2012 Building Referendum Brochure
2009 Community Survey on Library Service
2007 Growing for Generations Report
2003 Community Survey on Library Service
2003 Strategic Long Range Plan
Frequently Asked Questions
Why expand now during an economic downturn?
In 2008 when the recession first hit some of you may recall receiving a mailing about our intentions. We chose to pull back our plan for a year and a half. What we discovered was in times of need there was increased use of our library.
We are planning for our community’s future, and with interest rates at a historic low we believe that now is the best time to build. The Long Range Planning Committee recognizes that today’s environment provides a nearly unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of competitive construction costs.
Are you planning on building a “Taj Mahal” like the Clifton Park library?
No. We worked with our staff, our architects and community members to develop a plan that is attractive and flexible, but most of all utilitarian. After our community focus groups were held in 2009 some of our earlier plans were amended, such as increasing the Helderberg (Large) meeting room by an internal expansion that does not increase the footprint.
Why don’t you add a second story to the current building?
The current library was never built to support a second-story structure. That was a decision that was made in the late 1980s and in retrospect may not have been wise.
Where will the expansion be located?
There will be two sections added on to the current building, a two-and-one-half story building with a lobby connector to the left of the current building and a bump-out at the east end of the Children’s Area.
Will there be additional parking space?
Yes. Additional spaces will be added to the main parking lot as well as a drive-up book drop.
Why didn’t I know about the planned library expansion?
We have been holding community meetings about the future of our library since 2003. Two months-long community planning sessions involving governmental, cultural, school and arts group members were held, one in 2003 and another in 2009. Click here for the 2003 report, and here for the 2009 report.
All meetings of the Library Board where our plans were discussed have been televised and open to the public.
The Altamont Enterprise and Our Towne have carried stories about our progress.
Won’t technology make libraries obsolete soon?
With new technologies for eBooks coupled with the ease of online research, one may wonder what the future holds for public libraries.
Some relevant observations:
- If most people could afford to buy their own books, libraries would never have come into existence. But that has never been the case, and likely it will not be in the future. Even with electronic access, there remains value to sharing resources rather than each citizen purchasing their own materials.
- For those who own any type of electronic reading device, it seems that eBooks are quite popular. But for the average person although more affordable, eReaders are still considered a luxury. In 2010, 5.2% of book sales worldwide were eBooks and are predicted to be 16% of the publishing market by 2013. (Outsell, 8-11)
- There are still many citizens who do not have internet access at home. The Library insures that Internet access is available to all. The Library also serves many people who have difficulty finding what the need on the Internet. Library staff guides patrons through both print and electronic resources to find the best information available.
- Contrary to popular belief, much information is not available electronically. Less than 2% of the more than 147 million items in the Library of Congress has been electronically formatted.
- There are still large groups of people who prefer a paper book. So, for the foreseeable future, there will still be a constant need for paper titles. Book publishers are printing more titles, not less, and self-publishing is becoming more common.
- The death of the book has been predicted many times and is still waiting to happen. When the Internet became more widespread in the 1990s, speculation was that it spelled the end of libraries. The reality is that libraries are more in demand and used more than ever. The Internet has become a great informational resource for many people. Research has shown that Internet use has not produced a reduction in the use of public libraries. There will remain individuals who want to hold and touch a real book, and that will be true for a long time to come.
- More shelf space is now given to audio books as well as videos.
- New technology won’t phase out people. We call our library “Guilderland’s Gathering Place” because we are the meeting center for the community. More rooms are needed for discussions, computer use, and tutoring space.
Will the community get a good return on this investment of tax dollars?
The benefits of the Guilderland Public Library are numerous and impact all of us.
Our library offers one-stop shopping, a place where there is something for everyone. Your entire family from babies to grandparents can go to our library and find something they are interested in. For example, a computer for e-mail, books to check out, a history program or community meeting in the community/program rooms, newspapers and magazines to read, a teen game area, family movies, children’s storytime, baby playtime or both young and old can work with friends on projects in our study rooms. All of these activities may happen at the same time and will benefit by an expanded library because of the layout and efficiency of the floor plan. We’re not just “Guilderland’s Gathering Place”; sometimes we are the community’s living room!
Our library impacts the community positively: economical, education and our quality of life. We also provide art and cultural opportunities and a place to socialize. An expanded library will provide space for gatherings, meetings and increase the benefits of living in the area.
Will the expanded library increase library visits?
Yes. Research of new or renovated public libraries document library visits, checkout of materials, and card holders all increase and maintain those increases years later. Locally when the Glens Falls Library grew, they saw an immediate 40% increase in library use.
Can we get grants to build the new library?
We will certainly apply for grants for which our community qualifies. We have already begun the process for receiving NYSERDA funds for energy conservation. Most money available to libraries is for programming so competition for the funds that support buildings is fierce.
What is the Guilderland Library Foundation contributing to the project?
The Foundation has a small fund to support expansion of the building. These funds will be used to support items that cannot be part of the building bond. In addition, the Foundation will be working with the Board of Trustees to develop a Capital Campaign to raise funds in support of the expanded library.
What about the ongoing costs of operating a larger facility?
The increase in the space will not increase our needs proportionately. We have planned for a “green” building with geothermal heating & cooling, additional rooftop solar panels and a “living” roof element. We will be maximizing the passive solar possibilities of our location.
We are including materials handling technology as part of our plan. Job descriptions and duties of our staff will be changing to meet these changing needs. We currently have one self-checkout stations. More will be added in spaces throughout the expanded building.
Staff increases will be phased in as needed for program expansion
As more baby boomers enter retirement we will be offering the community more volunteer opportunities with the Library.
What are the projected operational costs for the completed and expanded library?
Preliminary estimates, with current income levels unchanged, made for the Board of Trustees expect that a four cent per thousand increase above the levy limit will be needed in the 2015/2016 budget to support staffing and building needs.
What is my "maximum taxpayer share"?
When you vote on Tuesday, June 26th, you'll be asked to cast your ballot on a $12.95M bond that will be paid off in 15 to 20 years.
The project cost includes all the expected expenditures associated with the renovation and building project-new construction, contingencies, replacing the existing roof and heating system, and all the fees, permits and bonding costs associated with the project.
Taxpayer responsibility for this bond will be approximately 28 cents/$1,000 of full value. For
example, a Guilderland School District homeowner with a home valued at $200,000 would pay
approximately $55 a year. This amounts to $1.06 a week—less than the cost of a single book, CD,
DVD or a cup of coffee. For this investment, the community gets a state-of-the-art library that will
serve our growing community for generations to come.
Will the library be able to continue to afford buying new books and still pay for the expansion?
Yes. Our commitment to materials is primary. Neither the Board nor Director has ever proposed buying fewer materials. Construction costs are paid through a low interest bonding process just like the school district projects.
If the vote passes, will the library close for construction?
No. We will have to limit access to some areas of the library from time to time, however we plan on staging the new building construction and current building renovations so that we will be able to offer services to our members throughout the building process.
What about the planned Glassworks Village project? Will that affect the plan?
The current expansion plans were designed with Glassworks Village in mind. We are proposing a new central entrance to the building that would allow access from both the parking lot and the rear of the building. This rear entrance leads to walking paths to the Glassworks site. Should that development move forward we are ready to accommodate the additional patrons it promises to bring.
I thought the Library was opposed to Glassworks Village. What was that about?
The Board of Trustees never opposed the development. We did however express concern about the road planned to run within just a few feet of the library building. We felt this road could be a safety hazard for our patrons and employees as well as disruptive to the peaceful atmosphere we strive to maintain. As a result the last version of the plan included an earthworks berm to help mitigate these issues.
What is the timeline?
The bond expansion vote will be held on June 26, 2012. If the voters approve the bond, final designs for the expansion will be developed in 2012/2013. Ground breaking will occur during the summer of 2013. The project will be completed by spring 2015.
Why does the Guilderland Public Library need to expand if the new building in Altamont just opened?
The Guilderland Public Library and the Altamont Free Library are separate entities. GPL is chartered by the state Board of Regents and Education Commissioner to serve the people in the Guilderland Central School District as a school district public library. This was approved by the GCSD voters in 1988. At that time the Altamont Free Library (AFL) chose to remain separate from the GPL as a free association library. The AFL charter covers the village of Altamont.
GPL receives 92% of our funding through the tax levy for the district. New York State supplies one quarter of one percent of our budget. The remaining 7.75% of the budget is raising through interest, donations, grants and fundraising.
AFL receives funding from four sources, the Village of Altamont (35%), the Town of Guilderland (40%), New York State (1%), and a contract with the Town of Knox (6%). The remaining 8% of their funding comes from donations, grants and fundraising.
How can I help?
There are three ways that you can help. The first is to donate funds to the Guilderland Library Foundation in support of the Capital Campaign. The second is to volunteer to help make phone calls to make sure that the whole community is aware of the project and when and where the vote will be held. The third and most import thing you can do to help is vote!
Presented by the Guilderland Public Library's Board of Trustees:
Douglas A. Morrissey, President • Carroll Valachovic, Vice President • Michael Fox, Secretary • Dr. Vishnu Chaturvedi, Treasurer • Christopher Aldrich • Bryan Best • Robert H. Feller • Barbara Fraterrigo • Robert E. Ganz • Brian Hartson • Library Director: Barbara Nichols Randall
What's your Library worth to you? Find out here.
Updated: June 21, 2012