Mt. Vernon Public Library holds open house to showcase positive changes
The Mount Vernon Public Library, like Memorial Field, is treasured and considered one of Mount Vernon’s jewels by many.
The library has proudly served this changing and diverse city for over 100 years, having received its charter on March 19, 1896. The document, housed in an oak-paneled closet in the administrative offices, is signed by Melvil Dewey, State Librarian/Secretary to the Board of Regents and a founder of the American Library Association, who is best, remembered for developing the Dewey Decimal System for book classification.
The library has experienced difficult times in recent years, which has included a lack of leadership; structural issues; financing and budget problems; unhappy staff members; and it unbelievably came very close to closing its doors.
Thankfully, the library has been reincarnated thanks to the hiring of a new director and assistant director, along with a board of trustees who all have a keen interest in transforming the library into the number one library in all of Westchester County – and they are almost there.
On Tuesday, April 19, in a unified fashion, the Mount Vernon Library joined the Mount Vernon Public Library Foundation and members of the Board of Trustees and held an impressive open house to showcase some of the many exciting and positive changes that have taken place at the library during the last two years.
Oscar Davis, Jr., who is the Acting President of the Board of Trustees serving as a tour guide for the media during the open house session.
“I am very proud of the many changes that have taken place here, and at the top of the list is the complete overhaul of our networking system, which now allows our visitors to use our computers at a real super speed.”
The following is a list of other improvements:
- The resurfacing of the parking lot
- The relocation of the children’s restroom to a more visible and safer location (pending)
- Renovation of the reading room area
- Renovation and organization of the Local History Room (pending)
- Installation of 11 pieces of artwork outside the Children’s Library (work has begun)
The entrance to the library features columned wood panels, an arched vaulted ceiling and stained glass skylights, which have never been touched, according to Davis.
"Mount Vernon is a city that values its library in a unique way. I don't have to make the case for the library in Mount Vernon. The people make the case for the library. In this city of 70,000, people support this large library. And they do it because they know it's important,” said Davis.
Carolyn Karwoski (r), Director of the library, with Oscar Davis, Jr. Acting President Board of Trustees
Library employees speaking with one of the many citizens that attended the open house
The library's networking system has been totally replaced with a state-of-the-art system