Beginning on Tuesday, April 13, the Rensselaerville Library will begin providing services inside the library again on a limited basis.

The library’s hours of operations will remain the same, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to front-porch pick-up, you will be able to make appointments to browse parts of the collection located on the first and second floors of the main library and the first floor of the annex side of the building.

Both basement areas remain closed to the public due to construction. Also, access to limited in-library services such as public computer access, indoor wifi, printing/faxing/copying, and information/reference/technical services will be available by appointment.

Call us during library hours at 518-797-3949 or email us at to tell us which service you require, make an appointment, and come in at the appointed time. For those of you who like to live on the wild side, feel free to drop by to see if there is immediate availability. That’s OK, too!

We won’t be fully back to “normal.” There will be no sitting and reading, and (yikes!) still no public restrooms. We ask for your patience and good humor during this phase of library service. 

Poetry Month

In addition to expanded library services, the library is celebrating National Poetry Month with three special programs:

— Poem-A-Day, featuring 30 days of poems by 30 poets;

— Favorite Poem Project, a live virtual event co-hosted by Conkling Hall; and

— A Community Poem Project, a compilation of verses collected from members of our library community reflecting on memories of memories of this past year.

Information about all poetry programs may be found at www.rensselaervillelibrary.org.

Staying safe

The Rensselaerville Library and its staff are committed to providing services to you while also maintaining a high level of health and safety standards for the protection of our community. In order to continue in-library services into the future — with the ultimate goal of full restoration of operations and services — we need your help.

If you have any symptoms indicative of COVID-19, and/or have had, do have, or have been exposed to COVID-19 within 14 days of you appointment, please contact us and let us know that you will not be keeping your appointment. If for any reason, you are unable to comply with any of our requirements for accessing the front porch or entering our building, library staff will work with you to accommodate your needs. Just ask.

Due to the rapid increase in — and proximity of — COVID-19 cases in its three-county service region, the Rensselaerville Library is rolling back its level of services to “Pickup Only” effective Tuesday, Dec. 22. We will remain at this level of service until further notice.

The library’s hours of operation will remain the same, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. As we have done since reopening in June, we will take and process orders of library items for pickup.

Items will be placed in bags and put on a cart in the front entryway. The exterior drop slot and a gray plastic bin will be available for returns. All other access to the library will be restricted. Masks are required. Staff will make every effort to accommodate you if you cannot meet this requirement.

We encourage you to order your books online through the Upper Hudson Library System (www.uhls.org) for 24-hour access to the catalog. If there is an item that you know to be on our shelves, you can call us during library hours at 518-797-3949 or email us at . Our New Item List is available online by visiting our website at www.rensselaervillelibrary.org.

The Rensselaerville Library and its staff are committed to providing services to you while also maintaining a high level of health and safety standards for the protection of our community. In order to do so, we need your help.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to it within 14 days of your visit to the library, or are experiencing any symptoms indicative of COVID-19, please stay home. COVID-19 exposure will lead to an immediate shutdown of the Library, and none of us want that.

We regret that we have had to make this decision. Providing library services to you safely is our number-one priority and we will endeavor to return to in-library services as soon as it is safe to do so again.

The library will be closed Christmas and New Year’s Days and will close at noon on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. We wish for you safe holidays full of joy and love and a happy, healthy, and hopeful 2021!

It’s hard to be the Debbie Downer in the room. Cases of COVID-19 are surging, causing no small amount of anxiety as we enter the holiday season.

Here at the library, we are keeping a close watch on the numbers. Percentages of new cases per day. Number of new cases per 100K. It’s become a morning ritual to check the data even before our first cup of coffee has had a chance to cool. Why have we become so data-obsessed?

We want to keep you safe.

What seems like 1,000 years ago, we put together a Continuation of Service Plan to set up guidelines for managing the library through a pandemic. One of the four basic principles of the plan was flexibility in the event of a resurgence of the pandemic.

This flexibility allows us to move backwards and forwards through multiple levels of library services. Throughout 2020, we have been moving forward, adding levels of services as the numbers of COVID-19 cases declined.

Hang on to your hats — the pandemic isn’t done with us yet. The resurgence is happening. We are now in a position where we may need to move backward through the service levels in order to keep our patrons and staff safe. And we may not be able to give much notice.

Hopeful note: We do not plan to close completely and, if we need to cut back in-library services, we hope it won’t be for long. In the meantime, you can enjoy our virtual programming like Facebook Story Time, attend our virtual workshops, and stop by the library to grab a Take & Make Kit for the kids.

Also, you can support our library in two fun, safe ways this season. Our Annual (outdoor) Greenery Sale is Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and, new this year, we will be holding an online Holiday Silent Auction; preview begins Nov. 30 and bidding dates are Dec. 5 and 6.

Information about all of our programs and events may be found online at RensselaervilleLibray.org or give us a call at 518-797-3949. Stay safe and be well!

On May 25, the Rensselaerville Library Board of Trustees approved a COVID-19 Continuation of Service (COS) Plan in anticipation of the phased-in reopening of the Rensselaerville Library.

The COS Plan consists of multiple levels of library operations and service to our patrons and community. At all times during each level, the fundamental driver for moving forward will be the health and safety of the library staff and members of the public based on Federal, State, and County recommendations and guidelines. 

On March 16, we entered Level 1 of the plan, closing the library building while continuing the highest level of library services possible. Those services included enhanced 24/7 wifi access, additional digital content providers and e-content, virtual programming, and expanded community outreach through social media and other digital formats.

As of May 26, we have entered Level 2 of the COS Plan. We are reintroducing staff to the building and orienting them to all-new safety protocols and procedures. The building and the collection are being cleaned and sanitized, and furnishings reorganized to provide for safe physical distancing.

On June 9, the library will enter Level 3 of the COS Plan during which time we will begin providing “Front Porch Services.”  The staff will be onsite Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to fill online, email, and phone orders for library materials and accept drop-off items for check-in. More details about Front Porch Services will be provided on our website and via social media and other digital outlets soon.

Level 3 will remain in effect until we determine it is safe to advance to Level 4 when slightly expanded library services will be available by appointment only. 

Each successive level will expand both hours of operations and library services until we reach Post-Pandemic Level 7. The plan is gradual and flexible, allowing us to move forward, or backward, through the plan as health and safety guidelines dictate. The plan may be amended as needed, but any changes will first and foremost be guided by the health and safety needs of our staff, patrons, and community. During all levels, masks will be required on the library premises until determined otherwise by the library based on federal, state and county health and safety guidelines. 

Hard copies of the full plan are available in the enclosed bulletin board on the front porch of the library. It can also be downloaded at our website at www.rensselaervillelibrary.org. Any questions should be directed to Heidi Carle, Library Director, by email at director@rensselaervillelibrary.org.

Join Miss Judy for Story Time at the Rensselaerville Library on Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. On Oct. 31, the kids will hear “The Ugly Pumpkin” by David Horowitz and do an art activity called Halloween at The Library.

Teen Program

Teens join Miss Judy to identify and design programs that are of interest to you. Share your expertise and ideas for Science, Technology, Art, Music, Engineering, Math, Writing, Book Club, Community Service and so much more. Teen Club will meet on Thursdays at 5 p.m.

Light Pollution 

On Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.join us for  Better Light, Better Night with lighting expert David Stankavich from Helderberg Earth and Sky Observatory Science Center. He will discuss light pollution and how best to preserve dark skies.

Census Information

On Oct. 26 at noon learn more in Census 101, Why is it essential to be counted? Robert Scardamalia from the Partnership Specialist with the NY Regional Census Center will share more information about the 2020 Census.

Farewell Party

On Oct. 26 from 2 to 6 p.m.  join us for a Drop-In Farewell Party.  Come wish a fond farewell to Kim as she gets ready to depart for the Community Library in Cobleskill! Light food and drinks will be served.

More information on our programs can be found at www.RensselaervilleLibrary.org.

Poets, bring your poems to the Rensselaerville Library and receive feedback from fellow poets or just come to share your words on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. 

Story time

Join Miss Judy for Story Time on Thursday mornings at 10:30. Oct. 10, we’ll hear “ Turning Pages: My Life Story,” written by Sonia Sotomayor and illustrated by Lulu Delacre, followed by an art activity.

On Oct. 17, we’ll read “Piñata Party” by Susan Ring. We’ll have an art activity and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at our Library Piñata Party. The kids have been creating their own piñata.

Teen Club

Teens join Miss Judy to identify and design programs that are of interest to you. Share your expertise and ideas for Science, Technology, Art, Music, Engineering, Math, Writing, Book Club, Community Service, and so much more. Teen Club will meet on Thursdays at 5 p.m. 

Writing Group

Writers of all interests, backgrounds, and abilities are welcome on Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. to join the Writing Group.

More info

More information on our programs can be found at www.RensselaervilleLibrary.org.

The Sept. 12 Story Time with Miss Judy at the Rensselaerville Library, starting at 10:30 a.m., will feature “Danny and the Dinosaur” by Syd Hoff. The author’s birthday is Sept. 4. For the art activity, kids will make a batch of the best homemade playdough and create some dinosaurs! National Play-Doh Day is Sept. 16.

Writing Group

On Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. writers of all interests, backgrounds, and abilities are welcome to join the writing group.

Family STEAM

On Sept. 13 at 3:30 p.m. join Miss Judy for the FAMILY STEAM program. Part 2: Get creative about science, artfully collage a think out of the box Bulletin Board.

Then on Sept. 20 at 3:30 p.m. join Miss Judy for FAMILY STEAM program Activity: Part 1- National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration: Let’s make a Paper-Mache Piñata 

Trustees meet

On Sept, 17 at 7 p.m. the Library Board of Trustees will hold their annual meeting and the regular monthly meeting will follow the meeting will be held on the lower level.

Storytime

On Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. join us for Storytime with Miss Judy: Hooray! A piñata by Elisa Kleven Activity: Part 1- National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration: Let’s make a Paper-Mache Piñata. 

Living Room Conversations

On Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. join us for the first Living Room Conversations. A Living Room Conversation is a simple way to heal divides. It is a conversational model developed by dialogue experts in order to facilitate connection between people despite their differences and identify areas of common ground and shared concerns. This program is a follow up to the July American Creed program held at the Carey Institute. Whether you’ve seen the film or not, all are invited to join the conversation. You can visit the website to view the film. Additional Resources for the Program can be found at: www.rensselaervillelibrary.org/american-creed.html

More information on our programs can be found at www.RensselaervilleLibrary.org.

— Photo by Amy Lauterbach Pokorny

Maple-syrup-processing equipment, viewed from the loft at Bittersweet Maple in Berne, was part of last year’s “Discover the Hilltowns” self-guided driving tour. The Rensselaerville Library is a stop on this year’s tour, and printed maps of the stops are available at the libraries in Berne, Westerlo, Altamont, Voorheesville, and Bethlehem. The tour runs on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On Friday, Aug, 30, a youth STEAM (science, technology,engineering, art, math) program will be held at the Rensselaerville Library at 3:30 p.m. Participants will paint a mural-themed night sky filled with constellations.

Summer Reading Program

The summer reading program will come to an end on Saturday, Aug.31. Make sure you have recorded your books and pick up your prizes. The final raffle drawings will be held that day.

Lawn Party

On Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. the library will host the annual Lawn Party fundraiser at 1440 County Route 351, Rensselaerville. Tickets are $20 at the gate and include food and a drink ticket. Music will be provided by Joe Frisino and Emileigh Tanner.

Story time

Sept. 5 at 10:30 a.m. enjoy storytime with Miss Judy and “My Footprints” by Bao Phi, illustrated by Basia Tran (Author’s birthday: September 1) and the art activity will be Let’s Make Slime.

Family STEAM

On Sept. 6 at 3:30 p.m.  join the Family STEAM program and get creative about science, artfully collage a Think-Out-of-the-Box Bulletin Board!

Hilltown tour

Sept. 7 Discover the Hilltowns Tour, a self-guided driving tour of the Hilltowns where the library will be a stop. To obtain more information and download a copy of the map visit http://www.hilltowns.org/discover-the-hilltowns-tour.html

More information on our programs can be found at www.RensselaervilleLibrary.org

On Aug. 24 at noon, author John Gordon II will read from his new book, “Liberty’s Flight.” The book is a fictional tale based on historical events providing the reader with period authenticity.

Historical events and personages include Culloden, Lord Glenbucket, Big John Chattan, the wild geese, colonial America, slavery, Ben Franklin, The Albany Plan, the Grand Council of the Iroquois Confederacy, Sir William Johnson, and others. John will have books for purchase, and he will be happy to sign your copy.

Poetry Group

On Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. join the Poetry Group: Bring your poem! Receive feedback from fellow poets or just share your words.

Book discussion

On Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. join author and former resident of Rensselaerville Kirsten DeLeo for a special evening to celebrate her new book “Present Through The End: A Caring Companion’s Guide to Caring for the Dying!” Inspired by decades of experience caring for dying people and teaching, Kirsten will share stories and practical tools to help us be present even when we feel utterly helpless and respond to the dying person's needs and concerns. Kirsten will have books available for purchase and signing.

Lawn Party

On Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. the library will host the annual Lawn Party fundraiser at 1440 County Route 351, Rensselaerville. Tickets are $20 at the gate and include food and a drink ticket. We do appreciate guests bringing a dish to share.

Children’s programs

Children’s programs scheduled with Miss Judy will include Story Time and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). The upcoming programs are on Thursday Aug. 22 Vincent Can’t Sleep: “Vincent Paints The Night Sky” by Barb Rosenstock themed story time followed by the art activity Starry Night Sky Paintings inspired by Van Gogh. The art activity will be repeated on Friday Aug. 23 at 3:30 p.m. This week’s story time is on Tuesday Aug. 27 with Constellations by F S Kim and the art activity will be paint a mural-themed night sky filled with constellations. The art activity will be repeated on Friday Aug. 30 at 3:30 p.m.

Summer Reading

The summer reading program will come to an end on Saturday, Aug. 31. Make sure you have recorded your books and pick up your prizes.The final raffle drawings will be held that day.

More information on our programs can be found at www.RensselaervilleLibrary.org

Still looking for something to do over summer break? The Rensselaerville Library has museum passes to The Clark, The Old Stone Fort Museum, The Albany History and Art Museum, The Iroquois Museum, The Slater and miSci. We also have fishing poles to borrow.

Story Time

Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Miss Judy will host a drop in Universe of Stories themed Story Time followed by a STEAM activity. If you miss the STEAM program on Thursday mornings join us on Fridays for Family STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) themed programs at 3:30 p.m.

The upcoming programs are on Aug. 8 Story Time: “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen followed by a STEAM activity: Blast Off Collage — make a space scene with a rocket flying through it! The STEAM activity is repeated on Friday August 9 during the Family STEAM Activity:  Blast Off Collage- make a space scene with a rocket flying through it!

On Thursday Aug. 15 Story Time: “Many Moons” by Remi Courgeon followed by an art activity: Apollo 11 Moon Landing-Create the surface of the moon in a 3-D painting and on Aug. 16 the Family STEAM Activity: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Create the surface of the moon in a 3-D painting

More information on our programs can be found at www.RensselaervilleLibrary.org

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