Director closes book on library career

After nearly 29 years of service, Library Director Robert Jaquay waved goodbye to the books, familiar faces and friends at William K. Sanford Town Library on Friday, June 27.

But not entirely, he said.

Jaquay joined the library in 1979 after working as a circulation librarian at a library in Brooklyn. When he first began at William K. Sanford, he said he was acting director as the library searched for a new director. After a short period of time, the director that was hired left his position, and Jaquay moved into the director's seat.

Fortune shined on me, he said.

Five years later, a team was born when Richard Naylor took on the position of assistant director, working closely with Jaquay.

"Structurally, we changed the place," said Jaquay, explaining that in his time as director, the library grew, allowing for more books.

Also in the past 20 years, the William K. Sanford Library has become the first automated library in the Capital District, said Jaquay.

According to Naylor, an automated library, which began in 2003, has an online card catalog, and allows people to access the catalog from their home so that they are able to see which books are available to them.

"What's amazing is that the circulation went from about 200,000 to almost 700,000," said Naylor. Along with being able to see what books are available at the William K. Sanford Library, the online system lets patrons search for those books at other branches.

Jaquay said the Albany Public Library might be used by more people because of its large video collection, but over the years, the William K. Sanford Library chose to focus on books.

"When the Internet came around, we didn't want to go crazy with that," said Jaquay, "We wanted to emphasize books."

Another emphasis that Jaquay said has remained consistent over the years is the personalized service that, he said, the library prides itself on.

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