KINDERHOOK–Residents of the Towns of Kinderhook and Stuyvesant see a proposition on the November 4 ballot to increase funding for the Kinderhook Memorial Library. The library, which is chartered by the state to serve much of the two towns, asks seeks approval for an additional $765 from Stuyvesant, bringing that town’s contribution to a total of $26,265. In The Town of Kinderhook, approval would mean an increase of $5,415 for a total of $185,915 annually.
The Library Board of Trustees puts a request for an increase on the ballot every two years but only after the measure collects enough signatures from registered voters living in the two municipalities. Kinderhook Memorial Library Director AnnaLee Giraldo said that voters have approved the increases in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
According to an email from Ms. Giraldo with information about ballot proposition, Chapter 414 of New York State Law of 1995, “provided public libraries in New York State (including association libraries) with the ability to place a funding proposition on a municipal ballot.” The Kinderhook Memorial Library is an association library and is chartered to service 6,486 people.
“Last year, we circulated over 57,000 items and had 56,000 visits from patrons” Ms. Giraldo said in her email.
The increases in the two towns work out to roughly a 3% increase. Ms. Giraldo wrote that in the coming year the library would use the bulk of the $6,180 from the two propositions to redesign the Kinderhook Memorial Library website, making it easier to use on mobile devices. “The remainder of the funds this year will be used for increased operating costs, including more money for collections, programming, and building repair and maintenance,” she wrote.
An event was held last weekend at the library to announce fundraising efforts for a capital construction project to expand the library. Ms. Giraldo stressed at the announcement that funds from the ballot propositions would not go toward that project. All money for the $2.4-million construction project are being raised through donations. The library has a five-year plan to start raising money to triple the size of the building.
She said in her email, “These 414 votes are used solely for our operating budget, and to keep up with the rising costs of running the library and providing the services that our patrons request.”
A different Chapter 414 proposition will also be on the ballot in the Town of Acram for support of the Roe Jan Community Library. Ancram, Kinderhook and Stuyvesant are the only three towns in the county with library propositions this year.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .