HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – When it opened 100 years ago, the Hastings Public Library was much different than its current state. It was located in what is now the Hook and Ladder building on Main Street, and words like e-book and Kindle were not part of the common library vernacular.
Over the years, the library evolved and adapted to meet the needs of the Hastings community. It will celebrate its rich, century-long history throughout the next year.
The library will celebrate its centennial year with a lecture series called Dewey-on-Hudson: A Year of Talks from A to Tappan Zee, inspired by the Dewey Decimal system of organizing library material.
“The series features local, prominent speakers, is free and open to the public, and is our gift to the community in some ways,” said Sue Feir, library director. “We want everybody to enjoy the 100th year and think of us in a special way.”
With wireless Internet, e-readers and computers joining books in the library, technology has not only changed Hastings Public Library, it has enhanced it, Feir said.
“What technology has done is made it an incredibly wonderful time for readers,” she said. “Whether people like printed or downloaded material, libraries are not at all threatened by technology. People can read 24/7 now, whether they curl up with a book at night or take a train into the city reading on their iPad.”
Each lecture will be held Sundays at 2:30 p.m. at the James Harmon Community Center. The following lectures are scheduled:
000, General Information: Sept. 30. Local illustrator and tai chi master Ed Young hosts “A Strange Place to Call Home.”
200, Religion: Oct. 28. Rabbi Eddie Schecter, of Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings, hosts “Ten Deweys and Ten Don’teys: Religion and Shelf Renewal.”
370, Language: Nov. 25. Hastings superintendent of schools Roy Montesano hosts “So Few Walls: Classroom 2.0.”
400, Language: Jan. 27. Media theorist, blogger, author and documentarian Douglas Rushkoff hosts “Talking in Code: HTML to LOL.”
580, Plants: Feb. 24. Carolyn Summers, a landscape architect, author and adjunct professor at Westchester Community College hosts “Our Verdant Village: Seeing the Forest and the Trees.”
610, Medicine: March 24. Barron Lerner, a Hastings resident, author and professor at New York University, hosts “Sick and Famous: Medicine and the Culture of Celebrity.”
720, Architecture: April 28. James Lothrop, who oversaw the library’s 2002 remodeling and designed the James Harmon Community Center, hosts “Rooflines and Stinkers: what Works and What Doesn’t.”
800, Literature: May 19. Members of the Hastings High School English department host “100 Years of Latitude: Navigating Books 1913-2013.”
974, History, New York: Roger Panetta, adjunct professor at Fordham University hosts “A Window Seat: Looking at Hastings 1913-2013.”