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State of the Fulton Public Library: Patron usage is on the rise

Fulton Public Libraryby Andrew Henderson

Fulton Public Library Director Betty Maute presented the State of the Library report to members of the Fulton Common Council last Tuesday night.

The library, which was incorporated under a state charter in 1895, received a $15,000 grant by Andrew Carnegie to build the existing library in 1902. Only 106 Carnegie public libraries were built in New York State with 40 of them located outside of New York City.

“Of those 40, 32 are still being used as libraries,” said Maute.

According to Maute, over 8,000 people have a Fulton Public Library card. That number includes residents in the towns of Volney and Granby.

“Public libraries are the place for self-education and self-help because they bring access to all and they bring opportunity to all” she said. “

Internet use at libraries has surged during the recession, she said, adding that the percentage grows higher for people living below the poverty level.

From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30,  there have been 38,373 visits to the library. In 2011, there were 47,892 while in 2010 there were 50,007.

“In addition to doing homework and using social media, patrons are searching for jobs, filling out college applications, and applying for government benefits, which we have a lot of in Fulton,” said Maute.

So far this year, the library’s circulation has just over 39,000.

In addition, the library has presented 104 special programs with many more scheduled throughout the remainder of the year.

The library is a member of the North Country Library System, which provides a lot of services, including technology support, couriers to deliver things from library to library.”

There has been 7,042 inter-library items to and from the Fulton library, said Maute.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

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