Annual Report 2010


Thank you, Mrs. Bigelow and all your helpful staff! We would be lost without the library.

Many of you have expressed this sentiment to us many times during the past year.

It’s been a rough year for the borough. After another year of budget cuts, we eliminated positions, continued Sunday closings, and the staff took 15 days of unpaid leave, thus closing the library at certain times. You empathized and showed your support, thanking us for being, as one resident put it, a constant jewel in Leonia.

The library is changing along with your wants and needs. We’ve brought together focus groups of community members to brainstorm how the library can be even more effective and reach different segments in town. In response to that, we’ve had more after hours activities, started LibrarE-blasts and an active Facebook page, and solicited your recommendations for viewing and reading.

We’re offering more services online. Through the help of the Friends, we’re able to offer Universal Class, access to over 500 online classes, with real professors and feedback – all through the use of your library card. Through our new online database, Newsbank, you can access past issues of Leonia Life as well as The Record. Through BCCLS, you can now download e-books.

Yet many of you enjoy coming to the library in person. Community groups who have met here this past year include: The Scouts, AYSO, The Leonia Soccer Association, Leonia Health Department (flu shots), the Green Team, the Community Chest, AARP (free tax assistance), US Census, the writer’s group, Leonia community garden, Economic Development Commission, Leonia website committee, and the annual Senior Luncheon.

Your hometown library is flourishing. If this past year is any indication of your feelings, you would like More of us, not less. To that end, the Board of Trustees, the Friends of Leonia Library, and the library staff will continue to offer a welcoming facility, a wide range of books, cds, dvds, audiobooks, and online services, and the excellent service you’ve come to expect.

Deborah Bigelow, Director


Library Board of Trustees


Elizabeth Carillo, President
Mary Ellen Tucker, Treasurer
Phyllis Dain, Secretary
Arnold Trachtenberg
Carla Healy
Mary Connor
Joseph Dickson
Mayor Mary Heveran
John Zeaman, Mayor's Alternate
Philip Choi, Council Liaison
Dr. Bernard Josefsberg, Superintendent of Schools
Patricia Fromholtz, Superintendent's Alternate


Library Staff


Elizabeth Bender, Ass't Director and head of Children's Services
Jane Rashdan, Head, Circulation Department
Madeline Agnello, Administrative Assistant
Shinae Hyun, Adult Services Librarian
Colleen Boerner, Library Assistant
Michelle Ovalle, Library Assistant
Dominic Rosario, Library Assistant
Harriet Burdock, Archivist
Lisa Higgins, Bookkeeper
Douglas Jeter, Custodian


The library was home to many Leonians last Spring after severe rain and wind storms cut out electricity throughout the borough and Bergen County. Residents came in to get warm, access the internet, charge their cell phones and enjoy the light.


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Authors speaking at the library included Michael Perino (Hellhound on Wall Street), and Dana Brand (The Last Days of Shea).


I come to the library to find my imagination.



The library held a Tribute to the last Manfred Gans, hero and author of Life Gave Me a Chance. The Gans family and friends spoke about the author's life and read excerpts from his book.


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Our local history department put together the exhibits Leonia’s Medical Past 1789—1989, and helped many community members, from the Ambulance Corps and the Women’s Club to individuals seeking maps and other information from Leonia’s past.


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Concerts by Still Standing, and the New York Jazz Nine kept the Library patio hopping.



The library is a venue for events -
a center for the community,
a sanctuary for study.


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Summer Reading

215 Participants
163,048 Pages read
209 Books read


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Our first after-hours Children's Program on a Friday evening was a huge hit! Families were able to walk through a spooky house, decorate pumpkin, play games, and enjoy cider and donuts.


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Mayor Mary Heveran, Board President Elizabeth Carillo and Emily McCartney - Leap cut the ribbon for the Ordinary Day exhibit. Emily designed and engineered an exhibit of over 100 photos taken by residents depicting life in Leonia on an ordinary day (April 1, 2010)




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We welcomed a new Friends of Leonia Library organization, under the direction of Dr. Christine Healy. In the fall they put on a spectacular book / bakery sale and raised over $3,000 for the library.


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We ran 135 English as a Second Language classes through our Bergen Tech teachers and 68 with own volunteer tutors. The Community Chest donated 30 subscriptions to the Easy English News for all students.

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The library is a good bridge between the Asian and Caucasian communities - like a United Nations.

Over 100 people celebrated Lunar New Year which featured a variety of Asian food dishes, crafts, and a concert by Douglas Chung's string quartet.



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The groups Preserving Leonia's Art Heritage, the Board of Education and the library sponsored a talk / slide show by former Leonian Paul Mattingly, who presented his newest research on Leonia Artists, Past & Present, 1880 to the present.

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Leonia Library By the Numbers


Visits to the Library

148,298 people



Circulation

Adult Fiction & Non-Fiction 31,348 books
Young Adult 5,218 books
Adult Media 27,138 DVDs, CDs, Audiobooks
Children's 32,518 books
Children's Media 9,512 DVDs. Wii games, CDs
Downloadable audio, e-books 264 books


Reciprocal Borrowing

Leonians borrowed 28,070 items from other BCCLS libraries.
Leonia Library lent 28,772 items to other BCCLS libraries.


Hits to Websites

241,454


Large Donations and Grants



Hours Open per Week, September - June - 60 hours


All this for only 1.4% of your total tax dollar!