Elmsford, NY – When word spread that the Mount Vernon Public Library could lose its status as the central library of Westchester, the community came out in full force in support of the MVPL. 50 or so elected officials, community stakeholders and residents heard the rallying cry to stop the Westchester Library Systems (570 Taxter Rd #400, Elmsford) from voting to strip the MVPL of Central Library status responded. They shared their support and let the trustees know just how much the MVPL means to the community.
A dozen or so people got up and spoke one after the other including former State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (who informed she had her library card for 70 years since she was four-years-old), County Legislators Lyndon Williams and David J. Tubiolo, Delia Farquharson, Jamie Pessin gave one of the greatest brief speeches of the night, speaking on the importance of the MVPL and keeping its Central Library status, longtime library employee Cathy Webb, Interim MVPL Director Evania Thompson, Library Board Trustee Brian Johnson, and Library Board President Oscar Davis all made their case why the MVPL should keep its Central Library status.
After hearing from everyone who spoke, the board decided they may need to take another look at the situation before making their decision. So instead of the vote being the number one item on the agenda, they shelved the vote and instead voted for a sub-committee to look further into it, before voting. If the board thought this was going to be an easy action, the residents of Mount Vernon let them know they were there to fight for their library.
The Board decided to push back the vote until September but agreed to come to an upcoming open house and check out the MVPL. Even if it turns out to only be a temporary delay of the inevitable, Mount Vernon residents put it on record that they are not going out without a fight. The MVPL’s Central Library status vote may have just been pushed back until September, because of the pressure and presence of the press and public. It could have been an effort to postpone the decision, but if they think they will sneak in that vote without the public, one speaker had a word of warning to board;
“Mount Vernon is 70,000 deep and what you see here is nothing, we can and will come back in greater numbers every time if we have to,” longtime MVPL employee Cathy Webb said to the board in closing.
If you want to show your support for keeping the Mount Vernon Public Library as the Central Library, you can write a letter to:
Catherine A. Draper, President
Westchester Library System
570 Taxter Road – Suite 400
Elmsford, NY 10523