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Former Volunteer is New Tuckahoe Library Director

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – It was love at first sight the first time Swadesh Pachnanda visited the Tuckahoe Library.

It was 1989 and Pachnanda had only just arrived in Tuckahoe from her native New Delhi, India with her husband and two children.

"Once we were settled, I decided to volunteer at the library," Pachnanda said. " I just could not wait to be here every week."

Some 22 years later, Pachnanda was appointed the director of the Tuckahoe Library last week.  As the new director, Pachnanda plans to continue to find ways to embrace and enhance the library's mission – that of providing equal opportunity access to books, programs, exhibits and online resources.

"It is important to me to provide each individual with opportunities for lifelong learning, cultural enrichment and intellectual stimulation," Pachnanda said.

Pachnanda would also like to increase visibility of the library in the community, a mission she has always embraced

Soon after she started as a volunteer, the library upgraded to a computer system. Someone had to take on the daunting task of bar-coding more than 50,000 books. The task fell to Pachnanda, who went from a volunteer to a staff member.

"I pulled each book from the shelf and created a bar code and matched that to information in the computer," Pachnanda said.  "After that, everyone started to come to me to find books because I knew where everything was."

Pachnanda just celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Adult Summer Reading program, the first in the Westchester library system.

"I am very proud to say we had about 150 people this summer," she said. "The program encourages people to read things they would not ordinarily chose."

For the last 13 years, Pachnanda has also overseen the book club.

"We have never advertised, people come and then they bring a friend, but everyone is always welcome," Pachnanda said.

But amid all of the other programs the library plans, including the latest lending library for e-books, the one closest to her heart is the literacy program.

"We have just trained 14 teachers and now we have 10 people in the community who wish to learn to read and write in English, so we plan on getting started soon," Pachnanda said.

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