Audible Makes Select Audiobooks Free during COVID-19 Crisis

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.

Audible, the online audiobook provider,  has stepped up to provide free listening opportunities for young readers looking for more books. Hop on over to Audible Stories to learn more! Check out this article to learn more.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

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.


The Smithsonian. One of the most amazing American museums–and one of the most extensive in the world–has a number of virtual tours to keep you wondering and learning. This tour includes current exhibits.

Safari from the Comfort of Your Home!

As part of our commitment to public education and entertainment continuing during the COVID-19 crisis, we are sharing virtual tours.

Want to go on a safari from the comfort of your own home? Thanks to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, you can do that every day at 3pm EST. Just one more great educational resource people are putting together to help out during the current crisis.

Home Safari Resources

Please also remember the great resources we have in the bins on our front porch–there are coloring pages, Spanish activity booklets, Story Time crafts, discarded books and discarded magazines. We’re hoping our sharing helps you at this time.

Tour the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

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.

If you’d like to explore some of the striking artworks created by Americans over many years, this might be the perfect virtual tour for you. Featuring thousands of stunning pieces of art, if you’re stuck at home and wondering about the creative vision of Americans before you, here’s the tour to take. Ask yourself what inspired these artists, and then ask yourself what inspires YOU.


Story Times by Celebrities

Looking for more read-alouds to listen to? The LA Times recently shared a list of celebrities reading children’s books for special Story Times. Some of the individual links are below in case you can’t access the Times right now. Celebrities may also pitch their other work either before or after the reading, so please be aware there is technically commercial content.

Watch Jennifer Garner read The Mitten .

Watch Josh Gad read The Giving Tree (this book’s a personal favorite of Shannon and Anne’s–oh, the feels!). As a note, Josh does pitch his current show at the end.

Watch Molly Idle read Pearl about a mermaid. Molly does mention her other books at the beginning.

Watch Amy Adams read The Dinosaur Princess. As a note, Amy does make a pitch for her nonprofit in the beginning.

Rowboat Watkins reads his book Most Marshmallows.

Sarah Jacoby reads Forever and a Day.

You can follow the hashtag #OperationStoryTime on Instagram to find more people reading their books or a friend’s. And don’t forget, tomorrow we will have Story Time at the Library LIVE with Miss Anne through our Facebook Live Video feed (find us at @harrislibrary). Please tune in at 10:30am EST to hear two great stories read by our own Miss Anne!

Change of Library Schedule due to COVID-19 Concerns

This is very difficult news for any Library Director or Library Manager to deliver, but we hope you know the small staff at your little but lively library well enough to understand our concerns for your safety and our own in light of taking COVID-19 precautions.

Following the suggestions of both the New York Library Association and NYS Governor’s Office, and the actions of Otsego County schools (as per the Otesgo County Department of Health’s advice) Harris Memorial Library will be closed to the public for a duration of two weeks as of end of business on Monday, March 16th. We hope to reopen Monday, March 30th. Please check in on our Facebook page (@harrislibrary) for the most recent updates.

To help make this temporary change easier, we are extending loan times of ALL resources to 6 weeks, waiving all fines during that period, and allowing you to take out a few more resources than normal, too. We will also offer certain virtual opportunities to replace our regular Story Times and Spanish for Kids, and have limited resources made available on the porch (starting Monday) for patrons to keep.


I appreciate your understanding,


Discarded Magazines and Books Available on the Porch for Reading or Crafts

Starting Monday, and for the 2 week period during which children are out of school, we will be placing a modest selection of discarded magazines and discarded books on the porch as items for patrons to take home and keep for free. You can read them, craft with them–there are always many things you can do with reading material!

Links below show you a few ways you can get creative with discards. Please only take one or two per household, please observe good hygiene when touching the boxes, and shut the bins well when you’re done. We will also include some paper instructions inside for you to take with you to help with crafting ideas.

You can look at a book page folding tutorial here (these things are great for teaching and reinforcing measurement):

Simplified Folded Book Art

How to Fold Book pages into Letters – Recycled Book Art Ideas

The pages themselves can be made into art if you consider kirigami and origami, here is a link to help:

Even the covers of discarded library books can be made into purses or bags! And here are a couple links to ideas for those, too:

Turn an Old Book into a New Purse

You can also make book or magazine beads! Link below:

How to Make Paper Beads

Or do blackout poetry using someone else’s words! Here is a link to some examples:






Library Health Announcement


If you are a patron of ours, you will likely notice new signs around the building. This is one of our attempts to do our part in the community to slow the spread of COVID-19 (and cold and flu). As local schools have now closed for 2 weeks, it is possible our status here will also change, and quickly. Please pay attention to our Facebook page where we can most quickly and easily update everyone. The following is part of what’s physically posted at the library and what was shared earlier this week on our Facebook page. It is subject to change.


We’ve posted easy-to-read reminders on how to properly wash hands near our sinks (we have bunches of little kids and parents, so it’s good to build good habits). If having a little poster like ours for your home or workplace might help YOU, we’ll share a link to where we got ours.

We will also be posting reminders requesting people don’t visit if they or a family member are/is sick (also, simply good and considerate practices).

We will also be encouraging “social distancing”–so please keep at least 3 feet and ideally 6 feet away from people. You know our library is unlike others in that talking is okay, so, during these times particularly, Shannon’s not going to flip out if you need to talk a little more loudly to communicate with people. This also means we don’t want you leaning on the circulation desk or reaching across it.

We will also be reminding you of your ability to use alternative procedures to get books and resources (call, talk to Shannon or Anne, request books, and reserve them and a time at which we can walk them to your car).

You can also renew books/resources over the phone (988-6661)–in that case you can leave us a message with your name and request.

We continue to disinfect book covers as books come in from 4CLS and we disinfect books that are returned (that’s no different from last year during the height of cold and flu season, or when books come in looking like they were dropped in a puddle of mud…).

We regularly disinfect shared surfaces (tables, hard chairs, keyboards, computer mice, door knobs, light switches).

In the case of children we will instruct them to go wash their hands if they’re making questionable choices about touching their eyes, nose, mouth, etc. and shared surfaces (and then disinfect while they wash up).

We’ve also put away all the stuffed animals which regularly populate our children’s section since scientists still have not determined the length of time certain germs cling to soft surfaces. (This morning we will also be removing ALL children’s toys including Legos and the table and chairs as we cannot keep them as constantly disinfected as we’d like and the table is too small to accommodate social distancing.)

If there is something you’d like us to also do, feel free to make a suggestion. We are here to listen, learn, and work hard on your behalf.

Additionally, we will be changing services in such a way to better accommodate the stay-at-home needs of families with children to entertain. Starting today (Saturday, March 14th) resources will be loaned out for 6 weeks, all events/activities will be cancelled for the next 2 weeks (some will be made available online through our Facebook account), and our daily schedule is subject to change, so please check in on Facebook to learn more.

Some Fun Crafty Goodness from Story Time!

Have you brought your children to Story Time yet? There’s always something great going on thanks to Miss Anne’s creative efforts! Story Times are Thursday mornings at 10:30am and include a story, fun activities, and a craft. Early learning basics are reinforced, including basic socialization, participation, shapes, colors, numbers, and curiosity is stoked.

Doing It Correctly: Healthy Handwashing

In cold and flu (and other nasty things) season, it’s especially smart to know how to wash your hands properly, and to practice what you know. We’re including links to several videos on how to properly wash your hands. There are different techniques, and some groups encourage different methodologies and dedication of time. Currently our United States CDC suggests washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (and they suggest singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice in order to do it right).

Here’s a handy video from the World Health Organization suggesting you do each of its steps for 10 seconds.

Here’s a quick informative page from the United States CDC on handwashing technique, and one with a featured video.


  1. wet your hands,
  2. lather with soap,
  3. get under your nails,
  4. scrub palm to palm,
  5. scrub palm to back of hand,
  6. and do the same to the other hand,
  7. scrub thumb in opposing closed hand,
  8. and do the same with other thumb,
  9. scrub palm with opposing hand’s finger- (and thumb-) tips,
  10. and do the same to the other hand,
  11. scrub along length of each finger,
  12. rinse,
  13. grab a paper towel to thoroughly dry hands (more scrubbing!) and to turn off the water–and use that paper towel to open the bathroom door. Then throw that nasty thing away.

But what if I don’t have soap and hot water? You can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or better) and friction is an important aspect of all of this, so scrub, scrub, scrub! And remember not to touch your face. Take care of yourself and take care of each other–teach your children proper handwashing, too. Good habits deserve to be passed along!