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Gold Coast Public Library Celebrates 5 Years of Service

On Saturday, July 31, under a “Big Top” tent amid fair weather and blue skies, several hundred library district residents celebrated the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Gold Coast Public Library.

Local author Judith Caseley opened the day-long event with a special story time and question and answer period for budding authors. One of her books, On The Town : A Community Adventure, was the inspiration for an Add-a-Line story activity that continued all day.

Jim McClenahan returned to the library after his first appearance five years ago, and entertained youngsters with his magic and comedy.

Just after noon, Tom Gellert and John Valente of the Ed-‘Que-Cators Competition Barbecue Team demonstrated their special techniques for producing tasty chicken and succulent ribs with samples for all. They were followed by a Birds of Prey program presented by the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center.

The Nassau County Board of Elections brought a new optical scanner voting machine to the event, so that residents could take a test drive before the primaries in September. At the next table, Patrice Benneward, a former library trustee and current library school student intern explained the finer points of the library’s Local History Project. All residents are invited to fill out a survey form indicating what kinds of photos and other documents they may have relating to the pre-World War II history of the area. This survey can be found on the library website at

As Trustee Tim Coville heartily greeted and directed from the south side of the tent, Trustee Miles Sibell asked library district members questions about their library use and took names of those interested in participating in upcoming Focus Groups to help determine the future direction of their library. The Focus Groups are open to all library district residents; if interested, call 759-8300 and ask for extension 205.

Special remarks were made by Master of Ceremonies John Canning, Esq., who introduced Library Board President Kevin Kelly, and Library Director Genellen McGrath, and thanked the following for their generous support of the Birthday Anniversary: Ramona Bobe, M.S., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.; The First National Bank of Long Island; Michael and Harriet Rich; North Shore Golf Car, Inc.; Printstars, Inc.; and especially the Friends of the Gold Coast Library, who sponsored the author and bird sanctuary presentations. 

Also present were Town of Oyster Bay Council Members Elizabeth Faughnan and Joseph Muscarella, as well as New York State Assemblyman Michael Montesano who presented President Kelly with a citation honoring the library on the occasion of the fifth anniversary. After leading the community in song, John Canning urged everyone to visit the refreshment table for cupcakes and juice, which were served by library trustees Barbara Palermo and Nancy Benchimol.

Children crowded around the craft and face-painting tables; some children were lucky enough to have decorations applied to their faces by Kristalynn Kempton, a former Girl Scout who cut the blue ribbon on Opening Day in 2005. Her mother, Trustee Amy Kempton was Chair of the Anniversary Celebration event, and along with Trustee Rosemarie Ryba, wielded brushes and sponges as they painted and applied temporary tattoos to the many eager children present.

By mid-afternoon, more than 125 people sang along to old-time favorites strummed by Banjo Bob and Crazy Henry, and watched as Cynthia and William Harrand took to dancing. At the conclusion of their songfest, Rhonda Veros, president of the Friends of the Gold Coast Library conducted the raffle drawing for the eBook reader along with Vice-President Fran Sciarrino. Congratulations go to Sam and Julia Howell for holding the winning ticket for the Barnes and Noble Nook. Trustee Amy Kempton announced the winners of the Essay Contest, all of whom won a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, courtesy of the Friends.  Congratulations to Jack Gottfried, Luke Gottfried, Quinn Lacy, Marielle Genovesi, and Julie Rooney for their winning essays.

As a reminder, the Library in Action Photography Contest is under way. Entries may be submitted until Aug. 31. Pick up the contest rules at the library or online at Winners will be announced Sept. 7.

The Gold Coast Public Library is located at 50 Railroad Ave., Glen Head, NY 11545. For more information about the library, visit, or call 759-8300.