Local News

February 21, 2010

Library has big year for circulation

PLATTSBURGH — The economy put the squeeze on wallets across the nation last year, and that may be one reason Plattsburgh Public Library reported a record year for circulation and computer use.

With an average 592 hours of computer usage per week and 159,036 books and DVDs distributed in 2009, the library could say it had a pretty good year.

According to a report released by Director Stanley Ransom, this translated to 54 books being circulated an hour — nearly one title a minute.

“People who have less money to spend turn to places where it costs less to borrow,” he said. “Here, it’s free.”


Through efforts by the Friends of the Library, the second floor of the building began a complete upgrade last year.

“The second floor was a very dismal place,” Ransom said, adding that the drab color reminded him of a battleship.

Painting the walls and carpeting the level, work crews from Altona Correctional Facility transformed the once useless space into what is now used as both a meeting place and an art exhibit.

Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) gave the library a grant to purchase 100 padded chairs for the auditorium — dubbed the Helen Wilcox Ianelli Gallery — creating an opportunity for local organizations to gather. Before the grant, the library had only 25 chairs.

After the floor was revamped, 207 meetings of non-profit groups took place in the auditorium last year.

Ransom said the central room on the second floor, however, has yet to be renovated.

Making history

The library also held a major quadricentennial celebration last year, marking 400 years since Samuel de Champlain arrived in the area. Nine events took place during the celebration. Speakers focused on subjects including the history of the Abenaki, Samuel de Champlain and folk lore from the area. The Library Board also set up an essay contest for local high-school students to explore the significance of Lake Champlain, with a $400 first prize.

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