Library asks voters for help meeting demand

KINDERHOOK–On the back of their November 8 election ballots voters in the towns of Kinderhook and Stuyvesant will see a library referendum question. Known as a Chapter 414 propositions, they allow voters to decide whether to increase their community’s contribution to the operating budget for the Kinderhook Memorial Library.

The library is requesting $11,154 in additional funds from Kinderhook taxpayers, which, if approved, would make Kinderhook’s total 2017 contribution to the library $197,089.

A companion proposition on the Stuyvesant ballot asks approval for a $1,575, making Stuyvesant’s 2017 contribution to the library $27,840.

Library Director AnnaLee Giraldo said that total increase for the library from the two communities would be $12,729, which is a 6% increase.

The library needed to gather at least 77 signatures from Stuyvesant residents and 345 signatures from Kinderhook residents before the Chapter 414 measure could appear on the ballot. In an email, Ms. Giraldo said, “We successfully got 99 signatures in Stuyvesant and 375 signatures in Kinderhook.”

“We have gone to the voters every other year since 2006,” she wrote. In 2014, the library received a 3% increase through the same type of referendum. Chapter 414 measures only appear on general election ballots.

Over the last decade the number of visits to the library has jumped from 20,247 to 68,882 per year, according to Ms. Giraldo. The number of library programs has gone from 112 to 339 per year and program attendance has also grown from 1,432 to 7,234. The circulation has increased 46%, from 37,796 to 55,547.

“The money we are requesting will be used to purchase six all-new public computers for our library, and to support the general operation of our facility. We have created a new full-time position of teen librarian to help accommodate the growing number of patrons and programs. All of our programs are offered free of charge and are open to the entire public,” she writes.

“We have always received so much wonderful support from our communities, and we truly hope that we will see such support on this coming vote,” she writes of the November 8 referendum.

Separately, the library is raising money for a major addition to the building at 18 Hudson Street in the Village of Kinderhook. None of the Chapter 414 money can be used for that project. All the money raised through taxes will be used for the library’s operational needs.

For more information and to see the library’s current budget, go to http://kinderhooklibrary.org.

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