By Pamela West-Finkle
Winter has been fairly mild this year compared to several years past in which subzero temperatures plagued us for weeks on end, making outdoor activities frigid and brutal. I smile when I see our children in the community out having fun in the snow during the day—a proper balance between school and play. In my opinion, children should be playing outside more than inside and I’m glad “brain breaks” include a trip down a snow-covered hill in a sled (or sleigh, as many locals say).
I’d like to start these library notes with a condolence to the friends and family of Marty Donnelly. Marty, a former library board trustee and Supervisor for the town of Andes, died of COVID-19 last month. He and his wife Yvonne had moved to the Carolinas in 2019. News came to us of his passing a few weeks ago. He was a great asset to the Andes community during his years of service, and our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Yvonne and their family.
As the pandemic rages on and our numbers keep climbing, I’d like to thank our patrons and visitors for observing our COVID protocols. Everyone, for the most part, has been very respectful and it has been a pleasure to serve the community at this time. The Four County system is continuing to operate, though at least each week we receive notification that one library or another is closed temporarily due to possible exposure. Although we are public servants, we currently do not qualify for priority vaccination unless we meet the age requirement. Please be assured that we abide by all Covid-19 protocols.
There are still other viruses and bugs going around besides COVID, so if you are experiencing any symptoms of any illness, please do not visit the library and disinfect and quarantine your library returns prior to bringing them.
Storytime changes…Tune in Wednesday at 11 to the Andes Public Library Facebook page
Although the weekly online pre-recorded storytime videos have received thousands of views each month since the lockdown, the State of New York has decided that a program only counts if it is broadcast live on a platform like Zoom or Facebook/YouTube Live. The challenge is that Zoom requires a private link for it to be a safe room. There were other challenges with Facebook Live which I have worked through. I invite all with small children or early elementary age children learning remotely to tune in at 11am on Wednesday mornings to our Andes Public Library Facebook page. For 15 minutes, I will share songs, finger play, and stories and will experiment with different ways to present the wonderful books in our collection. I will probably still share the Facebook Live sessions, which I believe are available for viewing for a period of time; however, if you can tune in at 11 am on Wednesdays and leave me a comment about where you’re watching from and how many kids are watching, that would be very helpful when it comes to our state reporting.
For parents with older children learning remotely, please remember that we are here to help as much as we are able with printing, internet access, technical support, research and writing support, and selection of appropriate reading material they might enjoy.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Finally, I ask that everyone get to know your neighbor and let’s all work together to help watch out for the elderly and disabled in our community—many of whom are isolating at home during this time. I’m happy to do regular phone check-ins if you have a resident or friend in Andes you are concerned about, or I’m willing to organize phone calling chains. I have had several friends end up in the hospital in the last couple of months and one friend who passed away in her sleep and was not found for a while. This should not happen to anyone. Please keep your eyes and ears open for anyone who might be in need of help and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 845-676-3333 if I can be of assistance.~