Library Budget Vote is on May 15

March 16, 2018 | Library News

Albany city residents go to the polls Tuesday, May 15, to vote on the Albany Public Library 2019 tax levy.

Next year’s budget plan was approved by the library’s Board of Trustees at its March 13 meeting. There is no trustee election this year as no board terms are expiring.

The proposed 2019 operating tax levy of $7,153,022 reflects a 2.0 percent increase in the annual total tax levy. If approved by voters in May, this increase means that the owner of a $150,000 home would pay approximately $4.89 more in library taxes next year.

“The library’s Board of Trustees proposed 2019 budget was guided by the principles in our strategic plan, which promises to provide quality services, facilities, resources, and programs that meet the needs of our community while maximizing the public’s investment in a cost-effective manner,” said Karen Strong, president of the APL Board of Trustees.

“People continually ask us for more service hours, more programs and activities, more digital books and materials, and more meeting room availability. The 2019 budget allows our libraries to meet those needs. Albany voters have a choice about the library budget, and we hope that they will continue to support this essential community service when they go to the polls on May 15,” Strong said.

The 2019 spending plan includes funding for: staffing to open some branches for additional morning and evening hours; additional eBooks for the in-demand digital collection; increased programs and activities, including much needed early literacy initiatives; more opportunities for groups to use meeting and study rooms; and service to the North Albany neighborhood while the board continues discussions with staff and the public about how to best serve this community.

“Albany Public Library has worked hard to become a lean organization that lives within its means, while providing quality services and resources to the Albany community. This includes securing alternative funding sources, finding efficiencies, and strengthening partnerships,” said Scott C. Jarzombek, the library’s executive director.

“The proposed 2019 budget will allow the library to meet patron demand for more hours, programming, and meeting room availability,” Jarzombek said.

The library is hosting two information sessions about the budget:
• May 1 (Tues) | 6:00 pm | Washington Ave. Branch | 161 Washington Ave.
• May 7 (Mon) | 6:00 pm | Pine Hills Branch | 517 Western Ave.

Every day, the library provides: free access to a large and diverse collection of books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, as well as eBooks, eMagazines, and other digital materials; free public computer and laptop use, WiFi access, in-home WiFi hotspots, and mobile app; free public programs including children’s story times, computer classes, financial literacy workshops, music performances, book reviews, and exercise classes; free access to professional reference librarians who provide assistance with information and research needs; and free use of community meeting rooms and study spaces.

Stephanie Simon

Stephanie Simon is APL's public information officer, and manages the library's communications, public relations, and marketing efforts. No, she isn't a librarian, but feels as if she's among her people here at the library.