The Library has 213,725 books, 11,981 magazines and
newspapers (including microfilm), 23,688 AV items, including about
5,800 Videos and 17,000 CDs, tapes, etc.). Other materials (pamphlets,
toys, equipment, etc.), 52,463. The grand total of holdings is 301,857
items. The library maintains many books and audiovisual items in
foreign languages and has a large collection in Spanish in recognition
of the large Latino population of the community. Most recently the
library has added e-book readers, which are electronic books.
Magazine & Newspaper Subscriptions: The Library currently
subscribes to 845 titles in print and microfilm formats, and 2,564
titles in electronic format (INFOTRAC and INFORME), plus database
files such as FirstSearch and Dialog@Carl.
The Library added many new computerized databases in the past year
including: Hoover's - a database providing financial and historical
information about companies; Ethnic Newswatch - indexing newspaper
articles about and of interest to all ethnic groups; Alternative
Heathwatch - a database of alternative medicine; Fax.com - a
database of facts and Multimedia archives - a database of picture
Computers: The Library has a total of
57 PCs (37 public; 20 staff),
and 21 terminals
(11 public, 10 staff) that are dedicated for use with the circulation
control system. Of the 37 public PCs, 13 are used for Internet access:
8 in Reference; 1 in the Job and Education Information Center (JEIC)
and 4 in the Children’s Room. The Internet access computers in the
Children’s room have the Cyberpatrol filtering software. The
Children’s Room also has 4 PCs and 2 MACs for educational games and
word processing. The JEIC has 6 PCs and 3 MACs for word processing,
database software use, and spreadsheet use. There is one additional PC
in the JEIC that was placed here from a Nassau Library System
citizenship grant to help ESOL students practice their grammar and
Library Programs and Use: In 2000, 22,511 people
attended 2,345 Library programs. The total annual attendance (Library
Visits) was 389,880. Materials were used in the Library 244,705 times,
including Reference books and materials, and in-house computer
use. Staff in the Reference, JEIC and Children’s Departments
answered a total of 91,516 questions.
Handicapped Accessibility: The Library has an active program of book
delivery to the homebound. A staff member visits South Shore
Healthcare and the Meadowbrook Care Center once a week to provide
book-related programs for the residents. Every part of the Library is
Circulation transactions: In 2000, the Library circulated a total of
The Library has many departments that are spread
throughout the rambling building and many programs that reach out to the
community and the world. Many library staff members are bilingual in
English and Spanish, enabling easy access of the entire library by the
Latino residents of the community.
• The Children's Department serves the needs of children
in Freeport from early age to 6th
grade. The Children's Department provides a collection that reflects the
needs of the community, providing books and audiovisual materials in both
English and Spanish (and other languages as well), as well as maintaining
a Parenting Collection of books and AV materials to help parents. The
Children's Department also offers a wide variety of programs for all ages,
including bilingual programs. Story times and parenting programs (almost
on a daily basis) are offered with publicity in both English and Spanish
and now offers a unique literary discussion group led by trained Junior
Great Book leaders.
pre-school children are enthusiastic borrowers of the "Reading and
Learning Kits" in both English and Spanish. The Children's Department
also offers free passes to museums that can be borrowed by a family
planning to take their children to a museum. In the photo above is Bob
Regan, sharing a quiet moment with his daughters Emily and Catherine. The
photo on the right shows the thousands of books and videos in the
The Library's Young Adult Program is coordinated by Kathy Nuding.
Under the guidance of Ms. Nuding, the Young Adult offerings have been
increased dramatically during the past few years and include summer
reading clubs and cultural and literary programs.
The outreach program is facilitated by Loren Agostino and
Maryellen Cantanno. It is very popular and includes musical groups of
interest to various ethnic groups as well as specific programs in Spanish.
• The Reference Department is one of the most
extensive on Long Island. The goal of
the Reference Department is to assist all those in need of information or
help. School projects, college papers, genealogy questions, financial
information, income tax forms, medical information, and more are all
available at FML. The Department subscribes to many stock and mutual fund
services including Value Line, S&P Outlook and Dick Davis Digest.
Dun's Regional, Moody 's and S&P Corporate and Bond records may be
found in the Reference Department. There are eight computers dedicated to
Internet use. The Reference staff will train users on an individual basis
on Saturday mornings in English or Spanish. An appointment is required.
If you are interested in legal research the Library has
one of the most extensive law collections of any public library on Long
Island. The FML is only public library that maintains
Law Desk on CD, which is all the NY Court decisions, from the state's
highest court, the Court of Appeals, down the the Miscellaneous Courts.
Also on CD is the complete NYS Statutes, as well as the complete U.S.
code, the U.S. Constitution, and the Federal Court Rules. These are also maintained in book form. If
legal research is your forte, the FML is the place to go.
selection is reflective of the needs of the community. A portion of each
month's budget is used for the development of significant African-American
and Spanish Collections. In addition the library maintains a large
selection of current fiction and non-fiction. Patrons may borrow CD-ROMs,
DVDs, videos, audio cassettes and books-on-tape. The reference Librarians are
friendly and readily accessible since the redesign of the reference area.
They are happy to suggest books to read, music to enjoy or give you a copy
of the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle free of charge. In the photo
are librarians Ronnie Tiffany and Sue Freelund.
• The Job and Education Information Center (JEIC) is
located on the lower level. This department contains special collections
to help you with your job search, civil service announcements and test
preparation study guides, information about local adult education courses,
BOCES/Technical School Courses, and college and university information.
Job listings are also available through newspapers, postings and the
Internet. If you need a job or information about a job the Job and
Education Information Center is the place to go. If you need to speak to a
career counselor you can make an appointment for individual counseling
with the library's career counselor, Lillie Selwyn, who will also help
you with writing a resume.
Also located in the JEIC are IBM and Mcintosh
computers. These are available for public use, as are computer program
tutorials on videocassettes to help you learn the programs. Many patrons
appreciate that the library's JEIC computers are loaded with word
processing, data base and spreadsheet software. There is also a computer
hooked up the the Internet that is available for job searching.
The JEIC staff has recently delved into the world of document managment
technology. The library is now scanning Village Board, School Board and
the Library Board minutes and making them available in electronic format.
• The Public Relations Department handles the coordination of the
many programs presented
monthly at the Library. The Public Relations Department is responsible for
the development of programs such as concerts, lectures, courses, seminars,
computer and internet workshops, art exhibits up to and including
preparing the publicity that entices patrons to these events. The Library
newsletter, sent to all households in the community, is supplemented with
flyers and posters for the programs advertised. All informational
materials are produced in house by the staff. The library even has its own
artist and illustrator on staff, James Stevenson, pictured here.
• The Maintenance Staff, the unsung heroes
of any organization, is the group that keeps the library sparkling and the meeting rooms
prepared. At all hours of the day and
night, the folks from maintenance are always available to make sure the
library is ship shape. Monty Stratton heads up the team and schedules
all community groups that meet in the library, which numbers about fifty.
These groups include the African Atlantic Genealogical Society, A.A.,
Athena Club, South Shore Audubon Society, Northwest Civic Association, Freeport Hispanic
Association, Scandinavian Society, and many more.
• Technical Services
Department - If you've ever wondered how the thousands of books, video tapes,
magazines and the rest get into the library and onto the shelves, that's
the monumental job of the Technical Services
Department and team member Liz Gifkins, pictured here at her desk,
surrounded by books. A few of the men and women you see in the blue shirts are the library
monitors, like Thaddeus Ellsworth standing in the lobby, who keep the
Library quiet and discreetly keep their eyes on
things. The Business Office handles all of the personnel, budget and
• The 280,235 items that were put into circulation were handled by
the Circulation Department.
• The Director - Dave Optow is the hands on director of the Freeport Memorial Library.
He is responsible for
the day to day operations of the library and oversees a diverse staff in a
diverse and ever changing community. He walks through the library with a name
badge that says "Dave" and never gives a second thought to
taking a minute to help a patron or talk with a staff member. He is
involved in many community groups and is a Shakespeare aficionado. While
at times there are staff members and the public that don't agree with him,
there is no one that questions his dedication to the library and the
community. The overall consensus of both staff and patrons alike is that,
"We are lucky to have Dave."
L. Doctorow said that the three most important documents he owned were
his drivers license, his passport and his library card. Your Freeport
Library Card is your passport to the internet, to the Supreme Court, to
other lands, to the world of children, to job counseling, to the arts and
to too many more things to mention. It's your best value and the library truly
is the jewel of Freeport.
If you would like to learn more about the Freeport Memorial Library go
FNYN thanks the staff of the library for their help in preparing this
story. - ed