Ballston library looks to the future

Making building improvements and increasing community involvement will be two highlights of an upcoming report outlining the Ballston Community Library's long-range goals.

The long-range plan will be the second such report prepared for the library system. Thomas Schottman, who chaired the committee that prepared the 2005-2008 plan, said that the first report proved useful to the library.

When we look now in 2008 at the things we wanted to do, a great many of them have been accomplished, he said. For example, the library has brought on a part-time computer expert to help staff and visitors with electronic issues. The library has also been hosting computer classes.

In addition, a half-time clerk has been hired to do bookkeeping. Schottman said that this has freed up a lot of time for the library director. The library has also been working closely with the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District, securing a grant to work directly with middle schoolers whose grades are faltering.

Now that 2008 has rolled around, a committee has once again been formed to plot the library's path for 2009-2011. The group of 16 has met four times since May, and includes not just library staff, but members of town government and representatives from the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Business and Professionals Association (BHBLBPA).

Schottman, who is on the committee again, said that the diversity has been a boon.

"It's a great committee," he said. "People from [the BHBLBPA] approach things with a quite different viewpoint."

Chairing the committee is Emily Brower, who is currently preparing the written report with the help of a volunteer consultant. She confirmed that the committee was formed with thoroughness in mind.

"All the people we invited very carefully," said Brower. "It's not just something that's looked at by the library staff; it's really been a community process."

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