Kinderhook Memorial Library serves to enrich the quality of life for a diverse and growing constituency of all ages by providing resources and services which contribute to individual literacy, education and entertainment. The Library is dedicated to encouraging children and adults in a love of reading and an appreciation for libraries. Resources and services are provided free or at a nominal cost to patrons.
–Approved by Trustees on April 7, 2008
- Kinderhook Memorial Library envisions a future where all individuals and families in our service-area are eager and engaged life-long learners. We implement this vision by offering at little or no cost to our patrons:
- Library collections that are robust, in myriad formats, that encompass the range of human thought and expression, and meet the needs and expectations of an increasingly diverse clientele
- Widespread access to new and emerging information technologies
- A wide range of educational and cultural programs, workshops and events
- Outstanding customer service delivered by high-quality professional staff and volunteers
- Convenient, inviting and up-to-date accessible facilities that enable the use of multi-media; provide separate areas for children and young adults; quiet spaces for study/research and leisure reading; designated space for meetings and programs, growth in collections; and functional work-space for staff and volunteers
- Active involvement in community life by partnering with local governments, cultural and affinity groups, Friends of the Kinderhook Memorial Library (FOKML), and educational agencies, as well as other libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System and beyond
- An access point for local information, resources, and services
–Approved by Trustees on June 2, 2008
Goals and Objectives
- To cultivate a love of reading and an appreciation for libraries by members of the public of all ages, beginning with children and their families.
- To have the public regard the library as the living room of the community, where there is free and equal access to information for people of all ages and backgrounds
- In a world where knowledge is power, to establish the library as a source of individual empowerment
- To serve a larger percentage of the library service population, i.e. community, as measured by the number of library cards issued, attendance at programs and special events, and circulation of books, materials and media
- To offer an interesting mix of informational, cultural, and recreational programs and events that helps to broaden and deepen the base of library use and support for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school children, teens and adults
- To further collaborate with the Valatie Free Library (VFL) on programs and services of mutual interest to the public at our respective locations and at satellite facilities, such as the State Farm Road buildings
- To utilize the facilities available within the Town of Stuyvesant, including its town hall, train station, and parks for programs and special events
- To provide members of the public with high quality information services that meet or exceed standards of best practice, as established by professional and accrediting agencies
- To develop and maintain technology resources for the public and library operations, including Internet access and data-base services, and to offer basic instruction on how to operate new technologies
- To offer basic literacy services to members of the public, thereby removing the barrier that keeps individuals from accessing the library’s resources and services
- To establish and maintain a multi-media library collection that is reflective of the diverse interests of our population
- To provide a community referral function for those seeking information related to services provided by community agencies and organizations, such as Literacy Connections, Columbia County Historical Society, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Friends of Lindenwald, Columbia Land Conservancy, Valatie Rescue Squad, local fire departments, service clubs (Elks, Lions, Rotary), and business and professional associations (KBPA).
- To explore new ways to deliver services to under-served populations
- To maximize public awareness of the Library’s resources, services and needs using a full range of communication strategies and media
- To identify and engage all stakeholders and funders in the community to become library consumers and supporters
- To maintain regular communication between the library and: residents of Kinderhook and Stuyvesant; village, town, county, state and federal government officials; Ichabod Crane CSD; Mid Hudson Library System and its member libraries; Columbia County Historical Society, and other cultural organizations
Community Center/Public Commons
- To provide a destination and gathering place for creating community and civic engagement
- To provide civic information services on a broad range of subjects, including voting, citizenship, taxes and public health
- To facilitate access to public information such as the inspection of public records as required by law (public notice of meetings and referenda/ballot propositions)
- To recruit, retain and reward library staff and volunteers and provide appropriate salaries, benefits and training to all employees
- To value and recognize the many contributions made by the Friends of the Library and volunteers in support of the mission and programs of the library
- To conduct an evaluation of our current building and site as to its functionality to serve our public, staff, volunteers and supporters with respect to: handicap access, convenience, ability to conduct multiple activities simultaneously; growth in collections and holdings; staff productivity and needs; and fulfilling the goals of this plan
- To secure reliable financial support from taxpayers in the Towns of Kinderhook and Stuyvesant to maintain and enhance library programs and services pursuant to this plan
- To hold fund-raising activities to support specific projects
- To pursue wherever feasible grants for specific projects from foundations, governments at all levels, state legislators, library development agencies, and other funding sources
- To cultivate prospective major donors to support the library through unrestricted gifts, targeted gifts, bequests or memorial gifts, and the like
- To explore the feasibility of using a professional fund-raiser to develop and conduct a capital campaign for enhancements to the library
- To otherwise provide the ways and means for this plan to be implemented as adopted for the period, 2009-2014
Action Steps for 2009
- Publish a quarterly print newsletter about library programs, services and events and distribute it widely to the community
- Demonstrate the library’s value in times of economic stress by providing access to on-line databases and support for start-up businesses and a developing workforce.
- Focus public attention on the library as a source of free or low cost recreation in the form of materials, such as books and audio-visuals, and programs such as films, lectures, readings and the like, as alternatives to high-cost, less affordable recreational activities
- Meet face-to-face with elected state representatives (Senate and Assembly) to urge their support for restorations to the proposed cuts in local assistance for libraries in SFY2009-10 contained in the Executive Budget proposal
- Re-double efforts to provide library services to hard-to-reach populations, including teenagers, seniors, and those for whom English is a second language
- Appropriate funds for the purpose of conducting a feasibility study of expanding the library at its current location, and to award a contract for this purpose
- Should the study indicate feasibility, the next steps would be (1) to hire an architect to draw up building plans pursuant to trustee and staff direction and, (2) to engage a professional fund-raiser to develop for board approval a capital campaign for library expansion at its current location
EVIDENCE AND SUPPORTING INFORMATION
A. Kinderhook Memorial Library Fact Sheet (2008)
B. Annual Report to the Community Highlights (2007)
C. Community Survey Analysis (December 2008)
D. Julie H. Johnson Vision Statement (2008)
E. Comparative Analysis: KML & Cohort Libraries (2008)
F. Results of Chapter 414 Referendum (November 2008)
G. KML Trustees Strategic Plan Survey (December 2007)
H. Constant Contact Survey Results (April 2008)
A. Kinderhook Memorial Library Fact Sheet
Chartered Population: 7,349 (2000 census)
Interior Square Footage: 2,120
Total Paid Staff: 2.55 FTEs
Hours Open Weekly: 40
Card Holders: 2,174
Annual Visits: 37,000
Number of Internet Terminals: 4
Use of Electronic Resources Annually: 2,900
Total Circulation: 49,371
Annual Reference Transactions: 2,200
Total Holdings: 16,865
Interlibrary Loan Borrowed: 10,108
Total Programs: 241
Total Program Attendance: 2,835
Annual funding for the Library’s operations have been through Chapter 414 since fiscal year 2000, with the referendum passed in November 1999. The second referendum passed in November 2005 for funding fiscal years 2006 -2008. The third referendum passed in November 2008 for fiscal year 2009.
Programs for Children
Paws to Read (a reading-to-dogs program), a Teddy Bear Picnic, Puppet Making Workshops, Sunday discoveries (features one exciting topic per month), Flower Arranging Workshops, musical performances by Uncle Rock and the City Winds Trio, and Jewish storytelling with Gerald Fierst.
Programs for Teens
Health Information Project, Battle of the Books, and workshops on Creating Graphic Novels with author Barbara Slate
Programs for Adults
Asperger’s Syndrome, Long-Term Care Insurance, Eating Disorders, Colorectal Cancer, Fitness and Running, Global Warming, Stress Management, Nutrition, Lyme Disease, Triathlon Training, and Edible Plants in Your Backyard, plus several film series, book clubs for fiction and non-fiction readers, and One-on-One Computer Tutorials
B. ANNUAL REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS (2007)
Books (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
- Large Print
- Spanish Language
- Audio Books on CD
Movies on DVD and VHS
Magazines (over 40 subscriptions)
Local newspapers (Independent, Register Star, Times Union) and New York Times
Financial newspapers (Wall Street Journal, Barron=s)
Mommy and Me Laptime
Preschool Story Time (at the Library and at Stuyvesant Town Hall)
Once a Month…
Book Clubs: Circle of readers, Next Page, and Non-Fiction Book Club
Summer Reading Program
Health Information Project (HIP),
Summer Teen Intern Program
Adult Programs in Local History
Family Movie Nights
Computers with High Speed Internet Access
Special Family Performances
Meeting Room Space
Resources Available Online
Online Account Access for Renewals, Requests, and Paying Fines
Access to full-text articles from leading newspapers and magazines, incl. Consumer Reports, Heritage Quest (genealogy),
Price It! Antiques and Collectibles
Chilton Auto Repair Manuals
Gale’s Testing and Education Resource Center, Rosetta Stone, Tumble Books, Health and Wellness Information
Books in Print
Business and Financial Resources
Friends of the Library
50 members strong…and growing
Friends is a volunteer organization that supports the Library as a resource in our community
C. Community Survey Analysis…………………..December 2008
Phone interviews with 36 individuals, representing a cross-section of the community, were conducted between November 10 and 24, 2008. 82% of those sought for interviews (36/44) accepted. The interview consisted of eight open-ended questions developed with the assistance of the Mid-Hudson Library System, focusing on the state of the community and the Kinderhook Memorial Library within it. The questions were shared via letter with the respondents one week prior to the phone interviews. The letter and a list of those interviewed and the interviewers are attached.
What quality of our community is most appealing to you?
The quality of our people is the overwhelming choice as the most appealing quality of our community. People were described as caring, friendly, warm, welcoming, close-knit, connected, sharing an identity and concerned about education. A spirit of voluntarism connects them. Another appealing quality cited is the physical nature of our community: small in size, rural, agricultural, with open space and playing fields for children. The library was cited multiple times as a source of appeal as was our historic heritage, e.g. Lindenwald and the ability to walk to amenities and conveniences (stores, bank, restaurants).
What are the biggest challenges for people in our community?
By a wide margin, economic conditions and high property taxes pose the biggest challenge to our people. The lack of a business tax base, cost of services, and the effect of national economic forces have a negative impact. Generational poverty, i.e. keeping elderly in their homes; reducing their isolation; a lack of affordable housing; difficulties making ends meet; energy costs; retaining people who need jobs; and problems with local infrastructure (ground water problems, sewers, roads, bridges) were cited as well.
The need for more affordable services was also cited: a public bus service to provide mobility and reduce isolation for those living beyond walking distance of the village. Social and cultural issues also pose a challenge to the community. Divisions between young vs. old, pro-technology vs. anti-technology, newcomers vs. old-timers, weekenders vs. permanent residents, weakened family structures, lack of pride in maintaining homes and property, the challenge to raise children to be good people and our hectic lifestyle were also cited. One person claimed the Avillage of Kinderhook has nothing to offer that can make life easier; another said we have bad food in the village; and a third cited threats to our historic quality and diversity. Finally, one person cited Hannaford as a challenge to the community.
Why do you think the library funding referendum on this year’s ballot passed?
Responses fell into four categories: institutional; services and programs; leadership/personnel in the library and the 414 campaign itself. By far, the most commonly cited person (10) for passage was: the library is regarded as a good value; not wasteful; it uses funds wisely; is an incredible resource; people will use it in hard times; and it helps improve the community.
Related responses cited the library’s nurturing role, that it represents hope and value, people want to think and be informed, that it’s motherhood and apple pie and a tangible asset in the community. Others described it as attractive, user-friendly, connected to the community, used by Stuyvesant residents, and a help for the whole community. The library is supported because the community is both educated and pro-education; nobody doesn’t like a library. People believe in libraries.
Another cluster of responses referred to the library’s services and programs. It’s accessible to everyone, its services are excellent and even non-users are aware of it. People voted for more expanded services and variety, especially seniors and children. Library leadership and staff were also praised. Julie is seen as progressive, a risk-taker who is not afraid to try new ideas, who reaches out to the community, lives in town and cares about the library. She has an open, accessible, knowledgeable and friendly staff. Together, they have made it a terrific library.
The success of the 414 campaign was aided by positive publicity, signs, and the increase sought was not so large as to affect taxes in a major way. Library users are its biggest boosters and they went out and voted for it. In light of the economic situation, one person cited it as a remarkable success, while another said the reason was, it’s hard to vote against schools and rescue squads. In sum, it passed because supporting the library is seen as being in our self-interest, and the public interest as well.
What are the strengths of the library?
The most commonly-cited strength is the connectivity the library offers: from here, consumers can obtain almost everything as a member of MHLS system and its inter-library loan program (15). Access to computers – and connectivity – for those who don’t have it at home or at work was frequently cited as a strength (9). Library leadership and staff were also cited 15 times: Julie is seen as respected and progressive (3). Staff is seen as friendly (5), competent, helpful, very positive, passionate, a provider of good followup on user-requests (4), and otherwise excellent (2). Program offerings for education and social purposes are regarded as both varied and high-quality (8).
Children’s collection and programs are cited as good (6), and for its size, services are remarkable and attentive to the public’s needs and wants.
The collection is also good for its size, always improving, and capable of permitting research (5). The library building itself was cited for its historic nature, attractiveness and Norman Rockwellesque look (6). It was cited 8 times for its central location, being within walking distance to residents and accessible to many. The children’s room is perceived as attractive, welcoming and safe (3), and a good place to introduce kids to the library (2). Three respondents approved of the library as a community gathering place, two others saw it as a good place to do homework, and two cited their enjoyment at the story hour. Three persons cited the library website for its good quality and two cited cited the Friends group for its books sales to support the library. Two persons cited the convenient, expanded hours of library operations, the library’s cooperation with others, including the school district, and the attractive displays of new books, magazines and videos.
Single sources of strength were identified as: this survey (a strength in itself), 414 funding, KML’s positive image, the solitude for quiet reading, the fact that no area is closed off which makes for good flow of people and promotes interaction, its attraction for youth, the library’s special programs, summer reading program, film series and postcard show, on-line grant books, and outreach to Stuyvesant.
What are the weaknesses of the library?
While 8 respondents indicated they could find no weaknesses to the library, most respondents indicated otherwise. On the numbers, however, there are many fewer perceived weaknesses than strengths in this survey.
Most of the perceived weaknesses relate to the physical plant. Its limited space prohibits collection-expansion and negatively affects current programs and services (11); specifically, it can get crowded and there is a lack of privacy. Two responses cited the need for separate space for different activities, and that children need more space apart from others. Two cited the lack of mobility-impaired bathroom access. One person cited a need for an adult reading room with comfortable chairs. Another said the entrance access needs work. However, two persons cited the inter-library loan service as mitigating the need for more space for housing collections.
Other respondents called for closer cooperation with Valatie Library (4);greater public awareness of available offerings (2); closer ties with the school libraries, historical society and Martin Van Buren NHS libraries (2); the need for reaching under-served populations, including those living in the town but outside its villages (2); raising public awareness of events and programs (2); consolidation with Valatie FL into one facility; and one lamented the lost opportunity to acquire North Pointe Arts Center when it was available for purchase. Another wished for our hiring a research librarian. Finally, one person questioned why we charge late fees on materials when Chatham’s library does not. Another person asked: would the community financially support expansion of KML?
In the area of programs and services, four respondents cited the need for longer library hours and more days. One suggested evening hours for farm families. Three persons perceived the need for more computers. One said we should offer computer instruction to seniors. Another said we were technologically decrepit, one said the computers were just OK, another said we need better data base connections. A third said our AV equipment is out of date. Three persons questioned whether the collection was robust. One said it lacked a theological emphasis. The collection was seen as small, but with a good spread of materials. One person said we need more children’s programs and another that we need more audio books and current movies. Finally, one person cited the high cost of books as discouraging acquisition and depressing readership.
What would an ideal library do and be like?
This question elicited the greatest number of responses as well as the broadest ranges of suggestions and visions. Nor surprisingly, attention to the current building – its capabilities and limits – drew the most attention by a wide margin over programs, services or personnel. Two people put the issue in this context: as more people turn to on-line services, inter-library loan and on-line research, the library does not have to be a place or repository of information as it once was.
Most respondents, however, saw the library building being a major issue to be properly considered. On this subject, the need for more and separate space for meetings, lectures, and informational programs was the most often cited entry (16). Some were specific in what kind of space they want: more open space, windows, natural light a la Frank Lloyd Wright, double the size to meet all the community’s needs; to be able to reconfigure space as needs change: be ADA -compliant, in other words, put a two-story addition behind the existing building to keep the charm and build on. Three people hope for a coffee bar (Starbucks), and/or a kitchenette (Bagel Tyme), two want a children’s wing; one likes the couches at Barnes & Noble, three want a quiet reading room; another wants Wi Fi capability; and one wants to be able to do library research.
Social interaction is a goal of one respondent and more bathrooms of another. One person wants any building expansion to be multi-generational, i.e. something for all age groups. Several people weighed in on the Library’s location: it is seen as an anchor of the village at its central location. It is both convenient and prime real estate. One person said Stuyvesant would be better served with a bookmobile service or by a satellite facility in Stuyvesant Falls. One person advocated a merger with Valatie Free Library at a central location somewhere between th two villages. One prominent individual wants future expansion at the State Farm Road facility, targeting seniors who already gather there and those living outside Kinderhook and Valatie villages proper.
Two people said our library’s intimate size is attractive and that bigger is not always better. The East Greenbush Library was cited as a model facility and a big box curse by one person each. On a grander scale, the Library of Congress and Pierpont Morgan Library were cited as ideal libraries. At the other end of the spectrum of opinion, 7 respondents advocated no change in current library capabilities or mission, i.e. we are as ideal as we need to be.
In the realm of ideal programs and services, no single area dominated. Entries were evenly divided among the following: more community events/community room (2); more books, movies, CDs, books on tape (2); more science and technology works in the collection (2); programs for college, retirement, pre-schoolers (2); combining the genealogical collection at the Columbia County Historical Society with our own (2); and longer hours on Sunday (2).
Single mentions ranged from partnering with the County Historical Society Museum and MVB National Historic Site to develop an interpretive center for the town; adding a blog about community events and news, better availability of books, Internet, learning center, education and research; better public notification of library events and programs; adding a section on spirituality references; gardening; educational opportunities; an expanded reference section; more computer access and staff instruction for seniors; to an ability to research farm problems/cattle diseases. One person noted that expanding library offerings would run up against tax resistance. Only two mentions were made regarding personnel: present staff are knowledgeable and helpful; but we should add a reference librarian and a full-time children’s librarian.
What are the biggest threats to the library in the future?
The public’s sense of threats is relatively short and focused: funding and budgets were cited by 19 respondents, combined with five more who cited national economic conditions, three who cited rising operating costs, and one for local property taxes, the need for efficiency, and lack of donations. Related to this were the high cost of acquiring books and a perceived lack of community support, making the total 31. The Internet was considered a threat by 9 individuals, along with television (2), competing information technologies (2), the fact that Americans are not reading like they once did (2), space limits (although mitigated by inter-library loan) (2), Google (1), technological trends that may make books disappear (1), and the perception that the library has no use to society.
At the level of the community, competing interests are a threat, e.g long time residents vs. newcomers; an aging population; the age of the library building; the lack of affordable housing which keeps new families away and drives existing ones out; the shortage of trained librarians and absence of a requirement that schools have a certified librarian for grades 6-8.
Finally, one person cited Sarah Palin as a threat to the library, presumably for her past practice of wishing to censor library books in Wasilla, Alaska when she served as its mayor.
How do you find out about local news and information?
All types of media were identified as sources of local news and information. Print sources dominate. Unspecified newspapers were the largest single source (15), followed by The Independent (10), Register-Star (7), Albany Times- Union (3), and New York Times (3), with weekly shopper circulars and periodicals rounding out the medium.
Second most cited source was word of mouth (12), followed by listening to community leaders in the village (2), the Ichabod Crane clergy association (1), and one individual who knows a lot of people in town. On-line websites and e-mail, along with the library website and e-mail newsletter were cited by 11 respondents.
Radio (4 mentions) and TV (6 mentions) were nearly evenly divided among 10 respondents.
Community billboards (3), bulletin boards in the post office lobby, school bulletins, and posters at local sites were identified as source. One person would like to see informational kiosks at Town Park and at Hannaford Plaza, as well as in Stuyvesant.
Community Survey Interviewees
Anklam, Carolyn COARC
Better, William Attorney, developer
Birmingham, Mike Library patron, retired DEC employee
Bujanow, Peter Town Council member, Kinderhook
Bury, Gale Farmer, Columbia Land Conservancy trustee
Daggett, Mary Health Educator, Columbia Memorial Hospital
Dattilio, Dan Superintendent, Martin Van Buren NHS
Dexter, James Superintendent, Ichabod Crane CSD
Dunham, James Former Mayor and Village trustee, Kinderhook
Earley, Linda Cornell Co-op Extension
Fredereksen, Lance KML Teen Advisory Board member
Gumaer, Roz Town Council member, Stuyvesant
Hohmann, William Friends of KML
Hunter, Fr. Walcott Rector, St. Paul’s Church
Kelly, Brian Chairman, Kinderhook Bank
Kipp, Michael Town Council member, Kinderhook
Knott, Juanita Town Historian, Stuyvesant
Krizar, Stephen, MD Physician
Leighton, Mary Senior Citizen Services
Leining, Mark Former Town Council member
MacIntosh, Ann 4-H, home schooler
McGivney, Doug Supervisor, Town of Kinderhook
Miller, Jane School Librarian (ret.), Ichabod Crane CSD
Murphy, Mrs. Wm. Wife of school board president, Ichabod Crane CSD
O=Conner, Frank Clergy, St. Mary=s Church, Stuyvesant Falls
Ostrowski, Dot President, Tri-Village Seniors
Piwonka, Ruth Historian, Village of Kinderhook
Pratt, Gordon Fire Chief, Kinderhook
Sacco, Frank Firefighter, Stuyvesant
Schomaker-Krumholz, A. Columbia County Historical society
Slater, James Pastor, St. Luke’s Church, Valatie
Spivy, Jock Kinderhook Neighbors for Good Growth
Stall, Ken COARC
Van Alstyne, Wm. Mayor, Village of Kinderhook
Van Buren, Karen Realtor
Van Kampman, Ed Pastor
Welcome, Anthony ICCS board member, retired teacher
Albern, Bob FOKML
Applegate, Warren FOKML, LRP
Birckmayer, Jennie Trustee, LRP
Easton, Patti Trustee, LRP
Jamison, Lee Trustee, LRP
Leland, Deirdre FOKML
Meeusen, Linda FOKML
Pellettieri, Andrew LRP
Pickett, John FOKML
Shannon, Bonnie FOKML President
Spielmann, Gary President, LRP Chair
Tuttle, Frank James Trustee, LRP
Prepared by: Gary L. Spielmann January 17, 2009
Kinderhook Memorial Library
Letter sent to Community Leaders on November 3, 2008:
Our library is developing a long-range plan to help us better serve the community over the next five years. We are asking community leaders such as yourself to provide us with candid views about how successful the library is in meeting the needs of the communities of Kinderhook and Stuyvesant. This information will help us establish priorities for the allocation of resources, assist us in preparing for change, and clarify the role of the library in the community. It will also help us assure high-quality services to our patrons and users.
Your input is vital to the success of our work. Within the next few days, you will be receiving a telephone call from either a Trustee or a Friend of the Library soliciting your views by means of eight questions. It should not take more than 15-20 minutes to complete our survey. All responses will be kept confidential.
You will be asked the following questions:
- What quality of our community is most appealing to you?
- What are the biggest challenges for people in our community?
- Why do you think the library funding referendum on this year=s ballot passed or failed?
- What are the strengths of our library?
- What are the weaknesses of our library?
- If money, space and manpower were no object, what would your ideal library be like? What would the library do?
- What are the biggest threats to the library in the future?
- How do you find out about local news and events?
Thank you for being a community leader and for completing our survey!
Gary L. Spielmann
Chair, Long Range Plan Committee
D. Long Range Plan – Vision for 2013
Julie H. Johnson, Librarian
My vision for the Kinderhook Library in 2013 is to have adequate space for doing the work we are currently doing. We have reached a point where almost everything we do requires juggling different aspects of our inadequacy. We do not have room to expand any of our most popular areas of the collection, nor do we have any space to add new areas of the collection. We do not have adequate space for staff nor any privacy. We do not have adequate bathrooms, meeting space, story time and craft space, a parking lot. We do not have quiet reading areas. I would like all of these things by 2013.
Above and beyond that, I’d like enough funding to ensure that full-time staff has health insurance benefits. I would like to have enough funding to do vigorous mailings promoting our programs and services. I would like enough staff so that there are two staff on at all times. I would like to expand our Sunday hours.