“No sound is lovelier than that of little children laughing,” said Nancy Curtin, director of the Port Washington Public Library, as she walked past the site of the Jackie and Hal Spielman Children’s Library, now undergoing a total rebuild and expansion. If you’ve ever been near the children’s room during story time, you’ll know that the library is full to overflowing with little children laughing.
After Spielman lost his beloved wife Jackie, he wanted to honor her memory by doing something for the community she loved so much. A researcher and writer on future trends in society and business for Wells, Greene, and J. Walter Thompson, Jackie was involved with many aspects of Port Washington’s community life. She sat on the boards of the Children’s Center, the Cultural Arts Committee, and the Sands Point Garden Club and edited Manorhaven Memos. Furthermore, Jackie established the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, now an annual event in the community, raising over $1 million in the seven relays that take place across Nassau County. Jackie also mentored high risk children and recognized reading and writing as integral to growth and development.
As cofounder of McCollum/Spielman Worldwide, a research and communications firm, Spielman has had a lifetime commitment to education. He served on the Jericho school board and for 25 years on the foundation board of SUNY’s College of Optometry and Vision Science as well as establishing the Spielman Social Science Research Lab at CCNY’s Colin Powell School of Civic and International Studies.
Since retiring, he has written a book, Suddenly Solo, and has a radio program and website dedicated to helping divorced and widowed men of a certain age cope with their changed lifestyle. A Port Washington Library Foundation board member for five years, Spielman has generously supported the renovation of the Jackie and Hal Spielman Children’s Library. The newly renovated area will include new technology, a dedicated “tweens” area, a hands-on play area, a workshop, and an expanded storytelling area.
Spielman’s desire to give back to the community in a way that reflected his wife’s interests gave birth to the Jackie Spielman Storytelling Circle in the existing children’s room.
Now that the young population has grown, the time has come to update the entire Port Washington Children’s Library, including the original story circle. The Children’s Library is out of date. Not just more space, but better space is needed, to facilitate new programming and services, such as Maker Spaces—dedicated areas for creative and messy projects—and an expandable story area with movable monitors and flexible seating. The area will serve the youngest population from newborn through tween as well as their families and caregivers. The cost is anticipated to be $2,500,000; a total of $1,850,000 has been raised through private funding and government grants.
Help the library complete this project by donating to the Port Washington Library Foundation for the Jackie and Hal Spielman Children’s Library. For a full description of the renovation, go to the library website at www.pwpl.org and stop by to peek through the window and see the progress. Donations may be made on the website on the Donate Now page or by mail or in person at the library’s administration desk.
For further information, contact Lisa J. Davidoff, director of development, at email@example.com or 516-883-4400, ext. 180.