By Kathryn G. Menu
The John Jermain Memorial Library (JJML) will not have a contested library board race, with three candidates vying for three positions on the board in the September 24 trustee race and budget vote.
Incumbent trustee Linley Whelan confirmed last week she would seek another term on the board. JJML board president Carl Peterson and trustee Carol Williams will not return to the board, both having reached their term limits.
In their place, former Sag Harbor Historical Society board member and literary agent Alison Bond will seek her first term on the board, as will Nick Gazzolo, a longtime board member for the not-for-profit Save Sag Harbor.
“Not only are all three candidates active in the community, but they are active patrons of the library,” said JJML Director Catherine Creedon. “I think they will be able to help us look forward.”
Baring an aggressive write-in campaign, the three candidates stand poised to be elected to serve on the board beginning this January, as the library enters a year that will be marked by the opening of its restored and expanded historic Main Street building, currently under construction.
For Whelan, seeing that project completed — and properly funded — is one of the many reasons she has chosen to seek another term.
While voters in the Sag Harbor School District approved a $9 million referendum in 2009 to publicly fund the project over a 20 year period, Creedon committed to privately raising additional funding. Whelan, among other board members, has helped Creedon lead that charge.
“We have raised about $2.8 million,” said Whelan, who added she would like to see an additional $1 million to $1.5 million raised to meet the library’s need.
“We have these really wonderful jewels in our community that we have to help maintain as a community,” said Whelan. “People should be reminded that the library and other institutions really need our support and help.”
“I am in the book business, I was an editor and now I am a literary agent, so books are my love, my passion and where I want to be involved,” said Bond.
She added working with Creedon is something she has wanted to do since first meeting the library director.
“I see libraries, and in particular, our library — a wonderful, classic building to die for — as a home for the community,” said Bond, who added she would like to aid the board as libraries move towards looking at new mediums to share information with the public.
Gazzolo was tapped by a friend to run for the board.
“In general, I think libraries are temples and I think we have a great one here,” said Gazzolo. “I think libraries are also changing radically, which in a way I think is a crisis, but it is also an opportunity for us to look at how we are providing service to our community.”
“I think the areas where I will be able to contribute are in terms of technology and how that is changing, but also marketing and coming up with ideas about how to reach people,” he added. “Connecting with people about the value the library offers to the community is something I also want to remind people about.”