Sunday, November 27, 2022

Hudson Falls Free Library sets Oct. 1 gala, new user cards, end of late fees

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

Kay Hafner, director of the Hudson Falls Free Library, contacted The Chronicle with word of a first-ever gala in October, new user cards that feature Kendall McKernon’s photo of the library — and an end to late fees for books and materials.

What’s that? No more overdue fines?

“It’s a real trend for libraries,” said Ms. Hafner. “But it did take a while for me to be convinced.” She said studies show that people are more likely to bring back the goods “when there’s no dread or shame involved in facing accrued fines.”

Plus there’s an equity issue, Ms.Hafner says. “For some people, if they’re not done, they can just keep the book longer and pay the fine, no big deal. For others, they can’t afford that. It can even be a burden.”

The library will still send a notice and charges for overdue, lost or missing items — but if the items are returned in usable condition, no fine will be assessed.

The 15¢ a day fine for overdue adult and teen books, 5¢ for children’s books, and 25¢ for DVDs was “not a significant budget item,” said Ms. Hafner.

Oct. 1 benefit party at Arts Center

“Once Upon a Library” is the title of the library’s first-ever fund-raising party, on Saturday, Oct. 1, 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the nearby Sandy Hill Arts Center — the former Masonic Temple — on Main Street.

It will feature food from Doc’s Restaurant, a cash bar, a silent auction and music by Jonathan Newell. Admission: $50. Info: ad on the library’s Facebook page, or call 747-6406. They’re also seeking sponsors and silent auction items.

Kendall McKernon photo library card

The new library card is available full-size or as a key chain fob. It features Kendall McKernon’s photo of the library.

September is National Library Card Month, and Ms. Hafner is touting Hudson Falls Library’s new cards, in regular size and as a key chain fob, both featuring Mr. McKernon’s image. Upgrades or replacements, normally $1, are free this month, she adds. First-time cards are issued for free, with proof of address and ID.

“It’s a gorgeous photo that deserves to be in everyone’s hands,” Ms.Hafner said.

The card will now also provide access to Hoopla, a library-based streaming and downloading service offering e-books, e-audiobooks, movies, television and more.

“In other news,” Ms. Hafner wrote in a promo letter, “the library recently converted its lighting from fluorescent to LED, which is expected to save nearly $900 annually in electricity costs.

“Our future sure looks bright,” she said, about this and the other changes.

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