Rensselaerville Library’s new branch in Medusa expands library’s reach

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Patrick Wynne, director of the Rensselaerville Library, pictured here in the historic library in the hamlet of Rensselaerville, said residents in the other hamlets in town — Cooksburg, Medusa, Potter Hollow, and Preston Hollow — felt there were barriers in coming to the original library so a branch has been opened in Medusa.

RENSSELAERVILLE — The Rensselaerville Library has expanded, aiming to reach more residents with a new branch in Medusa at the town’s old ambulance building. 

The library held an open house earlier this month, featuring a farmstand, music, food, and drinks. 

“The Medusa Branch grew out of the library’s Strategic Plan,” library director Patrick Wynne told The Enterprise in an email. “Through outreach with residents of Cooksburg, Medusa, Potter Hollow, and Preston Hollow, our Board of Trustees recognized that there were barriers to use of the library.  

“Working with Town Supervisor John Dolce and the town board, who were instrumental in getting the Branch opened, the Public Safety Building was identified as an excellent solution based on location, available parking, one level access — also, the building is near the town’s transfer station and our branch hours are on the days the station is open (Wednesday and Saturday 10am-2pm).”

Wynne said that there is a small collection in-house that will grow with time, but that patrons can order books from any library in the Upper Hudson system for pickup at the branch. The branch also features free Wi-Fi, computer and printer access, community and work spaces, and a children’s play area, he said. 

“Recognizing the extraordinary support that the Rensselaerville Library receives from our residents, we intend to expand services, programs and events at the Main Library and the Medusa Branch as well as plan to hold events in all of the hamlets throughout the upcoming year,” he said. 

Upcoming events include art workshops led by local artist Natalie Boburka, on Oct. 4, Oct. 18, and Nov. 1, with participants asked to register in advance on the Rensselaerville Library’s website.  There is also an eclipse viewing on Saturday Oct. 14 from noon to 2 p.m., a home economics class on Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., along with Halloween mask-making on Oct. 21 and a Halloween movie night on Oct. 28. 

Wynne became the library’s director in December of 2022, following the retirement of Heidemarie Carle. He told The Enterprise that his background is in nonprofit management, and that his “lifelong commitment to public institutions” led to his appointment.

“I have over thirty years of experience working with disadvantaged and marginalized communities in Appalachia, on the Bowery, in the Northwest Bronx, as well as in Cork, Ireland,” he said. “My volunteer experience is as a member on a public school board, a public land trust, the oldest public hospital in the US, as well as with multiple community-based organizations.”

More Hilltowns News

  • Steep drop-offs on either side of where Gifford Hollow Road meets Switzkill Road in Berne threatens the traveling public, Berne resident and former New York State Department of Transportation employee Joel Willsey warned the town in a letter, since no guardrails or signs are in place to prevent someone from driving in. 

  • Incumbent Rensselaerville Justice Gregory Bischoff won re-election by only nine votes, trailed by his Republican opponent, Richard Tollner. Although the Albany County Board of Election has released its official general election results, some ballots have been sent back to voters to be cured of any defects, and the final total for the Rensselaerville justice race won’t be known until the end of the month. 

  • Berne officials will be meeting with Ardi Cecunjanin, the owner of 1628 Helderberg Trail, to discuss the building’s future after the town board had voted last month to have it demolished. The rear of the building is falling into the Fox Creek. 

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