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A Work in Progress

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – Despite the gloomy economic picture, The Albany Public Library Restoration Project is underway. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas interviews Elissa Kane, the Director of Development at the Library (mp3).

The Albany Public Library's $29.1 million Branch Improvement Plan is the Library's first comprehensive infrastructure project in its history. Last year, Albany voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum to fund the relocation, renovation and construction of five branch libraries in the city. Designs for all of these state-of-the-art branch libraries include community meeting spaces, distinct collection spaces and public computing services for adults, teens, and children, and small group tutoring/study rooms as suggested by the Library's extensive community input process that formed the foundation of the Branch Improvement Plan. Work is scheduled to begin on the renovations in October and the new constructions later in the year.

Renovation at Pine Hills, Delaware and Howe branches should be complete by next Fall and the new construction finished in early 2010.

The Library has also come to an agreement with the Historic Albany Foundation to restore many of the original windows in the 1920s era John A. Howe branch in the city's South End. The additional work is being financed by a 250-thousand dollar New York State Capital Community Assistance Grant.