Archive for the 'News' Category

Library Budget Facts

Friday, May 16th, 2014

For the second year in a row, Albany Public Library will have a flat budget and no increase in the tax levy. The 2015 library operations budget is $6,434,764 — the same amount as the 2013 and 2014 spending plans.

The library trustees heard taxpayers’ pleas for tax relief and directed the leaders to hold the line on spending and present a budget with no tax levy increase for next year. APL is keeping all current services, programs, and hours while maintaining current spending levels through fiscal conservatism and efficient budget planning

The Board of Trustees approved the flat budget in March. Because it does not increase the tax levy, the library is not required to put it up for a public vote. There is, however, a trustee election on Tuesday, May 20

APL BUDGET BASICS

  • The 2015 operating budget is $6.4 million – the same as in 2014 and 2013
  • The Branch Improvement Plan portion in 2015 (for the construction of two branches and renovation of three other branches) is $1.8 million
  • Homeowners pay about $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value for library taxes
  • The average home (assessed at $150,000) pays about $220 each year for the library
  • The library tax accounts for about four percent of your total local tax bill (includes school, city, county, special districts too)

SOME LIBRARY FACTS

  • Last year, APL loaned out more than one million books, DVDs, magazines, and other materials
  • Had about one million visitors across seven neighborhood libraries
  • APL was open more than 15,000 hours for customers
  • Provided public computer access for almost 200,000 users
  • Hosted more than 4,500 programs and events for the community
  • Helped about 2,000 people file income tax returns (resulting in more than $2 million back to them)
  • APL provides free Wi-Fi internet access at all libraries
  • The library has a free mobile app – search for Albany Public Library mobile – for Android and Apple devices that gives 24/7 access to many APL services
  • You can keep up-to-date on library news and happenings via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube

 

Library Trustee Election is May 20

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Four candidates are on the May 20 (Tuesday) ballot for two seats on the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees.

The candidates, listed in ballot order, are:

  • Andrew Bechard of Forest Avenue
  • Jose Lopez of View Avenue
  • Alison Calacone of Ramsey Place
  • Anthony Gooding of Clinton Avenue

The candidates are seeking to fill two trustee positions that both carry five-year terms. Holly McKenna has chosen not to run for re-election, while Andrew Bechard is running to keep his seat.

More information about trustee candidates is available online and at service desks at each APL location.

The library trustee vote is held in conjunction with the school district’s budget vote. Details about voting locations are available on the school district’s website at www.albanyschools.org.The polls are open on May 20 from 7 am to 9 pm.

Albany Homes & History Programs in May

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Albany Public Library shines a light on the history and homes of Albany’s eclectic neighborhoods with a special series of programs in May. The programs, which are free and open to the public, take place at the Pine Hills Branch located at 517 Western Avenue.

  • Home History Hunters – May 7 (Wed) at 6:30 to 7:45 pm

If you’ve ever wondered about who used to live in your house, or when that oddly-shaped room next to your kitchen was built, we can help you find some answers. We’ll teach you about the locations to visit, and questions to ask, to easily access records about your house and its past inhabitants. We’ll show you examples of blueprints, original real estate ads, building permits, and house photos of Albany homes. The information in this workshop only pertains to houses in the city of Albany. Participants are asked to register at 482-7911 x230.

  • Family Exploration of Pine Hills Architecture – May 10 (Sat) at 11 am to 12:30 pm

Families are invited to join historic preservationist Lorraine Weiss on this walking tour of Pine Hills that focuses on the architecture and history of the neighborhood. This section of Albany was once the final trolley stop on Western Avenue. Now lined with businesses and houses, the area around the library’s Pine Hills Branch has seen lots of changes over the decades. Learn more about them on this tour. Attendees are asked to register by calling 482-7911 x230.

  • Manning Boulevard Walking Tour – May 12 (Mon) at 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Tour guide Lorraine Weiss introduces adults to the history of Manning Boulevard, its former residents, and surrounding streets. This residential area with stately homes and large yards was once just beyond the final trolley stop on Western Avenue. Manning Boulevard was the only completed segment of a series of boulevards planned to link with Washington Park. Walk this notable neighborhood and learn more of its stories from historic preservationist Weiss. Participants are asked to register by calling 482-7911 x230.

Library Candidate Forum Set for May 5

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Albany Public Library is hosting a trustee candidate forum on Monday, May 5, at 6 pm at the Main Library. The public is invited to learn more about the four candidates running for two seats on the library’s Board of Trustees. Library leaders will also give a brief overview of the 2015 budget, which is a flat spending plan containing no tax levy increase.

More information about the trustee candidates is available online and at library locations.

The 2015 budget is also online. Because the flat spending plan results in no tax levy increase, the public is not required to vote on it.

The trustee election is set for Tuesday, May 20, from 7 am to 9 pm. The election is held in conjunction with the school district’s budget vote. More information about polling places is available from the school district.

Main Library Hosts Baby Shower May 4

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Join us for the Raising a Reader Baby Shower on Sunday, May 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the large auditorium of the Main Library at 161 Washington Avenue.

This free event is for expectant parents and families with children ages five and under. The event is designed to encourage parents to read to their little ones and to provide the adults with parenting resources, all within the fun atmosphere of a baby shower. Activities include:

  • Free book and special tote bag
  • Shower games and prizes
  • Raffles and giveaways
  • Toddler bounce house
  • Infant massage
  • Arts and crafts activities
  • Story times
  • Library card sign-up and replacement library cards
  • Library card fine forgiveness
  • Parenting information from local organizations
  • Refreshments

For more information, please call the Main Library Children’s Department at 427-4310.

 

 

Pine Hills Art Exhibition Opens Friday

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Join us for an evening of art and music Friday, May 2, at the Pine Hills Branch as we celebrate the opening of the “Homespun” exhibition.

The festivities include:

+  Artist Talk by Photographers Martin Hyers & William Mebane at 4 pm
+  Reception from 6 to 8 pm with music by the Whisper Jazz Trio, refreshments, and inspiring art

“Homespun” is an exhibition of artworks in a variety of mediums from artists exploring notions of “home.” The exhibition will accompany a series of library programs that connect Albany residents to resources for exploring their historic homes and neighborhoods.

The art exhibition showcases the work of eight artists: Kim Faler, Kathy Greenwood, Michael McKay, Gina Occhiogrosso, Ken Ragsdale, Barbara Todd, Martin Hyers, and William Mebane. In addition to the exhibition, APL will unveil a site-specific installation created by artist Sangwook Lee for the Pine Hills Branch.

The “Homespun” exhibition continues through September 27, 2014. The site-specific installation will be on view through April 2015.

All of the artwork can be viewed during the branch’s regular hours (Monday and Wednesday from 12 to 8 pm; Tuesday from 10 am to 6 pm; Thursday and Friday from 12 to 6 pm; Saturday from 1 to 5 pm).

Visit APL May 3 for Free Comic Book Day

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

The nationwide Free Comic Book Day comes to Albany Public Library on Saturday, May 3, with special activities and free comic books to take home! All seven libraries are participating in Free Comic Book Day this year.

 

Comic books are an original American art form that feature wonderful illustrations and terrific storylines that capture the imaginations of readers. Librarians encourage children to jump into the world of comic books where they can hone their reading skills and become immersed in imaginative stories that engage their minds.

 

All APL locations will have a variety of free comic books for all ages available to pick up on May 3:

  • Main Library (161 Washington Ave.) from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch (148 Henry Johnson Blvd.) from 1 to 5 pm
  • Bach Branch (455 New Scotland Ave.) from 1 to 5 pm
  • Delaware Branch (331 Delaware Ave.) from 1 to 5 pm
  • Howe Branch (105 Schuyler St.) from 1 to 5 pm
  • North Albany Branch (616 North Pearl St.) from 1 to 5 pm
  • Pine Hills Branch (517 Western Ave.) from 1 to 5 pm

Also, several locations will have special activities:

 

May Book Talks Hosted by Friends of APL

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The Friends of Albany Public Library host book talks every Tuesday at 12:15 pm in the large auditorium of the Main Library. The May slate has some interesting topics!

May 6 — Review of “Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace” by Josh Ruebner. The reviewer is Mark Mishler, local attorney and member of Jewish Voice for Peace.

May 13 — Interview with author Harry Rosenfeld, former editor of the Times Union and the Washington Post, about his book “From Kristallnacht to Watergate: Memoirs of a Newspaperman.” TU reporter Paul Grondahl conducts the interview.

May 20 — Review of “FDR and the Jews” by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman. The reviewer is Barry Trachtenberg, director of the Judaic Studies Program at the University at Albany.

May 27 — Talk by Max Blumenthal, author of “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.”

The Friends’ book talks are free and open to the public. Make plans to join us!

 

Public to Vote for Two Library Trustees on May 20

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Four candidates will be on the May 20 ballot for two seats on the Albany Public Library Board of Trustees. Andrew Bechard of Forest Avenue, Jose Lopez of View Avenue, Alison Calacone of Ramsey Place, and Anthony Gooding of Clinton Avenue all submitted valid nominating petitions to the City School District of Albany to obtain positions on the ballot.

 

The candidates are seeking to fill two trustee positions that both carry five-year terms. Holly McKenna has chosen not to run for re-election, while Andrew Bechard is running to keep his seat.

 

The public is invited to a candidate forum at the Main Library’s large auditorium on Monday, May 5, at 6 p.m. The trustee candidates have been invited to speak to the public. Library leaders will also present the 2015 library budget, which is a flat spending plan that carries no tax levy increase.

 

The library trustee vote is held in conjunction with the school district’s budget vote. More information about trustee candidates will be available on the library’s website. Details about voting locations will be available on the school district’s website at www.albanyschools.org.

Housing Fair this Saturday at Main Library

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Homebuyers and homeowners should make plans to attend the Capital Region Housing Fair at APL’s Main Library (161 Washington Avenue) on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The housing fair includes seminars, consultations, and exhibits. This event is free and open to the public.

Seminars for homebuyers and homeowners include:

  • 11 a.m. – Down Payment Program: Learn about down payment programs, matched savings, and other opportunities for homebuyers.
  • 12:00 p.m. – NYSERDA’s Home Performance with Energy Star: Learn how your home is wasting energy, and money, and how to fix it. Bring your most recent utility bill to apply for a free or reduced-cost comprehensive home energy assessment.
  • 1:00 p.m. – Building a Great Credit Score: Learn about what goes into your credit score and how you can improve it.

Participants can also get free consultations:

  • Credit checks and reports (need photo ID)
  • Mortgage pre-qualifications

More than two dozen exhibitors—including banks and credit unions, home inspectors, mortgage advisors, realtors, and assistance agencies—will provide information and advice on a one-to-one basis.

The Capital Region Housing Fair is organized by the Affordable Housing Partnership and is sponsored by: Albany Community Land Trust, Albany Housing Authority, Capital Bank, Citizens Bank, City of Albany, M&T Bank, NBT Bankcorp, SEFCU, Wells Fargo, and Albany Public Library.

For more information about the housing fair, call the Affordable Housing Partnership at 434-1730.

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