Schedule reminder: ALL branches CLOSED Saturday-Monday, 5/25-27.

Library Budget and Trustee Election

Thank you Albany for approving the budget and electing three trustees!

On May 21, Albany city residents voted to approve a 2.0% increase in the library tax levy, which is under the NYS tax cap, to support the Albany Public Library.

The budget was approved by 81% of the voters, with a final vote tally of 2,050 to 486.

The approved 2024-25 library operating tax levy is $7,864,740. The owner of a $250,000 home in the city of Albany will pay about an extra $9.15 for the library in the next year. The estimated homestead rate for the 2024-25 library tax is $1.71 per $1,000 of assessed value.

“We are thankful that residents voted to continue supporting Albany Public Library,” said APL Executive Director Andrea Nicolay. “The budget approval allows us to deal with rising operational and contractual costs, while also pursuing fiscal stability and sustainability. APL leaders, staff, and trustees truly appreciate the confidence our community has in the library.”

Also today, voters selected three members for the library’s Board of Trustees. Paige Allen and Jennifer Marlow were the top two vote getters and will serve five-year terms, while Mary A. Rosch received the third highest vote total and will serve a one-year term.

The vote totals for all 12 trustee candidates were:
(1) Paige Allen with 785 votes (winner of five-year term)
(2) Jennifer Marlow with 675 votes (winner of five-year term)
(3) Mary A. Rosch with 671 votes (winner of one-year term)
(4) Tia Anderson with 611 votes
(5) Paul Collins-Hackett with 592 votes
(6) Kirsten Broschinsky with 553 votes
(7) Zachary Cunningham with 508 votes
(8) Marsha Lazarus with 451 votes
(9) Carlos Velasquez with 413 votes
(10) Daniel Schneider with 393 votes
(11) Daniel Plaat with 323 votes
(12) Bradford Lachut with 116 votes

Read the voter information guide

View the 2024-25 library budget documents

Watch a video of the meet-the-candidates forum

 

2024-25 BUDGET VOTE

Albany city residents go to the polls Tuesday, May 21, to vote on the Albany Public Library 2024-2025 tax levy. The budget plan was approved by the library’s Board of Trustees at its March 12 meeting. 

The proposed 2024-2025 operating tax levy of $7,864,740 reflects a two percent increase in the annual total tax levy. This increase is under this year’s New York State tax cap for APL. If approved by voters in May, this increase means that the owner of a $250,000 home would pay approximately $9.15 more in library taxes next year.

“The decision to increase the library tax levy is never easy,” said Board of Trustees President Brigitte Pryor. “Securing adequate, sustainable funding for the library’s service program is a basic function of the Board. We continue to focus on the sustainability piece.”

“This budget increase of two percent supports our staff and core services, and positions us to leverage partnerships and grant opportunities,” said Executive Director Andrea Nicolay. “We are mindful that these days, public libraries and civil liberties are under attack. We strive for excellence and we don’t take community support for granted.”

2024 LIBRARY TRUSTEE ELECTION

There are 12 official candidates on the ballot for three library trustee seats in the May 21 election. Those candidates, listed in ballot order, are:

  1. 1. Daniel Schneider of Crescent Dr., 12208
  2. 2. Zachary Cunningham of Park Ave., 12208
  3. 3. Carlos Velasquez of Jefferson St., 12210
  4. 4. Paige Allen of Jay St., 12210
  5. 5. Jennifer Marlow of Tallmadge Pl., 12208
  6. 6. Bradford Lachut of Western Ave., 12203
  7. 7. Kirsten Broschinsky of Edgewood Ave., 12203
  8. 8. Paul Collins-Hackett of Park Ave., 12202
  9. 9. Marsha Lazarus of Colonial Ave., 12208
  10. 10. Tia Anderson of N. Allen St., 12203
  11. 11. Mary A. Rosch of Mercer St., 12208
  12. 12. Daniel Plaat of Elk St., 12210

The voter information guide contains photographs of the candidates, along with statements they provided.

 

ANNUAL 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:

  • Access to a large and diverse collection of books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, magazines, eBooks, and other digital materials
  • 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
  • Public computer use and WiFi access at all locations
  • Use of the Albany History Room’s archives containing valuable historical books, newspapers, photographs, city directories, and census records for genealogy and other research