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Democrat Photo by John Emerson

CASTING A BALLOT: Dorothy Fields, left, and Rhoda Cooper, right, help Bernard Weiner sign in at Tuesday's library vote at the Fallsburg Reading Center in South Fallsburg.

There's a New Library
In Fallsburg

By John Emerson
SOUTH FALLSBURG — June 9, 2000 -- The driving rain and miserable weather Tuesday did not deter more than 250 Fallsburg school district residents from showing their overwhelming approval for a new library district.
The proposal to create a tax-supported library district that coincides with the school district boundaries was passed 243 to 37. This is the third time the measure has been presented to district voters.
“We’re ecstatic,” said Pat Halprin, one of nine people who were elected to the library board of directors. “We’ve had lots of phone calls from people who were interested in the results and were supporting us.”
Although this is the third time voters made their wishes known about the creation of a library for Fallsburg, this is not the first time creating the district was approved. When it was first presented, voters approved forming the district, but there was no budget connected with the proposal, so the results were thrown out. In the last election, the issue lost by a wafer-thin four-vote margin.
Now that the district is approved, the real work begins as paperwork creating the library is sent to the state Board of Regents for their review. The Regents oversee the operation of most libraries within the state.
Halprin said they hope to have the necessary state approvals to officially become a library by July.
One of the things the board will have to do is hire a librarian to serve as the library’s director. Pennie Mercado, who currently is in charge of the Fallsburg Reading Center, cannot become the library’s director because she does not have the necessary credentials. Halprin said Mercado would remain on staff as a library employee.
The new library district coincides with the boundaries of the Fallsburg School District. The district includes most of the Town of Fallsburg along with small sections in the towns of Thompson and Mamakating in Sullivan County and a small piece of Wawarsing in Ulster County.
The budget, about $83,000, will establish the district and provide operating expenses for the year. The school district will serve as the collection agent for the library tax but have very little other connection with the new library.
In addition to Halprin, the nine members elected to the library board of directors include Lucille Pantel, Barbara “Bumpy” Hill, Art Glueck, Linda Berkowicz, Myra Anderman, Susan Kross, Jenny Silverman, and Bernard Deutsch. Bob Hunter, who also ran for a seat on the board, finished last among the 10 candidates for the nine seats on the board.
The new directors will have terms ranging from one year to five years. Once the library is established, a portion of the board will be elected every year for five-year terms.


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