Winter 2011
As we begin 2011, what should you expect from the Friends of
the Larchmont Library. Well, you can anticipate a continua-
tion of the fine programming that the Friends have brought on
Sunday afternoons in the fall, winter and spring. You can look
forward to our continued sponsorship of the Museum Pass Pro-
gram introduced in 2010, which has provided free passes to
many museums in New York City, Westchester and Connecti-
cut. And, you should expect an expansion of children’s pro-
gramming now that the new Burchell Children’s Room -- fund-
ing for which was provided, in part, by the Friends -- has
opened to well-earned accolades.
Along with co ntinuing support for these endeavors and provid-
ing seed capital for new initiatives, we have also undertaken an
initiative that promises to make the Friends much more effi-
cient and green: we are planning to begin communicating elec-
tronically – where possible -- and we are working to develop a
comprehensive email list for this purpose. When I first joined
the Friends several years ago and started examining our finan-
cial statement, it was clear that our largest expense -- not in-
cluding special grants for the renovation of the Children’s
Roo m or special projects -- was postage and printing costs.
These costs were incurred in connection with our newsletters,
program anno uncements and membership drives. Going green
via electronic communication wo uld enable us to save on post-
age, statio nery and associated costs.
That said, conversion of our list of hard-copy mailing addresses
into a comprehensive list that included email addresses and
phone numbers would be a somewhat daunting task for a vol-
unteer board (and President!) which, for the most part, is not
particularly technologically savvy. Fortunately for us, Brad
Lucas joined our Board of Directors in 2010 and, with help
fro m Wendy Raso and others, he has developed a program that
enables us to generate a user-friendly database into which
Board members can easily insert email addresses and phone
numbers next to current members’ mailing addresses. The re-
sult of this effort will be to enable us to focus more of the dol-
lars that you generously donate directly to programs serving the
Larchmont community. Now we need your help. If we don’t
have your email address and we haven’t contacted you already,
you can expect a call from a Board member shortly to secure
this information. And if you have yet to join the Friends, please
make this the year you beco me a Friend.
A fiscally savvy member of our commu-
nity, viewing the newly renovated Chil-
dren’s Room for the first time, said, with
great satisfaction, “This will certainly
improve real estate values here!"
Although our goals in renovating the Chil-
dren’s Room were to improve our services
to children and families, address the infra-
structure and increase energy efficiency, the comment about prop-
erty values is a valid one. Libraries are real estate barometers: a
good public library help s real estate values in the area.
It’s wonderful that our new Children’s Room is viewed as an eco-
nomic force, but the truth is that our library contributes much more
extensively to the econo mic welfare of our community than most
people realize. A few examples:
Services to Small Business and Investors. “ How-to" books aimed
at small businesses are in demand. Reference librarians help bud-
ding entrepreneurs try to pinpoint the perfect location. Investors
scour our resources to tease out “The Next Big Thing."
Services for Job Seekers and Career Changers. People use our
computers to prepare resumes and ask for assistance to help them
locate jobs and specialized training and research potential employ-
ers. They borrow books to hone interviewing skills and participate
in the seminars we offer in job and career change.
Tax Collection Assistance to the State and Federal Government.
Few banks or post offices make tax forms available an ymore, but
public libraries do. We also help people locate forms available only
on the web. Libraries receive no compensation from the IRS or from
the NYS Dept of Taxatio n for these services although they impose
significant costs on libraries, costs that the agencies would them-
selves incur if they had to staff more field offices to assist the many
citizens without access to accountants or the Internet’s intricacies.
Feeding the Family Piggy Bank. Using your public library saves
you money! Yo u know that you can borrow books, DVDs, CDs,
and more free of charge, access expensive databases of copyrighted
newspaper and magazine articles for free, and attend programs for
adults and children. But did you know that you can also download
free audiobooks and ebooks for your Nook, iPod or other (non -
Kindle) device. If, each month, you borrow one book, one DVD,
one audiobook and one CD, attend one adult and one children’s
program, you will save $88.74 per month or $1,064.88 a year. (The
amount of your property tax for the library was about $106.12 last
year!) Calculate your savings by going to our homepage
) and plug in your o wn borrowing habits
to see what you’re saving by using the library!