Our Mission

To help community members of all ages improve their quality of life by providing access
to materials and services that meet their personal, educational, and professional needs.







Library Policy

Lakewood Memorial Library has established rules of conduct and guidelines to protect
the rights and safety of all Library visitors and staff and to preserve the Library’s materials,
equipment, facilities, and grounds.  Staff will enforce these rules in a fair and reasonable
manner in order to make the Library a clean, safe, comfortable place for everyone.
-Treat staff and other library users with courtesy and dignity. 
-Refrain from behavior or speech that could be distracting, disturbing or
offensive to other library users.
-Speak quietly and keep any conversations short. 
-Treat library materials, furniture, and equipment with respect. 
-Parents or care-givers must supervise their children in the library and take
responsibility for their behavior. Young children should at all times be under
close visual supervision and not disturbing to other library users.

The Library Board sets policies. The Library Director supervises implementation
of policies and procedures. Any suggested changes to either should be brought
to the Director for consideration and approval before implementation.


Lakewood Memorial Library Internet Safety Policy
Adopted October 11, 2016
The Lakewood Memorial Library affirms the legal and constitutional rights to privacy
for patrons accessing materials and information from a library. In compliance with the
Federal Children’s Internet Protection Act, it is the policy of the Library to: (a) deter user
access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via
Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications; (b) deter
unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity; and (c) deter unauthorized online
disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors.
Key terms are as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act.*
The Library will take reasonable and prudent measures to protect the privacy of data
provided by patrons when using the System’s Integrated Library System (ILS) and th
e shared wide-area network. Per New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 4509,
library records, including internet activity and search histories, are considered confidential
and private.
New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 4509 Library Records.
Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding
the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library
systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library
materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries,
requests for photocopies of library materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall
not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for
the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of
the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.
Access to Inappropriate Material
To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) shall be used
to block or filter Internet access, or other forms of electronic communications, to
inappropriate information, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act. Blocking
shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography,
or to any material deemed harmful to minors.
Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults
or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection
measures shall be the responsibility of the Library Director or appointed representative.
No Internet filter is 100% effective and library staff cannot act In Loco Parentis.
Parents/guardians are responsible for the Internet behavior of their minor children.
The Library will comply with the requirements of Children’s Internet Protection Act while
upholding the constitutional and legal rights to privacy and confidentiality of their patrons.
Inappropriate Network Usage
To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety, and security of users
of the Library’s computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging,
and other forms of direct electronic communications.
Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, inappropriate network
usage includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking,’ and other unlawful
activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification
information regarding minors.
This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of Trustees at a public meeting
on October 11, 2016, following normal public notice on September 26, 2016.


Board of Trustees 2017-2018

  • Mary McCague – President
    Nancy Padak – Vice President
    Mary Seger – Secretary
  • Tom Townsend – Treasurer
  • Karen Dennerlein
  • Priscilla Menzies
  • Bill Burley
  • Lisa Yaggie
    Richard Rose
    Sharon Witchey

Board Meetings are held at 6:30 P.M. on the second Thursday of each month.


Library Staff

  • Mary Miller – Library Director
  • Jodi Swanson – Library Assistant, Technician
  • Nancy Dawson – Library Assistant, Circulation
  • Joyce Moskwa – Library Assistant, Circulation
    Shannon Taylor – Library Assistant, Circulation
    Addy Covert-Slick – Library Assistant, Circulation
    Emalee Krulish – Library Program Director


The action was risky but the twenty-six women who gathered in Mrs. Grant Gruel's
living room at 8 Ivy Lane in Lakewood, New York on the evening of May 20, 1960 were
determined. No one hesitated to sign her name to the document which affirmed the
founding of the Lakewood Library Association. In the following days other names were
added to the Charter. Prominent Lakewood lawyer, Joseph Gerace, completed all the
legal paperwork necessary for state approval . In October 1960 the Association received
the Provisional Charter that was the basis for the creation of the Lakewood Memorial Library.

The grassroots movement was energized in large part by women active in the venerable
Lakewood Women's Club. Although the municipal governments of both Lakewood and the
Town of Busti gave enthusiastic backing to the idea, this was to be an "Association Library".
Those who signed as Charter Members and all other residents of the area were responsible
for its success or failure. Such a library would be almost wholly dependent upon volunteers.
There was an initial exhilaration at taking the first step, but seasoned library officials stated
their doubts about the ability of the community to sustain enough volunteer strength as time
passed. In reality, the present library files contain ledgers listing the names of innumerable
volunteers and their hours worked over a fifty-year period. They bear testimony to the
sticking power of Lakewood Library volunteers.

Events moved quickly once the initial plunge was taken. A 15-member governing board
was assembled. Rosamund Braley served as President during this phase. She was
succeeded later in 1960 by Nancy Swanson who also served as Library Director during its
first year. Lucy Darrow Peake, a Lakewood School Librarian provided the guiding hand
behind all the details of creating a library and developing library operations. She also
recommended that Mrs. Warren Alexander, her former student, be "hired" as a fulltime
employee (even she was a volunteer during her first year). Other committees were formed.
Residents of the village, business executives, accountants, teachers, were all enrolled for
their expertise. From the beginning the entire operation was on a prudent businesslike basis.

A Membership Campaign held in October 1960 provided the funds necessary to underwrite
the efforts. Individual memberships cost $1.00. A $25.00 donor became a Charter Member.
The Drive plus other special gifts and donations amounted to over $5,000. The bottom line
of the first budget- for 1960-61 was $4,905.

The new Lakewood Memorial Library was set up in a 700 square foot room leased from
the Post Office on Chautauqua Avenue. Its furnishings were simple. There were two tables,
ten chairs, a desk, and shelves.. There was no vestibule, no storage space, no coat room,
no work space. The rest room shared space with cleaning supplies in a closet. Books were
collected from community residents and $250.00 was spent to buy books from the James
Prendergast Library in Jamestown.

After its official opening on December 4, 1960, the popularity of the new institution was
never in doubt. Some 5,000 books were circulated during its first year.

Each succeeding year saw an increase. By 1969 the library was circulating over 20,000
books a year. The membership which stood at 900 in 1960 rose to over 4,000 during
the same years.

The library became a popular and familiar spot during its first decade. Maintenance
was assured by donations of both money and services from both the Village of Lakewood
and the town of Busti. A separate Memorial Fund was a cushion against emergency expenses
or special projects. Katherine Alexander became a paid employee. She was to remain, the
personification of the library, for four decades. She imprinted the library with her welcoming,
warm, and willing personality.

Volunteer activity did not flag. The governing Board increased to 24 members early in
the decade. Katy Post, Nancy Swanson, Eleanor Neilson, Harry Robie and Mary Gerace all
took turns as President during that time.

The library's assured success led the Board to entertain thoughts of larger quarters as
early as 1963. By 1968 operating personnel feared that the overcrowded conditions that
precluded leisure browsing and further programming, would endanger the library's efficacy
and popularity. The library leaders again took a daring step when they resolved to seek
funding to construct a free-standing home for the Lakewood Library.

The entire community was drawn into the vigorous fund-raising campaign to raise $150,000.
Co-chairmen Kenneth Strickler, a Jamestown business owner and Carl Bowen, an Art Metal
executive, both Lakewood residents, were joined by Mary Gerace, Board President, to
organize an effective campaign. Lakewood residents who were businessmen, executives
and community leaders were among the more than 150 workers involved in the effort. They
headed campaign divisions - Advance Gifts, Individual Gifts, Special Gifts. The Lakewood
Women's club provided section captains to canvass the entire residential area. Many unsung
volunteers provided the necessary support structure.

As the campaign progressed throughout 1968 and 1969 the Board purchased a ¾ acre
of land on the southeast corner of Summit Street and Owana Way. Buildings on the property
were demolished in September of 1969, plans drawn up by the architectural firm of Naetzer,
Thorsell and Dove were approved and construction began.

The one floor, 4,900 square foot structure was completed in the summer of 1970.
The story of the book-moving day has become legendary in Lakewood history. On
July 11, 1970 a human chain of 200 Lakewood residents, both children and adults, was
formed, leading from the Chautauqua Avenue location to the new facility on Summit Street.
Over 19,000 volumes were passed hand to hand. Other volunteers inside the library
shelved the books as they arrived.

At the gala formal opening of the new library on October 18, 1970, the public crowded
in to appreciate what their efforts and dollars had created. The charge desk stood just inside
the main entrance vestibule. A conference room, dedicated to Lucy Darrow Peake opened
off the spacious main library area. The Director's office, rest rooms, and utility room and
receiving rooms were located toward the rear of the building. Among the rows of shelving,
a lounge, furnished with easy chairs encouraged patron relaxation.

The Library received its permanent Charter in 1970 and during the next three decades,
the Lakewood Memorial Library stabilized and strengthened its place in the community.
Library operating policies and guidelines demanded by state mandate and local requirements
were strictly followed under two or more term presidential leadership of Jean Carlson,
Rosamund Braley, Rose Federico, Carol Cadwell, Elsa Hern, and Mark Hampton.

The number of volunteers willing to accept leadership of the Board diminished in the
1980s. Mary Gerace, a previous Board President who, along with Katy Post had shouldered
the major details in the earlier Fund-Raising Project, stepped up to the job. Her Presidency
of the Board throughout the next two decades was characterized by prudent investments
and thoughtful expenditures.These were approved only after periods of investigating and
discussions, some of several month's duration. Space shortage, a problem chronic to all
libraries, and increasing patronage requiring more breadth and variety in the library offerings,
led the Board to replace the lounge area with additional stacks. Roof replacement and the
creation within the building of a restroom to accommodate handicapped patrons were major
renovations in the 1990s.

Katherine Alexander retired in the late 1990s and the position of Director was filled by
short term or temporary leaders. Veteran staff, Donna Gordan and Jackie McIntyre ably
handled the Library operations during this transition period and helped the changing parade
of directors to become acquainted. At the same time, more policy and financial responsibility
was thrust upon the Board of Trustees. Pat Berry, a well-qualified Director, was hired in 2002
and advocated a Capital Fund Drive to renovate the 40-year old building. The Board personnel
at this time included many of the same stalwart volunteers who had been enthusiastic
participants in the strenuous events of the early 1970s 30 years before. They were no longer
the energetic young women who had labored to build the library's sound foundation. They saw
the projected plans as the responsibility for younger members and during the next two years
a number of Board members retired or opted not to be reelected. However, all who love the
Lakewood Memorial Library can recognize with deep appreciation that much of what the library
means to the village of Lakewood today points to the absolute devotion and freely-given
services of these veterans.

Director Pat Berry resigned in 2006 and in 2007 Mary Miller, well qualified in library work
both in this country and abroad, became the fulltime Director. She provided the strong
professional leadership the library demanded at this point in its history.

The changes envisioned in 2004 became reality by 2008. Board Members, Geri Swanson,
Bernie Elkin, Karen Dennerlein, Karin Flynn, and Paul Andrews joined by community volunteers,
Betsy Shepherd, John Anderson, Marion Gibbon, Wendy Kane and Richard Rose were
members of the Steering Committee chaired by Helen Ebersole, a former Library Board
member. This multifunctional and hard-working committee both directed the Capital Campaign
that raised the necessary $800,000 to underwrite the project, and worked closely with
Architect Steven Sandberg of Harrington, Sandberg, Architects in the planning and
implementation of the project. Director Mary Miller proved to be the key to prompt
accomplishment. She was untiring in her dogged attention to detail. Her supervision of
the packing and removal to storage vans of over 80,000 books and related items, and
their subsequent proper reshelving certainly, merits her a medal.

Lakewood residents and supporters expressed nothing but pride and satisfaction in the
transformed library at the Grand Opening on March 12, 2009. They entered through a
reconstructed and enlarged entryway that not only led to the main library but also to a 500
square foot comfortably furnished addition designed as a gallery, a small group meeting
room and a comfortable area for relaxation. In the main library the Director's Office and a
work room opening from the charge desk and business area all were designed for efficient
and smooth operations. State of the art heating and air conditioning systems and eye-ease
lighting assured patron comfort. Additional computers answered an urgent need. Provision
to install future technological facilities was part of the master plan. It was obvious to all viewers
that while The Lakewood Library, newly energized, would still be their own comfortable and
welcoming place, it was also now well prepared to face the inevitable changes in the future.

In its fifty year history the Lakewood Memorial Library has fulfilled and expanded the vision
of its founders. From a limited storefront lending library it has become the village center for
education, for entertainment, for community communication, and for artistic appreciation. It
endlessly enriches the village and its residents. Its capacity to meet the demands of changing
times assures that it will remain a vital village institution for many years to come.

- Helen Ebersole