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The Island Trees Public Library budget vote and trustee election will take place on Tuesday, April 28 from 1 to 9 p.m. in the community room.

The total tax levy amount for the 2009/10 year is $1,082,530, which represents no increase over the previous year. In comparison, last year's budget was $1,082,530 which represented a 2.9 percent increase over 2007/08.

The proposed budget includes expenditure increases of $1,000 for collection, $11,830 for operations and $87,170 for in personnel. These increases are being funded with a $150,000 fund equity transfer, fines, grants and awards.

Even with no additional tax money being generated this year, the Island Trees Library is adding more services for the 2009/10 year. The plan calls for:

• downloadable books from Overdrive

• wireless Internet accessibility

• film festivals and specialized documentary series

• continued partnership with community organizations and schools

• more innovative programming and services for all age levels

• job and career information service center

The library currently offers 65 hours of service per week with four additional hours on Sundays from October to May, 49,825 books, 2,290 audio recordings, 154 periodicals, 4,943 DVDs and videos and access to 32 online databases, periodicals, and the Internet.

During the 2007/08 fiscal year there were: 49,275 library visits, 151,781 items borrowed, 5,948 public Internet users, 6,708 items borrowed for residents on interlibrary loan, 14,965 reference questions answered, 305 adult programs, 49 teen programs, 263 children's programs and 8,180 registered borrowers.

Two people are vying for one five-year term and finishing the remainder of a two-year term. Candidates run at large; whoever garners the most votes gets the five-year term, next highest the two-year term. Current Trustees Donnalee Dugal and Ann Harris are vying against challengers John M. Schuman and Nexhat "Ned" Bushati. The candidates were each asked to submit information about themselves. Their answers appear below in alphabetical order.

Nexhat "Ned" Bushati is running as a candidate for library trustee as well.

"My employment and educational background make me believe that I would be an asset to the library to further accommodate the needs of the community," he said.

Bushati is a CUNY - Queens College graduate with a degree in economics. He is a recent retiree from 35 years of federal government employment as a Supervisory Contracting Specialist at Northrop-Grumman Co.

"In this capacity I supervised government surveillance teams composed of inspectors/auditors verifying/validating compliance by Northrop Grumman to contractual specifications and standards in the arena of contracts, manufacturing, quality, purchasing, property, facilities, software, aircraft program management and other operations essential to the production of U.S. military aircraft and NASA Space Shuttle," he added.

Current trustee Donnalee Dugal is a married mother of four, residing in Island Trees for the past 12 years.

"I have been an active volunteer for the past 20 years in our schools, PTAs, Girl Scouts, churches, and for the past 11 years have served as trustee on our library board," she said. "I am now and have always been an avid reader and supporter of libraries. When I moved to this community, our library offered little or no services to our student population. After attending several board meetings, it became clear that in order to promote the needs of our students, I needed to get elected to the board."

Dugal mentioned some of the accomplishments she said she "worked hard to promote" including refurbishing the children's room and its collection; more than quadrupling the number of programs offered to our K-12 population, creating a policy manual, the addition of a Young Adult Librarian position.

"All this has been accomplished while keeping our budget increases below 3 percent annually," she added. "Because we established a prudent savings plan, we were able to have a zero percent increase this year, in an effort to be responsive to today's financial climate."

Anne Harris is a married mother of four who has lived in Island Trees for over 27 years.

"I have taken active roles in the activities that my family has been involved in, such as our PTAs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, as well as the Levittown Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary to name few," she said.

Harris said she has always loved books and libraries.

"I started taking my children for story hour when it was in the basement of the Nassau Mall," she added. "As they got older I hated having to go to other libraries for my children to do reports. I started attending meetings and when the opportunity arose I accepted the challenge of being appointed. I am currently on the board and have served for the past six-and-a-half years."

Harris cites expanding the collections, transforming the newsletter, increasing hours and days of operation, replacing public access computers, the addition of a theater system and the creation of Live Homework Help as accomplishments she is proud of.

"As a board member and taxpayer, I take my fiduciary responsibility seriously," Harris said. "We work hard to keep our budget reasonable, and aspire to stay within it. I have attended workshops to find out how to better our library, as well as meetings at the Nassau Library System to see what other libraries are doing."

John M. Schuman is also seeking a position on the Island Trees Public Library Board of Trustees.

A Bethpage resident, Schuman has lived in the Island Trees School District since he purchased his home in 1988. He is a 27-year New York City Police veteran with the rank of lieutenant

"I visit the Island Trees Public Library with my wonderful 8-year-old daughter, Alyssa as often as possible," he said. "I live a mere nine houses away from the library's front door. Upon entering the library, I am always greeted with smiles and courtesy by the helpful and accommodating staff. I believe the time has come for me to express my gratitude and do my part for the library.

If elected to the board of trustees Schuman said he "will bring my leadership, team building, and decision-making skills to the board.

I give my word that I will be a voice of reason who will serve the board and the residents of my community to the best of my abilities," he added.

The Island Trees Library is located at 38 Farmedge Rd. in Levittown. You are eligible to vote if you are registered for school district elections or the general elections. For more information on the library budget visit www.nassaulibrary.org/islandtr or call 731-2211.

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