the meeting room space has been increased to seven.
“We were getting inundated with requests for meeting space,” he said.
A portion of the adult area in the library was renovated to a quiet reading room with a fireplace. “People seem to like it a lot,” he added. Hamm noted that a gallery area would also soon include café seating and a coffee machine.
Although the library is well equipped tech-wise, Hamm said circulation of print materials has been stable at 75-80 percent. He said patrons could expect to see more programs this year since the demand for them is high. “There’s money available for them and we are getting a good turnout for all of our programs,” he added.
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