Letter: Thank You for Exposing Our Town’s Shame And Tragedy

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Rebecca, thank you for your exposure on what I often think of as our town’s shame and tragedy in “Books Saved from Destruction Emerge from Hiding” in the Feb. 6 issue.

You confirmed some of what I had heard and much of what I had feared. It is honestly incomprehensible to me how this even occurred.

I had only been living in Great Neck for about two years when the renovation began. My boys and I used to visit the library all the time. I considered it our town’s greatest gem.

There were so many books for my boys to explore, stacks and stacks, and explore we did. We often stayed for hours and left with 20 books or more, believe it or not. We loved that library! Our visit was always so satisfying.

I was, therefore, shocked to see the new children’s section after the renovation. It was supposed to be an improvement, but it so quickly became apparent all that we had lost: so many books; so much nonfiction, so many of the topics my boys used to love.

Suddenly, instead of exploring on their own,
they were forced to ask the librarians for topics they were interested in so they could retrieve them from storage. It felt so odd and artificial that the wonder and mystery of that great library quickly lost its luster for us.

Now, we almost never go. It’s just not worth it: so few books; so little topics my boys are interested in, so little exploring to do on their own in that small space with those short stacks.

Your article brought all that up for me again. It made me reflect on why we never go anymore and what a loss that is for us.

I hope with your help and under the new management something of what was lost can be recovered.

Building children’s love of books is so important! It is something that can feed them for a lifetime. I do believe I have imparted that love to my children, but there is no doubt I could have built on that love even more had the renovation not been as botched as it clearly was. It is very sad.

I’m going to take the boys to the library soon, just to check out how things have progressed. I do hope I’m not too disappointed. It’s honestly a reminder of how the old is often replaced with the shiny and new, without rhyme or reason, only to be sorely regretted later.

Rebecca, thank you so much for your obvious care and concern for our town’s
library. I truly hope, with more people like you involved, we may be able to restore our treasured library to something of what it used to be.

I implore the library to please put special focus and attention on restoring the children’s section to the glory it once was. Our nonfiction readers, many of them boys, have lost so much and often they are the ones who struggle the most with reading and need most to be engaged.

Thank you again for all of your efforts.

—Adrian Tubero-Rafii, PsyD

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