Scotia Branch Library
Niskayuna Branch Library
"Libraries Then and Now: The Scotia and Niskayuna Branch Libraries of the Schenectady County Public Library"

Scotia Branch

The Scotia Branch is located in the Abraham Glen house at 14 Mohawk Avenue. Constructed in 1730, it was purchased by the Collins family in 1842. When the Scotia Village Book Club obtained a charter for a public library, they made plans to use a room on the first floor of the Glen house. The Scotia Free Library (later the Scotia Public Library) opened in the fall of 1929.

The Scotia Public Library grew until it occupied the entire first floor of the Glen house in 1939. The library became part of the newly formed Schenectady County Public Library on January 1, 1949. Recent renovations have included new wiring, lighting and heating, as well as a new ceiling and repainted exterior.

As of 1999, the Scotia Branch had a collection of 20,768 items and a circulation of 41,155. The residents of Scotia continue to have great affection for their library, where they can access the Internet in a historic landmark built at the same time as the first canal in New York State.

Niskayuna Branch

The Niskayuna Branch opened in the Van Antwerp School building on Story Avenue on December 20, 1986. The library circulated 31,672 items in 1987. The branch was very popular among the residents of Niskayuna, but the library had to move five years after opening because the school needed the space. The bookmobile operated out of the Grand Union parking lot as a temporary branch, and a new library opened in Mohawk Mall in August 1992.

Plans were made to build a branch across from the new Niskayuna Town Hall, and the groundbreaking took place on September 29, 1994. The branch was named in memory of Elizabeth Harriman Bean, a library advocate and member of the Schenectady County Legislature. The 7,000-square-foot building opened at 2400 Nott Street East on May 15, 1995. Circulation rose to 64,209 in 1996 and continued to increase as the branch opened for additional hours. Volunteers worked tirelessly to improve the library's landscaping, and the gardens were dedicated June 15, 1997.

As of 1999, the Niskayuna Branch had a collection of 29,797 items and circulated 91,877. The community actively supports the library and programs such as piano recitals (on the donated Steinway grand piano), book reviews and photography exhibits are well attended.

Previous Page

Copyright 2000 Mohawk Valley Library System