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.

It’s Time for the Annual Basket Fundraiser!

Every year in December the Harris Memorial Library tries to hold its Annual Silver Tea in conjunction with our Annual Basket Fundraiser. This year, though, has brought new challenges with COVID-19. As a result, we aren’t able to hold the Silver Tea, but we’re doing our fundraiser, and the baskets are here!

Baskets are created and donated by the Board members and Director Shannon, and businesses that want to contribute (special thanks this year to Otego’s Sun, Moon and Earth, Otego Family Dental, and Otsdawa Creek Candles for jumping in). Director Shannon inventories, photographs, and then shares the baskets online, and people are invited to make an appointment to come in, see the baskets in person, and find out how to donate.

Follow us on Facebook (@HarrisLibrary) to see all the photos, request an appointment, or connect. Want an appointment without Facebook? Call the library at 988-6661.

Please support all our local businesses–and, if you haven’t already, check out the ones mentioned above!

Comic Book Care Packs are Here!

Every year we’ve been fortunate to work with Gary of Oneonta’s Secret Comix Cave, and Gary provided us with lots of great, free comics for Halloween. Director Shannon and her husband and son dressed up for the evening and handed out candy and comics for the last two Halloweens–well, the two prior to this year. The comics are always at least as popular as candy ever thought about being!

But, this year, as we all know, was different. The library didn’t participate in Halloween, but Gary (always generous) still wanted us to have comics for the kids (and adults). So Director Shannon and her son went out to his shop on a recent Friday and brought back boxes of great reads! After skimming the content, Director Shannon placed the comics in age-level and reading-level packs (and included some other neat things too).

To pick up your selection of free comics that you can keep, contact the library and make an appointment to visit or do a curbside pick-up. You can call us at 988-6661 or reach out on Facebook (@HarrisLibrary).

Oneonta’s Hannaford Chooses Harris Memorial for October Fundraiser!

Hannaford graciously chose YOUR little but lively library for this month’s Community Bag campaign!

Supporting local non-profits has never been more important than it is right now! Give back to your local community by purchasing a $2.50 reusable Community Bag at the Hannaford located in Oneonta in October. We will receive a $1 donation for every reusable Community Bag sold. If you do pick one up, be sure to practice standard safety protocols. Just like you need to wash your hands regularly, always wash your reusable bags before and after use. If possible, bag your own groceries at check out when using a reusable bag. Thank you in advance for your support!

We have been assured that you can get a Community Bag (or two, or three…!) with your Hannaford To-Go order–just put that request in as a note for them. Please support practices like recycling and support local non-profits and other local organizations and businesses during this trying time!

Contact-Free Curbside Pick-up and Brief Book Browsing Appointments Continue

We are currently continuing to offer either Contact-Free Curbside Appointments (call Shannon at 988-6661 and she’ll help you pick out books via phone), or Brief Book Browsing Appointments during which you may enter the library at an agreed upon time, first having done a Health Self-Assessment, being in good health, having not been around anyone having or suspected of having COVID-19, and not exhibiting any symptoms, and wearing a mask correctly fitting over both your nose and mouth at the same time.

Call or contact Shannon through the library’s Facebook page @harrislibrary to secure your time slot during our regularly open hours.

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.