Annual Report and Budget

The 2023 Library Budget and Trustee Vote - Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Questions
When will the library vote be held?

The vote will be held on Thursday, April 20, 2023, 9am-9pm in the library’s H. Dutcher Community Room. Information about absentee ballots is available from the Library District Clerk, at 518-584-7860, or at the library between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday. At 7pm on Monday, April 17th, there will be a public hearing on the proposed budget and an opportunity to meet library Trustee candidates, in the H. Dutcher Community room.

Who can vote?

Any Saratoga Springs City School District resident who is a registered voter is eligible to vote.

What are we voting for?
  • Budget: The public will be voting on a proposition to collect $5,283,757 in school district property taxes in Fiscal Year 2023-2024 to operate the Saratoga Springs Public Library. This is a 1.5% increase over FY2022-2023, and the first increase since 2019.
  • Trustee: Katie Capelli, whose current five-year term expires in June, is running unopposed for reelection. She was first elected in 2018.
What happens if the budget doesn’t pass?

Unlike public school budgets, the law does not allow for any changes if the budget is defeated, and unless the library board decides to hold a second budget vote (highly unlikely), the library would still receive the same amount appropriated in FY 2022-2023. Should the proposed budget not pass, the library board will decide what budget lines and services will be reduced or reallocated.

What will be happening in the coming year?

We continue to look forward to a fuller reopening as health conditions improve. At the height of the pandemic, use of library digitial materials soared, and staff pivoted to presenting programs virtually. We are now operating fully, use of library materials and services is steadily increasing, and we anticipate that new modes of delivering our services developed during the pandemic will be with us well into the future, to complement our traditional offerings. The proposed budget will allow us to continue to meet the high demand for library services and to expand and improve access to vital technology and information resources.

Additionally, we will continue implementing strategies outlined in our recently-approved long-range plan aimed at cementing our place as a leader in community sustainability efforts; increasing our efforts to design spaces, programs, and services that are universally accessible; convening conversations of importance to our citizenry; and serving as a welcoming and safe space for all the people we serve.

Saratoga Springs Public Library Proposed FY2023-24 Budget

FY2022-23 FY2023-24
Books $220,000 $200,000
Magazines and Microfilm $25,000 $25,000
Electronic Resources $90,000 $140,000
Computer Software $12,000 $10,000
Audio and Visual Materials $85,000 $60,000
Supplies $44,000 $47,000
Postage $10,000 $10,000
Miscellaneous and Bank Charges $4,000 $21,000
Insurance $85,000 $80,000
Heat $10,000 $10,000
Electricity $87,000 $100,000
Phone and Internet $18,000 $20,000
Sewer Tax $14,000 $12,000
Repairs and Maintenance $85,000 $95,000
Equipment $60,000 $42,500
Conferences and Training $25,000 $25,000
Professional Services $65,000 $65,000
Printing $10,000 $10,000
Program Expenses $60,000 $60,000
Automation $110,000 $115,000
Capital Projects $200,000 $200,000
Retirement $275,000 $376,760
Social Security $257,382 $270,000
Health Insurance $638,825 $665,000
Disability Insurance $5,000 $5,000
Salaries $3,327,000 $3,393,600
Total Operating Budget $5,822,207 $6,057,860
Income Other than School District Levy $616,535 $774,103
Required from School District Levy $5,205,672 $5,283,757

More questions? Contact the Library Director at 518-584-7860.

Annual Report

A Letter From the Director

If you’ve visited the library recently, you’ve likely noticed a sea of smiling, mostly uncovered faces. With activity increasing, a sense of new-normalcy is setting in, and activities are on the rise.

Recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency, declared in January of 2020, will be allowed to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023, noting that: “since the peak of the Omicron surge at the end of January 2022:

  • Daily COVID-19 reported cases are down 92%,
  • COVID-19 deaths have declined by over 80%, and
  • New COVID-19 hospitalizations are down nearly 80%”

How and if the end of the federal Public Health Emergency will affect our operations remains to be seen; however, the trend toward improvement in the health situation is clearly reflected in library use trends. While some metrics, including increasing library visits, computer use, meeting room use, and in-person program attendance are hopeful signs, we are still clearly in a period of recovery.

Interestingly, some pandemic-era adaptations to modes of information delivery seem likely to become permanent. For example, use of digital materials, which skyrocketed in the early days of the emergency has not declined to pre-pandemic levels, as use of physical materials slowly rebounds, and it seems likely that Zoom meetings are now a permanent part of our operations.

We’re also noticing new patterns in the way visitors use our space, with much more demand for one-on-one meeting space, and increasing need for private or semi-private locations for video appointments for social services, Telehealth visits, and telecommuting. Given the footprint of our physical plant, concerns about confidentiality, and the continued expectation for a semi-quiet environment in at least part of our building, balancing these needs is
tricky, and will be the focus of much of the work we do in the coming year.

We are excited by the resilience of our community, and are working every day to help ensure that everyone in it has access to our resources with minimal barriers, and to rebound along with you.

Trustee Candidate Statement

Katie Capelli

I have been fortunate to grow up in Saratoga Springs and live my life within our vibrant city. For the past 5 years, I have had the privilege to serve on the Saratoga Springs Public Library Board of Trustees. It is an honor to be a part of such an inspiring, caring and essential hub of our community. My husband and I own Four Seasons Natural Foods, a downtown business. I also enjoy teaching mindful movement classes. Walking in the woods with friends, reading great books, singing with Rock Voices and the Skidmore Community Chorus, and playing games with my children are some of my favorite things.

How did the library serve the community in 2022?

  • Library users borrowed 486,886 items, including 79,678 e-books, e-audios, and streaming movies.
  • Library staff prepared, presented, and hosted more than 2084 program sessions, for 12,455 participants of all ages, including 789 one-on-one sessions devoted to adult basic education, digital literacy, and English Language Learning.
  • 1180 people attended English Language Learning classes and tutoring sessions with library staff and volunteers.
  • Library staff made 286 visits to individual homebound residents, senior housing, and school classrooms, reaching and serving 3,604 people in locations outside of the library.
  • 192,396 people visited the library, nearly double the number from 2021.
  • Users logged more than 33,000 sessions on library computer and wireless services.