We have been a bit quiet lately — hard at work on a wide range of high-priority tasks — but now we have much to report. First we would like to thank everyone who has pitched in to help with the building project, fund raising and other Library endeavors. We remain grateful to all of you for your support and dedication, and place great value on the investment you have already made to our library and its future.
As you know, Allison Gray, the Library’s Director for the last three plus years has moved on to other opportunities. The search for a new director is well underway. We are pleased and optimistic about the candidate pool for the Director position. Expect to hear news on this front shortly. Meanwhile, day-to-day activities at the library are being handled in exemplary fashion by the team of Pat Brandt and Eric Cohen.
The Board has made a focused commitment to its own training and internal functioning. We held a retreat with Suffolk County Library System Director Kevin Verbesey in early June, and, since then, various Trustees have attended additional training sessions on a variety of topics. As a group, we are much more knowledgeable about our responsibilities to the library and to the community, and are committed to adhering to the highest level of performance standards and record-keeping.
The fund raising and grants teams have been very busy. Soon, we will make an official announcement about the receipt of a large donation to be used for the repair of the roof at 201 Main Street. That, coupled with the money raised last year by the One for the Books dinners which was focused specifically on raising funds for the current building, gives us a good leg up on the funds we will need to repair the roof. Some other good fund raising news will also be made public soon.
Speaking of One for the Books, please keep an eye out for your invitation to this year’s One for the Books events! We have a great roster of 35 hosts giving dinners on two Saturday nights in October, the 13th and the 20th. You can purchase tickets on line through the library’s website, and get information about the books there as well. If have a specific question, please call (631) 725-0049, extension 44, and leave a message. Someone will get back to you right away. Gail Slevin has proven herself a remarkably energetic and detail-oriented One for the Books coordinator, and we are very grateful to her.
We have gone live with a donations page, accessible through the library’s website, thanks to the hard work of Eric Cohen. Check it out at http://sagharbor.suffolk.lib.ny.us/donate.html (Eric says that you can help him test the system by making a small donation ;-)
We have decided to invest in repairing and renting the property adjacent to Mashashimuet Park, after some consideration about this course. At the moment, bids are being solicited for needed repair work. We hope to have the house back on the rental market for the fall season.
Our annual budget vote and Trustee election is scheduled for September 25th, at the library, from 9 am until 8 pm. If you are interested in running for one of the Trustee positions, you can pick up a petition at the School District Clerk’s office on or after August 2nd. The petitions require 25 signatures, and must be returned to the District office by August 22nd at 4 in the afternoon.
After much consideration, the Board has invited a small group of Library Development Committee (LDC) members to work with us in a focused manner to prepare the revised Request for Proposal (RFP) for a single architect for the two-building architectural program. We hope to have this RFP in the mail by the end of September, and to have selected an architectural firm before the end of the year. The choice to keep this committee small with no duplication of areas of expertise was made by the Board to maximize the efficiency of the process, and to shorten lines of communication. To this end two Board members will serve on the committee and the entire Board will deepen its oversight of this critical project. The Community Library Committee (CLC) and LDC have created a strong foundation, and we are grateful to everyone who has participated, but now we see a compelling need for a streamlined team with strong coherent leadership to move the project ahead as expeditiously as possible.
We encourage everyone to come to our Board meetings, to pepper us with questions, to make your doubts and your worries known. We do hear you, and we want what you want: the best possible library, housed in the best possible manner, for the future of all of us, the residents of the Sag Harbor school district.
With all best wishes,