2013-11-22 / Top Stories

Newtown, CT Compassion Aids Rockaway Library

By Miriam Rosenberg


A plaque hangs over the area in the children’s section where many of the donated books are stacked. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg A plaque hangs over the area in the children’s section where many of the donated books are stacked. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg The residents of Newtown, Connecticut experienced one of the worst tragedies imaginable, yet earlier this year they were thinking of others.

The Far Rockaway Library was the only library on the peninsula that was able to reopen its doors immediately after Sandy. Among those who showed up to help were the people of Darien, Conn., part of the Newtown area. After a book drive in the memory of those lost in the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the Far Rockaway Library received several boxes of books from the Connecticut community.

“They showed up here one day [in January or February] and they told us about this book drive …and they started bringing in boxes of books,” Sharon Anderson, the head librarian at the Far Rockaway Library said.


The plaque in honor of the donation. The plaque in honor of the donation. The books have already proven to be popular, as many that were donated continue to be out in circulation. Recently the library dedicated a plaque for the area in the children’s section where the books are stacked.

At a ceremony on October 28th, Michelle GoldenBerg-Reinke, the branch’s children’s librarian, talked about the donation.

“In the wake of that darkness the community came together and showed compassion and hope for the future,” Goldenberg-Reinke said of the people of Newtown.

Of particular mention was Sheila Riedell who, Anderson said, helped to run the book drive. Riedell teaches fourth grade at the Holmes Elementary School in Darien, Conn., located not far from Sandy Hook.

The dedication was also part of the library’s way to commemorate the first anniversary of Sandy.

“This event is to say thank you to the people of Sandy Hook. We want the world to know what they did,” said Anderson, who added it was also a day to honor and thank library staffers from across the peninsula. “We felt it was good to bring it all together.”

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