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Harrison Library Director Honored

Galina Chernykh, Director of the Harrison Public Library, with WLS Board President Dave Donelson (of West Harrison) at the Westchester Library System’s 54th Annual Meeting.
Galina Chernykh, Director of the Harrison Public Library, with WLS Board President Dave Donelson (of West Harrison) at the Westchester Library System’s 54th Annual Meeting. Photo Credit: Contributed

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Harrison Public Library Director Galina Chernykh received the first WLS Trustees Award at the 54th annual meeting.

Librarians, library directors, members of the Board of Trustees, government officials and friends of libraries recently gathered for the 54th annual meeting of the Westchester Library System. The Harrison Public Library Board previously nominated Chernykh for her "efforts and deep dedication to serving many diverse populations," according to a release. This year marked first presentation of the WLS Trustees Award.

The idea originated with Alvin H. (Skip) Reiss, WLS Trustee for District IV who recently passed away. The new award honors an individual or organization that promotes the WLS mission of making library service inclusive for all members of the diverse Westchester communities, according to the release.

The WLS Board highlighted Chernykh's accomplishments:

• Participation in the WLS bilingual story time program for children, along with the introduction of a Chinese-English bilingual story time;

• Creation of conversational foreign language groups in the West Harrison branch, including English, Spanish, Swedish and Chinese;

• Solicitation of ethnic community groups to support unique programming including, 50 Wonders of Korea, The Silver Age of Jewish Music; and

• Institution of special craft and story programs for children with special needs.

Terry Kirchner, WLS Executive Director, spoke about change and opportunities for libraries. Libraries are in a unique position serve their communities; and WLS has focused on a number of infrastructure activities to better meet the current and future needs of the member libraries and their local communities. The following programs were highlighted:

• Partnership with Westchester Community College to offer Spanish language instruction for library staff;

• WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service to meet the changing job market;

• The addition of downloadable content to meet the growing demand—including e-books, audiobooks and music as well as non-traditional access to materials while preserving patron privacy;

• Increasing discoverability of items owned by the member libraries;

• Enhancement of the IT infrastructure to allow for use of new mobile technologies; improve disaster preparedness and business continuity; and foster use of technology to inspire innovation and creativity;

• Promotion of outreach via Senior Benefits Information Centers, Homework Help, GED Connect!, FirstFind and Learning Ambassadors (a video of this year’s program was shown).

During a brief meeting, several trustees were also re-elected to a 5-year term including LaRuth Gray of New Rochelle representing WLS District XIV, Sue Neale of Scarsdale representing WLS District VIII and Edris Scherer of North Salem representing WLS District IV.

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