LIBRARY NOTES – May 2024

By Pamela West-Finkle

As some of you may have already heard, I have submitted my resignation as Director of the Andes Public Library effective July 30th.. I have greatly enjoyed my last eight years as the Director of this amazing library, but I have taken the leap of faith to officially become the full-time Director of my non-profit, The Community Music Network.

I am so proud of all of the things we accomplished during my time here at the library.  We had community cultural events, like the Rhythm and Food Festival, the Navy Band concert at Delaware Academy, the community dance and Arm of the Sea Theater performances at Andes Central School, and the eclipse viewing party in 2017.  We replaced all of our old patron computers and barcoded over 14,000 books, DVDs and audiobooks to eventually go online in February 2022. We moved our library twice and completed a massive $450,000 construction project, bringing the building to code, replacing our roof, our furnace, installing a commercial HVAC, and created handicap accessibility.  In June of this year, the building is going to be painted, have all of the wooden shutters replaced, and our edible landscape will be planted and growing. I feel confident that I am leaving the library in excellent condition so that the next Director can focus on building our program offerings.

Thank you to the support of my board through all of this change and transition, and thank you to The A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, the Community Foundation of South Central New York, Assemblyman Brian Miller, the Walter Gladstone estate, all of our generous patron donations, and the Town of Andes for providing the resources we needed to transform our little library and make it into something that can continue to provide our important services to the community.

I will greatly miss seeing all of the wonderful friends I have made in Andes, and I will miss working with my fabulous staff, Tami Jaegel and Jesslyn Cleary. I have offered to continue to hold programs at the library as part of my community outreach, providing early childhood family music classes and a teen/adult guitar class/song sharing circle.  If my replacement is open to the idea, I would love to offer my community music services to the community of Andes.

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to serve this community, but I am even more blessed to have a musical calling that can serve the people who need the benefits of music the most.  I am very excited about my next adventure, and feel nothing but joy at the prospect that I get to do what I love most in the world full time.

Meanwhile, I will do my best to help the board find a qualified candidate for my position, and plan to make sure they are fully trained before my departure.  If you or anyone you know are interested, please email a resume and cover letter to sucole@catskill.net.

Edible Landscape Update:

The library board approved the hiring of Theresa Farrigno to oversee and be the caretaker of our edible landscape.  Ms. Farrigno has a degree in landscape architecture and is creating Catskill Foodscapes, a landscaping company dedicated to designing edible landscapes to help address food insecurity.

We have purchased two honeycrisp semi dwarf apple trees, one Fuji semi dwarf apple tree, two semi-sweet cherry trees, four lilac bushes, four elderberry bushes, ten larger-sized blueberry bushes, asparagus, and strawberries.  We are picking up the trees and bushes on April 27th and plan to do a mass planting May 4th and 5th.  We hope to have the excavation help of Harvey Morse for the trees, but we could definitely use some helpers with shovels and picks to dig the holes for the berry bushes.

In addition, we have started seedlings and purchased a number of containers that need to be filled.  Planting for the containers will take place in early June, and we plan to have the CROP students from Andes school come to assist with planting our seedlings and direct sow seeds.  Currently we have some spinach, radish, and peas planted.

For the Veterans monument, we plan to take up some of the sod around the monument, place some paving stones, and then plant thousands of red, white, and blue poppies, cornflowers, and daisies, placing mulch directly around the stone and next to the paving stones.

Also starting the weekend of May 4th and 5th, community members are invited to paint our prepared garden marker bricks to look like books.  We have various colors of exterior oil-based paint and paint brushes.

Latin Dance Party Postponed

We apologize to those who wanted to attend the Latin Dance party we had scheduled at the Andes Hotel for April 20th.  Unfortunately, there were numerous other events and fundraisers scheduled for the same weekend and due to the cost of the catering, we had to make a decision to postpone based upon lack of initial ticket sales.

Solar Eclipse Follow Up

I hope everyone enjoyed the solar eclipse!  For those of you who received glasses from our library, please complete the brief survey that was sent via email so that we can do our report for the Four County Library System.  Also, we are happy to collect and recycle your glasses, donating them to an organization that plans to send them to South America for their upcoming eclipse.

Thank you again to everyone for your kind words and support over the years! Please stop in to say hello/goodbye in the next month or two. Next month I will be announcing our summer youth workshops, made possible by a youth grant from the O’Connor Foundation.~