Dansville Public Library Recognizes Volunteers

"DavidThe Dansville Public Library recognized the generous contributions of its more than 100 volunteers on Thursday, September 14, 2006 at noon at the Dansville United Methodist Church Community Room. The event, chaired by volunteer Gay Frame, featured a luncheon in appreciation for the many hours of service that community volunteers give to the Library.

Volunteer of the Year recognition was awarded to David Reinholtz, a member of the Board of Trustees for 20 years. David has served as Vice President and President during his service, and has particularly contributed as a member of the Building and Grounds Committee.

More than 120 people were invited to show the library’s appreciation for the vital work of its volunteers. Volunteer activities involve working at the Book Sale, delivery of books to shut ins, assisting at special events, and helping visitors locate reading material. From serving on the Library’s Board to assisting as a ‘Friend’ of the Library volunteers are key to the success of the Library.

Library Director Celebrates 30th Anniversary

"Terry2006 marks 30 years of service to the Dansville Public Library for Director Teresa A. Dearing. In celebration, the Library hosted a picnic Saturday, July 15 from 2 – 6 PM at Babcock Park and on Friday, March 17 a surprise visit from Senator Catharine Young warranted a gathering as well.

A member of the New York Library Association, Dearing joined the Library in 1976 as Director. Dearing holds an A.A.S. from Genesee Community College and a B.A. and an M.L.S. from SUNY Geneseo. On March 21, 2006 she received a State of New York Legislative Resolution (Senate No. 4093) honoring her for 30 years of dedicated service.

In the past 30 years, Dearing has earned the admiration, esteem and affection of her colleagues at the Dansville Public Library with her faithful, conscientious and valuable service. She is a true citizen of Dansville and she believes in giving back to the community she loves so much. A member of the Dansville Rotary Club, Dearing has served as Secretary for the past ten years. She is also the former Secretary of the Dansville Economic Development Corporation.

The Dansville Public Library, housed in the historic Shepard Memorial building at 200 Main Street, serves 10,419 people from Dansville and the surrounding nine towns and villages. With annual circulations in excess of 50,000, the Library’s mission is to help the community meet its educational, cultural and recreational needs. For more information about the Library and its services, or to take a tour of the library, call 585-335-6720, or visit us on the web at http://www.dansvillelibrary.org.

Book Sale Breaks Record

The Dansville Public Library book sale raised more money and involved more volunteers than any previous year ‘ $2,452 and 49 volunteers. Members of the Friends of the Library and Today’s Widow conducted the weeklong event.
Previously, the most money raised was $1,665.

‘The efforts of the unprecedented number of volunteers really paid off,’ said Lynne Blum, President of the Friends of the Dansville Public Library. ‘All of the money raised will be used for materials and services for the Library. It is obvious that our community believes this is a vital cause.’

More than 110 volunteer hours were recorded during the week. The library notes a minimum number of remainders. "Castile Library graciously picks up remaining boxes of books for their sale," Director Teresa Dearing noted. "This year, we were able to give them an excellent selection. Even with the increased number of items for sale this year, only 36 boxes were left over." Last year Castile took out 30 boxes, Dearing noted.

Volunteers for the event included: Nancy Allen, Pat Anderson, Tyler Anselm, Roxie A’Uno, Judy Avedisian, Doris Bacon, Carolyn Baker, Cory Bennett, Curtis Bennett, Margaret Biek, Dawn Burdick, Bob Canuti, Mike Conway, Cathy Fedorchuk, Theresa Flannery, Eleanor Forsythe, Gay Frame, Andy Fuller, Linda Haines, Rose Hayes, Don Hayton, Phyllis Hayton, Lillian Hemmer, Dorothy Henty, Betty Howe, Millie Howe, Holly Hull, Rebekah Hull, Sherlee Keough, Francine Knapp, Jon Mahl, Marilyn Mahl, Mary Melenbacker, Kevin Mialky, Rita Morsch, Richard Morsch, Ruth Morsch, Marian Pickard, Peg Pitcher, Sherry Reilly, Fran Schmitt, Jane Schryver, Pat Shafer, Jane Simons, Beryl Smith, Shirley Stewart, Lorraine Stremovihtg, Joyce Williams, and Emily Wolf.

Library Budget Is Approved

At a public vote held on May 1, 2006, the Dansville Public Library budget for 2006-2007 was approved by a vote of 28 to 1. In addition, Sherrie Reilly was elected to complete a term vacated by Jennifer Leuzzi and ending in 2009, and David Reinholtz was re-elected for a five year term ending in 2011. One write in candidate received one vote.

The total budget of $335,350 includes a tax levy of $282,850. The budget is up $15,185 over the previous year. Higher costs in library materials, personnel, and utilities account for the increase.

Library Staff Attend Workshop

Dansville Public Library Staff members Mary Stepanik, Karen Cowley, and Marcia Miller recently atttended the Pioneer Library System’s Support Staff Workshop. Trainings included new ways to access the online card catalog to more efficiently provide service, assessing patron preferences to assist them in finding new authors of the same writing style and genre, and ways to resolve conflict in a professional manner.

‘It is important that our staff continue to provide excellent service,’ said Teresa Dearing, Dansville Public Library Director. ‘Pioneer Library System trainings not only provide staff with new skills to ensure we provide our patrons with the latest services, they also offer an opportunity to network with staff from other libraries in the system which promotes innovation and efficiency.’

The daylong workshop is offered annually at the Pioneer Library System headquarters in Canandaigua, New York. Workshop titles included ‘Different Web Page Designs: Blog or Not?,’ ‘Communications Skills Within Your Library: How to Resolve Conflict in a Professional Manner,’ ‘i-Bistro: Learn New Tricks or Refresh Some Old,’ and ‘What Do I Read Next?: A Readers Advisory Presentation.’

Dansville’s Pioneering Website Turns Ten

Launched on March 13, 1996, with the title of Dansville Community Home Page (DCHP), the Library’s project was the area’s first community website. Started at a time when few had access to the Internet, and the web was a small but growing phenomenon, DCHP was created with the intention of using this new technology to strengthen Dansville’s community and to promote Dansville beyond its borders.

The site opened with contact information for community offices such as the Town and Village, historical essays by David Gilbert, local business listings, local churches, and local clubs. An early and still popular feature is a listing of local people with their email addresses. Information about local festivals was included. And of course there was a page about the services available at Dansville Public Library.

Over the ten years since DCHP was launched, it has grown and changed. The most obvious change is the name: the board of the library agreed in 2004 to rename the website to Dansville Public Library, and this led in 2005 to a significant redesign of the site, to highlight its refocused role as the Public Library’s information resource. In the years since DCHP was started, several other community websites had been launched, including Noyes Hospital, Village of Dansville, Dansville Central Schools, to name a few. In the early years of DCHP, web pages for each of these organizations were maintained on DCHP by the volunteer staff. As DCHP shed these resources, it expanded the services it provided for the Library. Currently the website keeps a list of new books purchased by the Library. The entire Library catalog can be searched directly from the web site’s main page. And Library news is featured front-and-center on the main page.

The concept of an electronic community resource was the brainchild of Tony Witte, M.D. Within a year of getting his first home computer, Dr. Witte sought a constructive community outlet for his interest in computing. He approached Terry Dearing, Library Director, about bringing public access computing to the Library. Soon a fund-raising effort was begun to provide a computer for the public to use for CD-ROMs and to access the Internet. While the funding was being sought for the Library’s computer, Dr. Witte was exploring the concept of community networking, using computer connections to share community information. It seemed that a website would be a practical means to accomplish this, so Dr. Witte learned how to create simple web pages and links, and ‘ with the enthusiastic go-ahead from the Library board ‘ Dansville Community Home Page was born. Other volunteers joined in the effort. Stephen Beecher has been a significant contributor over the years, maintaining the business listings and, for several years, uploading select articles from Genesee Country Express.

Within the first year of operation, DCHP received an offer from the Library’s Internet service provider which at that time was ServiceTech, to host the Library’s website for free. ServiceTech’s servers allowed DCHP to create more advanced features, and in early 1998 the Dansville Community Message Board was launched. Since then over 4000 posts have been logged. Shortly after, another interactive feature became available. The Dansville Community Calendar allows community members to post their events on the Calendar for viewing by the community.

The Library lost its free web hosting after ServiceTech was bought by a succession of other companies. Currently the Library’s website is hosted by Genesee Gateway, a non-profit organization that has much the same mission that first propelled the Library’s project: to use computer technology to serve the community.

Despite refocusing the website as a library information resource, Dansville Public Library’s website continues to provide many community services beyond direct library information. To date over 8000 local obituaries are published online thanks to on-going volunteer efforts. Over 3600 local veterans are listed in conjunction with the Veterans 2000 Memorial project. Over 100 Dansville area clubs and organizations are listed on the Clubs and Organizations page along with contact information.

Dansville Public Library’s website receives an average of 300,000 unique page hits each month. And if Google, the premier web search utility is any measure, the Library’s website is Number One: a Google search for ‘dansville’ brings the Library’s website as the top listing.

Dansville Public Library is Hotspot

Dansville Public Library has begun a new service for wireless Internet access. Popularly known as a "WiFi hotspot", the Library’s service is available to any visitor to the facility who brings in a laptop computer equipped with wireless networking capability.

Demand for wireless Internet access has been growing as the availability of these services spreads to workplaces and coffee shops. The equipment is very affordable, and most laptops sold today have wireless networking built in.

The Library has provided free Internet access to its patrons since 1996. At its busiest times, patrons must wait their turn for Internet access. Expanding the number of stations would be costly and difficult in the limited space available in the Library. Wireless Internet access increases availability of service with minimal cost.

On your next visit to the Library, bring your laptop with you and try out this new service. Simply boot up, and the wireless networking software in your machine will find and allow your connection. Once connected, you will be greeted with the welcome page announcing the Shepard Memorial Wireless Gateway. The Library requires you to agree to the terms of service, which mirrors the Internet use policy now in force on the hard wired stations.

"WiFi" at the Library was made possible by the efforts of Dr. Tony Witte, long time volunteer at Dansville Public and Webmaster for its homepage, www.dansvillelibrary.org.

Library Trustees Welcome New Member

Sherrie Reilly has assumed the trustee vacancy created by the recent departure of Jennifer Leuzzi. Family and work demands made it impossible for Jenni to attend meetings regularly, and it was with regret that the Trustees accepted her resignation.

Sherrie is a physical therapist currently employed by ARC’s Kidstart in Geneseo. She is a long-time golfer, enjoys gardening, and loves a good mystery story. "I’m very excited to be a new member of the library board and have the opportunity to participate in the library’s growth."

The other members of the Board of Trustees are David Reinholtz, President; Bill Beierschmitt, Vice President; Clay Harris, Treasurer; and Mary Ann Holden, Secretary. The Board meets the first Monday of the month at 4:00 p.m.

Library Bids Farewell

The Library has had to bid farewell to two long-time employees, Rosemary Shepard and Claudette Conway.

Rosemary joined the Staff a little more than 25 years ago. She began her working life as a teacher, then was a homemaker, and later joined the "crew" at the library as part time clerk. Rosemary spent many hours organizing, typing, and filing, working partly as secretary and partly as typist. Some of her duties were eliminated as the computer began to make its presence known, but she continued to type and file documents needed to keep library records in order until her final day at work on September 29. An avid reader, she has always been ready to recommend good reading to library visitors.

Claudette Conway has been employed as part time account clerk for more than 16 years. To her credit are timely payrolls and financial reports, and careful and wise counsel. Claudette worked in a similar role at the school district, and became the library’s bookkeeper at that time. When she retired from the school, the library continued to use her services. She has kept our records neat and clear, and many times earned praises from the library’s auditor.

Best wishes for wonderful, well deserved retirements go to both Rosemary and Claudette.

The Times, and Faces, Are a’ Changin’

Dansville Public Library is pleased to announce two new members of the staff, Library Page, Cory Bennett, and Part Time Clerk, Karen Cowley. Both Cory and Karen are in training, learning the OWWL circulation system, the proper shelving locations, and how to help you with your questions and requests.

Karen Cowley previously worked for McKelvey Ford, and brings to the library many excellent clerical and customer relations skills. Cory is a Senior at Dansville High School. You may have met Cory at Brae Burn, on the golf course.

Be sure to say "hello" when you are in the library. Both are waiting to assist you!