Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
Ramapo Catskill Library System
619 Route 17M Middletown, NY 10940-4395
www.rcls.org 845-343-1131 FAX 845-343-1205
2 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
STAFF RAMAPO CATSKILL LIBRARY SYSTEM
Brenda Adams ..................... 1989
Executive Director: Robert Hubsher
Nina Benvenuto .................. 1997
Address: Ramapo Catskill Library System
Diane Biondi ....................... 1986 619 Route 17M
Karen Boyle ........................ 1995 Middletown, NY 10940-4395
Bill Butler............................ 1998 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Audrey Buzzell ................... 1980 Telephone: 845-343-1131
Anthony J. Castaldo ............ 1996 800-327-7343
(outside Middletown area)
Chuck Conklin .................... 2001
Ruth K. Daubenspeck ......... 1979
Randall Enos ....................... 1982
E-mail: See web site for individual
*Bill Hagadorn .................... 2008
Linda Hendon...................... 1989
Robert Hubsher ................... 2000
Counties : Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and
Daniel B. Hulse ................... 1981 Southern Ulster
*Ken Kile ............................ 2005 Member Libraries: 47
David Krawczyk ................. 2005 Population Served: 739,977
Jerry Kuntz .......................... 1995
Land Area Served: 2,467 Square Miles
*Henry Mandato ................. 1999
Carol Martin ........................ 1974
John McClain ...................... 2002
Bill Pagano .......................... 2007
Rose Marie Reilly ............... 1992
Leslie S. W. Riley ............... 1992 2008 RCLS Awards
John Schneider .................... 2003 The Anthony J. Knipp Library Trustee Award was awarded
Patricia Schultz ................... 1986 to Louise Eggleton, a trustee of the Roscoe Free Library for her
*Ken Schwartz .................... 2006 dedicated service as a library trustee.
Keith C. Scott ...................... 1988 The 10th Annual RCLS Member Library Adult Program of
*Michael Stanley ................ 2005 the Year Award was presented to Ruth Bolin, Director and staff of
the Suffern Library for the library’s program, “Scavenger Hunt.”
Kathy Ubriaco ..................... 2008
Patty Velez .......................... 2007 The RCLS Member Library Children’s Program of the Year
Sarah E. Vernooy ................ 2008 Award was presented to Mary Lou Carolan, Director of the Wallkill
Public Library for the library’s program “Where’s Ike? Detective-
*Part-Time themed Scavenger Hunt.”
Italics indicates staff member left during
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 3
The recent death of Judith Krug, Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foun- RCLS 2008
dation and Director of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Free-
dom, gives us all the opportunity to reflect on her message to us in the library commu-
nity and to the American people. Stephen L.
Judy reminded us that the free exchange of ideas and information is the fundamen- Oppenheim,
tal basis of a free society. She understood that the First Amendment is a bulwark pro- President
tecting our democracy; and she understood the role of libraries in protecting our funda-
Robert P. Knight,
mental rights as free citizens in a free society.
She understood that the First Amendment is not merely a law to be enforced like
any other. She understood that the First Amendment embodies fundamental principles Patricia Soto,
of our democracy, which must be defended if we are to continue to be free. She under- Secretary
stood that a free people must have access to knowledge and competing ideas; they Marion M.
must be able to exercise the right to choose, to make up their own minds, not to have Dumond,
someone else decide for them. Treasurer
For over forty years, Judy tirelessly sought to teach us and the American people the
vital role of libraries in protecting our freedom: libraries must be free to exercise their Norman R.
role as a major source of information and ideas for a free people. Gallagher
I am proud of the role of Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) in protecting Chuck LaRocca
intellectual freedom. At present, our Executive Director, Robert Hubsher, is Chairman
of the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the New York Library Association, and two Mary Ellen Leimer
of our trustees, Samuel L. Simon and me, are members of the Committee. Herbert Lerner
I urge you to keep this vital role of your libraries foremost in your minds. Remem-
ber that you are not just circulating books and other media, but you are protecting
ideas and the right of the people to have access to those ideas. Your libraries are play- Samuel L. Simon
ing a fundamental role in maintaining the American democracy. Melvin
RCLS has changed and grown with the times. When I first became a member of Wesenberg
the Board, the system had money to give to its members; the system had a book collec-
tion; we had never heard of databases; ANSER was spelled with a “w.” Marilyn MacIntosh
But the changes also reflect a continuity of purpose: to help member libraries give (non-voting Directors
the best possible library service to your patrons. The future of RCLS lies in this com- Representative)
bination of change and continuity; to keep library service in our counties vibrant and
responsive to the needs of your patrons.
Please remember that RCLS is a community and that you can best address any is-
sues that arise by quiet, reasonable dialogue based on a free and open communication
among you and between you and the RCLS Board.
I want to express my personal thanks to the members of the RCLS staff who over
the past year have rendered a valuable service to the Board, to the member libraries,
and to me. I cannot name them all, but would like to mention some with whom I have
had more contact, as representative of them all: Robert Hubsher, Brenda Adams, Les-
lie Riley, Randall Enos, Dan Hulse, and particularly Ruth Daubenspeck of the present
I also want to thank my fellow trustees for their service to the system, and I wish
you and your patrons the very best in the new year to come.
4 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
Robert Hubsher The disastrous performance of the financial sector significantly reduced New York
Executive State revenue and had a direct impact on RCLS. The legislature, faced with substantial
Director deficits, cut State Aid to libraries by 2.88%. Fortunately, the legislators decided to re-
tain the Supplemental Aid to libraries originally appropriated, although at the reduced
Ruth K. level. As a result, RCLS was able to maintain levels of staffing and services, as well as
Daubenspeck follow through on some planned essential purchases.
Administrative In late October of the year our solar photovoltaic system was activated and by the
Assistant end of the year we have generated nearly 5,000kw. This represents about 10% of our
Carol Martin total annual electrical use. Considering that the system was active for little more than
Communications two months, I am optimistic that we will exceed the target of generating 24% of our
Assistant total electric consumption annually.
We started the year exploring the possibility of migrating to a new integrated li-
Daniel B. Hulse
brary system (ILS). However, after an extensive review of the proposals we received
and a detailed review of the trends in library automation, the ANSER Committee de-
cided not go forward with the migration. Instead the Committee asked RCLS to look
into acquiring one of the new generations of library catalog interfaces. These are re-
ferred to as discovery layers and offer library users an enhanced library experience by
emulating the best features of online services.
At the Directors Association meeting on October 29, the decision was made to ac-
quire AquaBrowser, along with subscriptions to content enhancement products. The
contract was signed in November and implementation began in December. The launch
of AquaBrowser was anticipated to be in late March or April of 2009.
Library usage at member libraries continued to increase through the year, particu-
larly in the last half of the year. Circulation increased by 3%, while delivery hit an all
time high of over 3.2 million items, an increase of 5.2% over last year.
The availability of the 2009-2012 Construction Grant Program allowed us to inves-
tigate the feasibility of expanding our parking lot. This project would involve demol-
ishing an unused building on our property, a building that is known to contain asbes-
tos. In August the RCLS Board approved the project and we submitted an application
for funding under the $14 million Construction Grant Program. The expanded parking
lot would provide us an additional 17 parking places, which are much needed to ac-
commodate the attendees for meetings and continuing education programs.
In the Spring, we received an LSTA grant to support our implementation of a pilot
project establishing a 24/7 reference service. “Ask Us 24/7” began operation in the
Fall. This new service provides library users in our service area the ability to interact
with a reference librarian 24 hours per day via a live Internet chat session.
In 2008 we celebrated several employee service milestones – Keith Scott 20 years,
Bill Butler 10 years and John Schneider 5 years.
NYLA Library Lobby Day
NYLA Library Lobby Day was a great success and our advocacy efforts were
again very timely in the state budget negotiations process. Over 1,000 advocates at-
tended Lobby Day, including a record breaking 153 representing the Ramapo Catskill
Library System (RCLS), Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) and Westchester Li-
brary System (WLS).
This year advocates rode three buses to Albany on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 to
meet with their legislators. Thanks to NYLA and library advocates across the state, the
Senate has proposed a $5 million increase in Library Aid as well as making last year’s
$19.7 million increase permanent. The Assembly has proposed a $3 million increase in
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 5
Library Aid. This is the second year in a row that the Legislature has proposed in-
creases in Library Aid, which has not happened in over eight years.
RCLS Legislative Breakfast
RCLS hosted its 21st Legislative Breakfast on Friday, September 5 at the Wallkill
Golf Club with 138 people in attendance.
The gathering provided an excellent opportunity for RCLS library directors,
Friends, trustees, and state and county legislators to talk informally about issues that
are vital to libraries and library systems. The event also featured Library Champions –
individual library advocates who passionately shared what the library means to them
and what it has done in their lives. These testimonials were very touching to those in
Sixteen member libraries gave attendees a visual feast of programs and events held
at their libraries through their varied displays. New this year was a poster entitled
“2008 Member Items for Member Libraries and RCLS.” This list highlighted the state
legislators and the amounts given to RCLS member libraries and RCLS for various
RCLS Annual Meeting
Board President Stephen L. Oppenheim welcomed 99 member library trustees,
staff and guests representing 23 RCLS libraries to the 49th RCLS Annual Meeting.
Attendees enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast at the scenic Eagle’s Nest in Blooming-
burg on Friday, October 17.
Brenda Adams, RCLS Fiscal Officer and Assistant Treasurer, presented the Pre-
liminary 2009 RCLS Budget noting that next year will be a particularly lean funding
Elections were held for three seats on the RCLS Board of Trustees to represent Or-
ange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties.
The newly elected trustee from Orange County is Mark Specthrie, of the Town of
Wawayanda. He is a practicing attorney with offices located in Middletown. He fills
Chuck LaRocca’s seat, whose term ended December 2008.
From Sullivan County, Ira Simon of Monticello, was re-elected to a five-year term.
He has served on the RCLS Board since 2003. He was a member of the Ethelbert B.
Crawford Library Board in Monticello from 1989 to 1998.
Elected to the RCLS Board representing Ulster County is Wallkill resident Alfred
Smiley. He is a retired educator with a long history of community activism including
35 years as a member of the Wallkill Public Library Board. Al fills the seat vacated by
Marion Dumond whose term ended December 2008.
Guest speaker for the event was Seth Goldman, Executive Director of the
Neversink Valley Area Museum and Director of the Museum’s Institute for Early Film
Studies in Cuddebackville, NY. He delivered a well-received lecture and visual pres-
entation on “Early Filmmaking in the Delaware Valley.” He regaled the crowd with
stories of D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford and other silent film artists that produced films
on and around the D&H Canal.
6 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
Brenda Adams, The 2008 RCLS Operating Budget, $4,153,223, and the Capital Fund Budget,
Fiscal Officer and $249,580, were approved by the Board of Trustees on December 17, 2007. Projected
Assistant State Aid was based on Library Law using the 2000 Census. As of December 31,
Treasurer 2008, a net surplus of $313,623 flowed into the Operating Fund Balance, with an in-
crease of $265,151 to the Unrestricted Fund Balance and an increase of $48,472 to the
Diane Biondi, Restricted Fund Balance.
Senior Account Although State Aid was reduced by 2.88%, additional revenue was recorded as a
Clerk result of the Legislature approving a supplemental aid package. A two percent (2%)
Patricia Schultz, reduction was taken before Library State Aid was disbursed. The second cut of .88%
Account Payroll was deducted from supplemental aid, netting it at $184,319. The amount of unex-
Clerk pended supplemental aid at year end, $162,827, was the single major contributor
(+51.9%) to the surplus. This money will be used as RCLS’ share of the house demoli-
tion and parking lot project upon receipt of the New York State Construction Grant
Award. The remaining increase to the Fund Balance was the result of not expending
the full budget. Reduced expenditures are:
Salaries, Employment Taxes and Benefits $66,072 21.06%
Vehicle 38,400 12.24%
Fuels & Utilities 21,790 6.95%
Vehicle Operation & Maintenance 19,415 6.19%
All other Appropriation Codes & Revenue 5,119 1.66%
The Automation Account Clerk position was filled for six months only and actual
benefits were less than budgeted as result of lower NYS Retirement obligations and
health insurance savings from Medicare Part D. A budgeted delivery van was not pur-
chased in 2008. Fuels & Utilities were less than budgeted as result of not needing to
operate the headquarters building generator for extended periods of time. In addition,
vehicle fuel did not stay at its peak for the entire year and actual maintenance was less
than projected. All other Revenue and Appropriation codes net out at a small increase.
The Unrestricted Operating Fund Balance at year end is $2,101,221, comprised of
$2,077,463 in cash and $23,758 as prepaid expense for retirement costs. The annual
payment to the New York State Retirement System includes January 1 through March
31, 2009 obligations.
The total fund equity allocated between reserved and unreserved fund balance at
December 31, 2008 is as follows:
Operating Fund $ 931,150 $2,101,221
Capital Project Fund 1,136,492 -0-
See Table A, note 4, for composition of the General Fund Restricted Amount.
Net Assets total $5,369,974 for the Fiscal Year ending December 31, 2008. The
Statement of Net Assets (Table A) identifies cash as seventy-one percent (71%) of to-
tal assets and seventy-five percent (75%) of net assets.
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 7
Statement of Net Assets
ASSETS: 2008 2007
2008 - 2007 KNOW?
CASH $ 4,031,765 $ 3,999,980 $ 31,785
PREPAID EXPENSE1 23,758 27,628 (3,870)
RECEIVABLES2 429,303 80,820 348,483 For every $1 of
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS $ 4,484,826 $ 4,108,428 $ 376,398 State Aid that
FIXED ASSETS: (NET) 1,201,111 1,045,852 155,259
TOTAL ASSETS $ 5,685,937 $ 5,154,280 $ 531,657
EMPL BENEFIT ACCRUED LIABILITY3 $ 315,963 $ 284,436 $ 31,527 mately $13 in
TOTAL LIABILITIES $ 315,963 $ 284,436 $ 31,527
INVESTED IN CAPITAL ASSETS $ 1,201,111 $ 1,045,852 $ 155,259
FUND BALANCE - RESTRICTED4 2,067,642 1,984,052 $ 83,590
FUND BALANCE - UNRESTRICTED5 2,101,221 1,839,940 261,281
TOTAL NET ASSETS $ 5,369,974 $ 4,869,844 $ 500,130
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS $ 5,685,937 $ 5,154,280 $ 531,657
1. NYS Retirement payment includes a prepayment for the period of January 1 - March 31,
2. Due from member libraries (good/services) and New York State (grant balances and
3. Unused time accruals due employees for vacation and sick time
4. State grant balances ($312); reserve accounts for obligations
($173,934); telecommunications ($294,760); capital upgrades and PC
replacements ($1,136,492); and funds committed to automation
5. Fund Balance available for 2009 operations to fill the gap between budget year begin-
ning (January 1) and receipt of State Aid (July or later), plus $23,758 prepaid expense
Capital Assets are insured by Utica National Insurance Company. Assets are safe-
guarded through a detailed inventory control system and maintained with regular
physical inventories. The current threshold for determining fixed assets is $2,500.
There is no capital debt.
All cash balances comply with State requirements for collateralization.
8 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
37% State Aid For System
Revenue 2008 Operations
18% State Aid Designated
2% 1% For Member Libraries
4% State Aid Designated
For Other Agencies
0% Federal Aid - LSTA
6% E-rate Funding
32% Member Libraries-
2% Use of Money &
0% 1% Other Revenue
0% 29% Personnel Services
29% 12% Employee Benefits
DID YOU 56% Contractual
KNOW? 56% 3% Depreciation
12% 0% Transfer to Capital
exceeded Although Contractual Expenses ($2,649,886) includes many codes, a few items
304,000 people. need identifying to better understand the relationship between actual expenses and
If they had gone cash outlays. Pass-through grants to Member Libraries represent $947,000 (35.7%) of
instead to a the total Contractual Expenses. Coordinated ordering, purchases made on behalf of
movie costing members libraries, is responsible for $576,065 (21.7%) and telecommunications for
$9.50 each, it the automated network claims $385,915 (14.6%). The remaining 28% of contractual
would have cost expenses includes all other operational costs including books and serials purchases,
them over $2.8 building and equipment maintenance, insurance and utilities and upgrades to the auto-
million! mated network.
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 9
January 1, 2008 RCLS issued a new pricing schedule for its printing service re- Ruth K.
flecting the rising costs of materials and labor. Several long time supporters of the ser- Daubenspeck
vice found new sources for their duplication needs. However, the RCLS Print Shop Administrative
continued to duplicate several member libraries requests for printing of various materi- Assistant
als such as newsletters, bookmarks, registration cards, postcards, reading lists, etc.
The RCLS Print Shop continued to provide the following RCLS materials to mem- Carol Martin,
ber libraries and others during 2008: Communications
Board Minutes and Executive Director’s Report – Monthly Board minutes and Ex-
ecutive Director reports were distributed to member libraries’ directors and board
presidents. The information is also posted to the RCLS Web page.
RCLS Highlights – The annual report to the RCLS Board and member libraries as re-
quired by the RCLS Bylaws was distributed to member libraries’ directors and board
presidents. The information is also posted to the RCLS Web page.
RCLS Weekly Memo –Fifty-one issues of the weekly newsletter to keep staff at mem- 2008 Printing
ber libraries knowledgeable of important current events were distributed to member Statistics:
libraries’ directors and board presidents. The publication is also posted to the RCLS
Web page. Jobs:
2009 RCLS Calendar of Events, Celebrations & Conferences – Booklet of events, Libraries 115
celebrations and conferences of interest to librarians with resources for additional Total 454
information were distributed to member libraries’ directors and posted to the RCLS
Web page. Impressions:
Summer Reading Program Materials – RCLS staff worked with the Summer Read- RCLS 290,341
ing Program (SRP) Graphics Committee to design nine “Catch the Reading Bug” Libraries 144,425
and two “Metamorphosis @ Your Library” materials to help libraries promote and Total 434,767
provide aids for conducting the Summer Reading Program.
This is an impress-
Trustee FYI – To inform trustees of member libraries of current events, four issues
sion decrease of
were mailed to member libraries’ trustees. This publication is also posted to the
RCLS Web page.
RCLS 2008 Directory – The directory providing contact information of member librar-
ies and other institutions as well as other pertinent information to libraries’ staffs was
updated. A printable edition was provided on the RCLS Web page.
RCLS Statistics – Information compiled from the 2007 State Annual Reports was of-
fered for a fee
Print Impressions and was also
1,200,000 the RCLS Web
955,30 9 page.
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
10 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
In the Fall of 2007, the ANSER Committee initiated a Migration Subcommittee to
investigate the options for migrating to a new integrated library system (ILS), since
SirsiDynix had announced earlier in 2007 that Horizon would not be further devel-
oped. The Migration Subcommittee, using a checklist of functionality that member li-
braries helped to draft, produced an Request for Proposal (RFP) document that was
Rose Marie sent to five ILS venders in January, 2008. Four vendors responded by the deadline of
Reilly, Software the end of February.
Support As those responses came in, SirsiDynix announced an option that addressed the
Technician immediate problem that had precipitated the need to quickly migrate, i.e. the poor per-
formance and constant crashing of Horizon’s public catalog component, HIP 4.12. The
solution that SirsiDynix offered was to switch the public catalog component back to
HIP 3.09. Despite the numbering sequence, HIP 4.x and 3.x were entirely different
software packages, and we knew HIP 3.x was a stable and reliable product. The AN-
SER Committee put the review of the vendor RFP responses on hold to determine if
the move back to HIP 3.09 would resolve the immediate problem involving the public
catalog. ANSER’s move back to HIP 3.09 from HIP 4.12 occurred in June, 2008. It
proved to be effective; ANSER has since experienced no HIP crashes or unscheduled
index rebuilds, which had become a nearly daily occurrence on HIP 4.12.
Although the change in HIP took away the need to migrate immediately, the proc-
ess did expose the fact that library automation has moved forward from the capabilities
of our current system. One area that has seen vast changes is the public catalog itself.
Traditional MARC-based catalogs are very limited in what they do, and compare
poorly against modern Web search technologies such as those seen in Amazon.com
and Google. In response, library vendors have developed “front-end” catalogs that can
fit over traditional catalogs and offer greatly expanded search capabilities. Although
the ILS migration was put on hold, the ANSER Committee continued to investigate
these “discovery layer” catalog front-ends. In November, the Committee recom-
mended contracting with AquaBrowser for implementation of their product in the
spring of 2009.
Internally at RCLS Headquarters, we spent many months of 2008 designing, in-
stalling, and adding content to a redesigned Website and event calendar system. The
new RCLS Website is based on a content management system (CMS) which allows
RCLS staff members (even those without any technical expertise) to edit sections of
the Website. They can create pages on the site, upload graphics to those pages, and
upload documents and create links to them. This capability has not only distributed the
burden of maintaining the site among RCLS staff, it has also produced a site with
much more content available than the previous Web presence.
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 11
As it did in 2007, the ANSER department has seen some significant changes for
2008 both in personnel and technology.
The fiber optic wide area network that was implemented in 2007 continues to pro-
vide exceptional service, with virtually no failures of any consequence. Couple this
with the new generator that was installed at system headquarters in 2007 and we now
have a system that has proved to be exceptionally stable, as was proven recently when
we had a major power outage at RCLS. That power outage lasted several hours, but the Karen Boyle,
servers never missed a beat. Automation
In April of 2008, Sarah Vernooy joined our department and has proven to be both Technical
knowledgeable and capable, assisting in the computer replacement program almost Assistant
immediately. She has proven herself to be an asset to the department. John Schneider,
We have replaced the very problematic HIP 4.0 catalog with a more stable version Assistant
which has been working without problems since it was installed. Network
We have installed over 250 new computers at various libraries as part of our PC Administrator
We have installed new Gates Grant equipment at a number of libraries, some of David Krawczyk,
which also had EnvisionWare and wireless configurations included as part of the origi- Senior
nal computer setup. Automated
We have continued to install our Blue Socket secure wireless equipment, though at Systems
a slower pace than last year. Technician
We have implemented a new Juniper firewall that also includes building anti-virus Sarah E. Vernooy
and anti-spam capabilities. This firewall will add an additional layer of protection on Automated
our network. Systems
On all the Cisco routers installed in 2007, an updated operating system was in- Technician
stalled that also included a built-in firewall, so all libraries are now protected with a
multilayer protection scheme aimed at preventing virus infections within the library Systems
and containing any infection to that one location from spreading to other locations. Part-Timer:
A disaster recovery plan was implemented and continues to be a work in progress. Michael Stanley
As part of the disaster recovery plan, we purchased two state-of-the-art Storage Area
Network (SAN) devices from EqualLogics which are the backbone of the plan. These
devices have sixteen hard drives of 250 gigabytes per drive. This provides a total stor-
age capacity of over 3 trillion bytes (3.05 terabytes) of disk storage space for each
SAN device. One device resides in our computer room and the second is offsite, con-
nected via fiber optic wide area network connection provided by LightTower Fiber
Networks, (formerly Hudson Valley Datanet). Both SANS devices are currently back-
ing up data as we connect more of our servers.
Finally, as part of our plan to provide unparalleled stability to our servers, we have
started to implement a server virtualization program which will decrease the number of
physical servers required in our computer center, decrease the power and air condition-
ing requirements, but increase server reliability and performance.
We have had an extremely busy and productive year in the ANSER department
and it could not have been done without the dedicated effort of all the ANSER staff
members. There is no one person to single out for exceptional work because they have
all been exceptional.
12 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
YOUTH The RCLS Youth Services Department is committed to promoting the RCLS val-
ues, mission and goals by operating within the guidelines of the 2007-2011 Plan of
SERVICES Service (POS).
The full range of activities of the RCLS Youth Services Consultant (YSC) as it
pertains to specific service outlined in the RCLS Plan of Service is available on the
Randall Enos, RCLS Web page at http://www.rcls.org/index.php?s=6&b=54&p=213.
Youth Services The major activities of the YSC are listed below. These two areas represent 82% of
Consultant the total time spent on all activities during the year.
Audrey Buzzell, POS 3. Special client groups and the means for meeting their needs -
Consultants’ Youth Services
3.d.2. Goal Statement: Offer a clearly defined set of cost effective coordinated or
Carol Martin, centralized services designed to enhance local library service
Communications and maximize the return from local funds expended.
Maintain and promote effective means of communication
with and among member libraries to ensure accountability
Objective: Support projects and services to enhance youth services.
Mock Newbery/Caldecott Award Discussions (co-sponsored with CLOUSC
Mock Printz Award Discussion
Fall Into Books Conference featuring Jack Gantos (co-sponsored with MHLS
and the area BOCES)
Youth Services Table Talks
Participation in member library youth services association meetings (CLOUSC,
LARC-YS, RCLS Teen Librarians, and directors’ meetings (RCLS and
Teen Librarian Summer Reading Program Planning Workshop
Summer Reading Program Craft and Ideas Workshop for Children’s Librarians
Cooperated with committees of staff from member libraries to provide
materials for the “Catch the Reading Bug” and “Metamorphosis @ your
library” summer reading program. Forty-five member libraries and branches
reported enrolling 11,015 children and teens in their summer programs (a
decrease from last summer). There were 2,320 programs sponsored (an
increase of 236), which were attended by 48,438 children, teens and their
families (an increase of 1,264 from last summer). The children and young
adults participating in the programs read a total of 81,791 books (an increase of
909 from last year).
Coordinated an LSTA summer reading program grant from the Division of
Library Development and member item grants for summer reading programs
from three area Assembly members.
Maintained the Baby Bookstart program
Continuing Education programs and presentations – 17. Total attendance –
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 13
POS 5. Consulting and technical assistance services
5.1. Goal Statement: Maintain an organizational
environment that allows RCLS to
be responsive and accountable to
Objective: Provide consulting services to
support member libraries in
achieving excellence in such
areas as management and
personnel administration, youth
services, adult services,
technology, trustee development,
library building design, and
Education law, to assist member
libraries achieve service
Encourage and fund the participation of RCLS staff in local,
regional, state, and national forums that support the
System’s mandate and afford the opportunity to develop and
enhance skills to help support the needs of member trustees
Attended the following local, state and national conferences:
ALA Midwinter Conference – Philadelphia DID YOU
NYLA Youth Services Section Spring Conference – Long Island
ALA National Conference – Anaheim KNOW?
NYLA Annual Conference – Saratoga Springs
Rockland County Teen Author Program – Suffern
Regional youth services groups (Metro Area Children’s Consultants and The 2008
Young Adult Consultants) Summer
In addition, the YSC served in the following Reading
ALA Council attracted 11,015
ALA/ALSC Priority Group Consultant young readers
Lee Bennett Hopkins Award Committee who
Statistics for the youth services department for participated in
2008 include: 2,320 programs.
Field visits to member libraries—8 (a decrease
Contacts to member library staff— Youth
services issues—3,300 (a decrease from 2007)
14 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
Leslie S. W. Riley, Activity Summary:
Outreach 3 Presentations
Consultants’ Orange County Senior Expo - 47 individuals picked up 129 brochures, book
Assistant marks, etc.
Daniel B. Hulse,
Blind or Physically Disabled
Officer Talking Books - As a sub-agency for The Library of Congress outreach program
from the NYS Talking Book and Braille Library, information was sent to all member
libraries including brochures and applications.
Literacy Trainers and Adult Educators - RCLS, at a meeting of The Hudson Valley
Catskill Partnership, co-presented a program on “Public Libraries – Resources for You
and Your Students.” A follow–up was conducted for the Orange/Ulster BOCES.
Correctional Facilities - RCLS facilitated the 2008 Omnibus Grant for the eight
State Correctional Facilities and the three county jails located in the RCLS service
area. The grant provided for the purchase of materials, a variety of programs and
equipment; provided interlibrary loan services to the State and Federal correctional
facilities; and made available continuing education programs to all correctional librari-
Members of Ethnic/Minority Groups In Need of Special Service
Recursos en Espanol - RCLS contracted with the Westchester Library System as
one of seven library systems to help provide development and ongoing support ser-
vices for this Spanish Language Website and to be branded for the RCLS Website.
The 2008 Employment Resource Guide - A new online resource guide was made
available on the RCLS Website.
The RCLS Coordinated Outreach Services Advisory Group (COSAG)
(mandated by the State of New York) made up of representatives from the target
groups listed below, met twice during 2008 to discuss the needs, issues, and concerns
and have an impact on the way libraries present services and programs. As determined
by the New York State Library’s Division of Library Development, the specific popu-
lations are: Aged; Blind or Physically Disabled; Developmentally or Learning Dis-
abled; Institutionalized; Members of Ethnic/Minority Groups in Need of Special Ser-
vice; Educationally Disadvantaged; Unemployed/Underemployed; and Geographically
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 15
The “Help for You” Series - This pilot project of programs for the public, spon-
sored by RCLS, were made possible through the 2008 Coordinated Outreach Grant
from the New York State Education Department, Division of Library Development. As
a result of information received from member library staff and the Outreach Council, KNOW?
this series focused on the critical areas of developing or improving skills to find and
apply for jobs, and improving skills to find and use health and wellness information.
Service providers were contacted in each county to help develop the job skills pro- New York’s
grams and they were provided contact information for future projects. libraries hold
Four libraries selected for this pilot project were: Ellenville Public Library and more than 245
Museum (Ulster), Finkelstein Memorial Library (Rockland), Liberty Public Library million volumes
(Sullivan), and Newburgh Free Library (Orange). statewide—
The programs were: that’s more than
Job Satisfaction and Personal Fulfillment: The Dynamic Duo You Can Do! 12 items for
Job Winning Resumes Plus Acing that Interview! each person
Resume and Interviewing Skills that Win! (Ellenville) living in New
How to Get a Job in the USA York State.
How to Get a Job (Ellenville)
Top Ten Tips for Aging Well: Adding Years to Your Life and Life to Your Years
Finding Consumer Health Information on the Internet
Source of information survey: It was clear from this very informal survey of par-
ticipants that the principal means of learning about the programs was “Word of
Mouth.” Other major methods included: flyer, newsletter, news article. Other sources
cited were: library calendar, postcard, poster, e-mail, Rockland Calendar of Events.
A follow-up survey went to 96 participants (61% attending all workshops).
“I am still trying to network for a better position. However, it is not easy.”
“…It motivated me to do better…continue to learn new ideas and looking your
best and being confident about yourself.”
“Suggested to re-write resume to remove “signs” that suggested
“maturity” (that is, with dates; a reader will realize your age). Re-write
worked! I have had two calls and interviews.”
As a pilot project, the “Help for You” Series successfully reached out to the target
audiences. One comment from a host library was that new customers came into the
library. The goals were realized as 30% responded to the survey and most were enthu-
siastic – especially for the three job skills programs for the unemployed. The plan for
2009 will be to provide one-on-one consultations in more host libraries - especially
desirable in light of the current economy.
16 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
Leslie S. W. Riley, Public Services supports trustees, directors, and adult services coordinators in a
Public Services variety of activities that provides information about issues, concerns and problems en-
Consultant and countered in daily library activities specifically in adult services, customer service,
Outreach personnel, planning, policies and general consulting. In addition, maintenance of re-
Coordinator sources on the RCLS Website is managed for trustees, directors, and staff; sample
policies; public services; and outreach services.
Consultants’ The following is a summary description:
2,158 Consultations (phone, email, in-person) including 22 Field Visits
22 Checklist Requests for 148 Policies
Most requested: Harassment, Behavior, Internet
34 Requests for Information and Notebooks from 32 Libraries and 8 Correctional
Facilities for 217 Items
Most requested - Movie Licensing, Programming
“If You Like…” Bookmarks - 23 Titles supplied by volunteers from the
Adult Services Advisory Council (ASAC)
Most popular: British Mysteries, Culinary Mysteries,
2008 Super Summer Reads list
“Forthcoming Bestsellers” lists provided by ASAC Guest editors
Book Discussion Consortium
Titles Available ........................ 238
Participating Libraries ................ 29
Programs ................................... 129
Books Borrowed .................... 1,540
Most requested titles were:
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
Roundtable and Workshops Summary
Adult Services Advisory Council (ASAC) Roundtables:
AV;Book Discussion; Programming; Readers’ Advisory
Customer Service Training for 3 libraries
Workshops: Security That Works and Security In Corrections
Combined Total Attendance - 222
Number of individual libraries - 29
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 17
The Tech Services/ILL department is like The Little Engine That Could. With a Linda Hendon,
small staff of three, we really do a tremendous amount of work. Fortunately, we were ILL/Tech Services
fully staffed for the entire year. Librarian
The department entered 49,373 new titles to the Horizon database (37,835 mono-
graphs and 11,538 audiovisual). In addition to those figures 14,573 Marchive ILL/Tech Services
(government documents) records were electronically entered to the database. The total Clerks:
new titles added to Horizon in 2008 was 63,946. Nina Benvenuto
We have also been keeping track of duplicate titles. These are titles which were Patty Velez
already in the database for at least two weeks but were sent to Tech Services by mem-
ber libraries to enter. The number of duplicate titles for the year was 17,448, almost
6,000 more than the audiovisual titles.
On the interlibrary loan side, 2,235 requests were searched through the New York
State Library and OCLC for our member libraries, an increase of 185 from the previ-
For the area’s correctional facilities, 7,607 interlibrary loan requests were searched
through Horizon and SEAL (Southeastern Access to Libraries), an increase of almost
1,000 over 2007.
In whatever spare time we can find, we are still attempting the special projects.
Contents were added to 287 book and compact disc and video records.
The RCLS Delivery Service continues to be a critical link between the System and Chuck Conklin,
its member libraries. The year 2008 was another very productive year. The delivery Supervisor of
service distributed over 81,237 boxes of books. Overall, the delivery system trans- Delivery & Building
ported 3,249,480 items in 2008. This breaks down to an average of 13,263 items per Maintenance
Bill Hagadorn is the latest addition to our part-time delivery staff. Bill is retired
from the postal service and adjusted to the delivery service very well.
Keith C. Scott
Number of Items Delievered
74,434.25 76,085.00 79,576.00 77,217.00 Bill Hagadorn
75,000.00 Ken Kile
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
18 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
ORANGE Albert Wisner Public Library – WARWICK
Rosemary Cooper, Director
COUNTY After a successful referendum in 2007, our groundbreaking for a new 20,000
square foot “green” library on McFarland Drive in the Village of Warwick was fes-
tively celebrated on a beautiful day in May with a parade from the old library to the
new library site and special presentations. Soon after, contracts were awarded and con-
struction began. Throughout the year, we watched as the foundation was poured, geo-
thermal wells dug, steel assembled, a roof built and the interior rooms began to be
closed in and take shape. Construction of the new library is on schedule and on budget
with an expected opening in the Fall of 2009. At the same time, we kept pace with
continued record increases in demand for materials and services while all the time pro-
viding exciting programs for users of all ages. Our popular children’s Battle of the
Books was developed into a program for teens last year, and this year saw the addition
of two other libraries in this growing county-wide program for teens. The Big Read
program was also launched in cooperation with other county libraries under the aus-
pices of the Orange Library Association. The Library Foundation presented its first
“Wisner Award” to Donna Applegate and Colleen Larsen for their volunteer efforts on
behalf of the library.
Chester Public Library
Lynn Coppers, Director
As with most libraries, 2008 was at busy year at the Chester Public Library. Circu-
lation exceeded 100,000 and the use of electronic resources also increased. Programs
were well attended, with E-bay workshops, Internet tutorials, book discussions and
craft programs among the most popular. The Friends sponsored bus trips to see The
Lion King, Wicked, and The Radio City Christmas Show. All were sold out. Youth pro-
grams continued to flourish.
Unhappily, it often takes hard times for people to realize what a wonderful re-
source they have in the public library. We hope that the increased demand for our ser-
vices will continue long after prosperous times return!
Cornwall Public Library
Stella Denton, Interim Director
Cornwall Public Library is a hub of activity. For the last two years Cornwall has
been one of the most active in the RCLS system with regard to number of programs
and attendees, ILL and circulation. More than 225 children participated in the “Catch
the Reading Bug” and “Metamorphosis @ Your Library” Summer Reading Programs
with programs and activities for children ages birth through 17. Community Partners
like Orange County Soil & Water Conservancy and Devitts Landscaping supported the
creation of a Butterfly Garden and Monarch Butterfly Waystation. The 3rd Annual
Timothy Mumford Memorial Poetry Competition for ages 5-18 had 70+ poets submit
more than 145 poems. Ongoing monthly and quarterly programs had consistent strong
attendance, i.e. Foreign Film Night, Tears ‘n Tissues Movie Matinee, Tea & A Classic
and the various book discussion groups for adults and youth with their parents. T.U.T.
– Teen Underclassmen Team – maintained an active schedule of meetings and activi-
ties. Specially themed programs, i.e. Irish Music, Tai Chi by a Buddhist Monk, and a
Halloween Spooktacular, were very popular. “Clean Up Your Library Card” brought
in a sizeable collection of soap and toiletries that was donated to McQuade Children’s
Services. The year 2008 was a busy year for Cornwall Public Library!
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 19
Florida Public Library
Madelyn Folino, Director
In October 2008, Florida Public Library celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a
month of special programming for all ages. As always, we emphasized diverse pro-
grams throughout the year. In the spring, we added News @ Noon, a weekly lunch
group for adults who met to discuss current events. Each session was moderated by a
different notable opinion maker, including several newspaper columnists, elected offi-
cials and the president of the Friends of the Library. In the summer, we started our
anime club for teenage fans of this Japanese film style. This group attracts up to 20
teens at a time and we have had success in interesting them in other library programs.
Our campfire storytime series, in its 11th year, featuring open air storytelling and
marshmallow roasts with members of our Black Dirt Storytelling Guild moved from
the village out to Glenmere Lake Park and attracted a new audience in this scenic loca-
tion. Building on the success of our poetry café series, we added storytelling cafes and
author visits in a cozy café format. New services included outgoing fax service and a
notary public on staff, as well as a free museum pass program supported by the
Friends. Joining with our colleagues at all Orange County libraries, we were deeply
involved in OLA’s The Big Read and planned, hosted and attended many programs
devoted to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
Goshen Public Library and Historical Society
Pauline Kehoe, Director
No report available.
Greenwood Lake Public Library
Joan Carvajal, Director
Stephanie Thiel, our Director for over a decade resigned in April of 2008. Stepha-
nie will be missed by the Board of Trustees, staff and community who knew her and DID YOU
appreciated her professionalism, vision and invaluable people skills. Joan Carvajal, KNOW?
who had previously served as Assistant Director, assumed the reins as Director.
The library has had other staffing changes as well. Elizabeth Cisek has assumed
the role of Supervisor of Circulation and Reference Services. Kelly Corrado is Adult At an average
Services Supervisor and continues with her Works of Art Gallery and Collectible Se- price of $50 per
ries’ responsibilities. Theresa Stevenson has taken over as Technical Services supervi- book, the RCLS
sor and we welcomed two new circulation clerks, April Gonzalez and Jill Cronin to member library
our library family. book inventory is
In 2008, the library added wireless Internet access, several new research databases worth about $130
and Playaways for adults and young adults. Our children’s area now houses an AWE million.
computer, which is designed for children 8 years of age or younger, and our Youth
Study Center for Grades 5 and up continues to thrive. The Greenwood Lake Public Li-
brary looks forward to 2009 as an opportunity to continue to provide quality library
materials, programs and service to its taxpayers.
Highland Falls Library
Suzanne Brahm, Director
Circulation of many materials increased in 2008, especially that of the DVD col-
lection—over 17,000 were borrowed. Our children’s story-times and the Mother/
Daughter Book Club remain popular and well-attended. The Friends of the Library
were very active in fund-raising and made major contributions to our budget needs.
We were pleased to be part of Orange County’s The Big Read of Steinbeck’s The
20 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
Grapes of Wrath. We offered three programs centering on the Great Depression and
the culture of that time period. Our Saturday Needlework sessions are well-attended
During the summer, we had a program on beekeeping, which went nicely with the
official Summer Reading theme, “Catch the Reading Bug” and “Metamorphosis @
Your Library.” At the end of the year, we were treated to original paintings of the Bear
Mountain Zoo, sponsored by the educators at the Trailside Museum. Shortly after that,
the same artists, a group of friends who are part of the Wallkill River School of Art,
returned to personally “paint the town” for us, and their works proved quite popular for
the month of December. Our large new community space provides for many event
possibilities and we are pleased to see it being used so well.
Josephine‑Louise Public Library – WALDEN
Ginny Neidermier, Director
During 2008 many patrons took advantage of the wireless internet that was in-
stalled in 2007. The Village of Walden referendum for increased funding through
Chapter 414 passed. There has been a significant increase of middle and high school
students attending programs and becoming involved as volunteers at the library. Our
adult program attendance remained steady as we continued to feature local authors,
artists and musicians. We participated with the OLA countywide initiative The Big
Read featuring The Grapes of Wrath. In addition to the Literacy Volunteers, the Wal-
den Chess and Scrabble Clubs, we have a newly formed Photography Club. The pur-
chase of a new LCD projector and screen enables us to offer a venue for beginner pho-
tography classes as well as movie screenings.
This past year we have enjoyed the benefits of the members of two communities
that live within the village; they are Tsechen Kunchab Ling of Tibetan Buddhism and
the Foxhill Bruderhof Community. Every year the Tibetan Buddhists are visited by
Sherpa’s from the Mt. Everest region. The Sherpa’s and their families presented a well
attended and informative program. They described their lifestyle, culture, and experi-
ences of summiting the mountain. The Foxhill Bruderhof Community has been instru-
mental in “sprucing” up our building, reinforcing some of our bookcases and painting
the Community Room. The 4th Grade History Club prepared, published and presented
the library with a book about the life of Seth Capron, one of Walden’s founding fa-
thers. The Library also partnered with the Walden Community Council in co-
sponsoring the “Music in the Grove” series during the summer.
Moffat Library of Washingtonville
Julie Baxter, Director
The Moffat Library’s 122nd year saw an increase in circulation and program atten-
dance that reaffirmed our mission to be a source of information, education, and enter-
tainment for all members of our community.
The Project Cooperate program sponsored by the library grew to include 10 local
nursery schools and daycare centers. This popular outreach program is intended to pro-
vide teachers with easy access to age appropriate materials for use in the classroom.
We are bursting with book discussions! Due to popular demand, we added a sec-
ond adult book discussion for our mystery fans. Two new book discussions for teens
and tweens afforded busy moms and their daughters a forum to talk, laugh and learn
through their love of reading. Lastly, we added a third book club for children – this
one for grades 1 and 2.
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 21
Our Summer Reading Program expanded to include ALL ages! This year in addi-
tion to over 500 children ages 3 through grade 5 and 75 teens, 40 babies and toddlers
“caught the reading bug,” and 20 adults accepted our first adult summer reading chal-
The community celebrated the wonderful talent and creativity of our middle school
and school students at the library’s 5th Annual Teen Art Contest and Display. A panel
of local, professional artists judged the entries and prizes were awarded to all.
Our Hands-on Basic Computer Skills series provided individual instruction in us-
ing a mouse, surfing the Web, creating an e-mail account and navigating the library’s
Music lovers were treated to a Guided Tour of Jazz by saxophonist Libby Richman
and her ensemble. Folks heard their favorite jazz standards along with lively commen-
tary. This program was sponsored by the Friends of the Moffat Library.
And, in 2008, our community finally saw work begin on the library’s new parking
Monroe Free Library
Marilyn J. McIntosh, Director
Monroe Free Library turned 100 in 2008. We celebrated in ways big and small. We
offered free cookies and hot chocolate each Saturday and Sunday afternoon in January,
and we collaborated with our school system on a project that covered our library with
pink and red hearts expressing why our students love the library. We held raffles and
had trivia and pie baking contests. In June we celebrated the actual founding date with
an ice cream social. This outdoor event was a huge success with proclamations and
speeches from our representatives at every level, music, food, clowns and many more
activities. In October we held a Murder Mystery and 100-year old Mr. Monroe F. Li-
brary was murdered right before our eyes. We capped off the year with a food and toy
drive which started with a goal of 100 items and ended by collecting three times that
amount. The year 2008 also saw an upswing in usage of every type, from increased
circulation to filled programs. Our patrons travelled to Hawaii and enjoyed, along with
other Orange County libraries, participating in The Big Read. The Summer Reading
Program broke all records and our building was filled to the brim with teens. Our deci-
sion to wait a year to look into a new building initiative, paid off in good will and a
concentration on sheer fun.
In addition to the above, our library was awarded over $13,000 in Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation grants. We were able to add computers for public use, laptops that
circulate in-house, and wifi access. To cap off this banner year we passed our operat-
ing budget insuring our financial health for another year.
Montgomery Free Library
Mary Elizabeth Comizio, Director
No report available.
Newburgh Free Library
Muriel Verdibello, Director
The highlight of the Newburgh Free Library's 2008 programming efforts was its
participation in the county-wide project for The Big Read. Based on the themes of The
Grapes of Wrath, Newburgh offered ten programs ranging from a community dance to
Depression era cooking. Overall, the Library sponsored some 220 adult programs and
classes including a two-day city-wide book festival called “Impressed Ink: A New-
22 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
burgh Celebration of the Printed Word and Image” with readings and book displays by
local authors, publishers and visual artists.
Newburgh took part in the RCLS outreach initiative to offer programs on job infor-
mation and health care resources. In addition, the Local History Department secured a
grant to teach fourth and fifth grade educators how to use primary resources available
through the Library and SENYLRC's Hudson River Valley Heritage website
Based on a survey from the previous year, Newburgh beefed up its Latin and R&B
music CD collections; both CDs and DVDs remain among the highest circulated items.
The number of reference questions handled by the Newburgh staff has steadily in-
creased and topped 124,500 last year. The “Ask Us 24/7” online reference service was
launched and Newburgh joined the Foundation Center's Cooperating Collection Net-
work to offer more help to grantseekers. The public logged in nearly 50,000 times to
use Library computers.
The “Catch the Reading Bug” and “Metamorphosis @ Your Library” Summer
Reading Programs drew over 1,000 children and young adults while the annual Family
Reading Day with its parade and “Battle of the Bands” attracted an overflow crowd.
Ongoing story times, Mother and Daughter Book Discussions and the monthly Teen
Advisory Board meetings remain part of the foundation of popular Youth Services ac-
Pine Bush Area Public Library District
Doris Callan, Director
In March 2008, we became the Pine Bush Area Public Library. In the past, we con-
tracted to the part of the Town of Shawangunk in the Pine Bush School District. Now
they are included in our new charter of being a special district library. Our population
area covers over 13,000 residents.
DID YOU With the increased revenue, we are now open six days a week, extending our hours
KNOW? by 25%. Our patron visits and usage of materials have increased immensely. New reg-
istered cardholders have grown by 50 to 60 a month with total registered cardholders
now over 5,000.
RCLS Our Community Center (Annex) is open for special classes and programs. We have
member increased our public computer stations to four.
libraries New programs for the children and adults have doubled participation. New pro-
circulated grams have been nature field trips, such as learning to fish, identifying trees, making
8,417,031 walking sticks and even how to do crow calling.
items in 2008. We are displaying the works of local artists in the library on a monthly basis which
has attracted more visitors.
The very active Friends of the Library continue to support the goals of the library
with their fund raising activities. They have purchased books, a movie license, carts, a
signage board and shelves, to name a few.
Thanks to the community, for by their support our plan for 2009 is to move ahead
with more new programs, expand the existing ones, increase our collections of materi-
als and continue to meet the needs of the residents.
Port Jervis Free Library
Beverly Arlequeeuw, Director
It is all too easy to keep looking ahead at what needs to be done without taking
time out to look back at the past year and celebrate our achievements. Near the end of
2008, I joined the staff at Port Jervis as their new director--following Phyllis Vail, who
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 23
retired in June after 16 years as library director. Also retiring in 2008 was Henrietta
Towne who oversaw the children’s room for 24 years. Veteran staff member Rhonda
Somarelli is now leading the charge in the children’s room.
At the end of 2008, the Library Board hired the architects from Butler Rowland
Mays to develop a master plan for renovations and restoration to our 106-year-old
beautiful Carnegie library building. Indications are that we have an interesting year
ahead of us!
Thrall Public Library District of Middletown and Wallkill
Kevin Gallagher, Director
The library saw significantly increased use in virtually all categories in 2008, in-
cluding a record 1,464,000 hits on its Web site (www.thrall.org). The library also be-
gan participating in the 24/7 live reference service program, along with a number of
other RCLS members. Recognizing the downturn in the economy, a number of spe-
cialized finding aids, both in print and online, were developed by staff to assist patrons
in job searches.
In June and July the library hosted a national touring exhibition on the life of Ben-
jamin Franklin. The exhibit and accompanying programs were enjoyed by more than
A beautiful new garden area was constructed as an Eagle Scout project by Brian
A number of internal projects were completed to create more shelving area and
seating space for patrons.
Tuxedo Park Library
Claudia Depkin, Director
The Tuxedo Park Library experienced another bump in circulation and traffic in
2008. In fact, we were so popular we had all manner of creatures trying to get into the
library. Most were human, but the bat colony living in our elevator shaft made an oc-
casional appearance as well!
In 2008 we experienced some other comings and goings. We said goodbye to two
longtime staff members, and welcomed a new clerk. And in the midst of uncertain eco-
nomic times, our successful budget proposition was a source of great pride. We carried
all four districts, something that had not happened in several years, though all previous
propositions had passed. That budget increase will allow us to stay open until 9 PM for
an additional night in 2009.
Woodbury Public Library
Jennifer Bradshaw, Director
The Woodbury Public Library (WPL) began 2008 with our annual Woodbury
Reads! Program using the title, The $64 Dollar Tomato by William Alexander. We
were happy to have Alexander, a resident of the Hudson Valley, spend a Sunday after-
noon with us here sharing his experiences of gardening in the Hudson Valley.
WPL’s Summer Reading Programs (SRP) “Catch the Reading Bug” and
“Metamorphosis @ Your Library” had 221 children and young adults registered with a
total of 1,265 in attendance for 57 offered programs. We wrapped up the 2008 SRP at
the Earl Reservoir with a performance by Storytime Stage. A special thanks to Assem-
blywoman Nancy Calhoun for her continued support of our Summer Reading Pro-
24 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
The WPL Friend’s Group had a successful 2008 book and bake sale in July, and
sponsored a trip to Boscobel to see the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s produc-
tion of Twelfth Night, directed by John Christian Plummer.
WPL was also given special mention on Salem Press’ Website as a winner of their
“Reference is Cool” contest for our submitted question, “Do giraffes get struck by
lightening a lot because they are so tall?”
We look forward to 2009 with enthusiasm for continued service to our community.
ROCKLAND Blauvelt Free Library
Mary E. Behringer, Director
COUNTY The Blauvelt Free Library continues to promote and provide educational and cultural pro-
grams to our patrons of all ages.
We sponsored several trips to NYC for opera performances, the Nutcracker Ballet,
the “Christmas Spectacular” at Radio City Music Hall, and a “Ladies High Tea.” Six-week
art courses were given every four months.
LUNCH and LEARN programs included: Dr. Von Deck - The Development of the
Symphony Orchestra, From Augustine to the Internet - Dr. John Lounibos, Ken Bums His-
tory of Baseball - 8 sessions, Producer of the Wonders of Lyric Opera, Monthly Book Discus-
sions included authors discussing their books by telephone.
The “55 Alive” Program on safe driving for seniors was held every four months. Sev-
eral art exhibits graced the library.
Numerous children’s special programs included among others:
Time for Toddlers 14-36 months, two sessions weekly
Monthly Book Chats
Chinese Cooking with Norma Cheng
Bill Robinson’s Birds of Prey
Bossy Frog Band
Christmas Concert with Tommy Dunn and Jan Lynch
Special Movies every two weeks
We are looking forward to our 100th Anniversary in 2009. Many special events are
planned throughout the year.
Finkelstein Memorial Library – SPRING VALLEY
Robert S. Devino, Director
When our proposed budget failed by 180 votes, the Library’s Board of Trustees
was forced to cut $260,000 in programs and services. The list included: no summer
weekend hours, cuts to books and other collections, restrictions to borrowing practices,
elimination of our newest bestseller collections and other services and programs.
Despite our unsuccessful budget vote we still experienced increases in the numbers
of registered borrowers, overall circulation, number of visits, program attendance, and
Newly developed services and programs such as offsite book drops and pick-up
lockers, early child literacy programs, rotating large print book collections for local
assisted living centers, and YA game nights, were among the attractions that brought
over 448,000 people to the Library in 2008, borrowing over 723,000 items, with
21,000 people attending the 869 programs offered for all ages. We were also proud to
join in partnerships with Literacy Volunteers of Westchester/Rockland, the Village of
Spring Valley’s Kurtz Center, RCLS, and others to offer a total of 118 literacy training
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 25
sessions at the basic level. Advanced users attracted 1,400 Spanish- and Creole-
The year 2008 also saw the Library’s receipt of the Arts Council of Rockland’s
Mary Grants Supporter of the Arts Award. Also recognized was the longtime program-
mer of our International and Independent Film Series Erica Grodin. In the fall of 2008,
the Library honored two long time trustees and friends as we dedicated a pair of new
garden plots to Lucile Holt and Alice Golar. Alice’s role as Board President was as-
sumed by Richard Rothbard, who is the President of The Research Foundation,
Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library
Joanne Sininsky, Director
The library hosted the Overdrive Digital Bookmobile in the library's parking lot.
Hundreds of people were able to gain hands-on experience with the latest technologies
for libraries. Our library was a recipient of a Gates Foundation computer grant which
enabled the purchase of additional laptops for the Village Branch. Our old public com-
puters were replaced with large-screen computers running Microsoft Vista.
Our Youth Services Department continues to hold outstanding programs including
the Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have A Dream Celebration,” and “Learn to Draw Super-
heroes!” with a real cartoonist.
The library's Wii gaming system has proven to be a successful tool for programs.
Our “Wii Bowling for Seniors” program has been a major success, and our team hopes
to compete with other local libraries. Teen and Youth Services have had similar ex-
periences. Our trips to the Metropolitan Opera and Yankee Stadium were sellouts, gar-
nering enthusiastic comments from those who attended. A variety of food and cooking
programs also drew capacity crowds, with many disappointed would-be attendees hav-
ing to be put on a waiting list or turned away altogether.
Videoconferencing equipment gave the community the opportunity to visit the
Bronx Zoo, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and the NASA Space Center in
Houston without leaving our community room.
We used our own Summer Reading Club themes and were grateful for the mone-
tary support from Commerce Bank, Senator Thomas P. Morahan and Assemblyman
Nanuet Public Library
Gretchen Bell, Director
The Nanuet Public Library is busier and more crowded than ever. New services
include a new Web site, 24 hour reference and color copiers. With the help of the com-
munity, we are working on expanding our local history collection.
In addition to our regular schedule of programs for all ages, we sponsored a series
of popular cooking classes and introduced a Scrabble/mahjong club and independent
film series. Nanuet Cares, an opportunity for the public to meet with local charities,
was very successful for the third year, with 40 Rockland County non-profit agencies
We were deeply saddened by the death of Ben Meyers, Adult Services Coordina-
tor, after a brief and difficult illness. Two blood drives were held in Ben’s memory.
Julie Marallo was promoted to Ben’s position, and Suzzanne Congdon joined the staff
as YA Librarian. Lauren Mandarino, a Nanuet library employee and MLIS candidate,
was awarded the annual Mary Patricia Brunsman Scholarship.
26 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
We weed continuously, due to serious space limitations. In this economic down-
DID YOU turn, plans for a new building referendum have been put on hold, but not abandoned.
The DOT has approved our site plan, and we are pursuing the next steps.
New City Library
Charles E. McMorran , Director
More than 50% The 2008 calendar year has brought many changes to the New City Library. In Feb-
of the residents ruary, Richard Treleven retired. In March, Rita Fogelman, was appointed as Interim
in the RCLS Director followed by the appointment of Charles McMorran as Director in August
area are 2008.
registered Throughout the changes, staff of the New City Library continued to provide quality
public library services and materials to customers in ever increasing measures.
users. Measure 2008 Statistic Percentage Change from 2007
Circulation 606,468 5.07%
Computer Users 36,487 10.97%
Library Holdings 287,729 3.75%
Library Visits 329,310 1.65%
Reference Transactions 113,231 3.80%
Summer Reading 502 (8.37%)
Web Site Visits 248,866 23.45%
In October, the Board approved a new set of Bylaws. There were significant changes
in making the Board of Trustee Election more open and inclusive. The election was
moved to be held on the same day as the budget referendum for the same hours.
The public approved the library budget for fiscal year, 2009/2010 in the amount of
$4,509,200 in the budget referendum held on December 10, 2008 with vote of 60%
The New City Library staff proved to be extremely dedicated to their positions and
to serving the community in providing quality customer service.
Jim Mahoney, Director
Throughout 2008 the Nyack Library was engaged in the construction of a 15,000
sq. ft. addition, and by year’s end most of the building was enclosed and ready to begin
interior finishing. We held a “hard hat” luncheon in September to honor the efforts of
Senator Thomas Morahan for bringing us $137,000 in New York State funds, and to
launch another phase of our fundraising campaign.
The “South Nyack Recital Series” became a permanent fixture at the library every
Saturday evening at 7 pm. International guest keyboard artists perform classical music
to the delight of full-house audiences in our Carnegie Room.
Special attention has been paid to marketing our collection, particularly new books
and theme displays of older material.
The Historical Society of the Nyacks is entering into a partnership arrangement
with the Library, so they will store their artifacts in our new Local History area and
cooperate with us on displays and related programs.
William C. Langham, Director
Overall, 2008 was a year of maintaining the quality and size of the library's print
collection, increasing our digital holdings (electronic materials +21%) and offering
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 27
new ways for our patrons to reach us. We look forward to serving more of them in
Library visits increased by 5%. 2,444 patrons borrowed almost 95,000 items, in-
cluding 41,000 books and 54,000 music CD's, DVDs, Play-Aways, and Audio
books. We handled almost 13,000 reference questions (that's about one question
every 15 minutes!). Patrons used free Internet computers to check email, research
jobs and colleges, and find information during 6,987 online sessions!
We completely rebuilt the library's website, making it easier for patrons to access
the library catalog and online resources from home, office, or school. Teens are
contributing book reviews and suggesting books to buy on our Teen Wiki. The Di-
rector is occasionally blogging about items of interest via the Orangeburg Pipe.
We offered 30 more programs in 2008; attendance grew by 18%. Especially well-
attended were performances by Modern Man Trio, our Women in the Military
panel, and the Camp Venture's Imagination Museum reception. Over 600 children
and teens participated in our Summer Reading Program. Most popular youth
events were Jester Jim and the T-bone concert.
Palisades Free Library
Maria Gagliardi, Director
The former Library Director, Beatrice Agnew, was memorialized with two beauti-
ful stained glass windows at the library’s entrance. The windows were designed by
local Palisades artist, Harriet Hyams and installed with donations from Beatrice’s
The library welcomed a new director, Maria Gagliardi of Tappan, NY.
The award winning Sunday Symposia (palisades people) celebrated its second sea-
son with talks by actor Aidan Quinn in conversation with Didi Conn, local authors
Christina Biaggi, Milbry Polk, and Ellen Galinsky, New Yorker essayist Hendrick
Hertzberg, and Orangetown Supervisor Thom Kleiner.
Alice Gerard, chairman of the Palisades Free Library Historical Committee, pub-
lished a new book, A History of the Palisades Free Library 1891-2008.
Pearl River Public Library
Kathy Rose, Director
Our library building and staff weathered some challenges this year. While large
sections of the roof were being redone, a heavy spring rain found its way inside our
building—requiring some carpentry work and drywall replacement. Also, when it was
determined that we could no longer use the building’s upper level for storage, staff
members worked quickly to devise some creative solutions to maximize what storage
space we have.
We were able to provide some new services for our patrons. We introduced key-
chain- style library cards and planned for the addition of new (color) public photocopi-
ers, reusable library tote bags, and a homebound delivery service. We are also enjoy-
ing the voice mail and auto-attendant features of our new telephone system.
In the spring, Marie Muriello retired as Head of Circulation. That position is now
capably filled by Ellen Frawley. We also welcomed Kathy Hackett to our circulation
Our Youth Services staff is as busy as ever and our teens and tweens are enjoying a
variety of programs created just for them. The newly established “Teen Library Coun-
cil” did a wonderful job in designing our “Teen Zone.” Our Friends group enthusiasti-
28 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
cally supported the effort with generous funding for the new rug and furniture. It was
wonderful to have the two groups working together on the project.
Piermont Library District
Jessica Maisano, Director
CirculationPiermont Public Library circulated a total of 10,407 items in 2008.
This is an increase of nearly 2,000 from the 8,484 items circulated in 2007.
PersonnelPiermont Public Library welcomed its new Director, Jessica Maisano,
in June 2008.
ProgramsDuring 2008 the library launched several program series. Every Mon-
day at 11 a.m. the library offered Toddler Story Time. Library staffer, Alexis Starke,
taught art classes for children throughout the year. The “First Friday Film Series” has
screened a different film each month since June 2008.
Assistant Director, Grace Mitchell, scheduled a variety of programs including mu-
sical and theatrical performances, a book talk, and a visit from the Delaware Valley
Raptor Center featuring live birds of prey. The library uses its gallery space to feature
the work of local artists, rotating exhibitions throughout the year. Often, an art exhibi-
tion opens with a reception during which the public can meet the artist. In total, Pier-
mont Public Library offered 109 programs during 2008.
The library is fortunate to have a dedicated Friends Group. In 2008, the group held
fundraisers like the Annual Wine & Food Tasting and activities such as the Scarecrow
Rose Memorial Library – STONY POINT
Lauren Brosius Moore, Interim Director
The Rose Memorial Library experienced stimulating change and growth in 2008,
evidenced by increased circulation, program attendance, and volunteer participation.
The addition of a professional children’s librarian brought energy and focus to the chil-
dren’s programming and collections. The children’s services staff embarked on a mas-
sive weeding project which helped revitalize the children’s collection and contributed
to increased circulation. The library offered a record number of children’s programs
and saw a 25 percent increase in attendance at children’s programs. Young adult pro-
gram attendance also saw a huge increase, nearly doubling since 2007.
In 2008 the Library purchased a piece of property for the future construction of a
larger library building. We are eager to rally the growing support and engagement of
our community around this exciting development.
Sloatsburg Public Library
Mary Blake, Director
No report available.
Suffern Free Library
Ruth Bolin, Director
In 2008, Suffern Free Library became a cooperating Collection of the Foundation
Center. Through this partnership, the Library is able to provide resources that help in-
dividuals and non-profit organizations identify sources of grants and foundation fund-
ing. Representatives from local nonprofit organizations have been attending informa-
tion workshops at the Suffern Library offered by the Foundation Center and the Insti-
tute for NonProfits. This collection is made possible with funding from the Library’s
book sales. A very dedicated cadre of book sale volunteers raised $29,893 in 2008.
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 29
Also in 2008, the Library began offering “on-the-go” digital audio books, as well as an
online service that allows people to ask a librarian a question 24 hours a day, seven
days a week. In addition, thousands of people continue to attend programs and events
at the Library: 971 children and 36 teenagers participated in the Summer Reading pro-
gram; 662 tweens (kids ages 10-14) and 6,042 adults attended programs throughout the
year. Suffern Library was the proud recipient of the “RCLS Member Library Adult
Program of the Year Award.” With an increase in library visits and circulation, com-
munity support for the Library remains strong.
Sara Nugent, Director
No report available.
Tomkins Cove Public Library
Janet Lukas, Director
The Tomkins Cove Public Library continues to refine its place in the community.
As a small library, we seek input from our patrons to define their needs. As a result,
our Bouncing Babies program with Nora Maher is a rousing success. We have plenty
of space and love seeing the babies enjoying the library environment. Betsy Rodman
continues to lead “The Play’s the Thing,” a weekly reading of Shakespeare attended by
a small group of teens. Ann Macgregor Vitale continues to lead our children’s story
time and Colleen Woods continues her children’s craft programs. Young actors have
enjoyed honing their skills under the direction of Jody Atkinson. Short productions are
enjoyed by our storytime attendees. A local artist, Helen Shalfi was contracted to pro-
duce a mural for the library of the view of the Hudson River from Tomkins Cove. This
project is fully funded by Tilcon, New York. We look forward to the installation in
May 2009. For adults, our book discussion group is growing and our adult craft night
continues as a place for women to meet and share their expertise. The Tomkins Cove
Public Library is lucky to have a dedicated staff and Board of Directors. Thanks to all
of them for their contributions to the success of our library.
Valley Cottage Library
Amelia Kalin, Director
With the aid of the award granted to Valley Cottage Library from the $14 million
NY State Construction grant, we were able to double the floor space of our Teen Cor-
ner by knocking down an adjoining wall to what once was a storage space for periodi-
cal back files. The ‘tweens and teens are excited about the (almost completed) ex-
tremely colorful space which will include two computer stations specifically for their
use as well as comfortable seating and plenty more shelving for books, games, graphic
novels, etc. Two other aspects of the construction included building a storage room for
our Community Room which was desperately needed and at the same time we ex-
panded the kitchen/staff break room which adjoins this space.
Aside from the large array of programming we typically offer from infants to sen-
ior citizens we also implemented a few new services that proved to be popular. Our
first Adult Summer Reading program was much fun for all involved including the
staff! We also continued a program we began in 2007 which we call Book Talk Café.
A theme is decided among the participants and everyone shares different books related
to the genre. Suitable refreshments tied into the theme are served and participants en-
joy swapping their favorite titles. Also, two of our librarians are on call a couple of
30 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
hours each week to respond to users online who choose to “Ask Us 24/7,” the Ques-
tionPoint Chat Reference Service.
West Nyack Free Library
Rita Tavel Fogelman, Director
The most important accomplishment of the year was the restoration of the library’s
interior damage done by the nor’easter of April 2007, and the completion of a drainage
system to protect the property from comparable damage in the future.
Funding from the Federal Emergency Management Association and the State
Emergency Management Organization enabled us to begin the work. An additional
grant from the Empire State Development Corporation covered the bulk of the remain-
ing costs. Because construction of the drainage system made it necessary to raze a por-
tion of the parking lot, the Trustees determined this was an appropriate time to expand
the size of the lot by one-third. This has facilitated access to our building and enhanced
our ability to schedule programs and activities.
Other memorable events:
In April, the library initiated The Home Front Project, raising hundreds of dollars
for charities assisting servicemen and women on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We have maintained our commitment to the troops by collecting books, magazines,
audiobooks and recordings for shipment overseas.
On Sunday, June 22, the library hosted a reception for 50 family members and
friends of longtime Trustee Peter Sgroi. We honored his memory by commissioning
original artwork for installation in the Children’s Room. The paintings depict heroes
and heroines of American history, the people who inspired his distinguished career as
teacher and author.
SULLIVAN Daniel Piece Library – GRAHAMSVILLE
Joann Gallagher, Director
COUNTY On December 10, 2008, the Daniel Pierce Library celebrated its 110th birthday.
Daniel Pierce would have been astonished to see the magnificent new addition that is
being built with tremendous community input and support.
The 23,500 square foot addition is almost finished on the outside, and the workers
are assiduously installing ductwork and studs on the inside (in spite of frigid tempera-
tures). The beautiful Elderhorst clock (donated by one of our patrons) has been placed
in the bell tower, and the lovely Westminster chimes peal every hour. Phil Coombe,
our Building Project Chairperson, is busy gathering materials and talent to ensure the
earliest possible completion date.
Thousands of children and their families gathered at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds
on Saturday, October 4, to participate in the 23rd Annual Giant Pumpkin Party and
Children’s Parade. The theme has always been that of the New York State Summer
Reading Program, and this year was no exception (“Catch the Reading Bug!” and
“Metamorphosis @ Your Library”). There were evidences of “bugs” all over the
grounds, highlighted by an enormous caterpillar constructed from huge hay bales and
The children’s programs continue to grow in numbers and scope. Of special note is
the outstanding “quilt” painted by a group of students in grades 7 through 12 during
the Summer Reading Program. These enthusiastic young people selected their favorite
juvenile picture book titles, and painted the covers of these books on wooden panels
which made a delightful montage for everyone to enjoy.
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 31
As we reflect upon the past year, we are in awe of the generosity and magnanimity
of the people in our community whose hearts are constantly open to the needs of the
Daniel Pierce Library.
Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library – MONTICELLO
Alan Barrish, Director
Our 2009 budget vote passed 82 – 25. Board vice president and long time trustee
Enid Hersch chose not to run again for trustee. She will be missed. The board contin-
ued to explore opportunities to expand the physical presence of the library. In 2008,
we expanded our adult programming to include more events during the winter.
Through a grant from the Gates Foundation, the library acquired eight new laptop
computers for public use.
Our Family Fun Series expanded to a year-round program. We offered a Saturday
Movie Matinee featuring family movies and a teen movie on the first Saturday of each
month. Our Preschoolers’ Story Time continues and we offered several Family Story
Times on Wednesday evenings. Four Head Start classes from the Monticello campus
visited the library regularly throughout the year. We closed our school-year programs
with a special program for all preschoolers, and an evening program for school-aged
children at which we announced the Summer Reading Program (SRP). We also hosted
library visits for BOCES students, several Boy and Girl Scout groups, and local first
The SRP consisted of a Reading Club during which the young people received
small incentives for keeping a reading log, and activity clubs that met weekly for
PreK, K-2, 3-5, and 6 Grade and Up. During the summer teen and family movies were
Liam Rogers, Director DID YOU
The Fallsburg Library was recently named one of the top 11 friendliest businesses
in Sullivan County. In 2008, we hosted 273 programs with 2,820 community members
in attendance. Some of the highlighted programs for the year included the weekly Po-
etry Slam (a Friday night staple), a Mark Twain impersonator, a duo who played mul- The RCLS
ticultural holiday folk songs, the Scary Night Halloween party, and a line-up of local delivery system
musicians. As always, our library joined the fun of the New York State Summer Read- transported over
ing Program. We had 84 children sign up. 3.2 million
Changes in the library this year: The circulation desk is in a new location. We items to the
added a new books bookcase; the visibility of its location has increased circulation two 47 member
fold. We welcomed a new board member, Mira Anderson, who has become an active libraries during
advocate. The rest of the board continues to show their support through attendance at 2008.
programs and generosity in volunteering their time.
We received two new computers through the generosity of the Gates Foundation
and they rest on fancy new computer tables.
We have redirected the purchasing of audio books from books-on-tape to books-
on-CD. They take up less space as the tape deck is practically obsolete. We are ac-
tively building the BCD collection. We have also enhanced our large print collection
The large number of very successful programs for children and adults this year
ranged from live music and movies to speakers and book discussion groups.
32 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
Liberty Public Library
Marjorie M. Linko, Director
The Liberty Public Library continues to be an active, vibrant center of activity for
the community. In September, over 60 community members of all ages gathered on
the front lawn of the library for the unveiling of Liberty’s Bicentennial Monument.
New programs added this year included an additional weekly story hour for all ages, a
weekly knitting/crocheting group and the Catskill Area Writers (CAW). CAW meet-
ings now rotate between the Literacy Volunteers of America and our Library! Several
Liberty writers have now been able to join the group.
Our 43-year-old concrete and brick library has begun to show signs of its age! The
Library Board of Trustees selected the architectural firm Butler Rowland Mays Archi-
tects, LLP to begin drafting a Master Plan for the library. The Master Plan will include
the development of a prioritized list of needed physical improvements and repairs to
the building, as well as possible remodeling to increase our efficiency and our capacity
to provide patron services.
Thanks to a generous grant from the HSBC bank, the library went wireless this
Fall. Now visitors to Liberty and patrons of all ages can connect their laptops to our
secure, high speed wireless Internet for free!
Livingston Manor Free Library
Peggy Johansen, Director
Two thousand and eight was a year of change at the Livingston Manor Free Li-
brary beginning with a renovation of both the main room and the children’s room. As a
result, the library has gained a meeting and newspaper-reading space, a bright story-
time area, and a semi-secluded teen section that includes the young adult collection,
two computers, youthful seating and a display area.
A wall in the main room was dedicated to revolving exhibits. Local photographers
were featured in 2008 and funding was received from a Sullivan County Legislature
Arts and Heritage Grant.
Near the photo display, patrons access computers with homemade screen savers
entitled, “Our Town.” This photomontage, also accessible on the library website, is a
photographic essay of local sights, created by teens in the SRP digital photography
New siding and shutters were installed to spruce up the library’s exterior with help
from a NYS Construction Grant, local foundations and individuals.
Eight adult programs were held at the library, an 800% increase over the prior
year! Several programs made use of a new laptop and a projector, acquired in part
through a Gates Foundation grant. Children’s programs included a summer concert, a
holiday talent show and weekly storytimes.
We look forward to new projects, ideas and collaborations in 2009.
Roscoe Free Library
Dr. Joyce Conroy, Director
The Roscoe Free Library had a rather busy year. Director Kristin White started the
long daunting process of sorting through the thousands of books stored in the back of
the library. She continued the popular game night and encouraged the monthly adult
reading group. Kristin then accepted a full time position in Tennessee and Dr. Joyce
Conroy became Director. We again extended the hours on Tuesday nights to accom-
modate our summer patrons. The library hours were tweaked a bit more in October to
make it easier for patrons to come in between 5 and 6 p.m.
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 33
During July and August, 50+ boxes of books, stored on the second floor of a Ros-
coe business after the 2006 flood, were moved back to the library. The 1,000 or so
books were sorted, and by December, were placed in the system. Roscoe had a flash
flood situation in July, the second one for 2008, but we found the library’s emergency
procedures worked well and no materials or equipment were lost.
Roscoe children caught the Summer Reading Bug! We watched the fascinating life
cycle of the Luna Moth, thanks to a donation of seven caterpillars by the Curator of
Living Animals at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum. A teen space has been
carved out of our non-fiction room in the library to better serve the teen/pre-teen age
group that gathers each day after school. They are choosing the movie for the bi-
monthly movie night.
We offer a total of five public computers providing Internet access, a fax and copy
machine, along with the daily newspapers. Please come and visit us.
Sunshine Hall Free Library – ELDRED
Patty Kennedy, Director
Sunshine Hall Free Library in Eldred is lucky to have an active Friends group and
supportive patrons. In 2008, The Friends of Sunshine Hall Free Library hosted four
cultural programs free to the public. Each provided the opportunity to meet a local art-
ist and learn about their work. The Friends also held a successful Father’s Day week-
end book sale. In July, the annual Friends luncheon honored our retiring board presi-
dent. The returns from the library’s 2008 annual fundraising flyer exceeded expecta-
tions; a library yard sale was also lucrative. Swarms of children caught the summer
reading bug, and watched our live hungry caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies,
which we then released. Teens turned out for Manga Mania over the summer. Our
French Club met every Wednesday all year for bon temps! Also, in 2008, renovations
to the chimney, roof, ceiling, lighting fixtures, furnace, and basement, begun in 2007,
were finally completed!
Town of Mamakating Library District
Evelyn Alvarez, Director
The Mamakating Library held a book discussion group that began in May and ran
through the summer months. The theme was Summer, obviously. The members read
four books which included a contemporary author, a classic author, and a non-fiction
writer. During the hottest days in July, the members challenged themselves by reading
two books that were made into popular films. The turnout was very successful and the
library will pick up the book discussion groups again in the Spring of 2009.
October was a month filled with a lot of changes for the library. The library moved
from Bloomingburg to the more central location of Wurtsboro. We were very lucky to
have so much help from the Sullivan County Correctional Facility and many volun-
teers that helped in so many ways. The library is now located on the main street in the
business district of Wurtsboro and we are blocks from the elementary school that
serves this community.
Western Sullivan Public Library
Susan M. Scott, Director
As we all know, the economic situation is affecting us all. It is during these times
of need that the library can provide resources such as books, computers, newspapers,
DVDs and a warm place to read. WSPL now has wireless internet access so that all
34 Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
those with laptops and a library card may use it on the premises. We also provide guest
cards for those visiting the area.
We would be pleased to assist you in finding any resources you may need to
weather the economic slump. The libraries in Callicoon, Jeffersonville, and Narrows-
burg have staff that is knowledgeable and willing to assist you in your searches.
Please visit us in person or log on to wsplonline.org and check out the latest hap-
penings. Programs are free and open to the public.
A little library growing each year is an honorable part of a man's history. - Henry
ULSTER Cragsmoor Free Library
Hattie Grifo, Director
COUNTY It's been another busy year at the Cragsmoor Free Library. The project of repairing
and restoring our historic building continues, as well as our regular library and fund-
raising activities. Cragsmoor Cooks was a new event and a major effort! Suggested by
former Board President, Tom Bolger, who donated a stockpile of cooking equipment,
Cragsmoor Cooks! took over the Cragsmoor Firehouse on Saturday, September 20 and
the festivities began. Cooking paraphernalia was sold, signed celebrity chef books
were auctioned, vendors plied their wares, and local chefs Michael Abate and John
Duncan (board member) demonstrated recipes and served up a gourmet brunch and a
high tea. This day also marked the anticipated release of our Cragsmoor Free Library
Cookbook. Beautifully produced with photos gracing both covers, and categories sepa-
rated by watercolors of flowers, painted in the early 20th century by Cragsmoor’s
Austa Sturdevant, the book is deliciously inviting. Inside, favorite recipes from Crags-
moor residents and friends mingle with those of celebrity chefs Sarah Moulton (PBS
and Gourmet Magazine) and Sandy Ingber (Oyster Bar, NYC). Copies are available at
$25. Contact Hattie at the Library; phone 845-647-4611 or email@example.com.
Ellenville Public Library and Museum
Pamela Stocking, Director
Two thousand eight was a great year. We purchased three new computers through
the Online Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and we’ve gone wire-
less, a great convenience for patrons, visitors and students.
EPL&M was proud to participate in RCLS’ “Help For You” Outreach Series. We
increased our public programs, offering computer classes, crafts classes, cooking
classes, and musical events, including opera singer Anne Tormela, classical guitarist
Peter Fletcher and “Songs of the Season.” Bus tours transported students and residents
to the Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, took people along the D&H Canal
and families to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum. Book discussions were as lively
as ever, this year’s highlight being our “One Book, One Community” read of To Kill a
Mockingbird, featuring daily readings on radio, an “on-site” performance at the village
courtroom by high school students, book discussions and a movie showing. The Sum-
mer Reading Program was launched at the Farmers’ Market, with “The Buzz on Bees,”
and a grand finale at the library with The Puppet People’s “Firebird.” We collaborated
with many local agencies, including Cornell Cooperative Extension, the NAACP, The
Chamber of Commerce and Ellenville Central School. Two thousand eight was really a
year of community building, learning and development here at EPL&M.
Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights 35
Nell Boucher, Director DID YOU
In September, the library moved into its new building. Books and materials were
transferred from the old library to the new one in a human chain of over 200 volun-
teers. Local business community and individual volunteers provided snacks and drinks
for the book-movers. Moving in this fashion saved the town $8,000. New York has
The new library building is located on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and was built 23 times more
to resemble the old Gardiner train station. Architect Paul Mays has explained that the library volumes
railroad details of the new building both evoke a sense of Gardiner’s history and sym- than registered
bolize the library’s function as a main connection to the world beyond Gardiner, in cars, trucks,
much the same way the railroad was in days gone by. motorcycles and
The building features a community room and art gallery. This room makes the li- mopeds.
brary a true community center. So far two local artists have had exhibits. We look for-
ward to seeing the works of many more hung there.
The library includes work/computer tables and comfortable reading chairs. The
children’s room features a computer with several learning games, toddler-sized furni-
ture, toys and of course, books. Hanging from the children's activity area’s ceiling are
lights shaped like little parachutes, an architectural detail that again evokes a sense of
Gardiner. Nicole Lane is serving as our new children’s librarian. We have three story
times on Tuesdays, aimed at different age groups, a program where children read to
dogs, and a community playgroup. In the month following the opening of the new li-
brary, more than 100 people signed up for new library cards.
Peg Lotvin retired in 2008 after a long tenure as Gardiner’s founding librarian.
The new circulation desk has been dedicated in Peg’s honor. In July of 2008, Nell
Boucher was hired as Director. Volunteer coordinator Melissa Fairweather has been
busy managing over 100 volunteers. Our library volunteers can be seen helping us be-
hind the circulation desk, shelving books, sweeping the foyer, watering the plants and
even landscaping the library yard!
Wallkill Public Library
Mary Lou Carolan, Director
This was a winning year for our library. As one of the recipients of the Gates Op-
portunity Online Grants, we were able to increase our internet access for patrons by
75% while also providing an early literacy computer for children ages 2 to 7 years.
Successful collaborations with local businesses, clubs, schools and the town culmi-
nated in our winning the “RCLS Member Library Children’s Program of the Year
Award” as well as the “Pride of Ulster County Award” for creative and innovative pro-
Our library increased its visibility in the community by participating in many
downtown events such as marching with our children’s theatre project cast in the an-
nual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and hosting the Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony with
the Town of Shawangunk on our front lawn.
We were excited to have five active moms form our first “Friends of the Wallkill
Public Library” in the spring. The group held four successful fundraisers and they
have plans to launch a membership drive to raise funds for children’s programming.
Plans for creating a much-needed new addition to the library continue to move full
speed ahead and we are enthusiastic about becoming a key player in the revitalization
of our downtown.
36 Ramapo Catskill Library System Ramapo Catskill Library System 2008 Highlights
619 Route 17M
Middletown, NY 10940-4395
845-343-1131 · FAX 845-343-1205
2009 RCLS Board of Trustees
Carl S. Berkowitz
Norman R. Gallagher
Robert P. Knight
*Marilyn J. McIntosh
Stephen L. Oppenheim
Samuel L. Simon
*non-voting representative of
the RCLS Directors’ Association
Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS), working cooperatively with its member libraries, provides
coordinated services, guidance, training, support and leadership to member library trustees and staff to sustain
their effort to be responsive, proactive, vital community institutions that meet the changing needs of their users
in Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and southern Ulster counties.
RCLS, working in cooperation with member libraries, will help raise awareness about library services and
work to eliminate barriers to library access and use.
1. Centralized Services - Offer a clearly defined set of cost effective coordinated or centralized services
designed to enhance local library service and maximize the return from local funds expended.
2. Technology - Enhance and maintain existing automation services and assist member libraries in
implementing emerging technologies to improve library service and cooperation.
3. Training - Provide opportunities to member libraries’ staff, directors and trustees for the training and
skills development needed to support excellent library service.
4. Advocacy - Advocate for libraries in the RCLS service area and heighten public awareness about public
library and system services.
5. Information Services - Coordinate central and system services to provide a broad range of online
resources and services and library materials to support equity of access.
6. Communication - Maintain and promote effective means of communications with and among member
libraries to ensure accountability and cooperation.
7. Organizational Environment - Maintain an organizational environment that allows RCLS to be
responsive and accountable to member libraries.
Desktop Publishing Printing by Ramapo Catskill Library System