NEW LEBANON — The New Lebanon Library is asking town voters to approve a small increase of $20,000 per year to the town’s library budget to help offset the 26% inflation over the last 14 years. “The townspeople, we hope, will vote Yes on Proposal 6 on the Nov 2nd election ballot for the increase to the library,” said Board of Trustees President Charles Weinstein. “Since our last request in 2007, library services have expanded, and we added many new features for all, young and old. In a typical year we get over 14,000 visitors to the library. We are the town center that the town needs.”

The new director, Michelle Hoffman, her paid staff of six, and numerous volunteers are dedicated to providing the highest quality service possible in a friendly and welcoming way. We are committed to providing a healthy and safe environment. The library has been described as a transformative place for all who enter: to learn, to share and to grow. A library isn’t just about borrowing books or reading newspapers and magazines. Computers are available not just for research, but for making the Internet available to anyone who asks.

The library’s meeting room is available for many kinds of events. Several programs are focused by age group. Toddlers can learn about the world around them by coming to Story Hour. The library also sponsors a wide variety of programs for children (and a renovated children’s area), young adults and adults, including summer reading programs in Shatford Park, early literacy for preschool to kindergarten, digital literacy, and diversity and cultural awareness. The staff helps jobseekers find the most useful resources. We help Seniors learn how to navigate the complex world of health insurance, government programs and the like.

The Library is a busy hub of activities: crafts, artist and author talks, yoga, story time, live music performances, informative talks on a variety of subjects from art to health to cooking, movies, music instruction, virtual reality experience, gaming and other creative opportunities for all ages. The library offers computer classes. “Newcomers get involved in one thing and that leads to more activities, and so they get involved in the life of the town.”

While the Board raises funds for the library through grants, donations from within and outside the town, from Columbia County and New York State and through a variety of fundraising events such as our recent tag sale, the majority of the library’s funding comes from the Town of New Lebanon. “We are moving forward all the time,” said Mr. Weinstein, “just to keep up with the latest technology and implement new services that our patrons have asked for. We are looking at ways of increasing internet access for all in our broadly dispersed community which has poor internet access in many areas. So please vote yes on Nov. 2.”

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