Meeting Date: Thursday, November 10, 2016

Present:  Deborah Worden, Assistant Director, Action Toward Independence

               Carl S. Berkowitz, President, RCLS Board of Trustees  

               Matt Pfisterer, Director, Middletown Thrall Library

               Joann Hargabus, Director of Services – Action Toward Independence, (ATI)                          

               Karrie Williamson, Senior Librarian, Otisville Correctional Facility

               Dan Hulse, RCLS Development Officer & COSAG Chair

               Mimi Vilord, President & CEO, Rockland County United Way (on phone)

               Grace Riario, RCLS Public Services Consultant & Outreach Coordinator

               Regina Cieslak, Prevention Coordinator, Catholic Charities, Newburgh

Absent:  Linda Aumick, Board President – Action Toward Independence

  Ashley Knox, President & CEO, Go Beyond Greatness, Inc.

              Terri Thal, NYS Perinatal Association & Not-for Profit Consultant

              Margaret McDowell, Gardiner Senior Resource Committee

              Josie Longstreet, Statewide Systems Advocate, Independent Living Inc.             

              Laura LaSusa, Employment Services Coordinator, OrangeWorks- (now retired)

Meeting location: Ramapo Catskill Library System – Middletown, NY.

Chair Dan Hulse called the meeting to order at 10:03 am.  Introductions were made around the table. 

Matt Pfisterer made a motion to accept the minutes of the June 6, 2016 meeting as submitted.  Carl Berkowitz seconded.  Motion passed.

RCLS Reports:  2016 Outreach Grants applications:  Review & discussion – progress –Grace Riario led a detailed review of each grant application that was submitted. 

Wallkill Library:  Not a new idea; not enough details; although it is good because it gives you a target and are going outside the library.  The application shows that they did their research. Liked that there was a Senior target group.  Grace thinks that it’s important to include seniors; sometimes this age group gets isolated from activities sometimes. 

Greenwood Lake:  Very positive comments from the committee.  Great ideas of incorporating technology with the Senior population. 

Haverstraw:  Committee has concerns.  There is no breakdown of expenses and no details of how the programs will be carried out.  Not a new program; it appears to be already taking place.  Does not state how the program will expand.  Program description is not displayed thoroughly.  No specifics; confusing explanation.

Ellenville:  Deborah Worden liked the proposal.  Rural area; empowering women and helping people rise out of poverty.  Strong supporting figures in the description.

Nyack:  (Purchasing Banners) Mimi Vilord liked this application because of the aspect that it is helping multiculturally.  Carl Berkowitz said this is something the Friends of the Library could carry out. 

Warwick:  This application did not give a breakdown of the population served.  There was no clarity in the program description. 

After much discussion, the council decided that the 2016 outreach grants would be awarded to: 1) Wallkill 2) Greenwood Lake 3) Ellenville.  Grace Riario will notify the winners and non-awardees by letter.  Checks will not be distributed until RCLS receives the final report form each library at the program’s conclusion.


Regina Cieslak – Regina offered Narcan training for the staffs at all RCLS libraries.  Carl Berkowitz asked if the professional staff of the Newburgh Boy Scouts office could also be trained.  Regina also provides alcohol and drug abuse training.  Catholic Charities is now expanding into Sullivan County.  Regina also shared that the Friends of the Newburgh Free Library had provided giveaways for the free summer lunch program. 

Mimi Vilord – 2,151 third graders took the ELA.  64% are not on grade-level reading.  This Sunday is the Laps for Literacy Mall Walk at the Palisades Center Mall.   

 Deborah Worden – Updated the council on grant applications her agency has submitted:  ATI was awarded $90,000 from Wounded Warriors from a service dog training.  Also received a peer support advocate who is a disabled vet.

ATI is an alternative HEAP application site as well as a daytime warming station.

Have also been helping previously homeless people who are now in their own apartments.

Karrie Williamson

Oversees a crocheting club in the prisons.  Inmates (30) are actively crocheting stuffed animals for St. Judes and Maria Ferari.  Also hats and scarves for children and women in heomelss shelters.  Karrie is looking for donations of yarn.

Her other popular program is having inmates recording books for their children on cassette.

Karrie is ow a certified NARCAN trainer for both staff and inmates

Carl S. Berkwowitz will be getting a box of Spanish language paperback books from the Middletown Thrall Friends used bookstore and donating it to Karrie.

He also will be having his son Drew contact Karrie for a presentation on graphic novels.

Carl S. Berkowitz

He shared that the Thrall Homework Help on Tuesdays-Wednesdays-Thursdays is very well attended.  Over 20 kids a session.

Matt Pfiserer

Overnight warming station with 26 cots per night, opens next week at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.  Due to this the homeless population visiting the library will increase.

Matt noticed that the homeless population is becoming younger and more opoiod users.

The Job Coach program provided through RCLS has been very popular.

Matt and three of his staff have received NARCAN training.

Grace Riario

RCLS has received $9,000 grant for the Career Training program.  This has been very popular.

Has been working on a pilot program at Chester HighSchool for students that are not attending colleges; instead going to trace schools.

Anna Marie Buckly is the trainer.

Next meeting to be held Friday, May 12, 2017 at Maddy’s Diner in Middletown.

Minutes Author: Dan Hulse
Committee: COSAG