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.

New Fall Hours

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:

Mondays 12pm-5:30pm

Tuesdays 12pm-7pm

Wednesdays 11am-4pm

Thursdays 10am-3pm

Saturdays 9am-12pm

 

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!

Hours for the Rest of August

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:

 

Mondays: 12pm-5:30pm

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10am-3pm

Wednesdays: 1pm-7pm

Friday: CLOSED

Saturday: 9am-12pm

Sunday: CLOSED

Bring the Family to Our End of Summer Celebration August 12th from 6pm-9pm

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!

Digging Roots Genealogy 101 Workshop

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.

Ezra Jack Keats Minigrant

 What a fun day!

We started our Ezra Jack Keats mini-grant project at the library. Director Shannon had participants close their eyes and imagine the images used to illustrate the story “Kitten for a Day” while it was read aloud. Then the kids were handed storyboard worksheets with the text from the story they’d just heard and encouraged to illustrate (or describe in words) their interpretation of the action. They had fun (and spent a good amount of time thinking) as they devised their own illustrations. Shannon was impressed by their curiosity and their willingness to give it a try. After they spent some time working on their own interpretation of EJK’s words, Shannon read the book again, this time showing them the pictures, and they discussed what they thought they’d gotten “close” and what they’d envisioned much differently. It was neat to hear what they thought the words meant! Shannon stressed to them that having different ideas or different interpretations isn’t bad or wrong–it just means they imagine things differently. She even pointed out that in problem-solving having more (and different) ideas is really helpful so you come to the best answer possible. Then the group got journals to write and draw ideas in–maybe story ideas, maybe character ideas…pretty much anything they like! Shannon can’t wait to see the group again Monday for the next step in their book-making.

Tuesday, May 21st, Library Proposition Vote at Unatego High School 12pm-9pm

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.

Are You on Facebook?

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!

New Perfect-for-Spring Paint and Sip!

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.

Authors Who Write…as Other Authors

Pseudonyms are popular with authors and their publishers for many reasons: sometimes an author’s given name is too lengthy to fit neatly on a book cover, sometimes it’s spelled in a way that might trip readers up when they go to search for it, sometimes it’s hard to pronounce, or shared by someone much different than the author. There are nearly as many reasons for taking on a pseudonym as there are…well…pseudonyms!

Since modern marketing is big on branding, when an author makes a genre jump (going from fiction to nonfiction or from suspense to high fantasy, as examples) or a target audience change (from adult to children’s books), publishers like to differentiate what they’re selling so the public isn’t expecting the same sort of book the writer has written before. There are historical reasons to take a new name, too. Sometimes women wanted to write at a time (or on a topic) that was considered inappropriate for a woman to write (remember, ladies, there was a time when reading novels was enough of a charge to have you institutionalized…).

Here are some well known authors who have written under different names:

Benjamin Franklin………………………….Mrs. Silence Dogood, Anthony Afterwit, Caelia Shortface, Busy Body

Washington Irving…………………………..Jonathan Oldstyle, Diedrich Knickerbocker, Geoffrey Crayon

David Cornwell……………………………….John le Carre

Nora Roberts…………………………………..JD Robb

Stephen King…………………………………..Richard Bachman

Richard Matheson…………………………….Logan Swanson

Jackson Pearce………………………………….J. Nelle Patrick

Kara Taylor………………………………………Kara Thomas

JK Rowling………………………………………Robert Galbraith

CS Lewis………………………………………….Clive Hamilton, NW Clerk

Joyce Carol Oates……………………………..Rosamond Smith, Lauren Kelly, Rae Jolen Smith

Isaac Asimov…………………………………….Paul French

Agatha Christie………………………………….Mary Westmacott

Dean Koontz………………………………………Aaron Wolfe, Brian Coffey, David Axton, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, KR Dwyer, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Owen West, Richard Paige

Anne Rice……………………………………………Howard Allen, Francis O’Brien, AN Roquelaure, Anne Rampling

Michael Crichton…………………………………..John Lange, Jeffrey Hudson, Michael Douglas

Jayne Ann Krentz…………………………………..Amanda Quick

JR Ward………………………………………………..Jessica Bird

Erika Mitchell (Leonard)………………………….EL James

Patricia Highsmith……………………………………Claire Morgan

Ulrich Leonard Tolle………………………………..Eckhart Tolle

Meg Cabot………………………………………………Jenny Carroll

Ray Bradbury………………………………………….Douglas Spaulding

Alice Mary Norton…………………………………….Andre Norton, Andrew North, Allen Weston

Madeleine Wickham………………………………….Sophie Kinsella

?………………………………………………………………Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee………………………..Ellery Queen, Barnaby Ross

?……………………………………………………………..Elena Ferrante

 

Want to learn more? Click on any of Shannon’s sources!

Modern Writers with Pen Names

Romance Authors Write Under Multiple Pseudonyms

8 Famous Authors Who Used Secret Pseudonyms

Authors Who Write Under Different Pen Names

 YA Author Aliases

List of Pen Names