As the vote on the Bryant Library building referendum nears its March 24 date, the library itself held a special information fair on Wednesday, March 3, one designed to provide specifics of the plan and its costs, and also to answer questions from those residents eligible to vote in the referendum.
The fair was held in the Helen Glannon Room of the library, from 2 to 4 p.m. and later that evening, from 7 to 9 p.m. According to library personnel, turnout at the meeting was light, but those who attended were provided with an opportunity to speak directly with all the professionals associated with the building plan, including library staff and members of the Library Board of Trustees.
"The idea behind the fair was to allow residents to have their individual questions answered on a one-to-one basis," said Library Director Elizabeth McCloat. "The Bryant Library has always been about serving the people of this community, and this format allowed us to meet with them in a very informal, yet effective manner."
Information about the bond plan's cost, design, and numerous other issues was made available, and library staff members were on hand to answer questions relating to programs and services.
"As community members ourselves, the entire Board of Trustees wants to provide as much information as possible to allow people to make an informed decision on March 24," said Library Board President Gladys Lasoff.
The literature available at the fair reiterated that a new library would add 23,000 square feet of space to the existing building. According to library officials, that includes an enlarged children's room, a separate area for teens, accessible shelving space, and increased collections.
The March 24 vote will be for a $15 million bond, the money of which will be used for such renovations. Library officials have stressed that the plan cannot legally exceed the $15 million as written in the bond resolution. The bond would be issued at a fixed rate over a 20-year period and would cost the average Roslyn homeowner $175 per year.
Meanwhile, the Roslyn Heights Civic Association held a two-hour meeting on Feb. 24, one that was dominated by the upcoming bond vote.
Chris Cavaliere, president of the civic association, said that people at the meeting were "generally against" the bond, mostly, he added, "because of all the tax hikes we've had."
Some civic association members, Cavaliere said, thought the proposed building would be too large for the current library site. For other members, he added, the plan contained "inadequate parking."
In addition, Cavaliere said there were concerns that a new library might "destroy the park" that it sits next to. He also said that some members "wouldn't mind" a smaller version of the plan.
In all, however, Cavaliere said the costs and aesthetics of the plan were another reason his members were against the bond. "They want to keep it the way it is," he said of the current library. "It's historical. There's no need to spend money to make a change."
Cavaliere himself noted that if the bond vote passes, the entire plan then would have to go to various village agencies for final approval. Those would include the Village of Roslyn board of trustees, the Roslyn Landmark Society, and the Village of Roslyn Historical Society.
The March 24 vote will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. also at the Helen Glannon Room of the library. Those who wish to vote must be a resident of the Roslyn School District for at least 30 days by election day.
Those who have not voted in a Roslyn School District election or general election within the last four years, or who are new residents and have not registered to vote with the Board of Elections, must register to vote in the Special District Meeting for the Bryant Library.
For those who need to register, the Roslyn School District has adopted continuous personal registration. Residents may register in person with the District Clerk, Monday through Friday during school hours. On Tuesday, March 16, there will be extended hours for personal registration from 2 to 9 p.m. at Roslyn High School.