Located in the small town of Otego, New York, the Harris Memorial Library has a rich history in large part thanks to the lovely and adventurous Daisy or “Dasa” Harris who willed her Victorian-Italianate-style home to the village of Otego–so long as it became, and remained, a library. Her house became known as the Harris Memorial House, and when it was realized that the small rooms were not conducive to a library’s organization, and that the weight of so many books and their shelves might collapse the historic structure, a modern addition was added to the back of the building to house the library.
We offer free computer and wi-fi access, and have a 3D printer – things Dasa likely never imagined being part of the library she was so intent on providing room for.
We invite you to explore our history and book shelves with us, and learn about our inclusive and varied programs. Like us and follow us on Facebook to get the most up-to-date listing of activities.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to investigate the paranormal? With books, television shows, movies and the like covering paranormal stories there’s obviously a lot of curiosity.
Come get your questions answered as the New York Shadow Chasers team talks about how they do what they do and teach the basics (and show off some of their cool technology)! This is one of our fall fundraisers. You MUST get your tickets in advance for BOTH the lecture (starting at $6) AND the investigation IF you want to be part of the investigation. Lecture tickets are for a donation of $5, and investigation tickets are for a donation of $15. Tickets are limited and available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The investigation will start shortly after the lecture ends, attendees will be seated in different spots in the historic Harris House and the library, lights will be turned off, observations will be made and recorded, and then, approximately 30 minutes into the investigation, lights will come on and people will shift to a new location, and observe and record another 30 minutes. We’ll do a final chat about what we found (or didn’t) and post our results.
This fundraiser will be on October the 25th with the lecture starting at 6pm. You MUST get tickets in advance as they will be very limited.
That’s right! It’s nearly fall, many kids are headed back to school, and, to accommodate our town’s people better, we’re adjusting our hours!
We are CLOSED Labor Day, and closed regularly on Fridays and Sundays. In September we will also be closed Wednesday the 11th, and Thursday the 12th to focus on 4 County automation.
We will be OPEN:
This means we’re open an additional hour AND that kids can pop in for books or homework help after school Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Library Director Shannon will gladly help you succeed in the new school year if she can!
As many of you are aware, our hours are variable as the seasons change, and public needs and interests arise. To be as up-to-date as possible, please check our Facebook page at @harrislibrary (which will include any sudden changes in the schedule such as delays and closings, too).
Through August our hours will remain the same they’ve been since February:
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10am-3pm
Are you ready for some exciting magic and memory tricks, and to enjoy a visit from Animal Adventure? We sure hope so because we’re winding up our Summer Reading Program with a visit from The Amazing Great AND some of the curious creatures from Animal Adventure. We’ll have games in the backyard, stargazing, and popcorn, so bring the family! And, if you participated in our Summer Reading Program make sure and turn in your Intergalactic Passport by noon on Saturday the 10th so Shannon can tally your points and award you prizes. So much will be happening @ YOUR little but lively library we hope you ALL can be a part of it!
We have so many Summer Reading Program prizes this year that EVERYONE who participated can win at least a couple cool things!
The fun starts at 6pm, so make sure you’re ready to join us!
Laura Lee presented a great workshop for people interested in learning about their family’s past–and and she did it all for free! She came with great resources to share with attendees, and a level of knowledge that impressed Shannon (even though Shannon only had time to pop in and out of the room briefly!). She talked about how to start your search, genealogical research scams and pitfalls, and gave some information on some of the hurdles in history (like the Orphan Trains) that people encounter in their quest to dig into their roots.
In fall Laura Lee hopes to come back to Harris Memorial Library to present about the emerging information DNA research can add to a person’s genealogical research. If you have any questions about your family’s past, or how to better research your family members’ histories and mysteries–you’ll definitely want to check out Laura Lee’s upcoming workshop.
If you’d like to reach out to Laura Lee with a question (or maybe you need a family tree done but don’t have the time) you can stop by the library for a card with her contact information.
On May 21st the people of Unatego school district will be faced with an important vote at the Unatego High School between the hours of noon and nine. The vote will impact how both the Unadilla and Otego (Harris Memorial) libraries receive future funds considering State Educational Law 259. The vote will appear as a separate line item on the ballot, unaffected by the results of the school budget passing or failing. This law has been written and tested in the courts and has benefited other libraries in our region through its engagement with the public via the established democratic process.
The libraries are asking a total of $85,000 with $55,000 going to Otego’s Harris Memorial and $30,000 going to Unadilla’s library. The funding would continue at that same rate, collected through the annual school tax collection and unable to increase without engagement in the complete democratic process (including gathering sufficient signatures via petition to submit to the Unatego School Board, and holding a public vote) again. Funding would help support building needs, programs for the public, book buying, and state-mandated upgrades to library systems, among other things.
Both libraries have hosted multiple public educational meetings and have documents available to the public including their budgets, and the fact the average Otego owner of property at the assessed total value of $100,000 would pay approximately $20 a year (less than one new hardcover book), with the average Unadilla owner of property at the assessed total value of $100,000 paying approximately $37 a year (less than one typical fast food meal for a family of four).
Voting will occur on Tuesday May 21st at the Unatego High School from noon until nine. The libraries ask only that the members of the public consider the facts and vote according to their conscience.
If you have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the library via Facebook’s messages or the library phone (988-6661) during regular library hours.
After yesterday’s temporary outage on Facebook, you may be asking yourself that same question, but if you have a Facebook account, we want to STRONGLY encourage you to follow @HarrisLibrary. We have an active page there that includes videos, photos, and the most up-to-date happenings. New events and community news and the occasional meme are all shared there in short and easily readable bite-sized pieces. Want to know what’s happening @ YOUR library? Pop over and check it out! Want to double-check the hours? Look at the About section there. There is always something happening at our little but lively library–make sure you’re taking advantage of all the great things we have to offer!
Kathy Knox is at it again, bringing a charming design (perfect for the coming spring and summer) for curious painters (and sippers).
Butterflies and Blossoms is a great opportunity for even the timid painter! If you’ve ever wanted to try a paint and sip, or if you just need an excuse to relax and take a break from the daily grind, here’s your opportunity. You deserve to spend an afternoon indulging in the arts (and tasty beverages).
This library fundraiser is only $35 and sends you home with an acrylic painting you made yourself.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but the library will be closing promptly at 3pm today due to adverse weather conditions. All related activities are canceled.