Elmont Library reneges on Stewart Manor drop-box
It was announced at the August Stewart Manor Board of Trustees meeting that the Elmont Memorial Library recently reneged on a deal to place a library drop-box in Stewart Manor Village Hall. The box would have allowed the Village’s elderly residents a more convenient option for returning books. According to the Board, the deal was all but done before the library backed out at the last minute.
“They offered us the world and we got crumbs. Rocks, really,” said Stewart Manor Mayor Gerard Tangredi.
Talks fell through after a series of three meetings between Stewart Manor Trustee William Grogan and various members of the library board.
A similar deal failed to pan out with the Garden City Public Library earlier in the year.
According to Monique Hardial, president of the Elmont Memorial Library Board of Trustees, the plans stalled when Stewart Manor changed their minds from wanting a pick-up procedure to a drop-off system only. A combination pick-up and drop-off service had originally been discussed.
“Pick-up” here refers to a procedure in which Stewart Manor residents could request an item and put it on hold. Then it would have been delivered to Village Hall.
Tangredi urged residents to contact Library Director Dr.Roger Podell and Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages, who represents Elmont’s district in the State Assembly, to plead for the drop box.
The drop-box system would have involved the purchase of a secure container affixed to a concrete slab outdoors somewhere in the Village. Alternately, a system could have
been worked out where residents would return materials to the Village Hall clerk who would then store them in a bin.
The costs of a drop-off-only system were deemed too much for the library as a library custodian would have to use the library truck to drive to the location of the box and collect materials several times a week.
“The Elmont Memorial Library serves a wide area, from North Valley Stream to East Franklin Square. Ultimately the board viewed the cost of creating a drop-off system, for just one of the many areas we serve, to be unfeasible at this time,” Hardial says.
The library is currently considering several alternative means to make returning books easier for their patrons, such as a text reminder system that would allow them to make renewals from their mobile phones and an automated DVD rental kiosk.