Wrap-Up Photos from the Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant

In 2019 72 mini-grants were awarded throughout the United States by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. Harris Memorial Library was fortunate to win one and immediately started getting things together to creatively empower participants in the creation of their own handmade book. Many books by Ezra Jack Keats were read to stimulate thought and conversation about artistic styles, process, and voice, and to help build empathy by exploring our differences.

Volunteers made a world of difference (as they always do) although Shannon didn’t manage to catch photos of all of them in action.

Children from the community from age eight to fifteen participated, some in family groups, some as part of the Unatego Summer Program (hats off to Carrie Hewlett for all her hard work!).

Children had books read to them and then engaged in creative activities including Acrylic Pouring/Paint Pouring, Character Design, Storyboard Creation, Matching Colors to Mood, and finally constructing their own book. There were many moments that children were deep in thought, considering their options–which was wonderful because art and literature are highly subjective things.

As a published author herself, and an award-winning artist, Shannon was very excited to see so much artistic and creative ability in the program’s participants. The project was capped off with an exhibit of the children’s work which was open to the public.

A few samples of work children did are included below, along with photos of the participants in different stages of the program. Thank you to all our amazing volunteers and very talented participants–keep creating–your voices matter!

 

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.