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Little Free Library Placed at A.A. Gates in Memory of Marina Drancsak

There is a new “little” library hanging under the portico at the entrance to the A.A. Gates Elementary school. It was built, painted, and hung by students and staff of the Port Byron Central School District in memory of Marina Drancsak, a long-time library aide for the school.

Her good friend and former co-worker, Deb Slobodiak, came up with the idea for the library as a meaningful way to memorialize Marina.

“I wanted to create this library for her because she did so much for the district,” Slobodiak said.

Drancsak worked for the district for 32 years, primarily in the elementary school library. She sadly passed away on July 2, 2018, shortly after retiring.

“She cared about the kids so much and she loved to read,” Slobodiak said.

Technology Teacher John Mulcahey, who built the library via donations from Slobodiak and other friends of Marina’s, also remembered her fondly.

“Marina was just super fun to be around,” Mulcahey said. “I never saw her without a smile on her face, and she always made sure you left with one too.”

Once the library was built, Mulcahey handed the project over to be painted by Art Teacher Sara St. Pierre and her student Alexander Doerle. Slobodiak had shared with them her memories of Marina’s love for all things pink and her penchant for buying jewelry and purses, which served as inspiration for the final design.

The library is stocked with children’s books donated by Slobodiak and others. Visit the library any time to read a book, take one home, or leave one.