History & Community


 

.01 COMMUNITY HISTORY

Woodstock Public Library was started just over 100 years ago in a donated barn on the other side of town, funded by a small group of artist citizens dubbed The Woodstock Club. In 1927, The Club asked for community support and with a generous single donation, bought the land of the present Woodstock Library. The tiny building that came with the land, a residential home with no indoor plumbing, has grown since 1927. Approximately every twenty years, the tiny building has been torn to studs, had walls blown out and new construction added until theres almost no original building left. 1948. 1955. 1961. 1967. 1987. Each generation of the Woodstock community has supported the growth of its public library. It has always been the community, not the town, of Woodstock that has grown this visionary institution. By the 1980s, the Library was in serious distress. Most funding came from the Annual Library Fair. The town board donated an inconsistent handout. The library accountant stated "the doors would be shuttered in 3 years if something didn't change". The Library Director and Board came up with a plan to save Woodstock's beloved institution.  In 1989 the Woodstock Community voted to charter Woodstock's beloved Free Association Library into a Special Legislative District Public Library. 1989 was also the first publicly approved library budget ensuring funding for the entire year. For 29 years our community, library stakeholders and patrons through budget and board elections have been key in continuing to support and grow this library into one of the top libraries in the Mid-Hudson System. 

.02 GOVERNED BY COMMUNITY

Taxes - Every year our public can vote directly on their library tax levy by way of the Annual Library Budget vote. This year's vote is September 6 from noon to 9 PM at the library. Find out more at Vote 2019  

Board of Trustees - Any registered resident of Woodstock may petition to run for Library Board. Each board member serves a 5 year term. Terms are staggered so that every year several Trustee seats are up for election. The Board of Trustees are your community members. Two seats are up for election on September 6 at your library. Vote2019.

The Friends of The Woodstock Library - Any member of Woodstock is welcome and encouraged to be a member of The Friends organization. This is the community's fundraising branch of the Library, committed to support and advocacy. The Friends Board of Directors serve one year terms. Join the Friends

.03 COMMUNITY INPUT & RESPONSE

Every Trustee Board Meeting has a Public Be Heard on the agenda. Every Trustee Board meeting is open to public. In 2017 there were 19 Trustee Board Meetings. In 2016 Woodstock Library held 161 Adult programs and 198 Children's programs. Community feedback suggested there need to be a greater focus on our adult users. In 2017 Woodstock Library held 377 Adult programs and 103 Children programs. In 2018 a special Communication Committee was established by the board of trustees to increase transparency and conversation with our public. In the past few years, the Board and the Friends have: carved out a separate teen space in the overcrowded children's room; added a part time tech position to help community members one on one; and promised to preserve the lawn and historic area of the building in any facilities project. Recently the board has responded to public input for expanded hours by creating a budget that included a sixth day open. Thank you for passing it! The design ideas for the new building have been on display in the Art Room of the library since Aug 25. They are remaining up for the time being to ensure everyone who wants to weigh in can stop by, fill out a feedback form and let their opinion be heard.


The referendum vote is not a vote on the library building. It is a vote to take the funding, governance and direction of YOUR LIBRARY out of the hands of the community who have built, directed, funded and governed it for 105 years.