The staff of the Shelter Island Public Library spent most of 2020 weathering the daunting challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Special presentations and meetings were all moved online, and access to the library building was curtailed until recently. But just as this difficult year came to a close, Library Director Terry Lucas received some very welcome news.
The Library was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Banyan Tree Roots Foundation to upgrade or replace outdated computer equipment and fund programs.
The grant was awarded based on a recommendation of Jessica Goldsmith, whose mother, Carol Galligan, was well known on the Island as a writer.
She wrote a regular gardening column for the Reporter, plus profiles and other features, and was an active member of the community. Ms. Galligan, who died in October 2020, was known for her support of numerous Island organizations. Her active efforts helped keep the Bucks baseball team on the Island.
“This grant was especially appreciated during this challenging time,” Ms. Lucas said.
The money will be used to support a variety of special programs in Ms. Galligan’s honor.
In addition, Ms. Lucas announced that the Library has been designated a Five-star Library for 2020 by Library Journal. To put this in perspective, she explained, of the 5,608 libraries reviewed by Library Journal, only 85 are rated five stars.
Libraries that receive top honors have to meet certain criteria with respect to circulation (both electronic and traditional), library visits, program attendance and public internet computer usage.
“Our community’s overwhelming support allowed us to receive this designation,” Ms. Lucas said.