I am a(n) – Neighborhood resident/Library user/Library staff member /Senior /Teacher
This application is submitted jointly by my colleague, J, and me, A. J and I teach classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) every Monday and Wednesday evening. The free ESL program for local immigrants has been in existence for more than 30 years and is still one of the most vibrant programs at the library. Thousands of immigrants have received free English lessons at the New Dorp Library. Many of them have been able to help their children in school, further their own education, become more productive members of our society and sometimes even become US citizens. The student we are most proud of is Adriana Blancarte-Hayward. She enrolled in our ESL program in 2004, entered the workforce in 2005, completed a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Long Island University and is now New Dorp Library’s Branch Manager.
The ESL program is not the only community service the library performs. It also offers a variety of classes such as knitting and crocheting conducted in Spanish and English, book discussion groups in Spanish and English, the Teenage Advisory Group, Introduction to Computers, a Meditation Workshop, Zumba classes and more. The New Dorp Library services the entire range of patrons from small children to seniors. Its programs are relevant to the lives of all its patrons and are varied and informative. The eleven staff members are trained and encouraged to make their patrons feel at home.
The New Dorp Library has been consistently recognized for its exceptional community service. In 2012, it was cited for the second time in seven years for its community input and service by the New York Public Library’s Board of Trustees. In addition, it received the 2013 Maher-Stern Award as described above. The New Dorp librarians go out into the community on a continual basis. They attend meetings at the local Community Board, the local police precinct and civic associations in New Dorp, Grant City and Midland Beach. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the New Dorp Library staff sorted clothes and helped distribute food to community victims at a local relief center and also organized a financial relief workshop in the event room of the library itself.
These are only a few of the examples of the integral role the New Dorp Library plays in the community. The New Dorp Library should receive this award to enhance its ability to remain up-to-date and relevant in an ever-changing environment and to provide new services to the community in the future.
This story was originally a nomination for the My Library NYC Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.