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Missteps mark RCS Library move

Library served notice to vacate by village months before ready

— After a multi-month struggle, the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Community Library will stay in its space within the Ravena Village Building until the end of the year, still several months before library officials deem ideal for a move.

This June, library officials were served a notice to vacate from the Village Board of Trustees. The library has been in its space for 15 years, but it failed to renegotiate the lease in February. The village intends to turn the space into a community center for residents.

Library Director Judy Felsten said the library has outgrown the space and for more than a year has been seeking a new location. Library officials made the village aware of their plans, but were not at the stage to move because of budget issues and the need to secure a space.

“(There were) some changes in board membership through this process and what happened was we needed to begin negotiations for a new lease. Unfortunately, the library board neglected to begin those,” she said.

Felsten said the village wished for the library to stay in its current location until May of 2013, the end of its fiscal year. Library trustees then met with village officials and walked away thinking the lease would be renewed until May. They then received the notice to vacate by thend of October. Since then, the village has agreed to let the library stay until the new year.

The village has purchased equipment from a gym that closed earlier in the year for about $37,000. The plan now is to turn the space into a community fitness center, according to Mayor John Bruno.

“We are not throwing them (the library) out,” he said.

Antonio Booth, vice president of the RCS Community Library, said it would cost too much money to move to a temporary site. Also, half of the library’s collection would need to be placed in storage and service would be interrupted.

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