Voters Approve Library Budget! 

Albany city residents voted May 16 to approve a 4.58% increase in the tax levy, which is under the NYS tax cap, to support the Albany Public Library.

The budget was approved by 80% of the voters, with a final tally of 1,605 to 407.

“We are very pleased that residents voted to continue supporting Albany Public Library with their tax dollars,” said APL Executive Director Andrea Nicolay. “The budget approval allows us to deal with rising costs while also putting us on the path to achieving fiscal stability and sustainability. The Albany Public Library leaders, staff, and trustees truly appreciate the confidence and support our community has in its libraries.”

The approved 2023-24 library operating tax levy is $7,710,529. The owner of a $150,000 home in the city of Albany will pay about an extra $11.16 for the library in the next year. The estimated homestead rate for the 2023-24 library tax is $1.69 per $1,000 of assessed value.

There were no open library trustee seats this year.

View the 2023-24 library budget documents

Read the full voter information packet


The Library’s Budget Process

The library’s spending plan dictates how we allocate funds across the system of seven branches. We are primarily funded by local taxpayers, but also receive backing from the state and through grants and donations. The library’s leadership regularly reviews the annual budget and long-range financial plan to ensure we are making fiscally responsible decisions that result in operational efficiencies. 

Some budget facts:

  • The yearly budget is developed in an open process, reviewed in public meetings, and approved by the Board of Trustees. Then, it is presented to the voters.
  • The public gets to vote on the library’s tax levy every May (there is no vote if the tax levy does not increase).
  • As a local government, Albany Public Library budgets fall under the tax cap regulations established by the NYS comptroller.
  • The library’s major operating costs are: salaries and benefits to the library staff; maintenance and operation of seven library buildings; cost of computers and software for public and staff; purchase of books, periodicals, databases, and other borrowable materials; and programming for the community.
  • The budget includes supplemental income from state and federal grants, fines and other fees, and contributions from foundations and individuals. The majority of support for the library comes from the annual tax levy. 

The library budget supports:

  • Use of seven award-winning neighborhood libraries
  • Access to a large and diverse collection of books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, magazines, eBooks, and other digital materials
  • Public computer use and WiFi access at all locations
  • Programs including computer classes, financial workshops, job search assistance, music performances, book reviews, movies, story times, and health and wellness activities for all ages and interests
  • Personalized assistance with information and research needs from professional librarians
  • Use of community meeting rooms and study rooms
  • Use of the Albany History Room that archives valuable historical books, newspapers, photographs, city directories, and census records for genealogy and other research
  • 24/7 online access to the collections, databases, and digital books and music