The Germantown Library found its first permanent home at 31 Palatine Park Road and opened its doors February 2008. In those three-and-a-half years the library has grown leaps and bounds to offer our patrons books, movies and internet use and varied programs, workshops, classes and lectures in the Hover Room.
Library growth comes with challenges, however, and the Germantown library has prepared for current and future fluctuations in State Aid. Library State Aid has been cut five times in the last three years. During the same time period, library usage has increased by 11%, and 98% of libraries report helping someone look online for a job. Our library has also noticed a large increase in the amount of patrons, in many cases entire families, who use the library to save money: by borrowing books, CDs and DVDs, reading the newspaper and magazines, and attending programs. Patrons’ visits and circulation of items in the past two months shattered our previous years’ records and the feeling is that the trend is here to stay!
In January 2011 the Board of Trustees approved increasing the hours of operation by an additional eight hours. By extending and normalizing hours, our hope is that patrons will find it easier to fit a library visit into their busy schedules. None of this can be done without the trained director and staff, and a core group of dedicated volunteers. There is currently a need for additional volunteers, so if you have a free morning or afternoon and you would like to make new friends, learn a skill, and help your neighbors, please give us a call at 518.537.5800, or contact Volunteer Coordinator Ginny Atwell at 518.537.4156.
The Hover Room continues to be the place to go for new and diverse programming. Our new Program Coordinator Heather Gibbons has added exciting programs such as book readings and signings, workshops on such topics as writing an effective college admissions essay, spirituality & money and natural meditation. Weekly classes such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Rug Hooking, Book Club and the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program continue to appeal to new participants. On October 20, at 7 p.m., Certified Financial Planner David Albahary will lead a class on “Reducing the Cost of College: What You Need to Know,” a must-see for parents with high school students that are planning on attending college. In early November the Our Town Talks series continues with special guest Bruce Bohnsack, CEO of Gtel. He will discuss how Germantown’s family-owned independent telephone company succeeded where others failed in an industry experiencing revolutionary technological change, and dominated by the likes of AT&T and Verizon.
And, please join us on Saturday, November 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for our annual Fall Book Sale where you will find gently used books, CDs and DVDs at bargain prices (most books .50 and $1). The library is accepting donations of gently used books on two Saturdays in October: the 15th and the 29th (no magazines, please).
Many times our program ideas have come from our patrons, so if you have an idea for a program, please e-mail Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to regularly check the library’s website calendar (germantownlibrary.org, click on “calendar”) as we are continually adding new programming.
We are very proud of our small-town library with its big community heart. We try to offer a comfortable and friendly library with dedicated staff, board and volunteers. If you haven’t visited us yet, take a little time and stop in. I hope to personally meet you!