The Van Nest Library has a new branch manager who has made it his business to bring together all parts of the community that wish to access a world of information and services.
David Nochimson, a three year veteran of the New York Public Library system, who was named interim manager two months ago, has now been permanently appointed to the branch at 2147 Barnes Avenue.
Nochimson also worked in the Allerton and Tremont branches, and by many accounts has done an excellent job in maintaining order at the branch.
“David seems to run a very tight, but fair, ship for kids,” said branch patron Jeff Panish. “If the kids become too unruly, he asks them to leave in a polite way, and he seems to be a very personable guy. Whether dealing with children, seniors, or just the public, he goes out of his way to make people feel welcomed.”
The challenges facing kids today and what they expect out of a library are different from what they were a generation or two ago, Nochimson said.
“One of the striking differences of the way things are now compared to the way they were 30-years ago in libraries is that we still get many children who want to use the library in a traditional way, doing homework and reading, but the main thing that kids want is to hang out with their friends,” Nochimson said. “It is an ongoing negotiation where I tell the kids that it is alright to hang out so long as you are aware of people around you, and show respect.”
The librarian is utilizing a program room separate from the children’s or main reading rooms, where older children and teens can interact in a way that is more social and participate in activities like Nintendo WI competitions, boards games, discussions, and listen to music.
He is also making sure that patrons of all ages are aware of programs that the library offers, including computer classes for adults and seniors, and read aloud and toddler time for younger children.
Nochimson first became interested in working in libraries about seven years ago while he was living in Seattle and working in a law firm by day and a theater company. The idea of being a librarian first occurred to him during a walk to work.
He went on to earn a masters degree in library science at S.U.N.Y. Queens College, and worked in a number of libraries including the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Queens College library, and the Department of Health, he said.
Nochimson is a Bronx native who grew up in Riverdale and attended P.S. 81. Since taking over as interim branch manager, he has also reached out by attending community meetings, catching the attention of CB 11 district manager Jeremy Warneke.