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Library report emphasizes connections to children

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Crandall Library File

(FILE PHOTO -- Erin Reid Coker) The Crandall Public Library on Glen Street in Glens Falls is shown Saturday January 16, 2010. 

GLENS FALLS -- Open Crandall Public Library’s annual report and you’ll find the financial numbers on the inside cover, messages from Director Kathy Naftaly and board of trustees President Michael Toomey on the second page and the future splashed across pages 3 and 4.

“Because we represent the community, we have to be a bit for everyone, but supporting children and young adults is supporting the whole community by supplementing education,” said Naftaly, who took over as library director last year.

The hard numbers are there: 30,048 children attended programs, 173,502 books were circulated, along with 67,270 other items, and 11,805 children have library cards.

But beyond that, the children using the library were involved in a community garden project for the first time, took part in weekly Spanish classes, started on the “1,000 Books b4 Kindergarten” program, took part in summer reading and pre-literacy programs and worked in partnership with their schools.

In teen services, the youth-run program produced a Teen Center Prom for the first time and ran a Japanese Culture Club, and the Reduced Teen Group took part in art walks, public service and performances.

At the library’s “Hooray for Hollywood Gala,” the teens portrayed characters from “The Hobbit” and “The Hunger Games” as they greeted guests.

“Libraries are about people,” Naftaly said. “We are not about what we have. It’s about that connection.”

Giving back

When Naftaly flips the report to its center spread, she is delighted by the sheer number of names she sees in the donors section, which lists those who help make up the 25 percent of the library budget not covered by the tax districts of Glens Falls, Queensbury and Moreau. The library’s business partners also get their own page.

“Those are the monetary donors. We have them, plus the volunteers, plus the voters who support us,” she said. “It’s all about interaction with people.”

The library’s total budget last year was $4.2 million, with $3.2 million coming from the three towns and the rest from donors, state aid and grants.

The largest expense was salaries at $1,686,364, followed by $653,365 in benefits, $349,193 in purchasing materials and $313,000 in operating the building.

The library paid $821,338 in debt service and finished with a surplus of $68,658.

Many other programs

The report also details the library’s wide variety of adult services and details the use of the Folklife Center, including the exhibits it presented focusing on the Adirondack Folk School and YMCA’s Camp Chingachook.

The library also listed its concert series, noted that its outreach services provided 14,884 items for people outside the library and pointed out maintenance projects and the 28 new public computers that were added in 2013.

Still, Naftaly’s greatest pride in the library goes beyond the numbers and descriptions in the annual report.

“I am just proud of my staff for being so outstanding to everyone,” she said. “They are an amazing group of people.”

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