Monday, May 17, 2010

The New Bach Branch

Swiped from Stephanie Simon, APL

Party Celebrates New Bach Branch

The celebration kicked off on the front patio of the new library with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings, Library Board of Trustees President Dennis Gaffney, Library Executive Director Carol Nersinger, and Library Foundation Vice President Ellen Bach spoke about the importance of the library to the community.
"I love how much the community fought for this building," said Gaffney. "I love that we designed a bold building, a signature building for the city."
Nersinger welcomed the neighborhood back to its branch library. "I hope you all enjoy every day at the library," she said.

Ellen Bach and Jennings celebrated John J. Bach, a longtime library trustee and educator for whom the branch is named. "He believed that the opening of these branch libraries would mark one of the most important accomplishments of this city," Bach said of her father.

After the remarks, several dozen children from the New Scotland, Helderberg, and Woodlawn neighborhoods cut the ceremonial ribbon and the doors were opened to officially welcome patrons into the Bach Branch. The rest of the afternoon was filled with refreshments (courtesy of hospitality sponsor Price Chopper), entertainment, and library tours.

Patrons are thrilled to have a branch library back in the neighborhood again. A small, one-room branch was housed at the former Public School 19 on New Scotland Avenue for decades, until the building closed in 2007 for renovations.

In case you missed the festivities, this story from Your News Now captured some of the highlights.

Features of the New Scotland Avenue Branch

The $4 million library construction project was designed by Hom & Goldman of New York City, built by Sano-Rubin Construction of Albany, and managed by the Dormitory Authority of New York State. The contemporary and inviting library features:
* Brand-new collection of 30,000 books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, magazines, and more
* 16 public access computers and building-wide Wi-Fi
* Separate spaces, collections, and computers for adults, teens, and children
* One community meeting rooms and two small-group study rooms
* Energy efficient and cost effective "green" systems (including state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system)
* Building is projected to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council
* Signature rotunda with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the neighborhood
* Backyard story garden highlighted by the site's original old-growth black walnut trees
* Named in memory of John J. Bach, a 20-year library trustee and New Scotland neighborhood resident who spent his career as a teacher, principal, and superintendent at Albany's public schools and was one of the driving forces behind the Branch Improvement Plan that is bringing five new libraries to the city's neighborhoods

We've got one more new branch library to open -- the Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library at 148 Henry Johnson Boulevard on Saturday, June 12. Hope to see you there for another great community celebration!

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