4 elected as Hoag Library trustees
ALBION – Four residents were elected trustees to Hoag Library on Monday. There were 90 voters on Monday, and Gloria Nauden received the most votes, 77, in being elected to a four-year term.
Anitrice Bennett received 50 votes and was elected to a three-year term. Rose English was elected to a two-year term with 46 votes, and Terry Wilbert secured the final open seat, a one-year term, with 41 votes. Two other candidates also were on the ballot. Debbie DiBacco received 26 votes and Angel Slick, 25.
The trustees met after the library’s annual meeting on Monday and backed Kevin Doherty for another term as president, with Wilbert picked to serve as vice president.
Doherty went over recent highlights for the library, including refinancing the mortgage on the building, switching from Farm Credit to Steuben Trust. The library was able to reduce the mortgage from $1.4 million to $1 million and now has a fixed rate for financing over 20 years at 5 percent interest.
Doherty said the monthly mortgage payment will drop from about $10,000 a month to $6,600. That savings, as well as with electricity cost reductions from the solar array on the library roof, is allowing the library to not seek more funds from residents with property taxes.
The budget vote on May 16 will ask the public to approve $682,211 for the library, the same as last year. That proposition is part of the school budget vote from noon to 8 p.m. at the elementary school.
The library has benefitted from recent donations, including $100,000 from Maurice “Mo” Hoag and his wife Courtenay, $75,000 from Dale Blissett in honor of his mother Helen Rice Blissett, and $50,000 from the estate of the late Elio D’Andrea.
Library Director Betty Sue Miller said the donations make Hoag the envy of many libraries in the three-county Nioga library system. Many of the libraries are struggling financially.
“We’re really, really fortunate,” Miller said.
Hoag also has dedicated volunteers. She noted that Bill Lattin comes in weekly to water plants and wind the clocks. Don Trapiss, a library neighbor, watered the lawn last year, helping the grass and trees survive the drought.
Ken Mart, Debbie Barlow, Carol Mayer, Louise Henderson and Joyce Riley all are active volunteers.
The Friends of Library are important contributors as well, Miller said. They sell used books and raise money for Hoag, allowing the library to pay for programs and supplies. The Friends are raising money for a sign outside the library that would advertise programs and events. That stone sign would be computerized with electronic messages. Miller is hopeful it will be in place by next year.
Miller went over some statistics from 2016:
• 90,774 total circulation
• 10,239 number of patrons
• 10,011 items borrowed from other libraries
• 5,921 items loaned to other libraries
• 1,167 items downloaded from overdrive
Hoag Library is a popular meeting place for many organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association, a Breast Cancer support group, AARP for a driver’s course, and many other community groups, Miller said.
She and the staff are gearing up for the summer reading program, which kicks off June 24 with a theme: “Build a Better World.” The programming will include a reading challenge, but there will also be activities for building and creating, as well as a program on ecology and sustainability. Miller said she will also be promoting “kindness” in building a better world.