Long Time President of Saratoga Springs Library Board Steps Down


A very generous and very well deserved article on Ken Bollerud as he retires from his long held position as chairman of the board of the Saratoga Springs Public Library.

The city had a very modest library in the building that now serves as the city’s arts center.   There were many players involved in expanding our library into what it is today.  That was because Mr. Bollerud and the late librarian, Harry Dutcher did an extraordinary job in mobilizing the community to make the project happen.  The soft spoken Mr. Bollerud was an essential part of that endeavor.  Since then he has tirelessly worked to improve and strengthen our wonderful library.

Saratoga Springs library board president bids farewell

Kenneth Bollerud is shown inside the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Travis Clark — tclark@digitalfirstmedia.com

By Travis Clark, tclark@digitalfirstmedia.com, @travclark2 on Twitter

Posted: 06/13/16, 4:30 PM EDT | Updated: 1 day ago

SARATOGA SPRINGS >> Kenneth Bollerud is often described as modest by his friends and colleagues, and they might be right. In fact, when Bollerud was asked about himself, the topic would always circle back to a story detailing the history of the Saratoga Springs Public Library.

It’s a testament to just how passionate Bollerud is about the building and its community. Serving on the library’s board for more than 35 years, he is set to step down from his position as the board’s president on June 30. Those within the library and the Saratoga Springs community say they are sad to see him go.

“It’s like we’re losing our father figure,” said library account clerk Marjorie Johnson.

Bollerud is a respected and loved member of the Saratoga Springs community, and while it may seem like he’s always been a part of a lot of people’s lives, he isn’t originally from Saratoga. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Bollerud joined the Peace Corps upon graduating from college and taught for three years in the Phillipines.

When he returned, Bollerud attended a job fair in New York City where he was interviewed for a job teaching near Utica. Here, he met his now wife and they decided to attend the University at Albany to acquire Master’s degrees. Bollerud would go on to teach at Shenendehowa High School where he stayed until he retired in 2004.

Bollerud was passionate about matters of the library even before he was on the board. One day, he wrote a letter to the editor concerning the library’s funding and received a call asking him to run for the library board as there was an opening.

Bollerud recalls being told that the position “wouldn’t require much.” On the contrary, he’s “too busy to talk about himself,” and for the last 35 years, he has been a significant addition to the library’s family. It has been a major part of his own life.

“He comes to all of the important events at the library, there’s always a presence and I think everyone feels like he’s one of us,” said Leslie Novver, retired children’s librarian.

Bollerud is a recipient of several awards, including being named the Southern Adirondack Library System’s Trustee of the Year, the Saratoga Springs Rotary’s Senior Citizen’s Award and last year’s Friends of the Saratoga Springs Library H. Dunham Hunt Award.

Bollerud said that it is his time to step down and for someone else to come in. However, he doesn’t believe in term limits: as long as the person is doing a good job, he said they should stay as long as they want.

It is evident that the community and library staff believes Bollerud has done a fantastic job, even though he’s too modest (or busy) to admit it himself.

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