Getting to know your neighbor: find out what awaits you at the town of Concord Public Library
The shows of support for the town’s library have been repeated by area residents since the library set up shop on Academy Street more than 100 years ago, and Library Director Annette Gernatt, who obtained her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, as well as her Master of Library Science Degree, from the State University of New York at Buffalo, said that the community is what has kept the library alive in the heart of Springville.
The family of the late Dr. and Mrs. Lyndon Hulbert, who had lived in Springville, donated money toward the building of a new library, which was placed on part of two parcels of land on Chapel Street across from Fiddlers Green Park in Springville. The brand-new, 5,200-square-foot library opened in July 1994 after a year of planning.
Although she said that the move was “overwhelming,” Gernatt said that plans for the new library were assisted by a grant for its collection from the Buffalo and Erie County Library System, as well as a grant for furnishings received by help from New York State Rep. Tom Reynolds. “If it wasn’t for him, we would have had an empty library,” she said, with a laugh.
Even as the books were being placed on the new library’s shelves, children’s programs were already being planned. Those are still offered today. Preschool story hour, held during the summer on Thursday mornings from 10 – 11 a.m., wraps up at the end of July. July 12 marked the beginning of the library’s summer reading program for kids ages 6 – 10, which takes place on Thursdays from 3 – 4 p.m. Summer reading programs for all ages welcome new and avid readers to track their progress and win a variety of prizes.
Last year, the library installed free Wi-Fi, which can be accessed via a patron’s own personal computer or on one of the library’s three laptops. Flash drives and headphones are available for purchase.
The library is in the process of converting to a Radio FID system, which will allow patrons to check out their own materials via chips embedded in the items. Gernatt said that several of Erie County’s libraries have already incorporated this system, which should be instated in Concord later this year, as an option to visitors. The circulation desk will remain where it is, however.
In conjunction with its many online offerings, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System is now offering free library books to Kindle®, iPad® and Nook® users, who must register with their library cards to obtain the books. The books are removed from patrons’ systems when they are overdue, without charge to the user. Educational sessions are available for customers who wish to learn more about this new technology.
Visitors to the library system’s website, www.www.buffalolib.org, can order and renew materials, pay their fines, do research, enter summer reading programs, check out the 35-plus libraries in the system and much more. Materials can also be ordered by phone, at 858-8454.
Checked-out items can be returned to any library in Erie County, regardless of where they were borrowed from, because all materials – except books on CD – are returned back to their original locations. “We have a comment form; if there is something we don’t have, people can request it,” Gernatt said. “They usually honor that.”
Library cards are available for free to individuals who reside, own property or go to go school in Erie County. Residents of other counties may obtain an Erie County library system card for a fee. Patrons can check out up to 50 items at a time.
Upcoming events include the Aug. 4 Battle of the Books at Erie Community College for children in sixth – ninth grades. Participants read five books of the library’s choice and compete against each other on various libraries’ teams. A team from the Niagara Falls Aquarium will also be putting on two shows July 19 at the library.
Erie County Legislator John Mills will be holding his annual hot dog roast on July 19 from 4 – 8 p.m. on the library grounds. Paul Zittel will be performing in the Fiddlers Green Gazebo from 6:30 – 8:30 and a 50/50 raffle and bag and bake sales will be taking place inside the library. The Concord Bicentennial Committee will also be selling souvenirs on that evening.
The proceeds from this and other fundraisers go toward programming at the library and, according to Gernatt, are instrumental in ensuring that children’s educational events continue. While the library collection and wages for its six employees are supplied by the library system, monies for the library’s programs come mainly from donations. “We need programing and incentives; whatever we can do to encourage children to read,” Gernatt said. “We have a very supportive community, town and village. We are very fortunate to have that.”
Summer hours are Mondays from 12 – 8 p.m., Tuesdays from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. – p.m. For more information, call the library at 592-7742.