This summer’s start has been like no other, with moments of remembrance and goodbye, of joy, of learning, creating, meeting, and planting good things with the faith that the future can always be brighter, that opportunities should not be missed, and life is sweetest when community comes together.
People accidentally pigeonhole libraries and what they mean to communities–people who have yet to find the joy in reading sometimes overlook the other ways libraries benefit citizens. Libraries are that often polite, frequently soft-spoken, too readily forgotten community resource.
Libraries offer education and entertainment, community and a sense of connection. Libraries provide resources and connections for everyone: a man calling from California looking for more clues to the branches of his family tree, a child who best communicates when creating art, the would-be author, the organization seeking new volunteers, a person seeking a meaningful job, the people who want to give back to their community, people who want to be more connected to the neighbors they’ve lived beside for decades but never really gotten to know.
Libraries offer something for everyone, regardless of age, creed, or other physical trappings or affiliations. Libraries are, by design, meant to encourage education and increase the understanding and strength of a democracy. Rich or poor, old or young, you can be a member of a library.
We want YOU to benefit from all the great things YOUR little but lively library offers. Give yourself that gift.
You deserve good things (and libraries ARE good things).
Starting soon, Director Shannon will make available a limited number of Lego and Duplo kits patrons may borrow for home use. Some kits will be open-ended and themed (like our “Adventurer’s Kit”) and some will be more targeted/goal oriented (“Can You Make a Rescue Vehicle?”). Kits will also include at least one related book to read, and educational coloring/activity sheets for young participants.
Kits will be able to be viewed on our @HarrisLibrary Facebook page.
It’s that time! School’s out and our little but lively library’s Summer Reading Program is starting! Come launch into “A Universe of Stories” with our summer program kick-off featuring our Annual Ice Cream Social starting at 6pm, games on the lawn, Galaxy slime-making, and finally, at sunset, we’ll watch a special preview clip of PBS’s upcoming mini-series CHASING THE MOON on our lawn.
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.
You have questions, we have answers (in large part because that’s what libraries are for)! Want to know why the library’s pursuing stable and ongoing funding through a separate line item on the May 21st school ballot? Want to know how it will impact locals if it passes? Want to know what other libraries in the region have benefited from this model? Want to know more about the education law that has created this funding avenue for libraries? Want to know about the failing roof…or almost anything else library-related? Here’s your chance! Bring your questions and your ability to engage in civil discourse and we should all learn a lot by talking together!
Head to the Unadilla Public Library with your questions regarding the upcoming May 21st vote which will impact library funding and the collection of funding for both the Harris Memorial Library and the Unadilla Public Library.