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Bethpage Public Library

From Central Park Historical Society Encyclopedia

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Joseph Brennan (left) and David Pinkwas(right)

In October of l926 the Central Park Free Library was organized as an Association Library with 41 Members. It was quartered in a small store near the railroad station. The board of directors included: Mr. S.I. Hicks, Mrs. A. Sorenson, Mr. H.G. Holzmacher, Mr. O.B. Briggs and Mr. E.A. Rosenthal.

Some of the first librarians were: Harriet Holmes, Elin Abramson, O.B. Briggs, Ardella Farnsworth and Matilda Fredericks.

February 17, 1927 it was granted a Provisional Charter by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. The book collection numbered 550 volumes.

In 1929 the library closed temporarily due to the financial difficulties. It reopened in October after $2,500 in tax support was approved by voters. In 1931 the library became a school district library supported by tax levy. The Library's name was changed to the Central Park Public Library.

In 1936 Central Park became Bethpage and in 1942 the Regents amended the Library's charter to read Bethpage Public Library. In autumn, the library moved to larger rented quarters at corner of Broadway and Railroad Ave.

In June of 1949 the Library moved to the Fire Department building on Broadway. In 1959 the Adult collection moved to rented quarters at 237 Broadway while the Children's Services continued at the firehouse. The first children's librarian, Louise Carr, was appointed.

Bethpage was one of the original 38 members to join the Nassau Library System.

In 1961 Gibbons and Heidtmann were selected as architects for a new building to be constructed on site of the Powell Avenue School.

On February 17, 1962 the building program received 5 to 1 margin of voter approval. In August construction of a new building began.

July 29, 1963 the new library building opened; the dedication was held on November 10. Those who served on the Library Board of Trustees during the planning, construction and dedication of the library building were Joseph G. Brennan, Leon C. Carlen, Robert J. Glasser, Victor L. Miller, Jacob Schaaf, and Louis A. Sisia. Microfilm collection for periodical backfiles started.

By l966 the Library went on a 62 hour per week schedule -- staying open all weekday evenings to 9:00 P.M., Saturday to 5:00 P.M.

Henry Miesels, who had been director of the library since 1958, resigned in l967 to head Corn Belt Library System in Illinois. David Pinkwas appointed Library Director in December of 1966. Framed Print Collection added. Loan period extended to 28 days on most library materials.

1969 - Start monthly Library Newsletter; Woman's Club of Bethpage presents lobby display case; book collection, 65,000 volumes.

1970 - Library opens for full service on some holidays. Talking Books made available to patrons unable to use conventional books.

1971 - Poster Collection for young adults started. 10,000 visitors view exhibit of moon rocks.

1972 - Friends of the Bethpage Public Library present grand piano. Library begins publication of Bethpage Community Calendar in cooperation with PTA Council.

1973 - Library begins offering bus trips, for adults and children, to cultural events throughout N. Y. Metropolitan ares. Library observes tenth anniversary in new building in November with month-long series of special events. Semi-annual preparation course for Scholastic Aptitude Test begun. Service to the Homebound provided in cooperation with Woman's Club of Bethpage.

1974 - Purchase of microfilm reader/printer. Community Information Service inaugurated to provide access to service of public and private agencies throughout Nassau County. District Access made available to children. Collection of opera libretti added. Library became eligible for local sponsor Incentive Aid from the State. Start of monthly library visits to Senior Citizens Housing Center. Comprehensive collection of U.S. college catalogs on microfiche added.

1975 - College courses at the library. Friends of the Library provide movie projector for loan to community organizations. Shelving for 1,500 books added. Over 800 persons attended library-sponsored "Bermuda Triangle" book talk at Jr. High School. Woman's Club of Bethpage donates lectern for auditorium. Afternoon Book Discussion Group started, meeting monthly. Kramer Lane School buries Time Capsule in front of library, to be unearthed in 2050.

1976 - Dorothy Stahl appointed to new position of Assistant Library Director. More than 1,000 visit library all-day Bicentennial Fair. Exhibition, lecture and museum tour focuses on L. I. artist William Sidney Mount.

1977 - Second Book Discussion Group, meeting in the evening, started. Library observes 50th anniversary of granting of original charter. Book collection over 90,000 volumes; 2,000 phonograph records; 380 periodical subscriptions; 11,000 registered borrowers (50% of total population).

The library was renovated in the mid-1990s. At that time an auditorium was added. David Pinkwas retired in 1989 and Toby Hyman became the Director 1989 and retired in 2005. Lois Lovisolo took over the responsibility of Library Director in 2005 and continued as the director. Lois retired in 2017 and Assistant Director Robert Sporing took on the responsibility as Director in 2017.

Doris M. Steimer wrote a poem regarding the wall in front of the library. The poem is titled "A SPECIAL LANDMARK" and can be found under the title in the Encyclopedia.

The gentleman on the left is Joseph Brennan and on the right is David Pinkwas.
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