Library History

The winter was filled with Storytimes and Arts Alive concerts, AARP Tax Assistance for Senior Citizens, the Stuffed Pet Show and After Dinner Books. There was a special presentation on “Quilts and the Role of Women” and programs celebrating Black History Month. There were multiple sessions offered on Computer Card Catalog Instruction for Senior Citizens as well as “Surfing the Net for Adults.”

In early spring “Magic the Gathering” Type II (card game) events were held for teens. They proved to be popular. A Teen Book Discussion Group was also held.

The Board of Trustees decided to present a “zero increase” budget to the voters for their approval in April. Line amounts were altered to reflect the changing times and materials and supplies lines were increased while personnel was cut back. The library continued its hiring freeze and no longer offered telephone reference or booktalking visits to the schools.

There was no controversy evident with regard to the budget vote …only five people attended the hearing… but the Trustee election was exciting. Unlike most previous years when candidates ran unopposed, this year there were three candidates for the single spot. Mark Spadafore, Marilyn Tucci and Dr. Thomas J. Wells competed for the five year term. Mark captured 319 votes, Ms. Tucci 196 and the incumbent, Dr. Wells, received 165. Mark was a former employee of the library and a lifelong Liverpool resident. The budget itself, which requested $2.8 million, was passed by the voters 412 to 240.

On Saturday May 9 the library participated in the village-wide Garage Sale. Old computer equipment, card catalogs, art prints and miscellaneous office supplies were sold to the public.

It was a busy spring for the employees at the library as they began to unionize. According to Pamela Sprague, Acting President of the CSEA (Civil Service Employees Association) Liverpool Library Committee (AFSCME Local 1000) in the May 20 article in The Review, “ We want to make sure we keep what we have.” With their long term director retiring many employees felt it necessary to organize in order to ensure that the benefits which they currently held would not be lost.

The summer was filled with Youth Services programs: Mother Goose Story Times, Music Story Times for birth to elementary school age and Magic the Gathering and Open Chess play for teens. There were also several crafts programs for children: Mystery crafts, a puppet making workshop, a magic show and Rubber Stamp Fun were all well attended.

In July the Board of Trustees elected their new officers for the 1998-99 session. Sharon Fulmer was to be President, Patricia Mautino Vice President, and Marlene Ward, Secretary, Larry Dunstone remained the Financial Advisor. Other Board members included George P. Alessio, Jr., Fred Elkins, and Mark Spadafore.

There were several celebratory dinners and parties honoring Fay Golden on her retirement and then, on August 1 Sharon Nottingham, formerly the Acting Director of OCPL, began as the new director of the library.

The Board approved work on converting the “study carrel” room back into a bathroom for children. They also approved substantial modifications to the HVAC system pending approval from the State Education Department ( a requirement since the library is technically a school building because it is owned by the Liverpool Central Schools).

September 1 marked the return of the popular telephone reference service. Once again patrons of the library could phone in their questions or material requests and have the librarians place holds for them. In September the Board meeting began at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m. as they had been for many years. Representatives from Checkpoint, Inc. demonstrated their security system at this meeting.

The Board held an official welcoming gathering for Sharon Nottingham on September 16 in the Carman Community Room. Community leaders and the general public were invited to drop in to meet her. Refreshments were provided by the Friends of the Library.

During the month of October the library once again participated in a Food Donation drive. This was their fifth consecutive year and they sought to surpass the 220 pound donation of the year before. They exceeded their expectations by acquiring five hundred forty eight pounds of food which they then donated to the Interreligious Food Consortium and its network of seventy pantries and meal programs.

Annual Merit Awards were presented at a ceremony in the Carman Community Room on October 6. Shirley Titsworth, Technical Services and Kerry Higgins, page, were the recipients. Annika Waterman, Custodian, was honored with the Performance Award. Length of service pins (ten and fifteen years) and certificates were also presented to various staff members.

The Board voted to retain the law firm of Ferrara, Fiorenza, Larrison, Barrett, & Reitz to handle the litigation in upcoming union negotiations.

In the fall the Village’s Continuity Committee surveyed area residents on why they came to the village. Seventy six per cent said the library was their main reason.

November saw the publication and distribution of “How It Was: The Tears and Triumphs of Men and Women at War,” a bibliography about war veterans and their experiences. Sharon Nottingham was the chief coordinator of the project which had been created under the auspices of Assembly Majority Leader Michael Bragman and funded by the Life Insurance Council of New York, Philip Morris, Price Chopper and Wegmans. Soon afterwards the entire content of the bibliography found a digital home on the Liverpool Public Library’s web site.

Next came the appointment of Elizabeth Dailey to the position of Administrator for Public Services. She was to be in charge of library programming, collection development, public relations and serve as liaison to the Friends of the Liverpool Public Library group. She began on November 9.

Meanwhile the Telecommunications Services staff were busy creating another one of their fabulous Liverpool Legends local history videos. The newest production featured the life and artwork of longtime town of Salina resident R.D.Smith. It was the thirty eighth video in the series. All were produced by Richard (Rick) Fensterer with Joyce Mills assisting since 1992. Other titles in the series included interviews with local personages like Toby Crawford, Frank Selinski, Russ Tarby, Helen Heid Platner, Luke La Porta, the Hurst family and the Maurer family.