Frances and Terry Ziccardi with Martha Gonzalez-Buitrago (center) at Kingsbridge Library.
During the 36 years that sisters Frances and Terry Ziccardi have been visitingin the Bronx, they have checked out more than 5,000 items.
Along with the new books and ideas that they have discovered at the branch, the sisters have also found a sense of community.
“We love this Library. It’s our second home,” says Frances, who along with her sister comes to the branch at least three or four times a week to find new reading material and see old friends. “Without it we would be lost.”
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The duo enjoys discovering contemporary novels and books on art, cooking, crafts, and exercise thanks to the help of Library Manager Martha Gonzalez-Buitrago and other staff members with whom they’ve become friendly.
“The library gives us a sense of community,” says Terry. “It keeps your mind engaged. It’s part of our almost everyday living.”
Recently, Terry also began volunteering her time at the branch teaching exercise classes for seniors after she heard there was a need.
“It gives them a motivation to kick up their heels instead of sitting around,” explains Terry adds. “There’s so much going on here now. There’s something for everybody.”
Gonzalez-Buitrago, who has been at Kingsbridge for 14 years and helped the branch move to its larger state-of-the-art location last summer, says more patrons than ever of all ages rely on the branch.
"The library plays a huge role in the community, for everyone from seniors to babies and kids," says Gonzalez-Buitrago. "If it wasn't here, the neighborhood would be heart-broken."