Albany Public Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023!

We are thrilled to commemorate our Centennial with a series of events, programs, and activities for our wonderful community to enjoy at APL’s seven libraries across the city of Albany.

Read the Times Union story about the library’s Centennial and APL Day


Centennial Summer Celebration | June 24 (Sat)

1-3 pm | Delaware Branch

All are welcome to this free family outdoor party! Planned events include:

  • Live music by local group Yankee Holler.
  • Kids activities — balloon twisting, face painting, crafts, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and hula hoop.
  • Live owl show from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum. 
  • Summer Reading sign up. Participants read this summer to earn prizes.
  • Centennial Challenge booklets, which include library-related activities participants complete to earn points toward a special collector’s edition Centennial-themed prize.
  • Light refreshments.


A Little APL History

Our library has a long and varied history, which actually dates back more than 100 years.

  • APL’s origins began in 1833, when the Young Men’s Association for Mutual Improvement in the City of Albany (YMA) formed and opened a member library a few months later.
  • It wasn’t until May 21, 1923, that the NYS Legislature created Albany Public Library, moving five libraries run by the YMA to city government.
  • A year earlier, the YMA, which operated its library in Harmanus Bleecker Hall, as well as the John V.L. Pruyn Library on N. Pearl St., had taken over responsibility of the Albany Free Library, which operated libraries in the South End, Delaware, and Pine Hills areas as far back as 1891.
  • After being part of city government for 79 years, APL then made another major change: on May 21, 2002, city residents voted to allow the library to recharter for autonomy over its budget and operation, and board members elected by city residents.
  • APL’s most recent major development was the complete renovation of three branches (Delaware, Howe, Pine Hills) and construction of two new branches (Arbor Hill/West Hill, Bach), all of which opened between November 2009 and June 2010.