Ten Years Later: A Center of the Community

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And so … our Library was built, and it has proven to be a versatile space, well able to be adapted to new uses. New technologies were already changing the face of existing libraries 12 years ago. At the same time, the population of both Halfmoon and Clifton Park was growing, and quickly. The planners knew that demands for new services and programs would only continue to increase. It was obvious to the architect, librarians and Trustees that the old playbook would no longer serve. The phrase “community center” was beginning to be used to describe the modern library. Listen as former Trustee President Christene Thurston describes to Clifton Park Historian John Scherer the Library's growing role in a growing community.


Now, as Trustee Ed Rodger put it, this Library has become not just a community center, but the center of the community. Ed should know; along with his wife, Francine, he was one of the original founders of the Library, and has served on the Board in a variety of capacities over the years, as a Trustee and as a true friend. Listen to Ed as he shares his impression of the Library's place in our two towns.

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English language learners gather in the Piracci Board Room for an event.

Our book collection is still a critical resource and attraction, but we now also offer e-books, audio books and music for download on patron’s devices. Computer classes for all ages now include instruction in various devices and social media. English Language Learner classes fill the Piracci Board Room nearly every weekday morning. It is not surprising when our large meeting room, built to hold 300 people, is filled for a music program or community forum.


A choral group from Shenedehowa High School performs at the Library's popular Friday Morning Free for All.

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The tables outside the main program room on the second floor are used nearly constantly.

Some of the uses of the building were unexpected. The space outside the upstairs meeting room was built to handle the crowds of large events. When tables were left there, they were used by children and their tutors, groups of teens working on projects, and chess games!


Listen as former Board Spokesperson Dave Golden tells John Scherer about the varied ways in which the Library serves the community.

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Children use iPads (available for in-house use) on the cozy reading spot in the Children's Room.

The Library was always important to the people of Clifton Park and Halfmoon, but the creation of this large, open, beautiful building has allowed the Library to better serve the growing and changing community, and it has become a gathering place for both formal programs and casual interactions.


Judy Gerwitz joined the Library staff in 1985. Listen as she describes to librarian Gail Winters the way the role of the Library has changed since the building at 475 Moe Road opened.

Ten years later, former Library Director Jo Piracci is proud to have been a part of building this new library, and is gratified by how the library and the community it serves continue to grow together.

We knew if we built it, they would come.

-Christene Thurston

Ten Years Later: A Center of the Community