The North Shore Public Library ended Tuesday on a high note, after residents passed its 2016-17 budget proposal and re-elected library board of trustees member Richard Gibney. The library’s approximate $3.5 million dollar budget passed with 147 votes in favor with just 19 in opposition. The budget is around $18,500 less than last year’s budget.

Library Director Laura Hawrey said the money will help fund the library’s ongoing concert series and various programs. It will also help fund library books, electronic media and typical maintenance of the facility and its computers, among other items.

“Technology, educational courses, entertainment and other current offerings make this a much different library than what they grew up with,” Gibney said in an email about residents who use the library. “Anyone who visits and enjoys the library would never even think of voting down its budget. The returns far exceed the costs.”

Community members of the North Shore Public Library re-elected board of trustees member Richard Gibney to another five-year term. Photo from Laura Hawrey
Community members of the North Shore Public Library re-elected board of trustees member Richard Gibney to another five-year term. Photo from Laura Hawrey

As a member of the board of trustees, Gibney helped oversee the budget process. He was re-elected with 142 votes, and will serve on the board for another five years. The Wading River resident is a certified arborist and President of Gibney Design Landscape Architecture in Wading River. Although Gibney ran unopposed for his seat, the election isn’t political. Being a member of the board is simply a way for him to further serve his community.

“I like hearing about and being involved in the ‘workings’ of my library,” he said.

The trustee doesn’t only split his time between work and the library, but also lends a hand around the community. According to Gibney, he works alongside his wife Debra on Wading River Historical Society’s Holiday Tea and Duck Pond Day events. He also provided his professional services at the Tesla Science Center site and has educated second-grade Boy Scouts about landscape architecture and horticulture over the years.

“Richard Gibney has been a dedicated, responsible and cooperative member of the board, who knows the appropriate questions to ask at the appropriate time,” said William Schiavo, president of the board. “As a dedicated library user, he has been very sensitive and aware of the needs of the library and the taxpayers who support it. He has been a pleasure to work with in the past and I am looking forward to working with him in the future.”

Going forward, Gibney would like to have a new stand-alone or state-of-the-art library that has ample parking space, if the library can afford this kind of project. He added that he will serve as long as he feels he is effective and will step down if any future conflicts arise.

Hawrey was more than pleased with Tuesday’s results and was grateful for community members’ support of the budget and return of Gibney.

“The approved budget will continue to provide the North Shore Public Library community with exceptional library services,” Hawrey said in an email. “I am pleased that Richard Gibney has been re-elected and will continue to share his expertise with the other members on the Library Board of Trustees.”