Library Notes – June 2019

Come one, come all to the Andes Public Library Annual Party on Sunday, June 2nd from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  As always, there will be sweet and savory treats, many interesting characters to converse with, live music provided by our very own library talent pool, and a chance for those who love and use our library on a regular basis to all gather as a community. 

     This year the town of Andes is celebrating its Bicentennial Anniversary and thanks to an O’Connor Youth Grant, the library was happy to provide one of the first of many Bicentennial events to be held throughout the summer.  The Old Fashioned Barn Dance held at Andes Central School brought over sixty people, young and old, out to sample the chili dinner, participate in group dances from around the world led by Peter, Paul, George, and our very own Ira McIntosh. Debbie Abbate organized and packaged a super fantastic bake sale.  Thank you so much to all of the community members who donated their delicious wares.  Also thank you to the ACS custodians and music teacher, Kellie Daino, who set up for our event and provided sound support, and to Kari Haugeto whose support and time is always appreciated.

     The 2019 Summer Reading Program’s theme this year is Universe of Stories.  Since we did a lot of space and solar system STEAM workshops for the area youth two years ago with the solar eclipse, this summer we plan on a variety of fun workshops, to include edible DNA, a Build-an-Alien stuffed animal and Dr. Seuss story workshop, and there is talk of an overnight sleepover, facilitated by Miss Kari, Story Laurie, and myself (parents are welcome and invited to chaperone).  I am hoping to have the entire summer schedule available by mid-June before school lets out for the summer. 

     You will notice from the new book list this month that Gloria continues to acquire the best new fiction and non-fiction for our library.  One trend that I’ve noticed is that there are suddenly a great deal of historical fiction that features the brave women—especially those in France—who aided the escape of those facing persecution by Nazi Germany.  There must be something in our collective consciousness that wants us to pay attention to these inspiring stories. Sometimes it is best to have reminders of the past so that we are not doomed to repeat it.

     Speaking of books, this summer we will be doing a lot of book moving in preparation for our construction project.  We will also be relocating our collection essentials to our temporary location, so if you have some strong arms and a strong back and have some time to volunteer, we would greatly appreciate the help!

     Finally, the Andes Public Library Board of Trustees and staff give our fondest best wishes and appreciation to board member, Marty Donnelly.  Marty joined the board after leaving his position as town supervisor but has plans to retire down south.  We greatly appreciated his feedback and help these last two years when it came to our construction project planning and facilities management.  He will be greatly missed by the library and our community.

     Congratulations to all of the high school and college graduates! In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”

Library Notes – May 2019

Library Notes by Pamela West-Finkle

     The Andes Library is hopping in May, gearing up for summer and kicking off some events to celebrate Andes Bicentennial Celebration 1819 – 2019. To start with, Saturday, May 4th, Judy Garrison is holding a Heritage Days event that will feature readings of local historians Buffy Calvert and John Jacobson from 2 – 4 pm.

     On Mondays starting May 6th, Sharon Ruetenik of Writers in the Mountains is conducting a six week writer’s workshop called The Muse is All Around Us. The 6-8 pm workshop will run from May 6th – June 16th (skipping Memorial Day) and will focus on the question “Where do we get our ideas from?” The class is suitable for beginners and experienced participants and will explore the many external sources of inspiration available.  The workshop fee is $70 for WIM members and $85 for non-members. To register, contact Jean Stone at  607-326-4802 or emailing her at

     Friday, May 17th, all are invited for and Andes Bicentennial All Ages Old Fashioned Barn Dance at Andes Central School. The ACS Junior class will be providing a chili dinner and refreshments just before and during the barn dance.  The extraordinary Homespun musical trio, Peter, Paul, and George will be on hand at 7:00 pm to provide old timey music and will teach the participants dances from around the world. The event is sponsored by the Andes Public Library and is made possible by a Youth Grant from the O’Connor Foundation.  Rumor has it that local folk music icon, Ira McIntosh, will also be on hand to sit in with the group. We hope that you can make it to this all ages celebration of music and dance traditions!

     One last date for your calendar is the Annual Library Party, Sunday, June 2nd from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at the library. Bring your favorite sweet or savory dish to share with friends and neighbors and enjoy wonderful food, conversation, and music provided by the talented Andes Library musicians taking turns to entertain.  Kari Haugeto, Bill Duke, Peter Lederman, and myself might all share a few songs throughout the afternoon.  Keep an eye out for our annual appeal letter in the coming weeks to read about the various programs and activities our library has provided over the previous year.

     The Garden Tour Committee has begun to meet and is seeking those in the community with fabulous gardens or views who would like to participate in this year’s Garden Tour, scheduled tentatively for Saturday, July 13th.  If you are interested in having your property featured in this year’s tour, please call 845-676-3333 or email us at

   Lastly, on Thursday, April 18th, members of the Board of Trustees and construction committee held a special meeting to discuss the most recent setbacks in our flood mitigation, ADA compliance, and expansion project.  After two years of diligent work and seven months of working with engineers and the Catskill Watershed Corporation, it is now the consensus of the board and my recommendation that the flood mitigation project–which entailed raising the historic portion of the library, demolishing the 1973 portion and rebuilding it to current code, and adding on a new children’s room–is economically infeasible.  The most recent cost estimates for the entire project had climbed into the $650,000 range.

     In mid-March, we submitted the completed twenty-two page feasibility study to CWC and were told that if we planned to move forward, a new design study application would have to be submitted and the DEP still had many questions in regards to the impact of us expanding the library closer to the stream. The same week, Governor Cuomo cut the 2019-2020 library construction aid from $34 million to $14 million, leaving only $400,000 to be distributed among all Four County libraries in need of construction and repair. Because the library must spend the money already received from the 2017-2018 Library Construction Aid by June of 2020, we had a very short time frame to submit final bids and applications to the various funding sources needed to fund such a substantial project.

     The board members, engineers, and our architect will be collaborating in the coming weeks to prioritize the projects that must be completed by next June.  These may include a new roof with solar, the raising and bracing of the main circulation room floor and redesign of the bathroom and circulation desk areas for efficiency and ADA compliance, as well as some outdoor foundation and siding repair. We also plan to spend the summer culling our juvenile and young adult sections and reorganizing the books so that our non-fiction collection can come downstairs and our historic books, reference books, and young adult sections will be moved upstairs.

     If you have any questions about our two-year adventure into library construction and flood mitigation exploration, please feel free to contact me any afternoon between Monday and Thursday.  Otherwise, I hope to see you at one of our upcoming events in May and early June!