By Larry Austin
Grand Island Memorial Library is the 13th busiest library among the 36 libraries in the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library system, according to the library's annual report that was discussed at Monday's Grand Island Town Board meeting.
In highlighting the library's 2014 annual report, Town Supervisor Mary Cooke praised Library Director Lynn Konovitz and staff for going the extra mile for students at Kaegebein Elementary School, where the library was briefly unavailable during the school district's ongoing capital project. An arrangement between the school and Memorial Library provided opportunities for classes to make 1,600 visits to Memorial Library, Cooke said.
"It was a way for the kids to be able to use the library at a time when their school library was not available, and it serves as a great example of cooperation that can occur when problems are identified and people work to solve them. That was a different thing in this year's report and a proud moment for our town," Cooke said.
According to a letter in the report by Pat Rizzuto, president of the library board of trustees, the "Library service continues to evolve primarily due to technology advances. The library now has 15 computer workstations allowing patrons an opportunity to use a multitude of services."
"The library holdings continue to grow, but not as much as we would like, due to the limited county funding and the rising cost of books and other materials," Rizzuto wrote. She credited the Friends of the Grand Island Memorial Library and other community organizations for financial support to purchase additional materials.
Highlights of the report included:
In other news from Monday's Town Board meeting:
•The board approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters union. The town's contract with the Teamsters expired in December 2014. A new four-year contract, retroactive to the start of 2015, will extend through 2018, Cooke said.
•The board appointed Paul Jasik to the Economic Development Advisory Board to a term expiring Dec. 31, 2015. Jasik was called "very well qualified" by Councilman Gary Roesch.
•At the recommendation of Town Engineer John Whitney, the board approved water/wastewater repair material purchases of topsoil (from Leo Brenon Topsoil at $18.45 per yard) and flat work concrete repairs (Podlucky Construction at $7 per square foot, $55 per linear feet for dish curbs and $65 per linear feet for upright curb).
•At the request of Parks Maintenance crew chief Tom Dworak, the board made six seasonal hires pending completion of pre-employment requirements, approved a request to purchase a Turfco 12-inch sod cutter for $2,907, and authorized Cooke to sign an agreement with RL Computing for $3,295 for services related to the Parks and Recreation website.
•Upon the recommendation of Joe Menter, the board approved a temporary employee transfer as well as the hiring of a recreation instructor.
•The board hired a part-time person in the Golden Age Center kitchen for 19 hours a week, filling a vacant position. Golden Age Center Director Barbara Gannon called the person, Lynn Marie Lindaman, "an excellent candidate to fill our vacant position."
•Islander Sam Akinbami was re-appointed by the board to another two-year term on the Erie County Environmental Management Council.
•The board accepted with regret two resignations from town employment for the purposes of retirement. In a letter to the Town Board, Zoning Officer Dan Linenfelser said his last day of work will be April 30. Linenfelser wrote, "I have enjoyed working with my fellow employees but now am looking forward to a new phase of my life. My best to everyone!"
In a letter to the Town Board, Gillman Clarke, who works in the water department, notified of his retirement May 29. "It has been an honor to be an employee of this town for the last 30 years," Clarke wrote to the Town Board. "I have worked under many administrations in the past years, and each one has been a pleasure to work with, as a union representative and an employee.