By Pamela West-Finkle
Happy Catskill Mountain Summer! The most glorious time of the year is here and the onset of warm weather has finally allowed many of us to spend time outside with friends and family as we gradually begin to carefully socialize for the first time in months! Welcome also to all of our new residents and part time homeowners, as well as our visitors who have decided to enjoy a taste of country life.
By the time you read this, it is my hope that the doors to our newly renovated library, located at 242 Main Street, will be open to the public. A few more minor details need to be fixed by our contractors, and we are gradually figuring out and designing our new space with the handicap compliance and COVID-19 regulations in place.
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped with our move. First, our clerk-of-the-works, Mike Houlihan, a recent graduate of the SUNY Delhi Construction Management program. He did a stellar job, not only making sure the project was up to snuff, but helping out with building new shelves, installing shelves and trim, cutting in the circulation desk, and helping to install our computer workstations. Marcello Reale, the Spanish teacher at Andes Central School, also helped a great deal with reinstalling our shelves from BLINK, as well as helping to move boxes and books.
Other amazing helpers were Sally Davis, who nearly single handedly moved most of the upstairs non-fiction books downstairs, our intern Adam Lang, Library Trustees: Diane Lockspeiser, Ellen Rosman, Judy Morse, and Pat Brannen; Deb Slating, Michael Suchorsky, Laura Josepher and family, Theodore and Akasha Finkle, and Kari Haugeto.Thank you also to Abbey Movers of Delhi, who provided the truck and hands, as well as Andy Wos for the free storage space at CitiHope, and Gordy Krick who painted the porch and power washed/sealed the back deck. I hope I didn’t forget anyone! We could not have done it without you!
We also could not have done it without our funders: The O’Connor Foundation, the Mee Foundation, the State Library Construction program, the Town of Andes, Catskill Watershed Corporation, and our generous patrons and benefactors.
As soon as the work is completed and we have organized the materials, we are so excited to open the doors to our community. Face masks and six foot social distancing will be required, as well as hand sanitizer or hand washing before you handle any library materials or use the computers. Families can enter as a group, but if there are young ones, we ask that only one family group at a time enters, or if two parents or caregivers are present, we ask that the younger children stay outside for now. We are happy to create grab bags and lend early reader kits to your family to keep them reading over the summer.
Most of the toys, stuffed animals, and games have been moved to the upstairs, which is now going to primarily be storage space. It will also house our overflow of art books, cookbooks, reference books, a variety of board games that patrons can check out, and a few empty desk spaces for quiet study or WiFi usage. The other three public computers will be located downstairs across from the circulation desk.
Some other important things I wish to ask besides face masks and social distancing are to please limit your time in the library, especially if we have people waiting outside, and if you pick up an item and decide you do not wish to take it out, please allow us to reshelf our items for you. In addition, all returns will remain outside. They must be quarantined in a plastic bag for at least 72 hours before we can clean them and reshelf them. Do not bring them into the building and leave them on the circulation desk. Hand sanitizer will be available either right outside or right inside the door and we suggest that you use it upon entering or leaving the building.
If you are immune compromised, in the high risk group or quarantined, we are happy to continue curbside/porch pickup and, in some cases, delivery services for you.
I realize these things seem restrictive, but it is for the safety of everyone and allows us to keep our doors open to you. We will also have a voluntary contact tracing log available for you to sign in with the date you used the library. In case one of our patrons or staff contact the virus, it will make it easier for the contract tracers to notify everyone who may have used the library around the same time period.
If you want to place a porch pickup order or schedule a tour of our library, [please call me at 845-676-3333 or email email@example.com]. Interlibrary loans are also available with your library card number and PIN by visiting www.4cls.org. If you need assistance ordering books, please let me know.
Lastly, please keep your eye out for our annual report to the community letter. We understand this is a difficult time for many, but if you are able to help support our library, we can continue our service to the Andes community. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution. Contributions are to be sent to The Andes Public Library, PO box 116, Andes, NY 13731~