Summer 2009

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2009 Velma Moore Award to Southeast Steuben Public Library Trustees

Rita Reissig, NYSALB Board Member

Summer 2009 issue of Trustee

This year’s award was presented to the original board of trustees from the Corning Public Library, now known as the Southeast Steuben County Library.

In 1999 the Corning public library fell victim to difficult financial times and was ultimately forced to close.  A group of dedicated trustees, Vernard Anderson, Margot Brown, Paul Danielson, Joseph Hurley, Roger Smith, Kristen Swain, Richard Weakland, and Graham Wightman rallied on behalf of the library.  Working with local organizations, the group crafted an agreement to establish a new association library through a ten-year funding agreement with municipalities and foundation donations to renovate and bring the old building and collection back.  Significant communication with legislators, community stakeholders, devoted library users and local media led to the opening of a new, renovated, and well-equipped library in December of 2000.  The Velma Moore selection committee felt this group should be held as a model
for any community facing significant cuts in their public library service, which many libraries are now encountering.

Dale Wexell attended the Trustee Institute luncheon to accept the award, presented by Rita Reissig of the NYSALB Board.

The Velma Moore award was originally established in 1962 with a gift from the Moore family and has been awarded annually ever since.  The award carries a monetary award of $750 for the library or library service of the winner’s choice.  The award was established to honor the memory of Velma Moore, wife of former New York State Lt. Governor Frank C. Moore.  Velma was one of the charter members of the Library Trustees Foundation, which later became know as NYSALB.  For thirty-three years Mrs. Moore was a trustee of the Kenmore Public Library near Buffalo, New York.

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