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Goshen Public Library and Historical Society

Across the Director's Desk

by Pauline J. Kehoe

April 26, 2000

The Library budget for the fiscal year 2001 was approved by a better than 3 - 1 margin on Wednesday, April 12. Patty Garnett, Linda Hannigan, and Jet Markiewicz were elected as Trustees. We thank all of you who made the time to vote. The re-organizational meeting will take place on Monday, May 8 at 7:15 pm in the Library meeting room.

The main concern at the Board meeting on Monday, April 10 was the safety of children using the Library. Library policy specifies that children under the age of 10 may not be left unattended at the Library. There is a perception among parents that the Library is a safe, comfortable place for children to be on their own. The Library is a crowded public building, and our concern is the potential for harm to come to an unattended child. Children left alone may become frightened or rambunctious, may leave the building, may be injured by falling on the balcony or stairs, or by colliding with another Library visitor. In a crowded space, a small child may easily be stepped on or knocked into, and young children have been found on their own on Library grounds. The Library has no dedicated space for children and is regularly filled to capacity after school and during children's program times, when the staff has its hands full attending to the information needs of its visitors. Monitoring the behavior of unattended young children is not a staff responsibility.

It was decided that the Library will implement a public information campaign to make parents more aware of our policies specifically relating to children and our concerns for their safety. The Youth Services brochure is being revised to include policies relating to children, a letter will be sent to parents advising them of our concerns, and copies of the policies will be distributed to everyone checking out children's materials.

The Library honored its volunteer staff with a breakfast at the American Bistro on Friday, April 14. Nine volunteers work regularly scheduled hours assisting the staff, with various tasks from data entry and check-out to photocopying and craft preparation. They are: Roy Croswell, Carrie Reynolds, Jane Beatty, Bob Brennan, Eileen Mueller, Rosemary Newman, Joan Schwiekart, Carol Swanwick, and Margaret Walling. An additional six people have volunteered to deliver materials to the homebound. They are: Susan Armistead, barbara Drake, Mary Fredette, Carol Griffin, Nick Petraglia, and Bob Quinn.

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