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!

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!


Simple Health Precautions for Cold, Flu, and Other Concerns

It’s all over the news, even causing President Trump to address the concern in a brief conference last night : coronavirus (or, more properly, COVID-19).  You can click here to see Trump’s remarks, they start on COVID-19 at 06:30 on the time stamp slide, prior to that it’s set-up, and remarks on the most recent mass shooting. At 23:50 on the same video, a representative from the CDC speaks about how to stay healthy.

In an effort to provide facts, we’re sharing a link-rich resource with you. Each link (until the word “*Additionally”) takes you to a vetted medical or science-based source.

The main advice health officials are repeating is the importance of good and frequent hand-washing.

The good news is: That’s simple! The bad news is: you may be doing it wrong. You can review how to do it correctly here. In short, 20 seconds of good, serious scrubbing with soap and water (sing the Happy Birthday song from beginning to end twice), and get under your nails–all sorts of creepy stuff can linger there.

Other advice includes: covering your mouth and nose properly if coughing or sneezing (the previous advice via World Health Organization or  WHO), keeping out of people’s “personal bubble,” and, if you’re sick (cold, flu, whatever), please stay home. 

The virus is zoonotic, and has an incubation period of 1 to 14 days (with most people showing symptoms at five days after exposure before symptoms show up). Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

If you would like to see a map of where cases have been verified, Johns Hopkins has shared one that is very informative.

The CDC is providing tips for communities so they can be better prepared here.

This is a useful site to share with friends on social media if you want to help slow the spread of disinformation.

The CDC also has suggestions for businesses and employers to consider as pandemic plans are updated (which should routinely be done).

Here’s what the NY Gov site specifically says about it: They have a chart they are updating daily there.

*Additionally, one CDC official (head of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Dr. Nancy Messonnier) has suggested Americans consider preparing for a disruption of norms by being ready with essential supplies, food, water, medicine, and entertainment for family members. Dr. Messonnier has also suggested schools consider tele-schooling and that certain jobs consider telecommuting options for employees. You can read her suggestions here or here, at various news media sites.

We hope this is helpful to our patrons and readers. At the library we are continuing to disinfect shared surfaces and items and have no issues (ever) if you need to call and renew books because you are feeling under the weather. We are here to help you.

Paint & Sip Saturday!

This Saturday afternoon (2/8/2020), starting at 4pm, join Kathy Knox for another fun Paint and Sip fundraiser for the library!

We still have some spots open, and for a donation of $35 you get all the supplies and instruction you need to create a painting like this one, plus snacks and beverages! Please RSVP at 988-6661, but if you can’t due to timing, come out anyway and we’ll make room! Your donation in exact change will be greatly appreciated and used to provide more great things for YOUR little but lively library!

Book Clubs are Back for the New Year!

Last year we read a bunch of books with our Harris Memorial Library book clubs, including This Heart of Mine by C. C. Hunter, Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee, The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and this year we’ll be continuing the trend!

We’ll kick the year off reading It’s All Relative by A.J. Jacobs while exploring our family trees and being introduced to a selection of online genealogical tools, and, for the World War II Book and Movie Club we’ll start by reading (and then watching) The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman.

The World War II Book and Movie Club will also be reading The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys,  Saving Private Ryan by Max Allan Collins, Defiance by Nechama Tec, Caging Skies by Christine Luenens, and Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally.



The Annual Silver Tea: Sunday 12/8 at 2pm

We love our traditions and community here in Otego and the Annual Silver Tea is a great event to enjoy.

Due to concerns about some of our valued Senior community members not feeling safe driving at night, the time of the Tea is 2pm.

What exactly IS our Silver Tea? It’s a tradition started by Miss Dasa Harris (who once owned the Harris Memorial House and library property). We all gather together to enjoy tea and other beverages and delicious snacks in the historic Harris Memorial House (which is decked out in holiday splendor). The piano starts up (thanks to the nimble hands of Irmabelle Sheldon) and we sing a bit, thank our volunteers, and announce the winners of the Silver Tea Baskets. It’s all about kindness and good cheer and maintaining a sense of community and connectivity. Granted, it’s an old-timey thing, but some of the best things are sweet traditions that we can pass along.

Inclement or Hazardous Weather Policy

As the first “Snowpocalypse” of the season approaches, we thought it might be smart to share our full and complete “Inclement or Hazardous Weather Policy” here. Shannon has taken a moment to place in bold the most pertinent (in her mind) parts for our patrons. In short, if Unatego closes, the library will very likely close, no fines will accrue, and patrons may call 988-6661 and leave a message to renew resources.


Harris Memorial Library

Inclement or Hazardous Weather Policy

Weather-related situations may occasionally require altered hours of operation or complete closure of the Harris Memorial Library. Although all reasonable attempts will be made to keep the library open during regularly scheduled hours in order to best serve the public, the safety of our patrons and staff are of utmost importance.

The library will be closed if the Unatego School District closes due to inclement weather, and programs/events already scheduled for the library on that day will be cancelled. The opening of the library will be postponed for the day if the Unatego School District postpones their opening, and the library may close early, especially on days the Unatego School District closes early due to weather concerns.

In some cases library staff will attempt to open, or remain open, if circumstances, locality, and availability of staff or Board members allow.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page (@HarrisLibrary) for details.

The library will close, delay opening or close ahead of schedule when the weather becomes hazardous to the health and/or safety of the public and/or library staff.  Emergency/inclement weather closings will be authorized by the Director and/or the Board of Library Trustees with observance of local conditions and in accordance with National or New York Weather Service Warnings, Watches, and Advisories. Early closures may be announced at any time during the work day to ensure the safety of patrons and staff traveling in the evening hours.

During questionable weather, please do not attempt to travel to the library without first listening to the local radio station and checking our Facebook page to ensure the library is open.

The public will be notified of postponements, closing, or changes in hours of operation through the following means:

  • Facebook posting @HarrisLibrary
  • Local television announcements
  • Local radio announcements

Library resources can be renewed over the phone (messages left during closure will be honored), and fines will not accrue during closures, so use caution when travel is concerning.

If severe weather and/or emergency conditions arise during the day and the library is to close early, library patrons already in the building will be notified immediately.

In the case of suddenly arising severe weather (microbursts/tornados, etc.), patrons and staff currently inside the library will take shelter until the danger has passed in either the office closet, or in the basement, depending on circumstance, mobility, and number of people.

Thank you and stay safe!


In the event of needing to issue a closing or delay, the Library Director and Board members should be in contact via email or phone the evening prior to an expected problem, with a vote being made by Board members by 8:30pm that night, so that the appropriate media groups/outlets may be notified by 6:30am the morning of the potential delay/closing.

If a super-local member of the Board volunteers to open the library instead, they must make that clear before a vote is issued and responded to.

Board approved February 20, 2019.


Saturday’s the Annual Otego Tree Lighting!

Everyone’s invited to this wonderful Otego tradition!

Saturday evening, December 7th at 6pm, bring a canned good for the food pantry and  join other members of our community at the Firehouse for hot cocoa and cookies (cookies are again thanks to Rubera’s) and then walk down to the library via our historic Main Street for the tree lighting ceremony and caroling in the neighborhood. This is just one more of the many things that makes communities like ours so special–don’t miss out! Special thanks to Chad Angellotti and all of the Otego Community Engagement Committee members for all the hard work they do to help keep Otego awesome!

Do you want to help Otego build a continuing sense of kindness and community? Find Chad or the group on Facebook and see how YOU can give back and help make memories in our little bit of classic small town America!

Thursday! Stuffed Animal Slumber Party plus SANTA!

The Stuffed Animal Slumber Party is this Thursday, December the 5th, and Santa is coming to visit! This is a unique memory-making event for our region and we hope you can join us!

Children bring a stuffed animal (the slumber party part of the night that starts at 7pm is for stuffed animals only), meet Santa, have cookies, and hear a story–it’s so much fun! Then, after the Santa-inspired fun is over, children say goodnight to their stuffed animal friends and the children head home.

Then, almost as if by magic (as libraries all have their own particular type of magic thanks to the books they contain) the stuffed animals come to life and have adventures that Shannon and Anne document in photos! Some play games, some read books–you never can tell just what kind of magic happens at a library after hours! On Saturday (during regular hours) children can come and get their stuffed animal pals and will take home photos of some of the fun their fuzzy friends had!

*Please Note: Parents and guardians, not only does the event reinforce the magical feeling we all hope our children experience during the holiday season, but it can be used as a way to reinforce healthy bedtime rituals (using the stuffed animal in place of the child, and child in place of adult) and it also can be used to ease separation anxiety by showing the child that someone (the stuffed animal) may go away for a little while but that doesn’t mean they never return. If children aren’t ready to be parted with their stuffed animals, stuffies are still invited to meet Santa with their children and be included in the Santa-related pictures, AND children (whether they leave a stuffed animal for the sleepover or not) are encouraged to get a picture to take home on Saturday of the silly fun had after hours so they better understand and might participate more fully next year.