CELEBRATING STENSON LIBRARY'S CENTURY OF SERVICE TO SEA CLIFF
June 5, 2015 -- Generations of Sea Cliff residents turned out for the Centennial Celebration of Sea Cliff's Stenson Memorial Library last Saturday afternoon. The event featured speeches by both dignitaries and community members, some young and others less so, who spoke of the library's rich history, its recent restoration, and how the institution has enriched their lives.
President of the Library's Board of Trustees, Frank Murray and Good of The Villlage President Sheila Wenger focused their remarks on the Library's history from its origins through its becoming the Children's Library more than 40 years ago, while State Senator Carl Marcellino spoke of the importance of libraries today, saying that they are the new community centers.
North Shore Middle School 6th Grader Lexi Stoff and 7th Grader Katherine Hunt reflected on the importance of the library in their lives over the past decade, while Sea Cliff native David Swinburne reminisced about his childhood during the 1970's and the years that he and his brothers spent at the Library with its first Librarian Mimi Mullen. He remarked on how special it is that his two young daughters now come to story hour.
Many of those who attended wrote their memories of the library, or expressed their feelings though drawings on colorful pieces of paper that were attached to a poster board on an easel. "The Library is always full of adventures," says one. "My Favorite library moment is when Librarian Ann takes out the pretend Birthday cake," says another. "I love all the librarians," says still another, "they're all so nice." And, "I remember going to book club and eating pizza with friends."
During his remarks, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy spoke of this past winter's renovations, explaining how the village abandoned its initial plans for the century old neo-classical structure after the original ceiling was discovered, and told of the efforts by community members to restore the interior to its early 20th century look.
He thanked Robyn Maynard, a director of the Sea Cliff-based Gottlieb foundation for the organization's financial support, and historic preservationist and interior designer Leslie Guerci, "who not only offered her talents at no cost - but made significant donations in items and materials." Ms. Guerci and Ms. Maynard, he said, "put together a fundraising event along with the not-for-profit group Friends of Sea Cliff Library, and received enough donations to enable us to create a space that will be a space of learning and cultural stimulation for many generation to come."
The Mayor also gave a shout out to local architect Jim Carballal, who "worked with us and our never ending changes at a mere stipend in compensation" and thanked the Village Board for its support, as well as Library Director Arlene Nevins, Commnity Devleopment Director Erinn McDonnell, Village Treasurer Marianne Lennon, Village Administrator John Mirando, Library Board President Frank Murray, and the Friends of Sea Cliff Library. The intial funding for the project, he said, was secured through the efforts of State Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblyman Charles Lavine, as well as through the efforts of County Legislator Delia Deriggi Whitton and Donald H. Crosley, Nassau County Community Development Program Coordinator.
"The Centennial Committee did a great job with creativity, hardwork and unstinting generousity," said Children's Library Director Ann DiPietro afterwards to Northwordnews. "It was a wonderful celebration enjoyed by so many, especially me. . . And with any luck this Jewel will still be shining 100 years from now."
Several local businesses sponsored the event offering donations of food, drinks and other items. They include B. Brown's, Il Villagio, Metropolitan Bistro, King Kullen of Glen Cove, Villa Meci of CVS Plaza, Grassroots, Printstars, Inc., Citibank of Sea Cliff, and the Friends of the Library.
Saturday's event was organized by a committee of volunteers that included Library Trustees Angeleta Dhandari-Donovan, Kim Hertlein, and Lilli Scott, Village Board Trustee Kevin McGilloway, and Catherine Pickering and Janet Swinburne of Friends of the Libary.
SEA CLIFF TO CELEBRATE STENSON LIBRARY CENTENNIAL SATURDAY (May 25, 2015)
SOARING CEILING RESTORED AT CENTURY OLD STENSON CHILDREN'S LIBRARY (February 9, 2015)