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Levittown Library’s Newest Leader

Since grabbing the reins as the new director of the Levittown Public Library, on Feb. 1, Trina Reed has been hitting the ground running. Taking the place of former director Celeste Watman, who retired after eight years as Levittown’s chief librarian, Reed is already mingling with the public to find new ways to improve what is considered the central library in Nassau County. 

 

“We receive or hold documents in this library that are not available to any other library in the Nassau system and may be hard to find,” Reed said. According to Reed, the library features a government documents librarian whose purpose is to research hard-to-find documents and circulate them to other libraries when requested. She added that its central status enables it to receive New York State aid to achieve its mission of maintaining the librarian position and the research. Only the East Meadow Public Library shares a similar status, as “co-central” library. 

 

“I came here to look for a new challenge,” she added.

 

Prior to coming to Levittown, Reed served as the director of the Uniondale Public Library, where she worked with staff to implement several new programs and services, including the Museum Pass Collection, the Uniondale Public Library Oral History Project and librarian visits to home childcare facilities. In addition, Reed said she helped implement new technology and oversaw the construction of a wireless classroom training center and theater renovation. 

 

“My last construction project at the Uniondale Public Library was the creation of a new teen space, adult learning center and library café,” Reed said. “The final phase of the construction project is in progress now.” 

 

30-year Career

 

Beginning her career in 1984 as a page at the Hempstead Public Library, she received her Master of Library Science degree from Queens College in 1993. After graduating, Reed went on to work as a reference and a children’s librarian at several libraries in New York and New Jersey, before coming across an opportunity to live in Japan as an Information Specialist. 

 

Returning stateside, she would later be given director positions at libraries in Lakeview and Elmont. 

 

Books vs. Technology?

 

Libraries are no longer just conservatories of books, she said, but are adapting to a digital future. Currently, the Levittown Public Library has 18 computers, 8 laptops and 5 iPads. She added that a grant for 23 Google Nexus tablets would soon make the devices available for library patrons. 

 

Perhaps the most exciting device in its evergrowing arsenal, is the 3D printer, which creates real and palpable three-dimensional objects. “We’re still studying that technology before we make it available to the public,” she said, but promised that the 3D printer will soon be available to patrons.

 

Libraries As Community Resource Centers

 

With state projects being developed, to turn libraries into community resource centers in the event of another catastrophic weather event, Reed said the concept of the library as a community resource center is already here. 

 

“We are no longer just conservatories of books,” Reed asserted, but “we are community centers.”

According to Reed, this is an exciting time to work in the library, as they typically reinvent themselves to keep up wwith the changing needs of their communities. 

 

“I look forward to getting to know the Levittown community... to find out what special or unique programs and services they want in our library,” Reed said. “I will work to enhance the items they like and improve the areas our patrons don’t like.”

News

A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.

 

All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.

 

Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.

 

Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.

 

In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.

 

“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”

 

With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.

Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.

 

The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.

 

The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “

 

At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.

 

Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.

 

Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.

 

The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.

 

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. 

 

The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year. 


Sports

Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.

 

In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs. 

Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.

 

Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games. 


Calendar

Lazy Days Of Summer - July 26

Flea Market - July 27

Darlene Prince and the Bragg Hollow Band - July 28


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com