By Pamela West-Finkle


Springtime in the Catskills

I’m writing this on what I hope will be our last snow day of the year.  My electricity just went off for the 3rd time as the heavy, wet snow piles upon the trees and wires, weighing them down to the point of loss of connection.  It’s April 19th. It will most likely not be the last snow we see, but each year I am hopeful.

I remember my first year here as my husband and I prepared for our wedding in May of 2005.  It was an outdoor wedding and semi-outdoor reception and it snowed the weekend before. I was completely freaked out and my soon-to-be husband, an Andes/Shavertown/Fleischmanns native, assured me the weather would turn, and it did.

Exciting News!

We have received news that we have been granted $3,500 toward family community programming this summer!

The A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation awarded us a $1,000 youth grant for three workshops and performances for children and families as part of our Oceans of Possibilities Summer Reading Program theme. Our own Story Laurie will be joining us with her summer sea stories and songs; we will have a tide pool program, and Bobby Curious is going to join us for our family beach theme party.

The Community Foundation of South Central New York has also approved our $2,500 application to the Library Fund to bring The Arm of the Sea Theater to Andes for a fabulous display of puppetry, live musical accompaniment by Grammy Award winning artists like Dean Jones (Dog on Fleas) and others, and an ecologically educational show that thrills audiences of all ages. The performance will take place at 2 pm on Community Day, Saturday, August 13, 2022. It will be free and open to the public, but donations to the library are always appreciated and light refreshments will be available. Who knows…maybe I’ll even do an opening set of my own children’s music! For more information on The Arm of the Sea Theater, go to

We are waiting to get confirmation on the venue, but we will keep you posted!  We are so very excited and grateful to our wonderful funders for these special programs.

Our Sign is Getting a Facelift By Our Volunteer Coordinator

A big thank you to our board of trustees member Diane Lockspeiser who is using her talents to save our library sign from rot and decay. Diane was a professional muralist before coming to the Catskills, so she is working to restore the sign and add a sign with our hours.  We will be adding solar caps to the posts to help protect them and shed a little light onto our shiny new sign.

Diane is also our volunteer coordinator.  If you are interested in volunteering your time at the library, please let us know and we can schedule training for you. We are also happy to have local youth who need community service hours.

In May, I will be holding a volunteer training on Tuesday, May 10th at 4 pm or I can schedule a time with you that is convenient for us both.

Miss Pam’s Jamboree and Family Socialization – Mondays at 10 am this summer?

I have held off on doing in-person story time since the beginning of the pandemic, and as many of you know, my attempt to teach outdoor, in-person classes last summer ended when I fell and broke my shoulder in front of fifty small children and their families at the West Kortright Centre.  Although I’m not 100%, I have decided to start teaching early childhood music classes again. My doctors have asked me to not be quite so active during my performances, so Miss Pam might be toning it down a bit, but that is up for debate.

I know many libraries in the area are closed on Mondays.  We do not open until 11 am, but I think 10 am is a perfect time for a family community music class with socialization and stories afterwards. Due to limited space, we would need to pre-register families, but drop-ins from our summer and weekenders are welcome if we have available space. This will be geared to families with children birth to age 7, but older siblings are welcome to attend as well to explore the library or sing and dance with us. Grandparents and elders in the community are also welcome to attend if you feel safe to do so. I find fully inclusive, intergenerational classes are the best! The joy the children radiate is infectious, but so are germs, so take necessary precautions. We will have masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes on hand.

I have been a Music Together® teacher for twenty years, so the music class will be free since it is in the library, but through our community partnership with The Community Music Network, I will have parent education, CDs, song downloads, and illustrated songbooks available for purchase at wholesale cost and some available at a reduced or no cost if financial hardship is a factor thanks to the generosity of our local foundations. I believe everyone (no exceptions) should have access to early childhood music and literacy and I do everything I can to remove those barriers.~