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More Than Just Books

Library celebrates four decades as communal hub  

Forty Years of Connecting People to Information was the theme for the anniversary celebration at the Garden City Public Library. More than 70 residents, dignitaries and staff members enjoyed the ceremony and party that was held on Sunday, Oct. 20. The event took place on the first of many Sundays the library will be open again.

The party marks the anniversary of the current library building, which was built in 1973. Two earlier buildings were used for a short time before then. The first Garden City Public Library was established in 1952 in a little cottage on Seventh Street. When that proved to be too small, the second library building (1958-1973), was acquired by the village and was situated a few yards west of the current one. It was housed in the former offices of the Garden City Company, with an extension in the back. The thirst for knowledge with the library’s ever-expanding book collection required the building to be razed to make way for the present building.

The ceremony on Sunday began with the “Pledge of Allegiance” led by Tony Bennett from Boy Scout Troop 243, followed by “America the Beautiful,” sung by Garden City High School senior, Gabrielle Nastasi.

The introduction was given by Board of Library Trustees Vice-Chair Gloria C. Weinrich She thanked Nassau County Supervisor Edward Mangano for the citation he sent for the occasion, as well as Joe Furlong, president of the Friends of the Garden City Public Library, whose group provided refreshments for the event.

Board of Library Trustees Chairman J. Randolph Colahan welcomed the guests and introduced the dignitaries.

Mayor John J. Watras stated how great it was when they built the present library. He will try to keep the library open on Sundays. Mayor Watras noted that by listening and being proactive, positive changes are made that affect all ages.

“Our library continues to be a valuable resource and community event venue, where one can still experience human interaction,” said Garden City resident, Ellen Gering.

In her introduction for New York State Senator Kemp Hannon, Weinrich remarked how he has always provided needed funding for the library.

Senator Hannon congratulated the staff on the fine programs serving the community. He said that besides library materials, everyone enjoys interacting there and the librarians are responsive to the needs of the residents.

Assemblyman Edward P. Ra spoke about how he came to the library with his grandparents when young. He thanked the staff for helping patrons.

Colahan concluded the ceremony with a special thanks to all who served the library in any capacity since 1952.

After the ceremony, Library Director, Carolyn Voegler, Ph. D. said, “The celebration was a great way for the community to get together and the library was able to showcase our accomplishments through the years.”

“The celebration was an indication of the ability for the library to bring people of all ages together. We thank all the previous library trustees who attended and showed their continuous support for the library,” remarked Weinrich.

Colahan concluded the celebration by saying, “Thanks to Gloria Weinrich and the staff, we had a great turnout. We had five former library trustees. We had a great time. Being with the mayor showed our mutual support for the benefit of Garden City residents.”