Letter to the Albany City Council

Letter to the Albany City Council

A bust of Shakespeare at the Al;bany Oregon Carnegie brand library.

Dear Councilperson,

On behalf of the board of directors of the Albany Public Library Foundation, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce—or re-introduce—you, and the members of the Albany City Council, to the Foundation.

Modern Travelers and dedication plaque at the Albany Oregon Public LibraryThe Albany Pubic Library Foundation is a private organization created to help maintain and sustain the downtown or Carnegie branch of Albany’s library, as well as to support both library branches and their programs, with funding that supplements the city’s budget appropriations.

Albany’s original public library, now the Carnegie branch, was created more than a century ago through the fund-raising efforts of the Modern Travelers Club (which still exists today) and a donation from the Carnegie Foundation. The land was donated to the city for library use.

The Foundation itself currently has assets in excess of one million dollars, and it annually expends about 5% of its assets in support of the libraries. The volunteer board of directors meets bi-monthly, and meetings are open to the public; ex-officio members who regularly participate include the city librarian, the Carnegie branch librarian, and a representative of the library board.

New Heating and Cooling System at the Albany Oregon Carnegie Library

Among the projects recently funded by the Foundation have been the installation of improved heating and cooling equipment (pictured right), the rehabilitation of the building’s openable windows and the installation of new blinds, and new, historically compatible bookcases and tables. The Foundation has underwritten summer Saturday story hours at the Carnegie for several years, as well as the new story walk in Sunrise Park. It also contributes funds for the acquisition of library materials such as books and films, a contribution that has increased in the past few years as city funds have for this purpose have been curtailed by budget limitations.

The Carnegie branch is an important civic asset that contributes to the health and welfare of Albany. The building itself is a beautiful historic structure inside and out, and is a contributing element of the Monteith Historic District. The library serves the downtown community and provides ready access for those who may not have cars. The Carnegie branch maintains a collection of materials on historic preservation and about Albany’s historic districts.

The Albany Public Library Foundation is proud of its role in assisting to maintain and sustain the Carnegie branch and our public library as a whole. We hope you will continue to share our interest in this valuable institution.

If you have any questions about the Foundation or the Carnegie branch, or would like to attend a meeting of the Foundation board or have a tour of the Carnegie branch, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your service to the citizens of Albany!

Richard H. Engeman, Board Chair