Though we end the Friends fiscal year in May 2020 amid strange and tumultuous
times, it gives us a welcome opportunity to look back on a good year, with many
positive community moments for the Friends of Saratoga Springs Public Library.
Read the full report HERE.
In Spring 2019, we held a gathering in the Saratoga Springs Public Library with many
Friends and Volunteers. We celebrated Library Volunteer Betty O’Connor by presenting
her The Marie Madden Volunteer Award, recognizing her support of reading, learning,
and a literate society, and Jim Gold by presenting him H. Dunham Hunt Award,
recognizing his outstanding service to the community through support of the
The summer brought an exciting addition to the Library – the Library Outreach Van!
Happily driven into our Library’s parking lot in summer 2019, fundraised in 2018/2019,
and made possible by a generous grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Trust, this
Outreach Van will help Library Staff bring services to every corner of our library district.
In July and August, we greatly enjoyed offering ticket discount opportunities to Friends
to attend NYC Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra performances, through a partnership
with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Our Library community was thrilled to have
such access to world class performances!
The fall highlight was the co-presentation of a unique event! The Friends partnered
with Shelters of Saratoga, Saratoga Springs Public Library and New York Library
Association to present a showing of Emilio Estevez’ film, The Public. The film explores
many important topics, including homelessness, mental illness, polarized government,
and slanted news coverage, and it is set inside a public library. The showing at
Bowtie Cinema gathered 90 attendees, many Friends, and many others visiting our
city as New York Library Association conference attendees. Ticket donations raised
$1,153, with donations shared between the Friends and Shelters of Saratoga’s
Code Blue program.
In winter 2020, the Friends were very excited to support SaratogaReads! programming
for our city-wide read, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. The Friends funding provided a
raffle for free tickets to community members to see Trevor Noah live at the Times Union
Center in Albany, NY. The event was a great success, widening horizons while giving us
all a good laugh.
Of course, spring 2020 has brought many challenges, unexpected and unprecedented
in the history of our organization. With the strength of our volunteers, and under
the experienced guidance of our Book Shop Manager, Jeff Budge, we are making
plans toward the goal of reopening the Book Shop. We do not know what form
that reopening will take, and many adjustments will be needed, but with innovative
thinking and collaboration, we feel the Friends will thrive. Our mission is to support the
programs, staff, and facilities of the public library, and we will continue to do that, no
matter the obstacles!
Each and every season, we must, of course, thank our Friends Members, who join,
and rejoin the Friends ranks every year, and who’s donations provide funding which
improves our Library.
We would like to say a special thank you to all of our wonderful Friends Volunteers.
Thank you for all you do! Your efforts bring success to our Friends Book Shop, and by
extension, our Library!
Thank you also to Friends, Volunteers and community members who donate items to
the Book Shop – the high quality merchandise we have available for the community,
comes from the community!
Because of all this support, the Friends community can be proud of a good year, and
together the Friends can weather the current storm and come out stronger, ready for
our next successful year.