To assist in preventative measures of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and in compliance with Governor Cuomo's Executive Order, the Hicksville Public Library will remain closed until further notice. No fines or fees will incur for the duration of the closure. The Board will continue to monitor the directives/orders of the Federal/State/Local Governments and make further determinations pursuant to same. Should the Governor modify the Executive Order, the Board will revisit and modify this resolution accordingly. For more information visit https://hicksvillelibrary.org/statement Call 931-1417 ext.105 for general information, ext. 124 for Reference, ext. 112 for Children’s, ext. 115 for Computer Services. Or you can reach us by email at hplinfo@hicksvillelibrary.org. You will be contacted within 24 hours by a staff member.

History

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IN THE BEGINNING

nicholaiHicksville did not have a public library until 1926. By that year, the need for one was strong, and a public meeting, initiated by Arthur Crossley and other civic-minded citizens, was held at the high school to establish a library and elect a Board of Trustees. The first Board of Trustees was composed of Dr. Bernard Webster, Chairman; Mrs. Charles Voight, Secretary and Treasurer; Mrs. A. Van Slyke, Miss Louise Augustin and Miss Emily Fippenger. The very first library board meeting was held on August 12, 1926.

The Hicksville Free Public Library was granted its provisional charter by the State of New York on December 31, 1926, and on March 16, 1927, the charter was received and accepted by the Board of Trustees. At that time, the sum of $1,219.97 was presented to the library by the Hicksville Musical Club (later the Choral Society) for the purchase of new books and equipment. The official opening of the library, then housed in a second floor classroom of the Nicholai Street School, was held on February 26, 1928.

THE MIDDLE YEARS

From that date until 1942, the library remained in that location, open to the public 30 hours a week for the purpose of loaning books and providing reference material. The book collection and the number of borrowers had grown so much over the years that larger facilities became a necessity. The Board of Education then granted the library the use of two classrooms on the first floor of the Nicholai Street School. After complete renovation, allowing for an adult reading room and a separate children's room which also served as the school library, the library opened for service in its new quarters on September 15, 1942. At this time, the library hours were increased from 30 to 40 hours per week.

Improved standards, expanded programs, and increased services prompted the New York State Board of Regents to grant the Hicksville Public Library an absolute charter on September 20, 1946. The following year the library again extended its hours from 40 to 50 per week to better serve the growing community.

THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS

By 1949, the library had once again outgrown its quarters, which were designed originally for classrooms, not a public library. The Board of Education needed those rooms for classes to handle increasing student enrollments and informed the Library Board President Joseph Heim and Trustee Leon Galloway that they world have to move. The search for a permanent site began.

On March 29, 1949 voters did not approve a bond issue of $175,000 for the construction of a new building. After this defeat, President Heim turned the attention of the Board to finding an existing structure that would be suitable for a library. On April 4, 1949, Mrs. Frances Duerck, owner of a 10 room house at the corner of Jerusalem Avenue and Second Street, offered her home for sale at the price of $42,000. Heim thought the price was much too high, and through her real estate representative, Ralph P. Schley, in August, 1949, the selling price was reduced to $35,000. An additional $5,000 to be used for remodeling and moving was included in the bond issue that was voted on by the community on January 18, 1950. By a margin of 2-1 (272-yes to 130-no), Hicksville residents approved the purchase of the Duerck property at 169 Jerusalem Avenue for conversion into the new Hicksville Free Public Library.

The library on Nicholai Street closed at the end of July 1950, and the adult department of the library opened at its new location on September 11, 1950. The children's room, converted from a four-car garage on the new library property, did not open until February, 1951. On March 14, 1951, the library held an "Open House" which served as the official opening of the new and present library. The library once again held an "Open House" on March 23, 1951, as a belated celebration of its Silver Anniversary as of December 31, 1951. At this time, members of the original Board of Trustees were honored for their past service. Members that made up the Board as of this date were Mrs. Joseph J. Ulmer, President; Roland Heberer, Vice-President; Leon Galloway, Secretary and Treasurer; Miss Augustin (who served continuously since 1926) and Joseph Heim.

construction

From 1953-1990, Kenneth S. Barnes served as library director, and under his leadership, the library became a center for cultural activities. In 1955, the sum of $252,000 was voted by the taxpayers for a new wing to be added, and the new wing was dedicated in January, 1958. In May, 1960, taxpayers approved the purchase of a Bookmobile for $20,000. This vehicle had a 3000 book capacity and was bought so that the library could extend its services to people in outlying parts of Hicksville who could not readily get to the library. After its first two weeks in service, the Bookmobile had circulated 2735 books and registered 229 new cardholders. It was taken out of service in 1990.

Three more library expansions took place, in 1965, 1977, and once again in 1985. Today, the library provides comfortable spaces for reading, and the building is accessible to the handicapped.

Mrs. Celeste Watman, director from 1990 to 2005, led the Hicksville Public Library forward, preparing for a new millennium of communication services for the public. Active in community affairs, Mrs. Watman led in modernizing the library, reorganizing the book and audiovisual collections, and in computerizing the library's collections and services. Today, the library has an automated circulation system, public access computers, as well as computers with Internet access.

In May of 2005 a new parking lot was opened. Twenty one spots were added for the convenience of our patrons. A book drop will be added to the center island for patrons to drop off books. The Computer Resource Center opened in the fall of 2006. It is equipped with the latest computers and meeting rooms for community groups and some library programs.

 

TRAVELING THROUGH TIME

See how we've grown!

 
1930
1951
1975
1999
2006
COLLECTIONS          
Books
2,401
17,142
217,130
232,369
232,361
Periodicals (Titles)    
408
638
386
Videocassettes  
-0-
-0-
6,031
5,491
Books on cassette        
2,132
Cassette Tapes  
 
806
3,839
1,204
CDs  
-0-
-0-
2,766
3,985
DVDs  
 
-0-
43
2,266
Books on CDs        
990
CIRCULATION
17,362
77,610
252,604
299,517
233,167
BORROWERS
1,370
4,311
25,000
16,393
22,819
           

AWARDS

1973 Hicksville Community Council Community Service Award
1992 Public Library Association National Achievement Citation
1998 Nassau County Certificate of Merit for SIGHTS AND SOUNDS at the Hicksville Public Library
1999 Nassau County Certificate of Merit for EXPRESSIONS: A Multi-cultural Dance Series
1999 Library Public Relations Council L. Percy Award
1999 New York Council for the Humanities Mini-Grant for Century of CHANGE Decade Program
2000 Nassau Community Regrant Program for the Arts
2002 Nassau Community Regrant Program for the Arts

2005

2012

Hicksville Community Council Community Service Award

New York State Public Library Construction Grant for the Administration Building

Directors of the Hicksville Public Library

Mrs. Marjorie Archibald 1927-1928

Miss Leora Clinch 1928-1930

Miss Kathryn Anne Webster 1930-1937

Miss Marion Snedecor 1937-1941

Mrs. Marion Cecil 1941-1951

Miss Helen Wheller 1952-1953

Mr. Kenneth Barnes 1953-1990

Mrs. Celeste Watman 1990-2005

Mrs. Carol Ahrens 2006-2011

Mrs. Elizabeth Goldfrank 2011-Present

 

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