Local news website All Over Albany posted a photo tour of the five new and renovated branch libraries in Albany. Check it out at www.alloveralbany.com!
Archive for the 'Facilities' Category
Who loves Albany’s new neighborhood libraries? Lots of people! Check out all of the awards we’re winning for these great branch libraries.
In the last several months, our city’s new libraries have garnered high praise:
• They were named “the best use of public funds” by Metroland magazine
• They were praised for their “incredibly transformative work on our city neighborhoods” by the Neighborhood Resource Center, which is presenting APL with the Organization of the Year Award
• The renovated Delaware Branch on Delaware Avenue was honored as Outstanding Public Library Building by the New York Library Association
• The renovated Pine Hills Branch on Western Avenue received the Historic Preservation Award/Adaptive Reuse Merit Award from the Eastern New York Chapter of the American Institute for Architects
• The renovated Howe Branch on Schuyler Street in the historic South End won two awards–the Historic Preservation Award/Adaptive Reuse Merit Award from the Eastern New York Chapter of the American Institute for Architects and the Preservation Merit Award from the Historic Albany Foundation
In the span of just eight months, Albany Public Library opened two brand-new and three renovated branch libraries. These new neighborhood libraries, which were approved by a 2-to-1 margin by voters in 2007, have changed–for the better–the entire APL system.
These new libraries have:
• Increased our building square footage by 42 percent
• Added 244 percent more computers for use by the public
• Increased the collection (books, DVDs, music CDs, magazines, and more) available to our users by 86 percent
Demand has increased greatly at all of the new and renovated locations*:
At the renovated Pine Hills Branch (Western Avenue), which opened in November 2009:
• Circulation of materials is up 23 percent
• Computer usage is up 9 percent
• New cards issued is up 48 percent
At the renovated Delaware Branch (Delaware Avenue), which opened in December 2009:
• Circulation is up 88 percent
• Visits are up 70 percent
• Computer usage is up 117 percent
• New cards issued is up 129 percent
At the renovated Howe Branch (Schuyler Street), which opened in March 2010:
• Circulation is up 150 percent
• Visits are up 80 percent
• Computer usage is up 6 percent
• New cards issued is up 46 percent
At the newly built Bach Branch that replaced a small branch in the New Scotland Elementary School (New Scotland Avenue), which opened in May 2010:
• Circulation is up 89 percent
• Visits are up 49 percent
• Computer usage is up 67 percent
• New cards issued is up 65 percent
At the newly built Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch (Henry Johnson Boulevard), which opened in June 2010:
• More than 20,000 items are circulated each month
• More than 12,000 people visit the branch each month
• More than 3,000 people use public computers each month
• More than 135 new library cards are issued each month
We’ve seen big changes across our entire system of seven library locations too:
• Circulation is up by 20 percent
• Visits are up by 19 percent
• Computer usage is up by 23 percent
• New cards issued is up by 33 percent
You might think that with all of these beautiful new branches, that people would stop using the older locations. But that isn’t the case.
At the Main Library (Washington Avenue)
• While circulation has decreased 21 percent, visits to that library have increased 7 percent
• While computer usage has decreased 2 percent, new cards issued have increased 2 percent
At the North Albany Branch (in the YMCA building on North Pearl Street)
• While visits have decreased 17 percent, circulation has increased 20 percent
• While computer usage has decreased 10 percent, new cards issued have increased 18 percent
*Statistics compare year-end 2007 (the last year that all libraries were open in their pre-building locations) to year-end 2010 (the first year that all libraries were open in their new/renovated locations). AH/WH is a totally new location, and its statistics are from when it opened in June 2010 until March 2011.
Albany’s new branch libraries are attracting national attention!
The annual Library Journal architecture issue features information about all five of Albany’s new and renovated libraries, along with a photo of the Howe Branch and one of the Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch.
Here’s where you can see the issue online:
Albany’s John A. Howe Branch Library opened its doors at the corner of Schuyler and Broad Streets in the South End for the first time on Oct. 29, 1929.
The Georgian structure was designed by Albany architect Howard Rogers. The building was constructed of Harvard brick with Indiana limestone and cost $106,800.
The branch library was named for John A. Howe, who was principal of School 1 in the 1890s. The Howe Branch was one of four public libraries in Albany in 1929.
Here’s a snapshot of what life at the Howe Branch was like that day 81 years ago:
+ The library had a staff of 6 librarians
+ There were 15,000 books in the building
+ Special collections in German, Italian, Polish, Yiddish, and Syrian languages helped the neighborhood’s many foreign immigrants
+ Each weekly story hour attracted more than 100 kids from the nine schools in the South End
The “Howe Library” was originally established in 1891 at the corner of Alexander and South Pearl Streets. It became a free library in 1893. The library moved to its own building at the corner of Bassett and South Pearl Streets in 1899. The building at Schuyler and Broad Streets was built in 1929.
The Howe Branch underwent a $5.2 million renovation and addition in 2009, and enjoyed a grand re-opening in March 2010.
The Main Library houses a wonderful local history collection, for anyone interested in learning more about the historic Howe Branch Library and other pieces of Albany history.
Upwards of 800 people welcomed a new Albany Public Library branch to the Arbor Hill and West Hill neighborhoods on June 12. The Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library at 148 Henry Johnson Boulevard celebrated its grand opening with a free party for the community.
Party-goers checked out the contemporary 12,000-square-foot branch library, and enjoyed a ribbon-cutting ceremony, entertainment by local residents, refreshments, and library tours. The circulation desk was busy all afternoon, with adults and children checking out the latest books and DVDs from the collection. All of the public access computers were in use. The stacks were crowded with people looking for just the right item to borrow. Librarians were busy issuing new library cards. And the building was filled with appreciative neighbors marveling at their new library.
Some highlights of the grand opening celebration included:
+ A welcome ceremony including remarks by Library Board of Trustees President Dennis Gaffney, Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings, Library Executive Director Carol Nersinger, Albany 4th Ward Common Councilwoman Barbara Smith, Library Supporter Jay Carnevale, and Price Chopper Vice President of Public Relations and Consumer Services Mona Golub, and a check presentation by TD Bank Retail Market Manager Maureen Vedder
+ Ribbon-cutting by children from the Arbor Hill and West Hill neighborhoods
+ Refreshments courtesy of hospitality sponsor Price Chopper
+ Songs and music by King’s Kids Preschool, Arielle Patterson-King, and band Colaberayshen
+ Balloon animals by Mr. Magicman
+ Free books for preschoolers from the Junior League of Albany
+ Child safe ID program by Albany Police Department
The $5.7 million library construction project was designed by Hom & Goldman of New York City, built by Sano-Rubin Construction of Albany, and managed by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. The striking, contemporary branch library features:
+ Brand-new collection of 75,000 books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, magazines, and more
+ 22 public access computers and building-wide Wi-Fi
+ Separate spaces, collections, and computers for adults, teens, and children
+ Two community meeting rooms and three small-group study rooms
+ Signature 24-foot-by-60-foot wall of floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the bustling neighborhood
The Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library is projected to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council. This green branch has energy efficient, cost effective systems, including geothermal heating and cooling, lighting, and plumbing fixtures. The structure was designed and constructed using green building principles and practices. It contains materials and furnishings made with recycled and recyclable products. the library is also safe for the environment and its users, sitting on a former brownfield site that was cleaned up during the construction process and reclaimed for the community.
Today’s opening marks the return of library service to the Arbor Hill neighborhood for the first time in close to 50 years (since the 1963 demolition of the Pruyn Library to make way for the construction of a ramp to I-787). This new branch is the first library ever to serve the adjoining West Hill neighborhood.
Albany Public Library renovated and built five new neighborhood libraries (opening in 2009-10) as part of the $29.1 million Branch Improvement Plan approved by voters in February 2007. The Pine Hills Branch opened in November, the Delaware Branch in December, and the Howe Branch in March. The Bach Branch opened in May, and the Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch opened June 12.
Make plans to join us for a free community party celebrating the grand opening of the brand-new Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library at 148 Henry Johnson Boulevard this Saturday, June 12, from 1 to 5 p.m.
The party starts at 1 p.m. with remarks by library and city leaders: Library Board President Dennis Gaffney, Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings, Library Executive Director Carol Nersinger, Albany 4th District Common Councilwoman Barbara Smith, Library Supporter John Carnevale, and Price Chopper Vice President of Public Relations & Consumer Services Mona Golub. Then we’ll have a special ribbon cutting by neighborhood children.
Entertainment throughout the afternoon includes:
+ 1:45 p.m.—Songs by King’s Kids Preschool
+ 2 p.m.— Songs by soloist and Albany middle-schooler Arielle Patterson-King
+ 2:15 to 3 p.m.—Musical performance by Albany band “Colaberayshen”
+ 3 to 4:30 p.m.—Open mic for neighborhood performers
+ 2 to 3:30 p.m.—Balloon sculptures for kids by Mr. Magicman
The party also features:
+ Free refreshments, dessert, and cake from Price Chopper
+ Junior League of Albany with free books for preschoolers from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library
+ Albany Mounted Police and safety programs for kids
+ Free library giveaways
While you’re in the neighborhood for the branch library’s grand opening, take some time to stop by the city’s Juneteenth anniversary celebration at the Arbor Hill Community Center (between 2nd and 3rd Streets) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Albany’s new Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library is featured in the June 7 edition of the Times Union newspaper. Reporter extraordinaire Paul Grondahl and top photographer Michael Farrell visited the library last week to get a sneak peek at what’s in the 12,000-square-foot library. You can read the story here.
The branch celebrates its grand opening with a free community party on Saturday, June 12, from 1 to 5 p.m. Join us at 148 Henry Johnson Boulevard and explore what Albany’s newest library has in it for you!
Join us Saturday, June 12, for the grand opening of the Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library! We’ll celebrate the opening of our last new neighborhood library under the Branch Improvement plan with a free party for the whole community. The celebration kicks off at 1 p.m. with speeches by library and city leaders, along with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with neighborhood children. The festivities continue with refreshments courtesy of hospitality sponsor Price Chopper, book giveaways from the Junior League of Albany, library giveaways, and entertainment. The new library is at 148 Henry Johnson Boulevard, between 1st and 2nd Streets.
Work on the $5.7 million, 12,000-square-foot branch began in April 2009. The modern steel and glass structure was designed by Hom & Goldman of New York City and built by Sano-Rubin Construction of Albany. The project manager is the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.
The Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch is a shining beacon welcoming the community to find education and entertainment at the library. The contemporary, inspiring building features a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and a soaring ceiling. One of the other signature features of this branch is an indoor garden. The open-space floor plan includes separate areas for adults, teens, and children, as well as two community meeting rooms, and three study rooms. The library was built using “green” design and construction principles and materials, and is expected to achieve a LEED silver designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. This is the first-ever library to serve the West Hill neighborhood, and the first in more than 40 years to serve the Arbor Hill neighborhood. The finished library will house an expansive collection of 75,000 items for customers of all ages, as well as a state-of-the-art computing system with 22 public access computers and free Wi-Fi internet connections, all in a wonderful, energy efficient, and environmentally responsible building.
More than 2000 people celebrated the grand opening of the new John J. Bach Branch Library at 455 New Scotland Avenue on May 15. The free community party featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, entertainment by local residents, refreshments, and tours of the 8,500-square-foot library.
The celebration kicked off under beautiful skies with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the building. Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings, Library Board of Trustees President Dennis Gaffney, Library Executive Director Carol Nersinger, and Library Foundation Vice President Ellen Bach spoke about the importance of the library to the community.
“I love how much the community fought for this building,” said Gaffney. “I love that we designed a bold building, a signature building for the city.”
Nersinger welcomed the neighborhood back to its branch library. “I hope you all enjoy every day at the library.”
Ellen Bach and Jennings celebrated John J. Bach, a longtime library trustee and educator for whom the branch is named. “He believed that the opening of these branch libraries would mark one of the most important accomplishments of this city,” she said.
After the remarks, several dozen children from the New Scotland, Helderberg, and Woodlawn neighborhoods cut the ceremonial ribbon and the doors were opened to officially welcome patrons into the Bach Branch.
The $4 million library renovation project was designed by Hom & Goldman of New York City, built by Sano-Rubin Construction of Albany, and managed by the Dormitory Authority of New York State.
The contemporary and inviting library features:
- Brand-new collection of 30,000 books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, magazines, and more
- 16 public access computers and building-wide Wi-Fi
- Separate spaces, collections, and computers for adults, teens, and children
- One community meeting rooms and two small-group study rooms
- Energy efficient and cost effective “green” systems (including state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system)
- Building is projected to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council
- Signature rotunda with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the neighborhood
- Backyard story garden highlighted by the site’s original old-growth black walnut trees
- Named in memory of John J. Bach, a 20-year library trustee and New Scotland neighborhood resident who spent his career as a teacher, principal, and superintendent at Albany’s public schools and was one of the driving forces behind the Branch Improvement Plan that brought five new libraries to the city’s neighborhoods
The new Bach Branch marks the return of a public library to the New Scotland neighborhood after a three-year absence. A small, one-room branch was housed at the former Public School 19 on New Scotland Avenue for decades, until the building closed in 2007 for renovations.
Albany Public Library is renovating and building five new neighborhood libraries as part of the $29.1 million Branch Improvement Plan approved by voters in February 2007. The Pine Hills Branch opened in November, the Delaware Branch in December, and the Howe Branch in March. The Bach Branch opens today, and the Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch opens June 12.