OPL will initiate drive-up services June 8

In compliance with New York State’s Phase I and 2 reopening guidelines, Oneida Public Library will be open for limited services with its new Drive-up Window as of this coming Monday, June 8, starting at 10:00 a.m.

The OPL’s Drive-up Window will be at the rear of the library, 220 Broad St., facing the north side of the OPL’s parking lot next to the back door. For an initial period, the services at the window will be limited to the return of library materials and the pick-up of requested items that are currently available at the OPL.

“As we move through the phases of reopening the Broad Street building to the public,” OPL Director Michele Ryan said, “we are taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our patrons and staff. We are employing the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and State Department of Health for disinfecting and sanitizing both the building and library materials for checkout. We are utilizing PPE (personal protection equipment) as well as engaging in health screening protocol. We will ask that the public partner with us to provide the healthiest library environment possible for our community by adhering to state and local laws as well as CDC guidelines.”

To help comply with state guidelines for social distancing, the OPL has adjusted its operating hours for serving the public during the reopening phases: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. While a library clerk may not always be present at the window, the OPL can now boast a “ring for service” button under the Drive-up Window by which a patron can summon a clerk for help.

At the window, patrons can return books and other materials that have been borrowed from the OPL as well as from other MidYork Library System (MYLS) libraries. System-wide, patrons will not be charged any overdue or lost-item fines until July 1 because of the shutdown during the state’s Public Health Emergency.

Patrons can also pick up requested books, DVDs and magazines that are owned by the OPL and currently in the library. Until further notice, the MYLS is not taking interlibrary loan requests online or by phone and has discontinued interlibrary deliveries. The OPL, on the other hand, can satisfy a request made for available OPL materials that will be picked up at the OPL’s Drive-up Window, if the request is made 24 hours before pick-up.

At home, patrons should choose materials listed in the MYLS web catalog as “available” in the OPL’s collection, write down the title and author plus catalog number and either phone the library with the request (315-363-3050) or email it to OPL’s circulation (oneida@midyork.org). Patrons should provide with the request their individual library card numbers because a library clerk will not only retrieve the items from the shelves but also check them out for a patron before pick-up. A library clerk will call the patron, usually the day after the request is made, to say that the requested materials are ready for pick-up.

Since patrons will not be permitted to browse the shelves, library staff members are prepared to make suggestions for books and DVDs that may suit a patron’s tastes. For instance, while the latest book by an author may not be currently available, a staff member may suggest earlier works by the author or titles by authors of works in the same genre. In particular, parents interested in providing a “bundle” of picture books for young children may trust the OPL’s Youth Services Coordinator to make suitable age-appropriate selections for a general request order.

Meanwhile, OPL staff continue to be busy working at home on developing online programming. Check out the OPL’s Facebook page for the latest: https://www.facebook.com/OneidaPublicLibrary/.

And the OPL’s online services are up and running and available to all holders of a MidYork library card: Libby/Overdrive for e-books and audio books; Hoopla for downloading movies, TV shoes and e-books; and RB Digital for magazines and audio books. Patrons can directly access these online sources at the MidYork Library System web site (www.midyork.org and http://www.midyork.overdrive.com). Those without MidYork library cards and eligible to have one can still access the online services by applying for an E-Patron library card that is good for six months. Also available is Tech connect online with Amanda McCallops. She provides one-on-one help for people having trouble with their cell phones, PCs and devices. Library patrons can explain the problem and make an appointment by going online to https://madisontechconnect.wixsite.com/tech/appointment.

“During the COVID-19 health crisis, the staff at the Oneida Public Library was very busy behind the scenes working from home to continue to provide online services to our library district,” Ryan said. “In addition, we used the time to enhance our technical skills so that we are ready to assist our patrons with all the exciting technology our new Main Street facility will have to offer.”

After this initial stage of the Drive-up Window, if still permitted by the state, the OPL will inaugurate in-house returns and pick-ups for patrons as well as limited public access by appointment only for in-house WiFi use, public computer use and one-on-one tutoring.

For more information, call the Oneida Library during its new operating hours at (315) 363-3050.


Register your child online for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Parents can now sign up online their young children, from birth to five years of age, for the wonderful gift of monthly deliveries of age-appropriate picture books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It’s all FREE!

And simple to do. Click on the following following link or, using Google Chrome, copy and paste the link on your phone, tablet or computer :
Imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability. Then,
(1) Make sure it says United States and click on NEXT;
(2)  Enter your zip code and state ;
(3) Click on CHECK and then click on CONTINUE; and
Follow steps 1 through 4 to enroll your child!

Once you register, Oneida Public Library or your local Madison County library will validate your registration. Note that it can take up to  two months before the first book arrives in the mail, Then month after month, until your child’s fifth birthday, your child will receive an age-appropriate book. 

(If you have problems registering your child, call Madison County’s Imagination Library Coordinator Tara Truett  at 315-345-1468 Tuesday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

For more information about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, check out  https://imaginationlibrary.com/usa/

You can still get tech help at Tech Connect

Though the Oneida Public Library Building is closed during the COVID-19 state of emergency, we’re still providing free tech help online with Amanda McCallops. If you’re having trouble with your cell phone, I-Pad, tablet or home personal computer, you can connect with Tech Connect, explain your problem and make an appointment by clicking here:  https://madisontechconnect.wixsite.com/tech/appointment.

The new OPL is resurrected

459 Main Street, June 2, 2020. Soon after Governor Cuomo announced the start of Phase Reopening for the Central New York region, construction workers, folloing COVID-19 safety precautions, returned to work on the site. Here is a worker installing foam insulation on the east side of the building. (Photo by T. Murray)

OPL Board next meets June 22

The Board of Trustees of Oneida Public Library will hold its next regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 22, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. If by that date the Oneida Library at 220 Broad St. has not yet been reopened to the public, the meeting will be held by means of a video conference that will be recorded and made available to interested parties upon request to the Board President G. Richard Kinsella, Jr., care of Oneida Library.

19th-century Oneida newspapers in OPL’s Digital Archives Thanks to a grant from the Central New York Library Resources Council and a donation from the Friends of the Oneida Public Library, the OPL’s Digital Archives of the Oneida Public Library now has the digital versions of 10 microfilm reels of Oneida 19th-century newspapers: The Democratic Union (Feb. 1872-Sept. 1875 and Jan. 1885-Dec. 1901) and the Oneida Free Press (April 1880-March 1886).


The OPL has Oneida High School yearbooks online Oneida High School yearbooks from 1936 through 2018 have been successfully digitized, electronically indexed and, as of today, posted online at the web site of New York Heritage, thanks to a Regional Bibliographic Databases Program grant to the Oneida Public Library from the New York State Library, as administered by the Central New York Library Resources Council in Syracuse. Those interested in exploring the yearbooks online can go directly to the New York Heritage site at: https://nyheritage.org/collections/oneida-yearbook-collection 

Oneida Library budget vote and trustee election
Mar 3 @ 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Registered voters in Oneida Public Library’s Special Legislature District, which is co-extensive with the Oneida City School District, are eligible to vote for a candidate for the one open seat on the OPL Board of Trustees and to approve or not the board’s proposed library operating budget for fiscal year July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021. Voting is done in the library’s Meeting Room, 220 Broad St., Oneida, between 12:00 noon and 9: p.m. The Meeting Room permits barrier-free access to the physically handicapped. For more information, contact the library director at (315) 363-3050.

After-school Book Club
Mar 11 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Oneida Public Library’s Youth Services Coordinator, Megan Gillander invites all third to fifth graders to come to the library and discuss the final chapters of “Book Scavenger” and prepare for the March selection, “The Library of Ever,” the first in a series by Zeno Alexander.

Women Suffrage in Madison County
Mar 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

At Oneida Public Library on Wednesday, March 11, at 7:00 p.m., Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz will present a program on women’s political activism in the county during the years leading up to passage of women’s right to vote in New York State in 1917 and, in 1920, a right guaranteed nationally by the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Matthew Urtz, Madison County Historian

In particular, Urtz will highlight the female pro-suffragist forces in Oneida and among the descendants of the Oneida Community and contrast them with the ladies of Cazenovia who adamantly opposed women’s suffrage. Of course, either side had to persuade the men of the county, since only eligible males could vote for state and federal legislators and for or against the state referenda on women’s suffrage. In 1917, the male voters of Madison County by a slight majority joined the majority of voters in the state who passed the referendum to give women 21 years of age and older the right to vote in local and state elections.

Still, as Urtz will describe, the county’s anti-suffrage forces did not give up and lobbied their federal and state representatives to vote no on a women’s suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They lost. Congress passed the 19th Amendment in June 1919; in August 2020, after ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures, the right of women to vote became the law of the land.

Urtz, who was appointed county historian by the County Board of Supervisors in April 2010, has published articles on local history in many local and regional publications and regularly gives historical presentations around Madison County.  He serves on the Cabinet of Freedom for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro and on the Board of Directors of the Preservation Association of Central New York. Currently, he is first vice-president and Region 9 coordinator for the Association of Public Historians in New York State.

As county historian, Urtz has worked to make county government archives and local primary documents available to educators and the public through partnerships with the schools, archival exhibits and ambitious digitization projects, including a current project to digitize the Highway Department’s photographs from the 1940s on. For the renovation of the County Courthouse in Wampsville, he organized the restoration of the courthouse’s numerous portraits and led public tours at its re-opening. Around the county he has organized historical re-enactments at local cemeteries in a program dubbed “If Tombstones Could Talk” and, since 2018, he has led tours of the county’s historically significant restaurants, complete with “historic” dinners. In 2020, Urtz will expand his tours to sites and buildings in the county of historic significance.

Urtz’s lecture is another in a series of special programs in the OPL’s 2020 Centennial Celebration of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment. It is free and open to all. For more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 315-363-3050.

2020 Visions in Watercolors
Mar 15 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Artist and teacher Carol Cotton conducts a free art workshop for adult in five sessions on painting still lifes in watercolors. The workshop is free, but pre-registration at the OPL Circulation Desk is required. A list of required art supplies will be provided to registrants. The workshop will meet on Wednesdays, 9:30 to 11:30 p.m., from March 18 to April 15.

Family Super Saturday: Bad Art
Mar 15 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

If your family members lack art skills but enjoy a good time, come to the OPL for a bad art competition. Whether a silly portrait, messy mobile or wretched sculpture, the worse piece might win the prize. All materials are supplied.

Family Night: Sign Language for All
Mar 15 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

All family members can learn the basics, helpful words and phrases of American Sign Language. Megan Gillander, a sign-language adept, will lead the class.

Pushing the Limits Book Club: ‘The Radium Girls’
Mar 15 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Prof. Jen Herzog leads the discussion on Kate Moore’s “The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women,” a history of several factory women who handled the new “miracle” material discovered by the Curies, radium. Sign up and request a copy of the book at the OPL Circulation Desk.


Book Discussion: Four Fabulous Female Novelists
Mar 15 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Dr. Roxanna Pisiak from Morrisville State College guides the discussion on “My Sister, the Serial Killer,” by Nigerian author Oyinken Braithwaite. The funny and bizarre novel follows the narrator’s attempts to “clean up” after her homicidal sister. Interested readers can sign up at the OPL’s circulation desk and request a copy of the book.


OPL Board Meeting
Mar 23 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am

The Oneida Public Library Board of Trustees will hold its regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 23, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. in the library’s Meeting Room, 220 Broad St., Oneida. The public is invited to attend. The Meeting Room permits barrier-free access to the physically handicapped. For more information, call the Oneida Library at (315) 363-3050.

After-school Book Club
Mar 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Oneida Public Library’s Youth Services Coordinator, Megan Gillander invites all third to fifth graders to come to the library and discuss the final chapters of “Book Scavenger” and prepare for the March selection, “The Library of Ever,” the first in a series by Zeno Alexander.