Archive for August, 2008

My Travels with Henry

Different local families borrowed a life size Henry Hudson Doll through the library and took him to local historic sites. Henry is owned through a partnership between the Upper Hudson Library System and the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau. He will be visiting area libraries over the next few months. These tours of history are part of the Where’s Henry Hudson? Project and were documented by photographs and entries in Henry’s personal journal.

This do it yourself  program is part of an Explore Your Shores: Discovering Community History @ Your Library grant involving   several local libraries and celebrating the Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial. Our focus is on Henry Hudson’s voyage of discovery and that which is river related.   Be sure to check the library’s website for special child and family programs over the next few months.   They will focus on Native American culture, ecology, and local history.

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From the Director…

First of all, the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Troy Public Library would like to sincerely thank our many supporters during this past year’s library district campaign.   On November 4, residents were asked to vote on creating a special public library district in the City of Troy.   People voted overwhelmingly to create the district (6,688 – Yes to 4,135 – No) but unfortunately, the budget proposition for the new district was defeated (4,941 – Yes to 5,684 – No).   Since both propositions had to pass to establish the district, we do not yet have a Special Public Library District in Troy.   The vote did, however, clearly demonstrate that the people of this community want public library service and that a majority agree that the district model is the way to go.

What happens now? For now, the library will need to reduce service levels in order to stay within our budget in 2009.   An annual appropriation from the City of Troy remains our primary source of funding.   We requested an appropriation of $600,000 from both the mayor and from City Council earlier this year so that the library could operate at the same level of service in 2009 that it did in 2008.

In spite of our best efforts, however, the level of funding the library is scheduled to receive in 2009 is $450,000, an amount that has remained the same since 2003.   Since that time, our expenses have increased by nearly 30%. We cannot spend funds we do not have.

I have prepared a budget for 2009 which reflects our current funding situation.   That budget calls for the following measures:

. Close both the Lansingburgh and Sycaway Branches.
. Reduce the library staff by four and one half full time equivalent positions.
. Reduce our book and materials budget by 30%.
. Reduce children’s and adult programming by 60%.
. Maintain current operating hours at the Main Library.

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