At the August WENCA (West End Neighbors Civic Assoc.) meeting, WENCA Secretary Maria Fitzgerald gave a brief presentation regarding a proposal to open a library branch in the West End. She was quick to point out that we are not talking about reopening the type of branch the West End had before Sandy. We are talking about something new and much more useful to residents. Unlike the previous West End Branch that didn’t reopen after the storm, the proposed new branch will be more centrally located and take full advantage of all the technological and socially interactive advances that have propelled modern libraries into the future…and back into people’s busy lives. Including use for senior citizens, book clubs, and after-school programs (a list of more proposed benefits in just a moment).
But—and a BIG but at that—Library Board President Carol Arnone and Diane Parr (our recently elected Library Board Trustee and long time West End resident) were adamant that without significant community support via petitions and a showing at the September 17th Library Board meeting, the Library Board will not be able to approve the funds. Maria Fitzgerald emphasized that the community really needs to demonstrate its desires and also its plans to use the library in order to make the financial commitment worthwhile. Keep in mind that each West End residence pays $100 to $200 each year in their taxes to fund libraries next to City Hall and the new larger and updated Point Lookout branch that most of us don’t get to use for fear of losing a parking spot in our pedestrian friendly community.
Proposed Location: 901 W. Beech St. (former location of Crossfit: King of the Beach)
Anticipated Opening: January 2015
- Emphasis on technology: computers, tablets, printers, fax, copiers, scanners, high-speed Internet for residents to use
- E-book checkouts/downloads to your PDA, assistance from the West End branch employee, search the entire library database and checkout books/videos/audio books from your home computer and pick up next day at the West End Branch
- Periodicals/reference materials/children’s books are expected to be available
- Crayon Kiosk holding i-Pads (a big hit in the main branch youth services!)
- Multi-use Community Center (day/evening use) with fun and engaging programming for all: a place to meet, share ideas, hold classes, children’s movies, musical events, games (examples include chess, bridge, board games, etc.), use for senior citizens, book clubs, and after school programs
- West End children will be able to walk to the library (leave your car in its spot!)
Do not expect someone else to fight this battle for you. It is up to you and your neighbors. The new West End Library Branch will NOT happen without visible support from a large number of West End residents. The library board has to see that you and your neighbors want this branch.
Show up at the September 17th Library Board meeting, 8 pm, upstairs at the Long Beach Library, Park Ave. by City Hall
Sign the petitions going around the neighborhood now!
LET’S GIVE OUR LIBRARY BOARD THE SUPPORT THEY NEED TO APPROVE A WEST END LIBRARY BRANCH!!!
Your friends at the West End Neighbors Civic Association