SCOTIA — Elijah Byam, 5, sat next to his mom Friday afternoon inside the younger children’s book area of the Scotia Branch Library as she read “Polar Bear’s Underwear” by tupera tupera.
Prior to that, Elijah spent some time playing on the new computer in the space, which was just one of many updates to the library.
“I love it,” said his mom Geri Byam.
The two live in Glenville’s Glen Oaks neighborhood and hadn’t been to the library since the updates were done. The library opened to the public again in early January.
Geri Byam said she was going to take Elijah to the Glenville Branch because it was a bit closer to them but Elijah wanted to see all the new updates in Scotia. While there, Elijah was also able to pick out some new books — “Dino Football” by Lisa Wheeler, with illustrations by Barry Gott, “My First Ghost” by Maggie Miller and Michael Leviton, with illustrations by Stephanie Buscema and “Snow Dude” by Daniel Kirk.
For several months, the county has been renovating the library, including adding a 750 square-foot addition. The branch is housed in the Abraham Glen House on Mohawk Avenue, which was built in 1728.
“People can also use it for meetings,” county Legislator Cathy Gatta (D-Glenville, Niskayuna) said of the new space. “A lot of times rotaries need a space to meet.”
Library Director Karen Bradley said it could also be useful for village meetings since the village hall does not meet American with Disabilities Act standards.
Bradley said the space will also be used for programs the library operates.
The addition features a display case which will showcase artifacts discovered during the project, including ceramics, bones and even a very large rusty key, according to Bradley.
Other updates included:
- A new fully-accessible bathroom
- New furniture
- A new circulation desk
- Sidewalks and curb improvements
- Roof repairs
- A new digital kiosk that provides up-to-date information on programs and more
Because the building is historical, Bradley said they worked with architects to ensure they met all of the historical standards they needed to update the facility.
“It had to look like it fit in the time period,” Gatta said.
Before checking out, Geri Byam and her son took a quick walk to check out the rest of the updates and were delighted to see a little nook where people could read.
“Even when you walked in you could tell it was updated,” Geri Byam said.
The library averages around 2,800 visits a month, according to data from 2019 provided by the county.
The library was closed for some of 2020 and was then only open two days a week continuing into 2021.
The branch has 2,453 patrons with library cards, according to the data.
Total cost for the project was not available at time of publication.
Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at 518-478-3320 or by email at [email protected].