The Phyllis Bornt Branch Library and Literacy Center at 948 State Street in Schenectady, New York is officially open for business. On February 27, 2016 Director Karen Bradley, Assistant Director Serena Butch, library trustees, Friends of the Library members, and local dignitaries attended the ribbon cutting. The best moments of the day came with over 1000 community members coming through the doors to participate in the activities and refreshments while exploring the new materials within the walls of their bright, new branch.
Phyllis Bornt for whom the branch is named and dedicated served her entire career as a system librarian and branch manager. Upon her death with no heirs to inherit her estate, a large legacy was left to the Board of Trustees to be used for the branches. This donation was used as a base for building the library as well as money from the Schenectady County Legislature.
The planning began in 2013 as part of a restructuring plan with the idea to merge the Hamilton Hill and Duane Branches both badly in need of upgrades. Various sites were explored, but the conclusion was reached to construct a new facility. Many other sources of funding were awarded as well: New York State Construction grant; The Wright Family Foundation for technology needs; The Schenectady Foundation for materials and training for the library to follow the Family Place Library model, The Friends of SCPL for materials. Many area partners are also eager to have programs and services at the branch as well supporting its mission.
This branch has been truly embraced by the community as evidenced by the amount of grants and donations made towards it. The focus of this branch will be on literacy in all its forms including digital, financial, health with a special focus on early literacy. The programs will be be for all ages especially for family interaction and learning.
Written by: Cheryl Cufari; Trustee, Schenectady County Public Library & Trustee, Mohawk Valley Library System