Tuesday, February 6, 2018

What $130,000 Buys

The Hudson Area Library was announced that, beginning Sunday, February 11, the library will be open seven days a week, offering programs and services, noting, "These expanded hours are made possible with the generous support of friends and neighbors in Hudson who voted yes for the library's community-based funding initiative at the voting booth this past November." 

The new hours for the library are:

Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.
Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday & Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To inaugurate the new seven-day schedule and to celebrate Library Lovers Month, the library is planning some special events for this Sunday, February 11. During the hours the library will be open on Sunday, there will be home-baked refreshments provided by the Friends of the Hudson Area Library and amnesty for patrons with overdue books. Fines up to $5 will be waived. 

At 1 p.m., Pamela Badila, "matriarch of the Badila clan and co-founder, with her late husband Elombe, of the Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre," will present Folktales & Stories for Children & Families, featuring traditional stories from around the world. This special story hour, giving families the opportunity to explore tales from different cultures, will be a regular feature of Sunday at the library, happening each week at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Also this Sunday, the History Room will offer patrons the opportunity to find themselves or a parent or grandparent in the library's extensive collection of Hudson High School yearbooks, spanning more than a century, from 1914 to 2017, and have their picture taken alongside the graduation photo. Local photographer Tom Buckner has volunteered his services for the project. To make an appointment for a photo session, email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, providing your name, the yearbook date, and the name of the person in the graduation photo, and the library will schedule an appointment.

At 4 p.m., a trio of bassoonists--John Douglas Ferrigno, Cornelia McGiver, and Nora Post--called NorthWinds will perform in the main room at the library. In the intimate setting, where the audience and performers have an opportunity to exchange thoughts, the ensemble will explore the jaunty, moody, serene, and serious natures of this lesser known instrument.

All of the events on Sunday are free. The Hudson Area Library is located at 51 North Fifth Street.


  1. Based on past performance, we'd be wise to keep a close eye on how the library manages this financial boon. (This comment does not apply to the events described in the post.)

    In the past when I criticized mismanagement of library funds, its Board Members challenged me to supply "the facts." They knew very well that without access to their financial books no outsider can supply such details. They would sooner lure you into a libel than open their books to the public.

    In fact, last year when I challenged library staff on a particular example of mismanaged funds I was the recipient of swift and ugly personal accusations. In response, I filed an "incident report" which described the alleged mismanagement and also the irrational response to my queries. Unfortunately I was not dignified with a reply, and the Library Board never addressed my allegations.

    Anyway, this was my experience after questioning a particularly wasteful expenditure which I further alleged was concealed by a deliberate lie. And it was!!!

    But all that's in the (recent) past. In future, my advice to my well-meaning neighbors who gave the fiscally irresponsible Hudson Area Library $130K is that we scrutinize what they do with every penny. But if the library continue to conduct itself as it has in the past, then residents may never know how much of our investment is being wasted, or how.

  2. We are grateful to the residents of Hudson, Greenport and Stockport for the support they provide to the library. In just over a year in our new facility, the library has become a gathering place for education, cultural events and community celebrations. We hope our expanded hours will allow more people to enjoy the library and all that it has to offer.

    We manage the library's finances carefully, recognizing that every penny comes from taxpayers and donors. As a publicly funded organization, our financial records are open to the public for inspection. Those records are reviewed independently and those financials are also available to the public. We welcome and encourage the public's involvement in their library.

    1. Why weren't the History Room cabinets subject to a bidding process? However you managed it, nothing was shared with the History Room Committee, not even a discussion about the designs.

      As a result, you overpaid for something without understanding the History Room's actual needs. I'd hardly call that "careful management," and it was concealed not "open."

      The Library Board should also learn to answer its emails.

      T. O'Connor