“Honor to whom honor is due”

I am a(n) – Neighborhood resident/Library user/Student/Parent/Immigrant

My daughters and I go to the New Dorp library everyday after school. Luckily for us, the library is located near their  school. We go to the library to complete their homework and we can fulfill our daily agenda. The library is very welcoming and peaceful so that my daughters are able to concentrate and carry out their assignments. They have access to the internet and to all the books they need for their research and projects.

When we came to this country, my oldest daughter Aneli was 4 years old. It was a difficult for her to adapt to this new culture and to communicate in another language. In first years of school, her reading level was very low, although she worked very hard to progress. Now she is in fourth grade and her reading level has increased hugely. In the library she is surrounded by so many books that motivate her to read more and more  every day. If we didn’t have the library perhaps my daughter’s progress would not be the same.

In the New Dorp library, a great effort is made to work for service in benefit to the whole community. In the mornings there are programs for young children; afternoons are for older children. Middays are dedicated to senior citizens, with physical and recreational activities. During part of the year, seminars are given to guide unemployed people. The classes for learning to use the computer, tablets, iPads and all these modern devices are very beneficial for everyone. Meetings and conferences of all different natures have been organized here throughout the year, but in reality it has served as a center of support for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. What I truly enjoy are the knitting classes, the reading group, and the Spanish movies, each one is different but ultimately they all prove greatly helpful they let me relax and grow morally, spiritually, and intellectually. In this library what truly matters is helping and serving the community.

I am certain that they would like to develop more and better projects, but the budget is very limited. At this library, my family and I feel like we’re at home. It is time to recognize the good work, the dedication, and above all the effort that day to day this library makes for the well being of the community. “Honor to whom honor is due.”

This story was originally a nomination for the My Library NYC Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.

This Library Has Everything!

I am a(n) – Neighborhood resident/Library user/Library volunteer/Job-seeker/Artist/Entrepreneur

96 St. straddles the transition of The Upper East Side/Harlem: a great, diverse, densely populated neighborhood, with above average percentage of children and young people, and a fairly large population of seniors. Nearby is Mount Sinai Hospital complex, which brings another diverse population. Staff is friendly and encouraging even though there is no ‘not busy’ time, many days there are patrons waiting at the door for the branch to open and most evenings there are people hurrying in just before closing.

Any day of the week you will see kids getting tutoring and doing homework in the ground floor area. There is a reading group for adults and I think also one for teens. The 96th St. branch staff help patrons with all kinds of info: voter registration, housing/landlord, tax forms, the GED, medicare/medicaid info, looking up locations and printing out directions and maps. Patrons can learn how to use their tablets/devices–any device you can name they can teach you how to use it.  There are classes for seniors learning to use computers, basic internet skills, basic word processing skills, spreadsheet skills, emailing, and open workshops where you can bring your list of questions and get answers. And local, national and international newspapers and magazines are available to all in the reference room.

I have been using this branch my entire 54 years. In this economy borrowing books/ebooks/audiobooks/movies is a significant part of my ‘entertainment budget.’  At least 30% of my requests are for learning: professional educational materials like software tutorials, bookkeeping, marketing, social media,, improving my very basic industry-specific Spanish vocabulary for work (and improving my French for fun), and researching virtually everything you can think of for clients. I’ve learned about medicare and insurance & the new healthcare laws at several events, seen the free movie almost every week and introduced several friends to the free movies, and the opera concert performances.  Both my mother and I have had our taxes done by the AARP volunteers. And sometimes it’s just nice to get out of the house & have a quiet corner to sit and read.

This story was originally a nomination for the My Library NYC Awards. It has been generously provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.


Award Winning Library

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.


Children Aren’t the Only Ones Who Use the Library


” Dear Councilman Van Bramer:

Children aren’t the only ones who enjoy the library. I love the lecture series at the midtown branch, and am going to one this Wed. I know you too support public libraries. Please continue to fight to keep local libraries open. Not everyone can travel. As long as thier doors are open, nearly every neighborhood has a free local resource of fathomless depth.