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Pleasant Valley Library Recognized for Spirit of Giving Sweeps

HVParent donates $500 worth of books

award winner

For the third year in a row, we asked readers to nominate their favorite library and share why they are grateful for them. The two libraries with the most nominations were awarded a book bundle worth over $500! This year, parents and patrons of 52 Hudson Valley libraries voted for their favorite during our recent Spirit of Giving Sweepstakes on #GivingTuesday. Readers told us why they want to honor their library with more than 380 endearing comments!

Congratulations to the top 2 winners!

1584 Main St, Pleasant Valley

"The library is the heart of the town," says Barbara S. of Pleasant Valley. "It offers many interesting activities and programs and provides a place to meet friends, hold meetings, or just relax and read.  The library just suffered a terrible fire, but the staff and people of the community are all working together to open up the library again as soon as possible, a testament to how much it means to so many people."

"It is the cornerstone of the entire community. A lifelong love for reading is created here for many people," says Morgan D, Pleasant Valley.

"There isn't enough time nor space to cover all the phenomenal things about the Pleasant Valley Library. My four children and I have been using this library for over 10 years now! Unfortunately there was a fire on November 6th which burned a large hole through their first floor from the basement, and depressingly for my children and I, as well as the whole community, we are without our library and its resources. They have always been a sanctuary to my children and me. As a bibliophile not having our library has felt like losing a family member," writes Amy J, Pleasant Valley

Jana M., Poughkeepsie remembers, "My love of reading started at this library. I have many fond memories".

On November 6th, just as we were set to launch our Spirit of Giving Sweepstakes, the Pleasant Valley Library suffered a devastating fire destroying much of the book inventory and leaving patrons without a local library. We asked readers who nominated to tell us what they love most about their library and this is what they had to say:

"Right now, I miss being able to go to our library. It burned a couple of weeks ago and all of our books are gone. Hoping to rebuild, but it could take up to two years to finish. The LaGrange library has been great in that it's where we go now to get books. But I miss greeting our librarian and the fantastic group that worked at our library. Our library had a cozy, and heartwarming feeling," JoAnn S. comments.

Courtney W. says, "The library isn't about the building, it's about the community. A fire destroyed the building three weeks ago but the spirit of the library still exists in all the people it has touched over many years. I grew up reading the children's books that were recently destroyed by smoke damage. I want other children to be able to enjoy the library as I did...and maybe some of them will grow up to be librarians too."

"I love everything! I love the staff, the kid's programs, the adult programs, the money I save on books, movies and music, the fact that my fines go to a great place...I could go on and on.  My kids have grown up there. It's the first spot where everybody knew my name after we moved here. It's our home away from home! We miss it so much right now. We can't wait until it's back up and running!" Jessica J. shares.

Dozens who nominated the Pleasant Valley Library told us about the fire and how badly the library could use this donation.

"I love the feeling of community and I love that my children love it there, or should I say did love it there....unfortunately they suffered a fire in November and are currently not open. They will have a temporary place in January but I believe the fire was in the children’s section. Not sure what children’s books they have remaining." - Jessica B, Pleasant Valley.

"Everyone is so nice at the library and while I don't often get books, I use the download system all the time. There's also a notary there which is tremendously helpful. As you may know the library caught on fire on Election Day so we are completely without a library. This would help get the library back on it's feet and be great for the town." - Anne M, Pleasant Valley.

"Everyone is so friendly and for a small library, they have everything you need.  Both of my kids got their first library cards from there and loved story times and other kid-friendly events. After the fire, they desperately need this donation." - Staci C, Pleasant Valley.

"It was where I grew up. They had the best summer programs, never turned us away as teenagers. Recently my favorite place in town caught on fire. I cried as I saw such an important building in the community burn. They deserve this!" - Anne-Marie B, Pleasant Valley.

"Hub of town, great employees, programs. As you probably know, the library suffered a great loss after a recent fire. They could really use new books." - Tracey D, Pleasant Valley

"This is the library of my childhood. I spent many, many hours at that library; read many, many books and went on many, many adventures. As I am sure you know, they have just suffered a devastating fire. They could certainly use this to help rebuild!" Teresa H, Red Hook

"Our library is such a huge part of our town, and it just suffered a devastating fire.  Our town has been coming together to try to raise funds to repair the building and it's contents, and winning this contest would feel like such a blessing." - Alexandra H, Pleasant Valley

Since the fire, staff has taken to Facebook to share updates. The outpouring of love and support has made this small Hudson Valley community even tighter.

Erica H, Pleasant Valley comments on how much support this library has received from the community. "The community spirit (is what I love most about my library). It recently suffered a fire and it's amazing how the community is coming together."

"Their response to the adversity faced in the past few weeks has been exceptional. They’re strong and there for the community even without a building," says Erin T, Pleasant Valley.

Zoe H, Pleasant Valley says, "It has heart and even though it has suffered from a fire, it will persevere."

Kim M, Hyde Park captures the essence of the Phoenix that shines brightly on their Facebook Page. "I love that the day after the sufferer a catastrophic fire, they were up and ready to rebuild."

It is undeniable that when reading through the comments the librarians are the true heart and soul of this town's center.

"Our wonderful librarians are never too busy to help a patron. They offer so many programs from learning to knit to the children’s room. We could use some help since our fire. We love our library," says Lisa F, Pleasant Valley.

"Services, dedication, their love for their patrons!" says Tasia S, Pleasant Valley.

Erica K. says, "The ladies that work there are wonderful and truly love what they do. The library unfortunately suffered a fire that destroyed much of their building and books. They deserve to win so much. They are devastated but determined to continue."

"The library has always been an incredibly warm and welcoming place. I live in a neighboring town, but chose to take my child to Mrs. P.'s incredible story time because it was so good, and she was so patient with a child whose development was different than some of her peers at the time. Mrs. P. really taught my daughter how to leave Mom's side and take part, and with incredible kindness. Part of why I now have a well-adjusted 10-year-old is due to Mrs. P.'s previous kindness. The library just suffered a devastating fire. They need our help to repay their many kindnesses." - April S, Poughkeepsie.

"I love the old historic building it's in and hope it is able to be restored after the fire. I also love the people who work there and the programs they provide for the community." - Deanne A, Poughkeepsie.

"The positive, friendly, and helpful attitude of the people working and volunteering there. They offer a wide variety of programs for the community.  They really need help right now because of a fire." - Susan O, Pleasant Valley

"Our library is small but it's got everything you need. The staff is very warm and helpful," says Maria S, Pleasant Valley.

"It is a place where my child and I get to explore new and fun ideas. And the staff! The staff is extremely helpful, warm and inviting! We love our library," says Diane S, Pleasant Valley.

"The people (are why I love my library). They are always so helpful and patient. They have helped my kids and I find books that we probably never would have found on our own," says Rebecca W, Pleasant Valley.

"It’s a wonderful place that my son loves. The people who work there are just as wonderful." - Jessica P, Pleasant Valley.

Jeanine B, Poughkeepsie says, "I’ve been going to the Pleasant Valley Free Library on and off for about 20 years. The library always has a warm family feel with great events for kids and adults. The staff are so welcoming, helpful and treat you like family."

Others love the many amazing programs, events and resources available as well as the overall cozy feeling the library offers.

"What’s not to love? The building, the programs, the staff, they are wonderful with my children who attend the programs offered," shares Lindsay R, Pleasant Valley.

"Pleasant Valley Library is our home away from home. The staff is amazing; it seems they know every child by name and have made the library a welcoming place to be. My family enjoys so many memorable programs that are thoughtfully put together. We're there several times a week.  Now that it's not open because of the recent fire we realize even more the importance and impact  the Pleasant Valley Library has on our daily lives," says Christine J, Pleasant Valley.

"It’s a cozy small town library and the kids just love it there," says Melissa F, Wappingers Falls.

"Our library is a huge asset in our community. It provides a place for kids to go to explore their love of reading as well as other activities. It provides activities for adults as well." - Deanna J, Pleasant Valley.

Katy B, Pleasant Valley tells us, "This is the best library ever! My son has been doing their toddler time since he was 3-years-old (5 now). The staff there is absolutely wonderful and they do so much for the community! They always have a jam packed calendar of events for all ages."

"All that they do with the community. They offer great kids programs, craft classes for tweens and evening programming," says Kym B, Pleasant Valley.

Yolanda S, Pleasant Valley notes, "The children’s section upstairs (as her favorite part). As you walk up, all the paintings of children’s favorite books. Don’t forget Katie the T-Rex."

"It was the library I grew up in as a child..and it is so quaint and charming! My favorite part is the beautiful painted murals on the walls on the way to the children's section. I was pleasantly surprised to find them still there as an adult! The wonderful staff have worked incredibly hard to create a warm community environment that benefits so many families in our town," says Leanne S, Pleasant Valley.

"The books for all and the engaging atmosphere for my children," says Tracey S, Salt Point. Jennifer B, Pleasant Valley comments that her favorite part of the library is "the kids room."

"This is our favorite library! My kids and I love coming here for the wonderful programs. We have spent so much time in the kid’s section picking out books, going to movie nights, and special events. The staff is so friendly and always happy to help you find that certain book you're looking for. My kids love reading because of Pleasant Valley Library!" shares Andrea S, Pleasant Valley.

"The way they give back to the community with their activities and events" is what Charlene C, Pleasant Valley, loves most.

"It's the heart of our community. We don't just go there for books. We also get to see our friends and neighbors, attend the hundreds of free activities they offer for both adults and children, and to feel connected to our little town." - Shannon R, Pleasant Valley.

"I love the friendly and  helpful staff, excellent programs for the community (e.g.meditation, yoga, speakers), and website where I can access books from Inter-library Loan. I also love the semi-annual book sales which are organized and run by wonderful volunteers. I love the resiliency of the library and community," says Kathleen S, Hyde Park.

"I loved taking my children into the library and all the librarians would say hello and greet us.  We loved going up to the children’s room and playing in the different nooks, them playing while I read a story." - Teresa A, Pleasant Valley.

Laura B, Pleasant Valley comments, "There is so much to love! From the friendly librarians to their community events, the library is a huge resource for our small community. The building is rich in history, and hosts so many local organizations in their spare room. My daughter has grown up visiting the library for reading programs, Girl Scouts and so much more."

"It had a wonderful children’s section separate from the adults so kids could feel free to read and explore. It gave us warmth in the winter, cool refuge in the summer, and kept us dry when it rained. We go to the library every day when we don’t have an after school activity," says Hong-lean N, Pleasant Valley.

"All the wonderful children programs they have. My little one loves the toddler program and my older one just got a meteorite from there," says Christine J, Pleasant Valley.

We think Jennifer W, Pleasant Valley sums up the bulk of the 95 nominations in one word...."EVERYTHING!!!!"

Finally, to David N, Pleasant Valley who says "It is a pillar in our community where everyone from the oldest of adults, to the youngest of children (my 2 girls included) go to read and use the computer to play educational games that they love. It was beyond devastating what happened to it, but it will return better than ever due to all the support our town has shown and done."  We think so too!