March 05, 2018
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Several members of Mount Saint Mary College and Bishop Dunn Memorial School came together to celebrate the grand reopening of the school library. Top row from left to right: Sonya Abbye-Taylor, assistant professor of Education at the Mount; Barbara Petruzzelli, director of the Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center at the Mount; Sr. Lucy Povilonis, OP, religious coordinator at BDMS; Nancy Benfer, principal of BDMS; Jennifer Park, assistant librarian for Access and Outreach Services at the Mount; Donna DelCante, library/art teacher at BDMS; and Emily Perez, a sophomore Nursing major at the Mount from Chester, N.Y. who was one of the many work study students to assist in the cataloging process. Bottom row: Middle school students from BDMS.
Through a collaboration with Mount Saint Mary College’s Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center, Bishop Dunn Memorial School (BDMS), located on the Mount campus, recently unveiled its revamped library.
The collaboration sprung from a chance conversation last spring between Sr. Lucy Povilonis, OP, religious coordinator for BDMS, and Barbara Petruzzelli, director of the Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center at the college. Povilonis explained that the school could use some help in cataloging and reorganizing library books, and Petruzzelli offered to lend BDMS some of the college’s work study students for the project.
The project included a modernization of the space, thanks to the leadership of Jen Park, assistant librarian for Access and Outreach Services at the Mount, and several Mount students. Under Park’s direction, the Mount students assisted in barcoding each book in the library to update the electronic check out system, as well as organizing the shelves according to categories. Musical equipment that had been stored in a research area was moved elsewhere to provide a more welcoming atmosphere, and the library was also given a fresh coat of paint.
At the reopening, Nancy Benfer ’04, principal of BDMS, explained that the renovation would not have been possible without a strong collaboration between the school and several Mount departments, including Facilities, Division of Education, Finance, and the library.
“It took all of us together to get this accomplished,” said Benfer. “We are blessed to be on this campus.”
The collaboration also allowed some of the BDMS middle school students to work with the college students after school. The young students learned a lasting model of community service from the college students.
“When students have spaces like this, they learn to respect it,” said Benfer of the newly-revitalized library.
The new library was painted the same color as the college’s auditorium, and the tables and chairs were from the college’s Curtin Memorial Library, which was retired in 2014 when the new library in the Dominican Center was unveiled.
Benfer looks forward to future collaborations between the school and the college.