Glens Falls library gets multi-million dollar donation

Jacquie Slater
Updated: February 13, 2020 08:03 PM
Created: February 13, 2020 05:23 PM

GLENS FALLS - The Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls just received a life-changing gift. John Herlihy, a local attorney who passed away in July of last year, left the library and Glens Falls Hospital $2.2 million each.

Now, the library is asking for the public to give them suggestions on how that money should be spent.


"The programs here are wonderful and my grandson he loves to read because of coming here all the time," said Theresa Donohue, a regular visitor to the library.

Theresa would like to see the money go towards building a satellite branch in Moreau as well as fund additional programming for the main library.

"I don't know how practical that would be, it would just be closer for me and my grandchildren," said Donohue.

Kathy Naftaly is the library's director. She says she has known a gift was coming for a while now but never expected it to be this much.

"What really has made this special is it's a recognition of our staff's connection to people," said Naftaly.

Steeped in history, the library building dates back to the 1930s and underwent a major expansion completed in 2008. Naftaly says the new children's room was completed with another $2 million donation but that money came with strict instructions on how it was to be used. Herlihy's donations has no strings attached.

"We're really in a period now where we get to fantasize because we haven't put the pen to paper so the fantasies are huge and good," said Naftaly.

For the next several months, the library will be accepting suggestions from residents on how to use the money. A final decision will be made in December.

Naftaly says she has some ideas of her own but is keeping them to herself so as not to sway the public's opinion.

"Ideas from the community, ideas from the staff, ideas from the friends of the library - really see what the community can best gain from Mr. Herlihy's generosity," said Naftaly.

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