By Kristin White
Even though I did not grow up in this area or New York State for that matter, my love for this area has grown over time, and the more time I spend here, I find even more things I love about the western Sullivan County area. Take for example the scenery: while not as dramatic as the Southern Appalachian mountain range that I grew up in, the Catskills are just as breathtaking. Of course living along the Delaware River has its advantages as well. I wake up every morning and look out my window to see the river and the Callicoon Bridge in the distance. Who wouldn’t want to hear the laughter and fun people are having as they canoe, kayak, boat, or tube the river? Not only that, but I love the locally supported agriculture, the farm markets, restaurants, you name it. I can go to the Agway to buy yeast to make beer or rennet to make cheese, and also find out information on what dog food to feed my two Labrador retrievers. When I saw the job open at the Western Sullivan Public Library I jumped at the chance to work in this area. It turns out it was a great choice!
The Western Sullivan Public Library, with its three branches located in Jeffersonville, Callicoon and Narrowsburg, has long been a resource for western Sullivan County. Not only do we have books, DVDs and Internet access, but we have a wide range of e-books, audiobooks and programs for children, teens and adults. A lot of people might argue that the bricks and mortar libraries are something of the past, but not so at the Western Sullivan Public Library. The circulation statistics prove otherwise, not to mention the need to expand our buildings to accommodate an ever-increasing collection.
This need has led us to embark on making upgrades to our Delaware Free branch in Callicoon. As of this publication, we are expanding the library to increase accessibility for all patrons. In the future, we hope to continue renovations at the Delaware Free Branch, as well as the Tusten-Cochecton and Jeffersonville branches.
Another exciting development we are looking forward to is a Friends of the Library group. We feel that it is of utmost importance that the libraries have a Friends group that will be able to advocate on behalf of the library, raise additional funds for the library and strengthen support for all three libraries. We need people who see the library as an essential part of the community to be involved. As we look toward the future, expansions of libraries and our role in our communities, we see projected upward growth in all areas of the library, including materials, services and technologies. As you can see, we are busy moving forward and have several exciting projects that will lead the Western Sullivan Public Library into the future. With the support of our communities we are moving in the right direction.
[Kristin White is the new director of the Western Sullivan Public Library.]