Director Attends State Library Conference

Library Director Teresa Dearing, attended the New York State Library Association (NYLA) Annual Conference ‘Adding Value: Formula for the Future’ in Saratoga Springs from November 1-4. The annual conference allows local library staff to remain up-to-date on the latest trends in services, products and technology, legislative and financial issues facing libraries, and best practices for administration and management.

‘Information gained at the NYLA Conference allows Dansville Public Library to remain at the forefront of library services,’ says Terry Dearing. ‘For example, I was able to gain information about various funding avenues, learn about the team members required in any expansion project, and view several presentations on choosing furnishings and arranging library interiors.’ In addition, Dearing attended the ‘trade show’ which features publishers, library equipment and material vendors, and new technological developments in library reference and research.

Founded in 1890, the mission of the New York Library Association is to lead in the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning, quality of learning, quality of life, and equal opportunity for all New Yorkers.

Expanding Resources for Our Community

Check this section regularly for updates on the planned expansion of the Dansville Public Library. The latest news is listed first. Scroll down the page for background on the need to expand and the processes used to determine how best to expand. For more information or to take a tour of the Dansville Public Library, contact Terry Dearing, Director, at 335-6720.

Library votes to tear down 190 Main Street

At a special meeting in September 2006, the Board of the Dansville Public Library awarded the demolition of the former Wilcox Building at 190 Main Street to Diversified Construction Services, Inc. of Phoenix, New York.

Diversified was low bidder. Six bids were received ranging from $129,000 to $187,870. A general contract meeting was held October 2, 2006 with the abatement portion of the project to commence in mid October.

Costs for the project will be covered by funds in special reserve already on hand. In addition, the Library will apply for a New York State Public Library Construction Grant to help offset the cost of demolition.

The Library purchased the building and an adjacent 16,500 square feet of land in January 2006 as part of the Library’s planned expansion. Funds used to purchase the property came from a variety of sources including a $50,000 grant secured by Senator Young, a $7,700 New York State Library Construction Grant, $5,000 from savings, and the remainder from a special reserve fund the Library began in anticipation of the need to expand.

After reviewing several options, including rehabbing the existing space, the Board determined it would be more cost-effective and would better meet the needs of the community to tear down the existing building and develop plans for an expansion to the Library’s current location.

Why does the Library need to expand?

Since 1924, the Library has remained in the same building at 200 Main Street, Dansville. Since that time, the world and the Library have changed a great deal.

Cars have become the primary mode of transportation, but parking at the Library has actually decreased due to road reconstruction that eliminated parking spaces.

In the 1920s, only 56% of people graduated high school now more than 85% do and more than 60% of high school graduates go on to attend college. As a result, the Library has experienced tremendous growth in the need for our services.

In the past three years, the numbers of people accessing and using library resources has steadily increased. There are now 3,734 registered borrowers, and 60-80 new users are added monthly. We are chartered to serve the 10,419 people in the Dansville Public School District and our annual circulation exceeds 50,000.

Technology has changed dramatically. Today Library patrons use tapes, CDs, DVDs, videos and computers. They expect these resources at the Library. In our current building we are limited in the number of these services we can provide. We have added seven computers, but the addition of these technologies has taken away space in the Library for shelving books, studying, and having programs.

Society has changed its views toward those with disabilities and the inception of the Americans with Disabilities Act challenged organizations like the Library to meet the needs of all citizens. Retrofitting the current building to make it more accessible proved imperfect. Making the bathroom wheelchair accessible reduced room for our children’s collection. While in the strictest sense we are ‘accessible’, the Library is far from convenient and welcoming to those with mobility issues and the entire second floor is inaccessible.

The Library is a resource for the community that goes beyond providing materials. The Library is anchored on Main Street at the heart of Dansville. Through the years, residents have used our space for meetings, intellectual debate, education and entertainment. Because our only program space is on the second floor, children and adults with disabilities are unable to access it.

How big should a library be?

The Library currently has 4,800 square feet. The recommended space for a public library serving a population of 11,000 is 14,900 square feet. For instance, the Library currently has 450 square feet of space for the Children’s collection and reading space while 3,000 square feet is recommended. There is no space officially set aside for computers and computer use, and the recommended space is 900 square feet. Even if the Library were to reclaim space currently used for the custodian’s apartment, it would only gain about 1,500 square feet, over 1,100 square feet of which is on the second floor making it inaccessible.

What is being done?

The Library has reached out to the community to gauge how we should proceed.

A survey, conducted in 2000 as part of a Millennium Committee, made clear the community wanted more from the Library and did not want to see the Library move from Main Street. Reasons cited included the beauty and historic value of the current building, the Library being an anchor for Main Street shops and businesses, and the central location for all those in Dansville and the surrounding communities.

In the fall of 2001 discussions began with Mrs. Bea Wilcox regarding the availability of the adjacent property at 190 Main Street, formerly the Wilcox Auction Center. Based on the decision to remain at the Main Street location, as well as the need for increased space, the Library Board purchased the property including 16,500 square feet of parking behind the building in January 2006.

A feasibility study was conducted in the fall of 2004 to assess the community’s willingness to help fund the project. Results of the study showed that the community is very supportive of the project and understands the need to expand, but that funding will need to be sought from a variety of sources. The question was also raised if it was more economical to remodel the Wilcox building and connect it to the current Library or to tear it down and construct a new addition to the current Library.

In November 2004, a Building Committee made up of interested community members was formed to review the options, determine the final design and subsequent cost for the project. As a result, the Board voted in 2006 to tear down the Wilcox Building and plan an expansion of the existing Library.

What is next?

The Library is committed to keeping the community informed and we welcome your input and support as we move forward. Look for updates on this page and press releases and stories in the local media. We welcome you to stop by and talk with us when we are at events in the community or here at the Library. Our goal is to create an attractive village library, a library we can all be pleased to call our own, and just as our founders did in 1872, a library which will meet the needs of our community for many years to come.

Library Board President Wins Annual Award

"DavidDavid Reinholtz, President of the Dansville Public Library Board, was recognized October 18 by the Livingston County Libraries with the Ludlum-Holroyd Award. The award is given annually in recognition of significant contributions to Livingston County Libraries. This year’s award was presented to David at the Annual Dinner Meeting of the Pioneer Library System in Canandaigua.

David was first recruited to serve on the Dansville Public Library Board in 1986 and became Board President in 2000. During his tenure Reinholtz has been an active member of the Building and Grounds committee pushing the Library to keep pace with the changing needs of its patrons. Significant improvements during his twenty years as a Trustee include the complete rewiring of the building, installation of a smoke alarm system, building of a ramp for handicap accessibility, remodeling and dedication of the William D. Conklin Local History Room, computer access for the public, remodeling of the Children’s Room and installation of the online circulation system. Most recently, Reinholtz has led the Board in its efforts to expand the facility by purchasing adjacent property and working to develop a building and fund raising plan.

"Dave exemplifies the qualities of an excellent Trustee which is why we nominated him for the award," says Terry Dearing, Director of the Dansville Public Library. "Our Handbook for Library Trustees states, ‘The most important qualification is a strong and genuine belief in public libraries and their mission.’ Dave not only believes in our services, he is a strong advocate for our Library."

The Ludlum-Holroyd Award honors former Dansville Library Trustee A.M. "Mac" Holroyd, and Patricia Ludlum, Caledonia Library.

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.

A Summer Summary

"SummerThis year the Summer Reading Club attendance averaged 25 children each week. Special weekly programs were informative and fun, with the primary purpose to keep children reading over the summer months. This year the children recorded a total of 500 books read during 432 hours of reading.

Summer provided an opportunity to introduce the newest readers to excellent books during the library’s 8-week Summer Time Story Time. Most people enjoy being read to, and for three, four, and five year olds, Story Time provides an opportunity to learn about the library, choose books to read at home, and make and visit with new friends. Story Time continues this fall each Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.

The Library Staff and Volunteers were on hand at the New York State Festival of Balloons over the Labor Day Weekend. A special visitor, Booker B. Owwl, greeted Festival goers in between the rain showers. This is the third year the library has maintained a booth on the field to acquaint visitors with library services and resources."Booker

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

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.