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Library Reading Garden

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Library Adds Key Tag Card Option

TV Shows Now Online

Other News

2011 Annual Report (.pdf format)  
You will need a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader on
your computer. This is a free program you can download from
The Adobe reader allows you to view and print (.pdf) files.
Emergency Phone Calls
Direct Phone Numbers Now Available
Cell Phone Use

Book Donations Welcome 

Using Our Catalog
Keeping Minors Safe
Local Preschool and Day Care Information
Community Contacts Directory

Last Updated: August 20, 2012

Library Reading Garden
We are in the very early planning stage for creating a Reading Garden which will be located just outside the front entrance of the library. The space will be a place where library staff can hold small storytime programs, where bookgroups can gather in nice weather to discuss titles, where families can play board games, read, or take a snack break, and where those with laptops can access the Internet wirelessly. We hope the Garden will serve as an outdoor extension of the library space and provide our patrons with a comfortable and pleasant community area to enjoy while visiting.
Do you have design skills? Would your business like to donate money or materials for the construction of the space, or would your family like to donate a bench or some plantings for the garden? Are you looking for an Eagle Scout project or affiliated with an organization with grants available for such projects?
Last year 14,500 Colonie residents attended programs at the library, and more than 322,000 people walked past the planned Garden location to enter the library. So while we are seeking donated goods and services, we can assure our project partners excellent advertising exposure from signs placed in the Garden thanking them, via stories in our newsletter, and from expected news coverage of the Garden addition.
We’re going to need some help to get this project built.  Please e-mail or call Library Director, Richard Naylor at or 458-9274 with offers or suggestions. 

Join Our eNews List
Sign up for our new eNews Monthly Update. It includes download buttons for the adult and children’s newsletters and well as focusing on new services or library topics. To subscribe also go to and click on “Receive our Monthly E-Mail Update”.
And while on our website, be sure to “Like” us on Facebook. Just click on the Facebook symbol, and then click Like near the top.

Library Adds Key Tag Card Option
In the last few months we have had a number of requests for Key Tag versions of our Library card. Thanks to a gift from the Friends of the Library we’ve been able to purchase our first set of Library Card Key Tags. Each set includes a regular size card, a key tag, and a Friends of the Library book mark. In order to be able to buy another supply of these cards in the future there is a $1 charge for the Key Tag set. Patrons wishing to switch their regular card for a key tag card may do so by stopping at the Circulation Desk on their next visit.

TV Shows Now Online
Since the Fall of 2006, the Library has produced over 600 shows for TV17 Colonie, our Time Warner Cable Educational Channel. Occasionally we are asked if they can be viewed online and now we are happy to announce that we are beginning to upload selected shows for patrons to watch when they want. To view what has been uploaded so far, just go to; and click on a video. You do need to have Flash available on your computer. In the coming weeks we will be adding more content so, if there is a show you missed that you wish you could watch on the computer, just let us know.


Emergency Phone Calls
If you need a ride home and don't have a cell phone, you can ask to use a library phone.
Just visit either the Circulation Desk or the Information Desk, and ask for help.

Direct Phone Numbers Now Available
During regular business hours, in addition to the library's General Information phone number (458-9274), the following numbers will connect you directly to many of the library's departments:

Programs: 810-0312
(for adult Stedman Room program scheduling)

Information Desk: 810-0314
(for adult reference questions and adult program reservations)

Youth Services Desk: 810-0315

(for youth program information and youth reference questions)

Renewals/Overdues/Circulation Information: 810-0319

Cell Phone Use

Cell phones have greatly improved our ability to communicate with others. However, in order to avoid interfering with other library patrons' use of the library, it is prohibited to carry on a conversation via cell phone in public use areas of the library. Patrons receiving calls may continue their conversation in the lobby area of the library.

Book Donations Welcome

The library will gladly accept book donations to possibly add to our collection or to supplement our on-going "Book Nook" sale tables. Listed below are a few guidelines to help you help us. Please note that items deemed not saleable will be disposed of.

* Bring donations to the library's back door.
* Place donations in boxes or bags.
* For donations larger than 4 boxes,
please ask to speak with Marion, Joe or Peggy about book or AV donations.

* Recent best sellers
* Clean copies of "classic" titles
* Current magazines
*Audiovisual materials (videos, DVD'S, CD'S, tapes)
* Children's books

* Books in poor condition (yellowed or torn pages, broken bindings, musty)
* Textbooks
* Reader's Digest condensed books
* Encyclopedias and other dated information

If you would like a receipt for tax purposes, we provide signed dated acknowledgment letters for the items but cannot assess their value.

Using Our Catalog
Regular visitors to our library will certainly have noticed many changes in recent months. By the time you read this, our main stacks will be back in order and most items will be accessible once again. Another big, but not so obvious change is our recently updated library catalog.

In 1996 our paper card catalog which allowed searching only by author, title, or subject was replaced with an electronic catalog called the Online Public Access System, or OPAC. The OPAC allowed users to search not only our collection, but the holdings of all libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System, and enabled more complex methods of searching, such as by keyword. It also was the introduction of the Virtual Library. For the first time, you were able to search our holdings, place reserves and renew books from the comfort of your own home, even when the library was not open.

As amazing as those features may have seemed in 1996, the OPAC quickly became outdated and after exploring various options, we have selected, and are now ready to introduce you to, our new Internet Public Access Catalog (IPAC).

If you have ever visited an online bookstore, such as, or, you have already experienced an environment similar to the IPAC. Both have what is called a graphical user interface, meaning images, as well as text, are displayed, and that, for the most part, information is manipulated via the computer mouse, rather than the keyboard.

One nice feature our new catalog shares with these online bookstores is the ability to view book covers. Contrary to the old saying, you often can judge a book by its cover. If you are browsing through craft books for instance, you can usually tell from the cover if the projects inside will interest you. If you've ever tried to find a book that you've read before, and know the author, but can't remember the title, viewing the covers may spark your memory. Another nice feature of the new catalog is the inclusion of professional reviews for some items. Although not every item has a review, newer books will include review entries by Publishers' Weekly, and Library Journal.

Many readers enjoy roving the library stacks, opening a book, reading a few pages to get the feel of the item before deciding whether or not to borrow it. Perhaps the most exciting feature of the new catalog is the ability to browse virtually, to read excerpts and even full chapters from selected items online, either at the library, or from the comfort of home. For instance a search for Katherine Graham's Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Personal History, reveals the first chapter of the book in its entirety.

The catalog also allows you, without returning to the search page, to find other titles by the same author or to find other items on the same topic.

You may access the IPAC from our library's Web page at:

or directly by going to:

As mentioned above, your library card allows you access, not just to our library, but to the holdings of all libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System. You are able to search, reserve, and even renew items including books, videos, DVDs, CDs, and books-on- tape.

To Search The Web Catalog:
When you visit the Web Catalog, a drop-down box allows you to choose the member library whose holdings you wish to search. Select either an individual library, or all libraries and click BEGIN. You will then be taken to the Search page. Here you are able to search using keyword, title, author, or subject. If you feel a more detailed search would be helpful, click on the SEARCH tab at the top of the page and you then have the option of a BASIC or ADVANCED search, both of which allow more options than the original search page.

For example, if you wanted a list of all National Geographic videos in the collection and you wanted to sort them by publication date, the ADVANCED search allows you to do this quickly.

This system, like the last, allows you to reserve items. After you complete your search, and would like to place a request, choose the REQUEST ITEM box. You will then be prompted for your Borrower ID number (your library card number - use all digits - and $ sign if it is present on your card - but do not use letters,) and a PIN number (the last 4 digits of your home phone number). You will then get a request confirmation at which point you may choose the library to which you'd like the item sent.

To Check Your Account
Information about items you have checked out, due dates of those items, how much money you may owe in fines, as well as a list of items you may have placed on reserve are all available by choosing MY ACCOUNT. If you wish to renew items, you are offered that option as well. When you choose the MY ACCOUNT tab at the top of the screen, you will be prompted for you Borrower ID number and PIN number (see above). To renew, put a check in the box on the left of items that are renewable and then click on RENEW ITEMS at the bottom of the page. Please note that some items may NOT be renewable. If you have questions, please call the Circulation department at 458-9274.

Everything new requires a bit of adjustment and we realize you may have questions about the new IPAC. If so, or if you have any problems accessing the holdings or your account online, please do not hesitate to call the Information Desk at 458-927 or e-mail us at

Keeping Minors Safe

In the past we have addressed the issue of unattended minors left at the library after the library has closed. Our policy states that if a minor is left outside the building after closing, a library staff member will make sure the minor has called for a ride. The staff member will wait with the minor for a maximum of 15 minutes, then, if the minor has not been picked up, staff is required to notify the police.

In keeping with our concern for the safety of minors, our library board of trustees has instituted a policy for those minors left unattended at the library during the day. For the protection of preschool children, a parent, guardian, or authorized caregiver (for example, nanny, au pair, child care professional) must stay with any preschool child anywhere on library property. An older sibling or peer is not considered an authorized caregiver.

We are also concerned about the safety of those minors who have started school, but are under 18. Should we need to contact a parent or guardian or authorized caregiver for any reason, and if they are not on site or cannot be reached, we will notify the police. The same holds true with any preschool child left unattended on library property. As always, should you have any questions about this policy or any other policy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Local Preschool and Day Care Information

Parents looking for information about local preschool or daycare programs may want to check out our Preschool Possibilities listing. The catalog is available in print form, either as a reference item for use in the library, or for check out. Copies of the catalog may be checked out for three weeks. The catalog is also available at our libraries Web site. The URL is Listings were recently updated and include day care centers, home day care providers, and preschools in the area. Contact information, details about meals, ages, and programs offered are provided. There is also a Parent's Guide To Choosing Daycare, a checklist for parents looking for day care for their children. Topics considered on the checklist are: First Impressions, Caregivers/ Teachers, Health and Safety, Activities And Equipment, Overall Program. The information in Preschool Possibilities is based on information collected from the providers themselves. Caregivers are responsible for confirming the accuracy of the information.

Community Contacts Directory

The library's Community Contacts Directory contains names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and web page addresses for many organizations which are typically not found in the telephone book. The listings concentrate on groups located in the Town of Colonie, although organizations throughout the Capital Region are included.

The directory (based on the 2000 print edition) with all current updates is posted on the
library's web page with all e-mail and web sites linked. The address is
or follow the link from our Virtual Information Desk under "Capital District Information."
The web edition will always be kept current with updated or new information. Let us know if you wish to be added or if there are changes to your posted information.