POUGHKEEPSIE – Nearly a year ago City Councilman Chris Petsas had the idea of building book depositories where people can borrow or donate books at no charge. The idea of the mini-libraries has come to fruition recently with the first installment at city hall. The city hall library will be stocked and officially unveiled in the coming days.
According to Petsas, he was lacking the time to build the mini-libraries until the pandemic provided some much-needed spare time to move the project along.
The councilmember described the initiative as being close to his heart. “This project means a lot to me personally, since as a child I had to overcome several communication skill issues – both speaking and reading and attended reading and speech therapy classes in the basement of Christoper Columbus Elementary School.”
The pandemic has not only given the lawmaker a chance to build the libraries but also highlighted a need to encourage reading among students that are involved in distance learning. “With so many Poughkeepsie students now not attending school physically, it is all the more reason to install these reading stations throughout the city to help inspire our students to continue to read and to stay engaged,” said the first ward representative.
Mr. Petsas acknowledged the community effort behind the program. “Since I first announced this project on Facebook around a month ago, the community support has been incredible. We have received monetary donations, hundreds of books, and lots of support and love for this project. From the ordinary citizen to the Poughkeepsie Library District, to our City Administration and to the DPW crew – this is a community effort and I am thrilled to see this project and its benefits come to fruition.”
Individuals interested in donating money for supplies to build the libraries that Petsas plans to install in every city park, can mail a check or money order.
Checks can be made out to:
City of Poughkeepsie. In the memo section, write “Mini Free Library”.
Mail the checks to Chris Petsas
36 Talmadge Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Book donations can be arranged with Petsas by calling him at 845-206-7300 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.