News For October 2017

Literary Legends

Our big night is almost here!

Local author Athena V. Lord will be honored at the fourth annual Literary Legends gala on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The event will start at 7:00 pm at the library’s Bach Branch, which is located at 455 New Scotland Ave. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased on our website, at any of the library branches prior to the event, or at the door the evening of Oct. 21. The event includes the award ceremony and remarks by the honoree, a silent auction, live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and wine, beer, and soda. Guests are asked to wear cocktail attire.

The Albany Public library Foundation is celebrating Lord’s contributions to children’s literature. Born in Cohoes in 1932 to a Greek immigrant family, Lord moved to Albany, just around the corner from the old Harmanus Bleecker Library, at age six. A voracious reader as a child, the library became her second home.

Lord studied creative writing at Vassar College. She worked as a freelance writer early in her career, but put her writing on hold as a young mother. As her four children grew, Lord was inspired to write a series of books for young audiences. She is the author of five books, including Pilot for Spaceship Earth, A Spirit to Ride the Whirlwind, and The Luck of Z.A.P. and Zoe. Lord later continued as a freelance travel writer for newspapers.

“The Albany Public Library has been the greatest influence in my life,” Lord said.

APL Literary Legends event recognizes outstanding local authors, illustrators, and publishers for their extraordinary contributions to the art of letters. The event raises funds for the Albany Public Library Foundation, which in turn supports special projects and programs at the library. Last year the event raised $30,000. Lord joins previous Literary Legends award recipients Marion Roach Smith and Leonard Slade, Jr. (2016), Gregory Maguire and Barbara Smith (2015), and Paul Grondahl, Amy Biancolli, and William Kennedy (2014). And, it is the most important fundraiser of the year for the APL Foundation. This year’s Literary Legends gala sponsors are:

Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, Behan Communications, CDTA, KeyBank, St. Peter’s Health Partners, CDPHP, Envision Architects, Marshall & Sterling, Overit, Shenker Russo & Clark, and Brad Rose Landscaping.

Join us in supporting the work of the Albany Public Library and celebrating the career of Athena Lord at the 2017 Literary Legends gala!
Would you or your business like to donate a product or service to the silent auction? There’s still time!
Email with subject “Silent Auction” or call 518-427-4367 before 10/13.

A special thanks to our wonderful Honorary Co-Chairs – Maria Hazapis and Susan Novotny, and our 2017 Honorary Committee!

Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World TTT cover image

The Albany Public Library Foundation is proud to sponsor “Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World,” a multi-event exploration of topics crucial to an open democratic society hosted by the New York State Writers Institute.
In a time when “fake news” and “post-truth” have become common phrases, the NYS Writers Institute at the University at Albany is taking a look at what it really means to tell the truth through a series of events, including movies and discussions, culminating in a two-day seminar on journalism, media and democracy.

The seminar, “Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World,” is set for Oct. 12 in the UAlbany Campus Center Ballroom and Oct. 13-14 in Page Hall on the Downtown Campus. It will feature 30 prominent journalists, editors, nonfiction authors, historians and First Amendment scholars engaging in in-depth panel discussions about “matters that are under attack and that are central to a free and open and functioning democratic society,” said Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl.

The event will feature panel discussions and movies, culminating in a two-day seminar on journalism, media and democracy.

A total of 30 panelists from the worlds of journalism, literature, law and history are slated to attend, including Bob Schieffer, moderator of three presidential debates and former anchor of CBS Evening News; Kurt Andersen, author of Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History; Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!; CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley; Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times; Kelley Vlahos of The American Conservative and political writer for Learn more about this NYS Writers Institute event.

Giving and Philanthropy

The Albany Public Library will present a special lecture & discussion series this Fall on the topic of Giving & Philanthropy.

This discussion series will introduce participants to the key issues at the heart of charitable giving and philanthropy: motivations for giving, the selection of recipients and worthy causes, and the impact of giving on donors, recipients and society in general. Participants will read a variety of texts (literary and journalistic) and use visual media (photos and videos) to discuss the questions identified for each session, such as “What are the costs and rewards of giving?” and “Why do we give?” Participants will be encouraged to bring stories from their own lives and cases from the history of New York State to provide context for these difficult ethical and strategic decisions. The sessions will be interactive, open discussion will be favored over lectures. Sessions will be facilitated by Dr. Erzsebet Fazekas.

The program takes place on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 – 7pm at the Washington Ave Branch of the Albany Public Library, beginning October 17th. All lectures are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Syllabus and more information here.

This program is made possible with funds from Humanities New York. Humanities NY provides leadership and support across the state through grants, programs, networking and advocacy, encouraging critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena. Additional support is provided by the APL Foundation. 

APL In the News: Riders’ Advisory

September was a busy month at the Albany Public Library, between the construction project outside the front door of Washington Ave branch to Library Card-Sign Up Month. To top it all off, the Foundation organized a bike ride! APL Bike the Branches was a celebration of the new CDPHP Cycle! bike share program, that highlighted the slew of bicycle related initiatives that APL has implemented over the past year. (We’re doing it again in Spring 2019!)
School Library Journal took note, and interviewed APL Director, Scott Jarzombek, for their recent article, “Riders’ Advisory: Bike-related programs expand in libraries

As with other services libraries have added in recent years, some systems began offering bicycle programs because of larger initiatives in their communities. Albany, for example, was in the midst of implementing a “road diet”—reducing lanes on a major road to relieve congestion or encourage other forms of transportation—and conducting a “Complete Streets” study strategizing ways to accommodate cars, pedestrians, and bicycles, Jarzombek explains. Organizations working on the project were using the library meeting spaces, which led to a conversation about how libraries could support the overall goals of the initiative.

“We always want to respond to patron feedback,” he says, “but we also look outside of our walls and examine trends in the surrounding community.”

See photos from Bike the Branches here.