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Chappaqua Librarian Says Goodbye to Teen Zone

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - When the doors closed at the Chappaqua Library on Friday night, librarian Zahra “Z” Baird was saying goodbye to the place that she has called home since 2003.

Baird, who has accepted a position at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, helped turn the library into an afterschool teen hangout after she was appointed as Head of Teen Services in 2009.

Though she worked until Friday, the community sent Baird off on Wednesday with an ice cream party at one of the Teen Zone’s “Got Game?” gatherings, where teens play board and video games in the library theater. Baird, however, was hesitant to call it a going away party, but rather a thank you to everyone helped make her job easier over the years.

“I wanted to throw the community an ice cream party to show them my appreciation of all the support they have given me,” said Baird. “They’re wonderful. It makes me very happy to know that the library is well appreciated and well used.”

Baird referred to the early stages of her job as a “department of one,” and believes she could not have transformed the Teen Zone into its current form without her “Volunteens.”

“As you can see from all of this, there’s a lot of us that really like her,” said Teen Zone member Sarah Greenberg, referring to the packed house at Wednesday’s party. “She’s great at what she does. I’ve known her since I was really little and kept coming here because of her.”

Greenberg was not alone in her praise of Baird. “Z’s really cool,” said Teen Zone member Laurel Kastner. “She’s always nice to people, even to people who are not nice to her.”

Despite helping to create the Teen Zone, Baird is confident that it will not slow down in her absence. “I will miss working with them and empowering them to achieve their goals,” said Baird. “But I know without me they will still do great things.”

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