Saturday, November 14, 2009

One Step Closer to Opening New Libraries

From self-described bookworm Stephanie Simon, Albany Public Library

It's been a whirlwind of activity at Albany Public Library these past few months. We're really kicking into high gear with the opening of our first new library--Pine Hills--very shortly. In preparation for opening the doors, we have been finalizing staffing plans, training on new systems, installing computers, tweaking the collection, and lots of last minute items.

New Branch Hours Established

The library Board of Trustees approved a new set of branch hours at its meeting Nov. 10. As requested by many customers, all branches will have the same hours and they will be open year-round on Saturdays. The new hours (which total 40 hours per week) are:

Monday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday 10 am. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Customers have also asked for expanded hours at the branches. As we open the five new libraries over the next six months, we will be evaluating the changes these new locations are creating across the library system. Our goal is to responsibly and intelligently expand hours as we better understand how you use the new libraries.

To Open, We Must Close

With work nearing completion on the new Delaware and Howe Branch Libraries, we are ready to close the current branches serving those neighborhoods.

The current Delaware branch (at 485 Delaware Avenue) will have its last day of service on Saturday, Nov. 14. The new Delaware branch (at 331 Delaware Avenue) will open its doors in December. A grand opening celebration is planned for Saturday, Jan. 9, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The transitional Howe branch (at the Albany Housing Authority building on South Pearl Street) will have its last day of service on Saturday, Nov. 21. The fully renovated Howe library (at Schuyler and Broad Streets) is planned to open in February. A grand opening celebration (to be announced soon) will be held at Howe too.

Staff from both of these locations will be busy getting their newly renovated branch libraries ready to open the doors to the public. The transformations of these two buildings is amazing. We can't wait for you to see them both!

Sneak Preview of Delaware & Pine Hills

The verdict is in...people are loving our new Albany libraries! Several dozen library supporters got their first chance to see the fully renovated Delaware and Pine Hills Branch Libraries at a recent special sneak preview fund raiser hosted by the Library Foundation.

As people toured the not-yet-open libraries, we heard the same words over and over again: beautiful, welcoming, comfortable, well-designed, innovative, wonderful. Once you get a chance to see these buildings, I think you'll like them too!

At Pine Hills, attendees got to check out the brand new Dewey-free collection of books. And a few youngsters had their first chance to look through the fully stocked children's collection. Everyone will get to see the new Pine Hills when doors open very soon (sometime this month). A special grand opening party at Pine Hills--including a ribbon cutting, entertainment, refreshments, and giveaways--is set for Saturday, Dec. 5, from 1 to 5 p.m. Please join us to celebrate the grand opening of Albany's newest library!

As you can see, the changes are coming fast and furious now. Our branch library hours are set, Pine Hills will be open in a matter of days, and Delaware's opening is right around the corner in December. Stay tuned for more updates on all the great happenings at Albany's new neighborhood libraries!

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