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Letter: The Future Of The Island Trees Public Library

 

As an Island Trees resident, I am very concerned about the Island Trees School District’s recent proposal to sell the Farmedge property. This is particularly disconcerting because the Island Trees Public Library currently resides in a small portion of the Karopczyc building. Without the Karopczyc building, the library will return to the Island Trees Middle School, where it was housed from 1989-1997.

 

I was also informed that the new space would be “comparable” to the library’s current location. However, others I’ve spoken to said this would not be the case, especially since the space being offered is the same space allocated to the library in the past, which had been much smaller than what the library currently has. Regardless, I find this suggestion problematic for several reasons.

 

First, if there were any decrease to the size of the library’s location, it will negatively impact the library, which is already in need of expansion. The space for Children’s Room is already incredibly small. as is the space for Adult Reference, which is shared with a

makeshift computer lab that really warrants its own room. An individual area for teens and young adults is nearly non-existent. Losing any of the little space that the library currently has means potentially losing one of these services altogether, as there is already such a limited amount of space to go around.

 

Secondly, why should the middle school lose a portion of their building? The district should not be taking away a significant part of the middle school in order to house it. Rather, it should find ways to use that space to benefit the students that go there. Moreover, if the School District decides in a few years it needs that space again for the middle school, what will happen to the library? Because the library is so dependent on the school district housing them in different wings of different buildings, it is also at the School District’s mercy whenever it chooses to evict them.

 

Lastly, the Island Trees community has settled for our library renting small and inadequate space from different buildings while the libraries of neighboring communities are afforded their own library buildings. Excluding Levittown and East Meadow—which are central

libraries in Nassau County—communities such as Hicksville, Wantagh, Seaford, Bethpage, and Plainedge all have individual libraries that are much larger than the space in the middle school.

 

If the Farmedge property must be sold and the library relocated, and if the Island Trees School District believes it will gain such a hefty profit, why can’t some of the money gained from the sale go to purchasing a proper building dedicated solely to the Island Trees

Public Library like all of the public libraries in our neighboring communities? After all, the library gives all Island Trees residents fair and equal access to information, no matter what their age, race, or gender may be. It is a hub for learning, literacy, technology, and community for everyone in Island Trees, and, with proper funding and support from the Island Trees School District, it can become a modern, independent facility with expansive and separate space dedicated to children, young adults, and adult services as well as individual areas allocated to media, technology, and meeting rooms. 

 

The library is an important part of the community and the School District needs to support it rather than hinder it. I encourage my fellow Island Trees residents to support the library by attending the Community Forum at the Island Trees High School on Monday,

February 10 at 7:30 p.m. and having your voices be heard. Island Trees residents must rally and show the School District how vital the Island Trees Public Library is to the entire community.

 

Laura Giunta


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