Winter 2010
In a year when the taxpayer is demanding value
from government, looking for the consolida-
tions of services and economies of scale, the
Larchmont Village Board and Mamaroneck
Town Council can point with pride to the
Larchmont Public Library. In 1930, their prede-
cessors had the wisdom, forethought and pre-
science to decide to jointly fund the Larchmont
Public Library. In a conservative estimation,
this decision has saved each entity upwards of thirty million dollars over
the past 80 years.
Today, the Larchmont Public Library is a thriving institution, open 337
days per year. It is the hub of the community and one of the busiest li-
braries in Westchester. Fully 80% of our circulation is to Larchmont
Public Library cardholders -- our Village and Town residents and taxpay-
ers. Our children’s programs have become so popular that registration in
many of them is restricted to Larchmont Public Library cardholders.
Of course there’s a cost to all of this activity, and to be sure that we are
spending our funds wisely and carefully, we compare ourselves with the
other 37 public libraries in the county. Although Larchmont ranks 17
terms of population served, we rank 7
in the number of circulations per
hour, and 8
in the number of circulations per capita — 19.3, well above
Mamaroneck, Harrison, and Rye. We are 13
in total number of li-
brary materials, 12
in both total receipts and total local public
support, 12
in total operating expense and 12
in operating ex-
pense each hour open. In the number of circulations per hour open,
Larchmont ranks 7
: Larchmont circulated 105.6 items per hour
open. It ranked 9
in the grand total of circulation transactions.
We have a literate, well-educated community and its members use the
library often for themselves and their children. In this age of instant grati-
fication and working in your pajamas, you can use your home computer
and library card number to get millions of newspaper and magazine arti-
cles, e-books, downloadable audio books and more. Parents can keep
their kids reading with guidance from our knowledgeable Children’s
Librarian, attend fun book-themed programs, and enjoy online resources
for their children, even one that reads to the child or lets the child practice
reading skills.
Our public library provides equal access to lifelong education for all peo-
ple, regardless of age, income or any other demographic. Users have
available free, one-to-one information counseling, special programs and
art displays of a broad variety to feed and nourish the brain, and access to
virtually every book published: if we don’t own it, we’ll borrow it from
other states, other libraries, even universities.
Now that’s value!
Who and What Are the Friends of the
Larchmont Public Library
We are interested residents wh o contribute to the library in
important ways. Government funding alone cannot finance all
the cultural events that our community currently enjoys. The
Friends of the Library, an ind ependent 501c (3) not–for–profit
organization, provides the money needed for programs, innova-
tive new services and more. For example, the Friends’ gift for
the in-progress renovation of the Children’s Room was the
pacesetter for that worthwhile project.
One thing we are known for is our exceptional Sunday after-
noon program series, which spans a range of topics. Our pro-
grams for the 2009 -2010 year have been well-attended and
varied. We hosted authors speaking on topics including Wall
Street, golf, Pete Seeger and unexpected pregnancies, as well
as a Neil Simo n theatrical production and the return of the Wa-
tanabe brothers. More great programs are planned, as you will
read about elsewhere in this letter. All of our programs are free
and available to the general public. Please join us!
A new initiative I am pleased to announce is the Friends’ spon-
sorship of a Museum Pass Program. By borro wing a pass,
which can be reserved in advance from the reference desk of
the Larchmont Library, you can visit one of a dozen museums
in New York City, Westchester and Connecticut free of charge.
Details are available in a separate article in this newsletter.
Passes are available to everyone, regardless of whether yo u are
a member of the Friends, altho ugh this program is underwritten
entirely by funds from the Friends and we hope it gives you an
added incentive to join us if you are not already a member.
Another innovation is now in place: you can join or donate to
the Friends online through PayPal by visiting our revised web-
site at
. Of course, we
still welcome donations b y check. And to make joining even
simpler, we’ve enclosed a coupon; you can mail it back to us or
drop it off at the Library’s front desk.
Finally, to continue to bring our community these “add-ons,"
we could certainly use your time as well as your financial sup-
port. There are plenty of opportunities for interested volunteers.
One of our ongoing needs is for help at our programs. Or con-
sider submitting your name to serve on our Board of Directors.
We are currently accepting nominations for election at our May
Board meeting. However we fit into your life, we want you to
be a Friend!
by David Kettig, President