A Little but Lively Library in the Heart of Upstate New York

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.

April Book Sale

Last Book Sale before Otego Days! We are very excited to be hosting the Unatego Class of 2024 Bake Sale as well. Come out and support Public Literacy and our local students by visiting your library.

August 21st Starting at 7pm…

Free hot dogs (thanks to Stewart’s), and free ice cream (thanks to Stewart’s) starting at 7–come hungry!

We’re also grateful to have a free demonstration of a K9 unit (thanks to our amazing NY State Troopers)–if you want to know more about what it takes to be a police officer or state trooper, come and meet Trooper Jones and his furry partner, Semy! They’ll start their talk and demonstration at 7:30pm.

When they’re finished, you can meet Semy and then do some dinosaur- and dragon-themed activities while we wait for it to get dark enough to start the movies.

We’ll be watching RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON and then HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. It’s going to be a great night and a wonderful way to wrap up a summer filled with reading and learning and doing fun things related to our “Tails and Tales” animal theme!

Come get your free tickets now at the library!

Special August 21st Event and Special Guests

Free hot dogs.

Free ice Cream.

Special guests to educate and entertain us, dinosaur- and dragon-inspired activities and two great movies about dragons to end the day…?

YES.

It all happens Saturday, August 21st and is free for library patrons. Get your tickets in advance for this fun and final summer event!

We want everyone who can attend to attend. The food (thanks to Stewart’s!) starts at 7, the special guests start their demonstration and talk at 7:30 (you don’t want to miss this!), the dinosaur- and dragon-inspired activities start at 8, and the movie starts at 8:15 or so (dark).

Get your FREE tickets to this one-time-only combination event from the library. Tickets will be limited due to our movie contract, so get yours now!

Looking Back on the Start of Summer and the Meaning of Libraries

This summer’s start has been like no other, with moments of remembrance and goodbye, of joy, of learning, creating, meeting, and planting good things with the faith that the future can always be brighter, that opportunities should not be missed, and life is sweetest when community comes together.

People accidentally pigeonhole libraries and what they mean to communities–people who have yet to find the joy in reading sometimes overlook the other ways libraries benefit citizens. Libraries are that often polite, frequently soft-spoken, too readily forgotten community resource.

Libraries offer education and entertainment, community and a sense of connection. Libraries provide resources and connections for everyone: a man calling from California looking for more clues to the branches of his family tree, a child who best communicates when creating art, the would-be author, the organization seeking new volunteers, a person seeking a meaningful job, the people who want to give back to their community, people who want to be more connected to the neighbors they’ve lived beside for decades but never really gotten to know.

Libraries offer something for everyone, regardless of age, creed, or other physical trappings or affiliations. Libraries are, by design, meant to encourage education and increase the understanding and strength of a democracy. Rich or poor, old or young, you can be a member of a library.

We want YOU to benefit from all the great things YOUR little but lively library offers. Give yourself that gift.

You deserve good things (and libraries ARE good things).


“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.”

-Sidney Sheldon, author

Spend a Summer Saturday in Otego, New York

❤️ Spend a Summer Saturday in Otego, NY…❤️


Head to Otsdawa Berry right after dawn for some early morning blueberry picking. It’s beautiful and the fruits of your labors are sure to be sweet!


Pop into the village and over to Muddy River Dairy at the far end of Main Street for raw milk, fresh eggs, produce, and baked goods.


Need canned goods, paper goods, or other staples? Maybe sunscreen or an umbrella–you never know right now what the weather’s fixin’ to do, but, luckily, Dollar General is right down the road!


Next in line is Trollbok Farm Store & Eatery –if you haven’t stopped in to check out their delicious baked goods and organic produce, or taken a look at the local artists and crafters’ work, you should! They’re even carrying bread from Five Kids Bakehouse !


Now head to the Harris Memorial Library (yes, that’s us!) for Coffee Klatsch on the porch. Say a friendly “hey” to your neighbors–make a friend or two and have some coffee and snacks. Borrow a book or some magazines–you’ll want them later. 😉 And if you’re reading this before August 21st, get your free movie tickets for library patrons.


But wait, there’s more! Looking for beautiful jewelry or needing a repair to something precious, give a call to the The Silversmith & Goldsmith out on Secor Road and make an appointment.


Head back into town and enjoy browsing the beautiful selection of crystals, stones, books, tarot cards, and other amazing gifts at Sun, Moon and Earth. Say hi to Melissa and Peter–they’re lovely!


Now, park your car somewhere along Main Street and head to the stoplight (yes, there’s only one in town), admire the old Elementary School (now Otsego Christian Academy), step across the street, and stroll along, reading the library’s StoryWalk and using your smartphone to access the extras with our QR codes!


If you’ve now worked up an appetite for lunch–great!–get ready for barbecue–head on down to The O at 112, then grab your car again and head out of the village towards Oneonta to get ice cream at Sprinkles n’ Cream while dreaming about a fresh tree for Christmas from Lundin’s Tree Farm –it’s always good to plan in advance!


If it’s still before 2pm, stop by the Otego Historical Association and learn a little about local history!


Now we’ve filled you up with good food and great information, head to the Otego Pool to burn some of those calories off (or revel in adding them) while sunbathing–your choice! You can also shoot some hoops nearby or take a walk–enjoy! Sit under a tree and read that book you borrowed from the library. Just enjoy letting the world pass you by.


If it’s dinner time, head on over to Rubera’s Restaurant, have some yummy Italian food and meet the charming owners, Franco and Rosie.


If it’s Saturday August 21st or earlier, bring those free double-feature movie tickets you got at Coffee Klatsch around to the library’s backyard at 8pm. Spread out a blanket or open your lawn chairs, play lawn games, do artsy activities, and watch two themed feature films (and enjoy some light refreshments). All free for library patrons. And becoming a patron is free, too. ❤️ Check out the movie listing link here.


At day’s end head on home, knowing you got to enjoy some of what makes small town America lovely: a beautiful setting, and wonderful, creative, and kind citizens.

Lots Happening at YOUR Little but Lively Library

A new activity every day of our Summer Reading Program? Yes. THAT’s what’s happening at the library.

We’ve hosted Coffee Klatsch, S.T.E.M. with Stickers, weekly Story Times, doodling/tangling, coloring zoo animal masks, creating poetry out of newspapers, doing gods eyes, and we’re setting up for our first Summer Saturday Movie Night in the library backyard, complete with free snacks, activities and great movies. There is, quite literally, something for everyone, regardless of your age or ability level.

Make sure YOU’RE enjoying all the great stuff we have to offer!

Movie Night: If You Like to Surprise Your Family…

Saturday night (July 24th) we’re hosting two movies, themed activities and snacks. If you’re planning on coming but haven’t gotten your free tickets (please get them in advance, they’re cute AND help us judge how many people to expect), and haven’t told your family what’s showing this Saturday night, you can use the two mood boards below to give them hints.

Here are additional hints to give: Both movies have the word “princess” in them. The first movie is animated, rated G, and, compared to where the library is, MUCH further south, while still in the USA.

The second movie is rated PG, and based on a bestselling book.

If you want to guess and then see if you’re right, you can go to our movie listings post for the movies’ names. If you’re familiar with both movies, maybe you can look at the Mood Boards again to see if the hints are ones you recognize.

August 21st Food, Fun, and a Double-Feature of Super Creatures!

We’re doing double-features throughout summer on Saturday nights and August 21st will be our last one! And we’re saving the best for last!

We’ll wrap up the Summer Reading Program by handing out certificates and prizes.

We’ll play games…

We’ll do some dragon- and dinosaur-related activities…

We’ll eat some great food (hot dogs, chips, and ice cream) and…

We’ll watch two cool dragon movies:

RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

and

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

(based on the bestselling book series).

And YOU are invited, as a library patron, to get your free tickets to free food, free fun, and free movies! Come celebrate summer at your little but lively library! Contact Shannon for tickets!

Hiring: Seeking Part-Time Library Clerk

We are hiring!

Seeking library clerk for 15 hours a week during summer (and perhaps further), including 3 hours on many Saturday mornings. Clerk is expected to be friendly, organized, prompt, able to (with training) check resources in and out using two circulation databases, maintain a regular schedule, shelve books appropriately, assist in final stages of catalog automation, assist with library’s online presence, host Story Times, and do light cleaning. Must be able to lift 50 lbs, and follow library staff expectations. Pay starts at minimum wage but is negotiable based on experience.

If interested, please send cover letter and resume to harrislibrary@yahoo.com with LIBRARY CLERK APPLICANT in the heading.

If, rather than being a hired employee, you’d like to volunteer at the library, we can always find things for interested people to do for the good of the library community. 🙂 Contact Shannon for more information.