About Us


The Albany Public Library Foundation provides critical financial support to the Albany Public Library in order to help the Library provide education, literacy, career development, cultural enrichment and lifelong learning.

As a 501-C-3 not-for-profit corporation, contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible under the extent of the law.

The Foundation’s purpose is to

  • Benefit, promote, support, encourage and generally enhance the programs and facilities of the Albany Public Library
  • Provide financial assistance and support for specific Library programs and projects, and
  • Assist the Library Board of Trustees in making its programs and facilities more valuable to the community.

Charity Info [CharitiesNYS]

Foundation Board Members:
  • Holly McKenna, Board President
  • Dan O’Connell, Treasurer
  • Susan D’Entremont, Secretary
  • Andrew Bechard
  • DTrae Carter
  • Roger Green
  • Scott Jarzombek
  • Mitzi Lawrence
  • Melanie Metzger
  • Kathy Naughter
  • Lesley Paparone
  • Karen Strong

The Albany Public Library Foundation was established in 1998 to benefit the programs and facilities of the Albany Public Library. In its first decade, the APL Foundation provided advocacy and development support for Library staff and Trustees.

The APL Foundation was re-energized in 2012 under new leadership committed to expanding the Foundation in order to providing critical financial support for the Library. Board President Holly McKenna and Board Members worked to build a robust organization supporting the Library through a consistent roster of annual programs.  From 2013 through 2016, the Foundation worked with Communication Services, an Albany-based firm with an extensive  history of working with libraries throughout New York and the country. In 2016, the Foundation hired an Executive Director, Alexis Bhagat.

In May 2013, “A Fine Line,” the inaugural exhibition of the Art@APL program, “A Fine Line” opened. Art@APL presents two exhibitions featuring local artists per year at the Pine Hills Branch, and is made possible with support from the Albany Public Library Foundation. (More info)

In 2014, the Foundation launched their signature Literary Legends program, a new initiative created to showcase outstanding people of letters in our community. William Kennedy, Paul Grondahl  and Amy Biancolli were honored as the Foundation’s first Literary Legends on November 15, 2014. Over 150 people attended the event and the Foundation netted over $28,000 to support the work of the Library. The Foundation’s 2015 Literary Legends Gala honored Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, who grew up in Albany and Barbara Smith, a noted African American feminist author who started Kitchen Table Press in Albany and now works for Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan on special projects. The Foundation again raised substantial funds from this event.

Literary Legends inspired a Spring fundraiser event called Albany Reads which began in 2015. Supporters of the Library would invite friends and neighbors to read a work by our Literary Legends and come to their homes for small-plate dinners to discuss the book. Albany Reads was rebranded as An Evening with the Authors in 2018, which is a dessert reception at the Washington Avenue branch and reading or talk by our Literary Legends.

The Foundation’s Annual Appeal is its most important program, a direct mail campaign which makes it possible for the Foundation to fund innovation at the Albany Public Library.