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Touring Local Libraries – Ours is Behind...

libraryvisit(This article was submitted by Diane Greenwald, VP of the Library Board) Doing their due diligence and perhaps seeking inspiration, several Village Trustees, along with members of the Library Board, took a field trip on Saturday October 29th to visit two local libraries located in communities that have invested in library improvements.

To Darien, Connecticut: New Construction Library
Guided by Scarsdale Library Director Elizabeth Bermel, the trip began at Darien Public Library, where the group met with Bermel's counterpart, Director Alan Kirk Gray, a well-regarded visionary for the 21st century library. Gray described how Darien's building, completed in 2007, supports a philosophy of patron service and hospitality. "We consider ourselves as caretakers." He explained, "We want you to be comfortable here. If someone has a problem {in the community} we want to be the solution."

darienchildrenDarien Public Library serves a population of 21,000, about 5,000 more than Scarsdale, and is considered the gold standard for modern libraries today. Their new-construction building, at 54,000 SF total, is larger than the Scarsdale Library is now or plans to become, and includes many conveniences and enviable accommodations.

For example, the group was impressed dariencafewith the sunny children's wing that includes two dedicated program rooms and as well-equipped maker's space; the fully-equipped video conference room that can be rented out as a revenue source; a fixed-seat auditorium with concert-quality acoustics; a dedicated and 'tricked out' teen room; a full business center with Bloomberg Terminals and a large-scale bubble-jet printer; a dedicated technology classroom in addition to walk-up computer stations; a green-screen media production room; an art gallery; a state-of-the-art book sorting machine in the basement connected to self-check in/out machines upstairs; a large and inviting reading gallery; a cozy and inviting periodical gallery; several enclosed offices for sign up use; and every shape and size chair and nook for quiet, semi-quiet and chit-chat. Director Gray described a small café space on the main floor as a well-used convenience that increases patron 'dwell time,' a metric employed to measure their customer service goals.

dariencomputingWhile many of the features at the Darien Library exceed the program goals for the Scarsdale Library Improvement Project, there are lessons here for creating a more accessible, technologically forward and user-friendly environment. The group did note that the furnishings and interiors were not necessarily fancy, but serviceable, and that the spaces were light-filled and welcoming; bookshelves were relatively low for easy reach; spaces were designated for specific uses/noise levels but designed as flexible for adaptation; and technology was regularly upgraded to support changing digital needs. And these goals are all embedded in Scarsdale's plan.

To Mamaroneck: Renovation and Expansion Library
mamaroneckroomThe group then visited Mamaroneck Public Library, a renovation and expansion of their old 1927 library building, tucked into town block right behind Mamaroneck Avenue. The Mamaroneck reference librarian, Trish Byrne, guided the group through a contemporary space that flanked the renovated old building that she felt, together, gave them 'everything they wanted.' Highlights included a full-floor children's wing with a dedicated program room; a dedicated teen zone and young adult book collection; a multipurpose community room with flexible furnishings; expanded stacks throughout; a technology lab and public computer area; a permanent book sale department; an outdoor reading deck and an art gallery. She did note that a small coffee bar area built instead of a café, now a standard feature in newer libraries, was a disappointment, but it was less critical for them because of their proximity to the many food services on Mamaroneck Avenue.

The 11,000SF expansion impressed themamaentrygroup as a handsome, modern juxtaposition to the older, stone traditional building that clearly offered the community significant improvements. It was also noted however, that while the furnishings where aesthetically pleasing, the building was dark and hard to navigate, making it less welcoming than Darien.

Scarsdale Library Director Bermel explained that, as priorities were set for our own project, visits to these libraries and others helped inspire and inform the process, noting, "Not everything we saw was right for us, but we are definitely behind other towns who have brought their library buildings in line with the uses and needs of all patrons today and tomorrow."

Bermel is committed to Scarsdale Public Library's relevance and value as an open and accessible resource, integral to the fabric of our village and our democracy. "A library is not a community center," she offers, "but it is at the center of the community."

Reminder: The Scarsdale Village Trustees will be discussing the Scarsdale Library Improvement Plan on Tuesday November 29, at 6:55pm, and there will be time for the community to make comment.

Learn more about the proposed library improvement project here:

Quick Facts and Library Comparison Chart
Scarsdale Library Improvement Project Website
Full Scarsdale Library Project Binder

Raiders Field Hockey Team Ends Amazing Season at the States

fhawardsFor the first time since 1996, the Scarsdale High School Field Hockey team made it to the New York State Class A finals. The team's road to states began when they won their section quarterfinal and semi-final games, bringing them to the Section 1 finals against Mamaroneck on November 1st. After earning this win, the team went on to the regional finals facing Kingston on November 5th. This regional win brought the team to the state tournament, entering into the state semifinals against section 3's Baldwinsville on November 12th in Binghamton. The team continued their momentum by winning this game, leading to the state finals on November 13th against Shenendehowa. In New York State field hockey, unlike other sports, a team's season is over no matter the outcome of the state final game. A state winner does not go on to play other state champions, so the team ended their amazing run on Sunday the 13th in Binghamton.

Sophomore Emma Schwartz, who scored the second goal in Scarsdale's 2-0 field hockey section win against Mamaroneck on November 1, attributed the energy on the field and the team's preparation to the Raider's success. "We had great energy on the field, and the crowd was really motivating. We have been working really hard all season in preparation for Mamaroneck. We were ready." Feeding off of energy from the crowd, the Raiders were able to dominate a high stakes game against the 2015 state champs. According to Junior Audrey Shaev, the turning point in the game came when Captain Erin Nicholas scored the first goal of the game with no time left in the first half. "After Erin scored, we gained so much momentum which propelled us through the rest of the game. After that, we made sure to keep the pressure on Mamo."

Going into the regional game on 11/5, Shaev noted fh1that the squad was motivated by one word, "States". "We all knew that we were capable of getting there. We had to go onto the field with the confidence to win." The Raiders showed their confidence through their impressive play, defeating Section 9's Kingston 5-0. This win catapulted them to the NYS Semi-Finals at Binghamton. The team displayed their well roundedness and overall strength when four of the total five goals were scored by the squad's two freshman players, Sophia Franco and Liz Scarcella. Franco, who got pulled up to the varsity team for post season play, scored her first goal with just five minutes gone in the game. Scarcella scored another early goal assisted by Nicholas. The two also had goals in the second half, Nicholas putting the icing on the cake with the fifth goal. Another notable contribution to the regional title was the second shutout in a row by the Raider's stellar defense, led by Senior Captain Emma Coleman, Senior Angie Burns, and Junior Goalie Lila Horwood. Freshman Scarcella mentioned that the feeling of playing and succeeding in such an important game was "indescribable". "It felt amazing to be a part of a team that got to go to States. Our team proved our hard work and skill just by making it to Binghamton."

Junior Shaev, who was unable to play in the states because due to an injury in the regional game, said that the for the state semi final game on Saturday 11-12 against Baldwinsville the Raiders were filled with more energy and "positivity" than for any of their previous games this season. "It was such an important game, and we knew we needed to step up". The game went into double overtime, with several momentum shifts throughout regulation play. Emma Schwartz's goal with 5 minutes gone in the half, assisted by Nicholas, contributed to Raider dominance early in the game. A second goal scored by Sophia Franco, also assisted by Nicholas, added to the team's lead. A fast break goal by Baldwinsville challenged Scarsdale's momentum, but strong defense by Emma Coleman and Lila Horwood kept the score to 2-1 at the half. With just four minutes left in regulation time, Baldwinsville put the ball in the net to tie it up, ultimately leading to overtime. Seven players from each team are chosen to take the field in overtime, as opposed to 11 during regulation play. Because of the tight defense on both sides, the game headed into double overtime. Erin Nicholas scored the winning goal in overtime, catapulting the girls to the Class A state finals. Scarcella noted that "Although we were all tired, I could tell that no one was going to quit and that we were all going to play to the very end".

The Raiders left all of their effort on the field during Sunday's final game against Shenendehowa, when this incredible season came to an end. Shenendehowa took advantage of their opportunities during the first half, leading by two goals off of their five shots. Scarsdale, who did not take a shot during the first half, was led by Goalie Lila Horwood and her five saves. The Raiders played strong offense and defense in the second half, forcing Shenendehowa to take multiple timeouts. Erin Nicholas scored her final field hockey goal as a Scarsdale Raider with seconds left in the game, making the final score 2-1. The Raiders fell to Shenendehowa, who are now the reigning Class A State Champions. Freshman Scarcella and Franco described the loss as "Especially hard on our team, but we took it well and showed our sportsmanship. By accepting the loss, we are motivated to work harder and make it back to states next season".

Saying goodbye to several talented seniors is never easy for a team. Nicholas, who has been a strong presence on the field since her freshman year, will continue her field hockey career at Middlebury next fall. She will finish off her Scarsdale sports career by playing ice hockey in the winter and lacrosse in the spring. Several more of the team members are all season athletes. Emma Coleman, the key to the team's defense, will play basketball in the winter and lacrosse in the spring. Jilly Mehlman, whose speed has helped the Raider dominate this season, will run track at Yale in the fall. She continues to run track in the winter, playing lacrosse in the spring. Angie Burns, another key part of the defensive squad, will play lacrosse in the spring, along with Hayley Panessa. Several teammates have attributed the team's success to their cohesiveness on and off the field. "We have been such a close knit team throughout the season. That is the reason why it's so fun to have had as much success as we did". Keeping this mentality, the team is proud of their state finalist title and the ability to come back even stronger next season.

Field Hockey Team Wins Sectionals, Plus Soccer and Softball News

FieldHockeyThe SHS Raiders Girls Field Hockey Team triumphed over their top-seeded rivals from Mamaroneck at Brewster High School on Tuesday November 1 to become section champs. The score was 2-0 with goals scored by Erin Nicholas and Emma Schwartz. Mamaroneck was defending their state title.

The team will now play against section 9 champions from Kingston on Saturday November 5 at 3 pm at Valhalla High School.


Boys Soccer:
The seniors played their last game for the Scarsdale High School Varsity Soccer Team on Wednesday October 26th when they were upset by New Rochelle in the Sectional Semi-finals. It was an exciting game, tied at zero-zero after double overtime, followed by tied 4 out of 5 penalty kicks. The Raiders ultimately lost on their 6th penalty kick. New Rochelle advanced to the Sectional finals where they upset Arlington 0-3.

soccergoaliePhotos by Jon Thaler: See more here:

Victory for the Raiders 10U Softball Team

10USoftballCompeting against five (5) other 10u teams in the Yorktown Halloween Softball Tournament (Danbury, Yorktown, Larchmont, New Castle and Carmel), the Scarsdale Raiders made it to the championship game vs. Yorktown and won with a final score of 7-5. It was a great way to end the fall season. The team: Anna Henry, Ariella Sobel, Catherine Dundon, Isabelle Mezger, Olivia Fosina, Annika Fuehrer, Melanie Toubin, Abby Feuerstein, Ella Krausz, Emily Levine, Sammy Fenigstein, Hannah Raab, Kay Fitzgerald, Ella Hayes and Samantha Kofman. The team was lead by head coach Dave Scagnelli and assistant coach Kevin Khederian.

Field Hockey Team Advances to the States - Football Team Vies for Sectional Title

fhsectionThe Raiders Girls Field Hockey Team won the section title, playing against Kingston in Brewster on Saturday November 5. They never let their opponents score a goal and came away with a 5-0 win. Erin Nicholas was MVP with 3 assists and one goal. Elizabeth Scarcella scored two goals and freshman Sophia Franco also scored two goals. The Raiders will now travel to Binghamton for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association final four.

Scarsdale Football


The Scarsdale Raiders Football team advanced to the section finals versus the New Rochelle Hugenots for the first time since the 1970's. It was a huge accomplishment for the Raiders. They played at Valhalla on Saturday November 5 and though they lost to their rivals 41-13 it was a proud moment for the team, parents and fans!

Football photos by Jon Thaler: see more hereBarryandNick

Girls Raiders Soccer Team Falls to North Rockland on a Wet, Blustery Day

huddleThe Scarsdale High School girls' Varsity A soccer team suffered a disappointing loss in the first round of the section playoffs on Saturday, October 22, falling to North Rockland 1-0. The game was played at North Rockland in cold, wind and rain, with the Raiders' players having to brave both the elements and a traditionally physical opponent. The Raiders had defeated North Rockland earlier in the season, 1-0, so heading into the game a tough, low scoring affair was anticipated.The Raiders dominated possession for the first ten minutes of the game and appeared to score on a shot by freshman Olivia Bryant. The goal was nullified, however, by an offside call. North Rockland took the lead at about the 20 minute mark of the first half on a shot from about 25 yards out which just eluded the reach of Raiders' sophomore goalie Christina Coco. After that, the game was played fairly evenly, with both teams having a few scoring chances. Scarsdale's Sam Mancini made a number of excellent defensive plays.

Perhaps Scarsdale's best chance occurred on a free kick by sophomore Allison Stafford in the middle of the second half from about 25 yards out. Stafford's line drive shot went over the crossbar by inches with the North Rockland goalie trying in vain to deflect it. Later in the second half, sophomore Riley Edlitz made an outstanding move that left her open for a direct shot on goal from about 15 yards out, but the North Rockland goalie made a good save.

The girls played extremely hard throughout the game, with a few of them bruised after a physical contest. For the Raiders, it was a frustrating defeat after a successful 10-5-1 regular season and a second consecutive league championship. A number of talented seniors will leave the team due to graduation. Still, with a solid talent base slated to return for the 2017 season, the Raiders are expected to be strong again next year and contend for another section title.

Congratulations are in order for the team and Coaches Genovese and Fox for a highly successful and rewarding 2016 season.