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.

Brief Book Browsing Appointments Starting August 10th

We are moving into an exciting period of time, readers!

We’ve been offering Contact-Free Curbside Appointments for some time now and have had great results getting books and other resources to you (and back from you), but now we are opening to Brief Book Browsing Appointments. Appointments must be made in advance, are for 30 minute spans, and begin on library opening and conclude shortly before closing. Appointments are for finding books and resources only, and patrons are to be healthy and appropriately masked.

To book an appointment, please call the library at 988-6661 and talk to Shannon.

Contact-free Curbside Appointments also continue each day, so, no matter your comfort level we can help you get the reading material you need.

As a reminder, our hours are:

Mondays:         11-5

Tuesdays:        10-4

Wednesdays:   12-6

Thursdays:      10-4

Fridays:           CLOSED

Saturdays:       9-12

Sundays:         CLOSED

If you need other assistance, call and let Shannon know–we can receive emails to print items for you, and are always available for your reference needs, too.

No-Contact Curbside Pick-Up Continues as We Prepare for Browsing Appointments

For those eager readers who may not know, we are still offering No-Contact Curbside Pick-Up appointments. You can contact Shannon at the library or send the library a message through Facebook (we’re HarrisLibrary there) to figure out a time that works best for you. The Facebook page even offers a selection of already ready-to-go-books in “Genre Bags” (there’s a special photo album)  that you can choose from, but, as you know, Shannon wants you to have as much choice in your reading as possible, so, if you’d like to call the library and ask if she has certain things, she’s happy to check both the inventory and the shelves with the phone to her ear!

In August, we hope to be able to open for brief browsing appointments by people who schedule ahead and wear a mask as a precaution (Shannon will also be wearing one, of course). Part of the scheduling depends on the rest of our “sneeze guards” going up, but Shannon’s husband will be working hard to get everything done as soon as all the materials arrive.

The start of browsing appointments does not mean No-Contact Curbside will completely stop–Shannon wants you to be as comfortable as possible with the services we offer. You are always allowed to call and ask for what is best for you. If we can accommodate you, we will.

Even Working from Home, Progress, Planning, and Programming Continues

Your little but lively library is hard at work planning the best and safest way to reopen!

We can tell you now that reopening will be a cautious, phased endeavor starting with staff back in the building first in order to ready for curbside pickup of books.
Over the next few weeks, as we work to “dot our i’s and cross our t’s,” we will be sharing educational materials here to help prepare you for the various stages of reopening.
As we serve a diverse segment of the community including people with a variety of health concerns we will be treating everyone with caution and respect for their potential needs. Please work with us to keep our community healthy and safe!

Want to Try Listening to Podcasts but You Don’t Know Where to Start?

As part of our commitment to help you continue learning and being entertained during the COVID-19 crisis, we are sharing a variety of virtual tours and educational experiences.

Library Director Shannon’s favorite podcast currently is Hidden Brain–a podcast that explores psychology and sociology in an intriguing way. If you’re curious, go and check it out–there are many episodes to choose from and each one gives a glimpse into human behavior.

Students of History: Holocaust Museum Online Exhibits

As part of our commitment to help you continue learning and being entertained during the COVID-19 crisis, we are sharing a variety of virtual tours and educational experiences.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum offers a number of educational and thought-provoking online exhibits. The content is not for the faint of heart, use discretion when viewing with children, and ideally preview all content (on any site) before setting children loose to consume what the internet offers.

If you would like to learn about the propaganda, the United States during the time, hidden children, the role neighbors played, or any of a variety of related topics, this site is for you (and Shannon, who is completing her MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, highly recommends it).

Learn a Little About Basic Computer Coding

As part of our commitment to help you continue learning and being entertained during the COVID-19 crisis, we are sharing a variety of virtual tours and educational experiences.

Are you or your child or grandchild curious about basic computer coding? Do a free one hour tutorial on how to code using a variety of different techniques by going to this link at Hour of Code Activities.

If a Visit to Bryce Sounds Nice, Check Out This Virtual Tour

As part of our commitment to help you continue learning and being entertained during the COVID-19 crisis, we are sharing a variety of virtual tours.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is known for its beauty, but perhaps it hasn’t topped any of your

travel plans to date. If that’s the case, you can still explore some of its natural wonder from the comfort of your home. This virtual tour will share some of the highlights of the park. Check out the famous rock formations, take a virtual horse ride, and peer out at the night sky, too.

Tour Versailles–From Home

As part of our commitment to help you continue learning and being entertained during the COVID-19 crisis, we are sharing a variety of virtual tours, live camera experiences at zoos, and online story times.

You can tour the Palace of Versailles virtually now, and in two different ways! Here is a link to the “first aerial view” of the palace–an intriguing painting that has notes along with it. If that’s not enough for you, Google again offers us a tantalizing glimpse inside the baroque palace. Enjoy the splendor and decadence that led, in part, to the rise of a much different France after a few people lost their heads over political disagreements…

Want to “Chill” Virtually–Tour Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska

As part of our commitment to help you continue learning and being entertained during the COVID-19 crisis, we are sharing a variety of virtual tours.

Lots of people have a trip to Alaska on their “Bucket List,” and many talk about the difficulty of saving up for such an excursion. But did you know you can go there now, without even leaving your home? That’s right, you can! Check out the splendor of fjords and glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska–all from the comfort of your couch thanks to this site.

Tour the Sistine Chapel–From Home

As part of our commitment to help you continue learning and being entertained during the COVID-19 crisis, we are sharing a variety of virtual tours, live camera experiences at zoos, and online story times.

Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of visiting the Sistine Chapel, but the time off from work to get there, and the money you’d have to have to do the trip right can seem like impossible barriers. However, thanks to modern technology, you can take this tour and see the beauty of one of the world’s most famous churches virtually.