Library History

In January the upstairs renovation was completed and staff moved into their designated areas. Once again the Carman Community Room was available to the community.

Without waiting for recycling to become mandatory in the County, the library employees embarked on a recycling plan of their own in February. Blue cardboard boxes appeared next to staff desks and blue plastic bins were placed adjacent to the public photocopiers as well. Withdrawn materials continued to be recycled in the lobby: used books were sold by The Friends of the Library and magazines were given away to the public for free.

In January overdue fines were doubled from five to ten cents per day. Fifty cent fines on audio visual equipment were raised to one dollar per day.

An operating budget of $2.19 million was proposed for the 1990-91 year at a referendum held on June 13. This was an increase of 14.92% over the previous year. Library services had increased almost 15% over the previous year. The vote passed 1201-916. Patricia Mautino ran unopposed for a five year seat on the Board of Trustees.

A grant from the Town of Salina enable the library to purchase a TDD
(Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) unit for use by the hearing impaired. Local calls were free to users. It was kept at the Reference Desk so that it could be used to receive and respond to reference questions.

In April the Board voted to create the position of Business Manager. Jean Polly was also officially named the Head of the Computer Department. In June Anita DePentu resigned as Secretary to the Board and in July Dorothy Morgan was named as her replacement.

In July it was announced that the Liverpool Public Library had been awarded a $15,000 “Library of Tomorrow” (ALOT) grant from the Apple Computer Company. Self-paced training - basic through advanced level - was provided for a variety of software programs like Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word, PageMaker and Superpaint.

Board Officers for the 1990-91 year were Genevieve Pieniazek as President, Sharon Fulmer as Vice President and Joseph Ostuni as Secretary.

On August 22 the Board and department heads attended a retreat at the Sheraton University Hotel. Dadie Perlov, nationally known consultant, acted as the facilitator. Their agenda was to develop a strategic plan for the library in terms of a new building and the services to be offered.

Fiction librarian Jeanne Biggins initiated the Second Thursday Book Discussion group in August. A discussion of “ Bonfire of the Vanities” was followed in September by “The Joy Luck Club” and in October by “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” The participants remained loyal and in the year 2000 a tenth anniversary celebration was held. Over the years about thirty people actively participated in the group. Four from the original group were still involved at the tenth year!

On August 23rd the Board of Trustees once again presented awards to outstanding library employees. Margaret ( Peg) Smallman and Laurel Sharp received Merit Awards, Annika Waterman received the Performance Award and Jonathan Tarnow received the Student Merit Award.

Anne Royer joined the Children’s Services staff in October.

Color copier service was offered to the public in the fall. Patrons were asked to drop off their original prints, negatives or slides, and retrieve the color copies a few days later.

In November the Board voted to hire Nolan Lushington as a consultant for the forthcoming building project. He spoke with staff extensively about their vision for a new library.

A major community project of the library from December 1990 to April 1991 was “Letters from Home.” Working in cooperation with several agencies ( Genie Online Information Service, the United States Armed Forces, the Saudi American General Electric Company, GE Rents and Pitney Bowes) the library invited patrons to come to the library and send an electronic letter to their friends and family who were stationed in the Persian Gulf. All access and phone charges were free. This was the introduction of “e-mail” at Liverpool Public Library.

In addition the Library also conducted “Operation Oasis” where donated new and used paperbacks, magazines, playing cards, games and craft materials were collected, packaged and sent to those serving in Operation Desert Shield. S/Sgt. Vicki Kwasniewski, of the 108th Tactical Control Squadron of the New York Air National Guard, and employee of the Library’s Computer Department, coordinated the effort. The first carton was shipped on December 15, 1990.

According to an article in the Liverpool Salina Review the letters were sent electronically to the Saudi Arabia GE location where they were received by computers there and printed out. The letters were then folded and inserted into envelopes, sealed and sent on their way to the servicemen and women in the Gulf via Armed Forces delivery. All that was required was a valid Onondaga County Library card and the name, rank, SSN, unit or ship name and APO or FPO number. The program was in operation for two months in the Computer Lab.