Archive for the 'News' Category

Game of Thrones Team Trivia Night April 8 at Washington Ave.

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Calling all Game of Thrones fans! Whether you worship the old gods or the new, you’ll want to rally your bannermen and register for the Game of Thrones Team Trivia event on Wednesday, April 8. The free trivia challenge and game night runs from 7 pm to 9 pm and takes place in the second floor community room at the Washington Ave. Branch.

We’ve got five creative rounds of trivia that will test your knowledge of the characters, events, locations, and dialogue from the series. The trivia questions are based on the TV show, rather than the books.

Teams will be rewarded with show and book-themed prizes, including the Valar Morghulis beer and the new Three-Eyed Raven beer from Ommegang Brewery. (Must be 21 or older and present photo ID to take home a beer prize.

There’s also a best costume prize, so dress up as your favorite Game of Thrones character!

Each team can have between two and five members, and participants must be at least 18. Only one member needs to register for each team.

Registrations can be made by calling the library at 427-4376 or via the online calendar:

Albany Reads: Books and Bites

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

What could be better than reading a good book and then gathering with friends for some delicious food and interesting conversation about that thought-provoking title? That’s what “Albany Reads: Books and Bites” is all about.

The Albany Public Library Foundation is planning this special fundraiser for Saturday, April 25. The event includes small-plate dinners at private homes to discuss Gregory Maguire’s Wicked followed by a dessert reception for all participants at the Washington Ave. Branch.

The APL Foundation is recruiting dinner hosts, who will open their homes to 8-10 friends and neighbors. Dinner hosts must register by April 17.

The minimum contribution to attend the event is $40 per person. Guests must sign up by April 20. Proceeds from the Foundation event will support library programs and services.

For more information about being a host or a guest, please go to and click on the “Albany Reads” logo.

Important Update on How Catalog System Project Impacts You

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

We are in the last week before we go live with our new catalog system (on March 31) and there are some items that impact our cardholders’ use of the system.

Items that you have requested may take longer than usual to arrive. Any holds placed between March 23 and March 31 are temporarily suspended while we switch over to the new system. Your requested items may be shown as “suspended” in your account during this time.

We will start filling requests again on April 1. Because of the backlog of requested titles we have to process, it may take a little longer than usual for your on-hold items to arrive at the pickup library you selected. Please be patient with us and check your account online for updates on the status of your requested titles.

If you use the “my list” feature in our current catalog, you need to email that list to yourself by March 29. You will be unable to access this list after that date. And, you will have to re-input those items into the new system after it goes live on March 31.

If you need to get a replacement library card this week (March 23 to March 30), you may be asked for a secondary ID to check out items.

Lots of things will be different on March 30 (the last day using the current system). You can check out items, but you must have your library card with you. You will not be able to get a new card, pay fines, or place items on hold. The DVD machines (at Howe and Arbor Hill/West Hill) will not work. Access to some online resources (like eBooks, eMagazines, and databases) may be limited.

And, we expect to experience some glitches on March 31 (our first day with the new system). The new catalog will come online this day, but it may be a little bumpy. You should be able to check out materials, access your online account, pay fines, and download items.

The system upgrade is a huge and complex project that includes 29 libraries in two counties. Please be patient with us as we work out the kinks and get everything running smoothly. It may take us a few days to get everything working properly. If you have any questions, please ask us!




Library Budget Vote & Trustee Election May 19

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Albany city residents go to the polls Tuesday, May 19, to vote on the Albany Public Library tax levy and choose two new members for the Board of Trustees.

The proposed 2016 operating tax levy of $6,567,373 reflects a 1.6 percent increase in the annual total tax levy.  If approved, this increase would mean that the owner of a $150,000 home would pay approximately $3.71 more next year, or just about a penny a day.

“We worked hard to develop an efficient and effective budget that controls costs and carefully allocates resources across our locations,” said Scott Jarzombek, the library’s executive director.  “This modest increase would allow the library to continue to provide valuable services, programs, and resources to the public.”

The 2016 budget plan was approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees at its March 10 meeting. The library’s operating budget was flat in 2013 and 2014, so this is the first budget vote since 2012.

The proposed budget will support the increased operating costs required to run seven neighborhood branches.  The library provides: free access to a large and diverse collection of books, DVDs, music CDs, audio books, as well as eBooks, eMagazines, and other digital materials; free public computer use and Wi-Fi access; free public programs including children’s story times, computer classes, financial literacy workshops, music performances, book reviews, and lectures; free access to professional reference librarians who provide assistance with information and research needs; and free use of community meeting rooms and study spaces.

Nominating petitions for the two trustee seats are now online, and will soon be available at all Albany Public Library locations. The two open trustee positions carry full five-year terms that start on July 1. The library’s nine-member Board of Trustees is charged with making the rules, regulations, and policies under which the seven-location library system operates. The expiring terms are currently held by John Davis and Esther Patterson.

The May 19 library vote is held in conjunction with the City School District of Albany’s budget vote.

Stay tuned for more information regarding the budget vote and trustee election.


New Catalog System Coming Soon: Learn about the Changes

Monday, March 9th, 2015

We are rolling out a new integrated catalog system over the next few weeks. While the new system provides better service to our customers, you will experience some temporary adjustments while we transition to the new catalog.

Please read on for details about the new system, and know that we appreciate your patience as we get it integrated into our daily operations. And if you have any questions or concerns, please ask us. Staff at all APL branches are trained on the new system and should be able to discuss the changes with you.

We are changing the computer system that we use to check materials out to you and that you use to manage your library account. The new catalog is a better system and enhancement to our services that will make it easier to search and access our collection of books and materials.

The new catalog will be used at all libraries in Albany and Rensselaer counties (through the Upper Hudson Library System). So, all libraries in these two counties are changing over to the new system between now and March 31.

The new system offers a range of improvements including:

  • Easier searching for materials, including articles
  • Better management of your book cart and library account
  • Option to keep track of items you’ve already borrowed
  • Ability to download eBooks and eAudiobooks right from the catalog

Here are some important dates for you to know:

Until March 29

  • If you have items in “my list” in your current library account, you need to email them to yourself. You will then have to re-enter those items into the new system.

March 23—March 30

  • If you have misplaced your library card, you may be asked for a secondary ID to check out items. (We aren’t issuing new cards during this phase.)

March 23—March 31

  • If you place items on hold during this time, you will not be able to check them out. You will be able to pick up these on-hold items starting April 1.

March 30

  • You can check out titles, but you must have a library card to do so
  • You will not be able to pay fines or for lost items, buy replacement cards, get a new library card, place items on hold
  • The DVD-dispensing machines at Howe and Arbor Hill/West Hill will be inactive. But, there will be a limited selection of DVDs to borrow from behind the counter.
  • Access to some online resources (like eBooks, eMagazines, databases) may be limited.

March 31

  • Expect the new catalog to be up and running sometime on this day. Please be patient as we may experience a few glitches here and there.
  • You should be able to access online accounts, place holds, renew items, do searches, download books, and so on.
  • Plan on logging into your account to check the status of any items placed on hold. They should become active this day.

APL Hosts Clinics for City’s Summer Youth Employment Program

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Teens can learn more about Albany’s Summer Youth Employment Program at several clinics at APL branches between March 12 and March 31.

The Summer Youth Employment Program is designed to provide any young person, age 14-18 who resides in the city of Albany, with a summer work experience.

During the clinics at the libraries, interested teens can meet with city officials, ask questions, and complete employment applications.

Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch — 148 Henry Johnson Blvd.

  • March 12, 19, 26 (Thursday) at 3 to 6 pm
  • March 17, 24, 31 (Tuesday) at 3 to 6 pm

Delaware Branch — 331 Delaware Ave.

  • March 13, 20, 27 (Friday) at 3 to 6 pm

Howe Branch — 105 Schuyler St.

  • March 18, 25 (Wednesday) at 3 to 6 pm
  • March 24, 31 (Tuesday) at 3 to 6 pm

Washington Ave. Branch — 161 Washington Ave.

  • March 12, 19, 26 (Thursday) at 3 to 6 pm
  • March 17, 24, 31 (Tuesday) at 3 to 6 pm


March & April Program Guide is Here

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

It might not look, or feel, like spring outside, but it’s time to start making plans with our March and April program guide! You can pick one up at any APL branch or view it online.

The guide includes information about the transformation of the Washington Avenue Branch, including the lovely new Youth Services Room, as well as our ongoing tax assistance program that provides free income tax preparation services for qualified individuals.

You’ll also learn about the many free activities, workshops, and other programs available at Albany Public Library in March and April. Here are just a few (check the guide or our online calendar for a complete listing):

Get Free Income Tax Preparation at APL

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Albany Public Library should be your first stop for income tax assistance and resources this tax season.

On select days now through April 15, APL provides free federal income tax preparation services for people with an annual household income limit of $53,000.

During February, assistance can be found at four APL branches—Washington Ave., Arbor Hill/West Hill, Delaware, and Howe.

During March and April, assistance is provided at the Washington Ave. and Howe branches.

The income tax preparation services are provided by APL’s partners—volunteers from the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the AARP Tax-Aide program.

This quick reference guide has the basics about our tax help program. For more information, please call the Washington Ave. Branch Reference Department at 427-4303.

Explore Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man with Guitarist Roger Noyes on Feb. 25

Monday, February 16th, 2015

The Reading Music program returns Feb. 25 with a discussion of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” and performance of songs inspired by that work.

Join us Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 7 pm at the Washington Ave. Branch (in the Local History Room on the second floor) for this special program during which guitarist Roger Noyes will lead a small jazz ensemble performing original compositions inspired by Ellison’s landmark 1952 novel exploring race and identity.

Noyes is one of the principal composers in the Arch Stanton Quartet and taught English literature at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Borrow a copy of “Invisible Man” (a number of copies are available from the first floor circulation desk at the Washington Ave. Branch) and join us for a thoughtful discussion and moving musical performance.

For more information about APL’s Reading Music program, please call 427-4349.

Free Winter Break Fun at APL!

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Beat the winter break blues with some fun and educational activities at Albany Public Library (APL). The library’s branches are hosting more than two dozen programs to keep kids and teen entertained during school vacation Feb. 16 to 21. All activities are free and open to the public.


Here is a sampling of the programs planned for kids and teens at APL libraries Feb. 16-21. For a complete listing, visit the library’s online calendar.


Feb. 16 (Mon)

Teens make sugar scrubs and other DIY skin care items. For ages 12-17.

Make catapults and launch marshmallows to see which goes the farthest. For ages 6-17.


Feb. 17 (Tues)

Kids create clay characters and bring them to life with stop-motion animation. This is a two-day workshop that continues on Feb. 18. For ages 8-14. Please register at 463-0254.

This workshop is for younger kids and is just one day. For ages 4-7. Please register at 463-0254.

Celebrate winter with games, like Olaf bowling, activities, and hot cocoa. For ages 5-12.

Experience the joy of flight in the museum’s flight simulators. For all ages. Please register at 472-9485.


Feb. 18 (Wed)

  • Appy Hour at 10:30-12 pm – Delaware Branch (331 Delaware Ave.)

Bring a device (iPad, Kindle, etc.) and play apps featuring popular PBS Kids characters. A few sample devices will be available for use during the program. WMHT will also provide free download codes for the apps. For ages 3-5.

Kids create clay characters and bring them to life with stop-motion animation. This is the second session of a two-day workshop. For ages 8-14. Please register at 463-0254.

Make a fun, colorful, foaming geyser with library scientists. For ages 5-17.


Feb. 19 (Thurs)

Teens battle it out for Super Smash Bros. supremacy, and prizes. For ages 12-18. Please register at 482-7911 x223.

Watch “Bear Snores On,” read the book, and make puppet crafts. Children get a gift bag with the book and other activities to take home, too. For ages 3-7. Please register at 463-0254.

  • Chinese New Year – Celebrate the year of the sheep with fun activities. For ages 17 and under.

3-4 pm – Washington Ave. Branch (161 Washington Ave.)

4-5 pm – Howe Branch (105 Schuyler St.)


Feb. 20 (Fri)

Experience the joy of flight in the museum’s flight simulators. For all ages. Please register at 482-2154.


Feb. 21 (Sat)

Learn how to walk like a chicken with dance movement educator Lili Loveday and her pet chicken, Henrietta. For ages 3-8. Please register at 427-4310.

Bring your American Girl doll and learn about life in the early 1800s, including maple sugaring and quilting. This program is funded by the Junior League of Albany. For ages 6-17.

Draw a pirate map and learn science and technology skills along the way. For ages 5-12.


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