Library Trustees Win Cash for their Libraries
1st Annual MHLS Trustee Success Story Recognition Awards
through the 1st annual Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) Trustee Success Story
Recognition Awards. One public library trustee from each of the five counties served by the
Mid-Hudson Library System (Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam and Ulster) was awarded
a $200 cash grant for their library:
And the winners are…
Vesna Marincek, Kinderhook Memorial Library. Ms. Marincek began her service on the board by contributing new ideas to raise funds for library operating costs and capital improvements. By understanding that libraries whose budgets are voted on by the public receive more stable funding she has created a success story for herself and the Kinderhook Library. She aggressively pursued a more secure means of funding for the library through Chapter 414. She directed an intensive, year-long program of research and outreach, involving community members to ensure a successful 414 vote for stable funds from the town. As a result the library’s annual operating budget increased by 50% and now has a professional librarian on staff and the library is open for 35 hours a week (up from 20 hours a week) for its patrons.
Celia Bland, Tivoli Free Library. Described as an “unflagging” and talented volunteer, Ms. Bland has given of her time and talent in many areas, from pre-school story hour to fundraising events to grant writing. Her most notable contribution was a recent partnership with a local business in Tivoli – the Lost Sock Laundrette. The result was Speed Queen Java, a coffee bar at the launderette, underwritten by the business and operated by Ms. Bland on behalf of the library – all proceeds go to the library’s book budget. Ms. Bland opened the coffee bar every day at 7:00am, checked in throughout the day and closed up at night. She also recruited over two dozen volunteers to bake for the coffee bar. Ms. Bland didn’t stop there! She applied to the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Foundation for a donation towards the library’s annual book sale and was awarded a product donation of ice cream bars to sell during the event. She then drove to White Plains to pick up the donation, arranged for storage until the day of the event, gathered volunteers and spent six hours selling the ice cream to benefit the library. Tivoli Free Library’s Board President, Christine Kane, said of Ms. Bland “She has helped her fellow board members recognize that their community and its business owners are more than willing to support the library.”
Greene County: Erin Feinburg, Cairo Public Library. Ms. Feinburg has been an active member of the Cairo Public Library Board of Trustees for 36 years and a member of the Greene County Library Association for 21 years. Over the course of her tenure Ms. Feinburg has been “a vocal supporter of raising library staff salaries to a level commensurate with comparable positions and is always looking for ways to show her appreciation of the staff,” said Debra Kamecke, Director of the Cairo Public Library. She was instrumental in starting the library and spearheaded the movement to relocate the library to a new building and build the addition that houses the children’s room in 1994. Beyond her successes inside of the library Ms. Feinburg is to be commended for her drive to promote the library and its services at every opportunity.
Putnam County: Dr. Kathi Heiber, Mahopac Library. As president of the Mahopac Library Dr. Kathi Heiber began the work to get a new library built for Mahopac. As a result of Dr. Heiber’s efforts in October 2000 the Mahopac community voted to approve a bond issue for a new $7.9 million library. Dr. Heiber continues to work with the architect and building engineer on the plans for the library. Dr. Heiber has worked extensively with the Putnam County Library Association on various committees to increase the funding of libraries by state, county and local legislatures. “Kathi is constantly encouraging trustees to be concerned locally, regionally and statewide in library functions.” Said David Gagliardi, a trustee on the Mahopac Library board.
Ulster County: Harvey Kronick, Hurley Library. Mr. Kronick, a trustee of the Hurley Library for the past eight years, is referred to as “the backbone” of the Hurley Library by director Barbara Alstadt, “Without him the library could not run… He keeps the finances and spending in check while being open to spending on new programs and materials.” Mr. Kronick is viewed as an “all-around” trustee, his contributions range from setting up tarps for shade during the summer reading program to working behind the scenes on the library’s special district vote to actively recruiting community members to the Hurley Library Board. “It is difficult to put into words just how much our library relies on Mr. Kronick and how important he is to the success of our library,” said Ms. Alstadt.
Nominated by their fellow board members the entries were judged on two criteria: (1) What was the positive outcome for the library; (2) How inspiring it was for other library trustees. These awards will be given on an annual basis in order to recognize the hard work and dedication of some of the over 700 public library trustees in the Mid-Hudson Library System.