Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Roosevelt Island Community Literary Associates Donates $3700 To NY Public Library To Establish Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Collection - Final Act Of RICLA Before Closing

Before ending operations as a non-profit organization, on Saturday, December 16, Roosevelt Island Community Literary Associates (RICLA) President & Treasurer Janet Falk presented a check for $3,700 to NY Public Library Roosevelt Island Branch Manager Carlos Chavez

Image Of Janet Falk, Lorraine Lasker, Board member, Carlos Chavez, Library Manager RICLA

as a donation to establish the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Collection.

RICLA President & Treasurer Janet Falk reports:
The Roosevelt Island Community Library was created in 1979 by volunteers. Members of the newly established community conceived a volunteer library stocked with donated books and open to all residents for a nominal membership fee, making the resources accessible. Housed initially in a Westview community room, there were sessions of story time for very young children and the collection grew.

Eventually, the Friends of the Roosevelt Island Community Library signed a lease for the large storefront at 524 Main Street in June 1981. The collection continued to expand and by December 1994 numbered more than 30,000 volumes. On July 11, 1989, Roosevelt Island Community Literary Associates (RICLA) was incorporated. Its mission was to enrich the intellectual life of Roosevelt Island residents by supporting the promotion of a variety of literary, cultural and educational activities.

The New York Public Library had long intended to open a branch on Roosevelt Island, but budget issues precluded appropriations. Assemblyman Pete Grannis worked to secure the funds for capital improvements. Finally, in June 1998, the Community Library's books, bookcases and other assets were sold to the New York Public Library.

The primary function of RICLA having been re-assigned, the organization entered a quiet period. In 2004 and again, from 2009-2014, RICLA applied for grants from the Public Purpose Fund of RIOC and other sources. These funds were allocated in a matching advertising grant to Roosevelt Island's cultural and educational nonprofit groups. A new service, begun in 2009, provided grant writing services to these groups. Notably, RICLA assisted the Roosevelt island Disabled Association in securing funds for its operations. RICLA also was instrumental in aiding the Roosevelt Island Historical Society to secure the lamppost base and the funds for its transport, restoration and installation near the Visitor Center kiosk.

RICLA has decided to donate the balance of its treasury, $3700, to the New York Public Library to establish the Franklin and Elanor Roosevelt Collection. This money will be used to purchase books, DVDs, a bust of Eleanor Roosevelt and other relevant materials of the period of their lives. The collection will circulate throughout the NYPL, but will be tagged appropriately so that the materials are always returned to Roosevelt Island.

In making this donation, RICLA will close as a nonprofit organization that has long supported the Island community and its nonprofits.