Summer 2009
Both organizatio ns are indep endent; each enj oys 501(c)3 status;
each has its own Board comprised of dedicated volunteers and
officers, its own legal structure and finances. Both are passion-
ately committed to ensuring that the communit y has the best pos-
sible library services.
Indeed, one of the problems we encounter is that people some-
ti mes find the Friends and the Library indistinguishable. After
all, both entities engage in fundraising, offer p rograms and urge
th e pub lic to adv ocate on b ehalf of libraries. So what are the dif-
ferences between the two. Since we work toget her so closely, it
is not always easy to spot them.
The goal of the Friends is to enhance library services to the com-
munity: its memb ers are interested residents who contribute to
th e Library in very special ways. First, they volunteer their time
to the Friends, working on everything from newsletters to main-
taining the book rack at the Larchmont train station. Membership
dues are used for the modest exp enses of the organization
(largely pri nting and mailin g costs) and to provide items for the
Library that are not in the Library’s own budget. The Friends
never fund items that are, or should be, part of the regular oper-
ating costs of the Library. It is the resp onsibility of the Library’s
Board of Trustees, whi ch has legal and fiduciar y responsibility
under State Law, to ensure that t here is money to keep t he lights
on, pay salaries, bu y b ooks and ot herwise operate in accordance
with p ublic expectations and stat e regulati ons. The majority of
the Library’s funds come from local taxes.
When there are items that are not i n the Library’s budget, or the
Library identifies new services of interest, the Librar y calls up on
th e Friends. The Friends have funded numerous pilot projects
whose success subsequentl y made them part of the Library’s
op erating b udget: Sunday servi ce; DVDs; Express Books; and
wireless connectivity for the public, to name a few. The Library
also turns t o the Friends when a major new reference set is pub-
lished, or for furniture to spiff up the Lib rary. In addition, and
perhaps most visibl y, the Friends have had a long established
tradition of providing Sunday afternoon (and other) programs,
and funding the blockbuster programs for children that the Li-
brary would not otherwise be able to offer.
Continued on pag e 2
Symb iosis is defined as the i ntimate
living together of two organisms of
different species for mutual or one-
sided benefit. One classic example
is the clownfish and the sea anem-
one. I suggest an other: the Friends
of the Larchmont Publi c Library
and the Library itself.
If you want to know Larchmont, look to its Library. Open seven
days a week, it is, almost invariably, a b eehi ve of activity. Chil-
dren, women and men — increasin gl y, men — of all ages explore
its resources, research and writ e papers, use its wi-fi capabilities,
search out i nformation wit h the Library’s computers, read newspa-
pers and magazines, hunt for jobs and check out bo oks, CDs,
DVDs, and audio-tap es.
This year, usage has been up while the space available has been
down. Next year, with the completion of construction of t he Chil-
dren’s Room, the level of children’s programming will increase,
adults will recl aim the Reading Room, and the Friends will have an
improved space at the Library for ou r Sunday afternoon and week-
day morning programs.
You, the Fri ends of the Larchmont Publi c Library, can take pride in
all of this. During the worst peri od of economic contraction since
the G reat Depression, you have maintained our membership at 98%
of last year’s level. Despite an understandable drop in the level of
contributions from our record high a year ago, we have been able to
complete our two-year $75,000 gift to the Children’s Room Recon-
struction Fund, sponsor a dozen cultural programs, assist in the
purchase of DVDs and magazine subscriptions, and expand our
communi cations.
In an effort to impro ve our services, we have amended the By-
Laws t o create the new position of Vi ce-President for Communica-
tions, to which Jeri Finard and Sheri Devereux have been elected
b y the memb ership of the Friends.
Continuing as officers will be Davi d Will ey as Treasurer, Jaclyn
Paré and Elinor Berlin as Vice-Presidents for Programs and Mem-
bership, respectively, and Harriet Kline as Secretary. Teddi Becker,
now j oined b y Fred Baron, will continue to edit the Newsletter. I
am p ersonall y indebted to all of them, and to the members of the
Board, esp eciall y Past-President Elinor Fredston for chairing the
Nominati ng Committee, G erald Kolb ert for managing our data
base, Hayden Smit h and Sue Hertz for again running the magazine
subscriptions camp aign, Jane Axelrod for her stewardship of the
annual Read-In, and Michele Steichen for managing our lending
library at the Larchmont train station.
Most promisi ng of all, we have a new President, David Kettig, who
brings new energy and visi on to the job.
Stan Futterman
Immediate Past-President