Reaney Days

Reaney Days

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Hay Making Time

So today I took to the highways and byways for a home delivery.  While it sounds exciting, it was just a straight shot down Route 5 to Palatine Bridge.   

I have known this dear reader since I was a child; she and her husband, along with my parents, once belonged to the same “pitch” group who gathered at each other’s homes once a month. 

As a child, it was always fun when my parents hosted.  Card party meant snacks and special yummy sweet treats; cheese and dips, chips and Bugles and a glorious cake.  I recall both German Chocolate and a hazelnut tort that took hours to prepare.   

All the players were farmers so Card Party never began until 7:30/8:00 PM; after milking and supper.  While we could stay up and say hello, once all the players arrived we had to go to our rooms.  We fell asleep hoping there would be some leftover goodies for the next day.

Anyway, I reached out to my dear reader last week. She quickly told me that she thought she would never hear from me again!  I had last delivered to her prior to mid-March.  I told her that delivery could start again and I would bring her some books on Thursday and I would be masked and gloved.  She assured me she was not “afraid”. 

When I arrived, she had already placed her returns in between the front doors.  I quickly made the exchange and as I walked back to my car she popped her head out for a quick hello and thanks.  It is great to be in service to her again and I will zoom off again next month.

As I was driving back and seeing the parched fields it made me think that in today’s world with Covid and social unrest, there was much to be learned from her husband, my dad and the other card playing farmers.

Our nation would be far better off if everyone thought and conducted themselves like farmers; kind and supportive of neighbors, steadfast, patient, respectful of Mother Nature and always humble.

Thursday, June 11, 2020


Beginning Monday, June 22 MRML will offer curbside service. Curbside will be a prelude to the much-anticipated re-opening of our brick and mortar building.  Does curbside mean “car”?  Not necessarily, feel free to come by truck, bike, skateboard, feet or even horseback! 

How will it work, you ask?   Well, pretty much like a takeout restaurant.

You call in with your requests, we mutually agree to a time of pickup and you swing by and the materials will be delivered to you curbside. 
At the present time, you will be limited to what is in house or what you may have previously ordered via Interlibrary Loan prior to the mid-March shut down.  System delivery just started this week so, there are many requests to be caught up. 

In any event, we have a great collection of adult, young adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction, magazines, audio books and DVDs. Believe me when I tell you, they have been sitting on the shelves just waiting to jump off and go home with someone. 

When you call, we will take a short reader’s interview so that if we cannot fill a specific title request we can roam the stacks looking for something comparable that you may have missed in your past reading. Roaming the stacks is kind of like an Easter Egg hunt; looking for that elusive golden egg.  Who knows what surprises will be in store in these “blind book bags”?
What I do know is that we will do our utmost best to make great selections. 

It is our goal to reconnect with our many readers, who, I might add, have been tremendously missed, get some materials back in your hands all the while taking appropriate safety measures.  When we bring your delivery out, we will be masked and gloved.  The only contact will be our smiling eyes reaching from across a proper social distance of six feet.  Don’t forget to smile back!

Summer is upon us and what better time to sit on a porch, under a tree or on the beach but with a good book?

So, dear readers, while things will be a bit different, at least for a while, the ordinary activity of reading a good book goes a long way towards helping us regain our sense of normalcy, safety and comfortableness. Libraries are not just about getting materials in your hands, they are also about being a steady force in the face of chaos. 
We are here, we are ready.  It is time to start reading. 

To help us get a jump start, our phone line will be open starting Monday, June 15 to take your requests.  Give us a buzz at 518-568-7822 Monday-Friday, 10A – 4P.

In the meantime, the book drop is open as we continue to accept the library materials which have been stalled in your homes since mid-March.  Please, be respectful of social distancing when using the book drop. 

See you soon @ 19 Kingsbury Avenue!
Miss Marge and Miss Dawn

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

We're Coming Back

Dear Patrons,

Yesterday, June 1, marked the beginning of my 44th year as library director.  What better way to celebrate then to tell you, the “bear” that is MRML is slowly coming out of hibernation! 
We have been teleconferencing with our system director, system staff and colleagues at member libraries, all the while staying mindful of state and federal guidelines, while steadily working towards reopening! 
If we were a sailboat, in mid-March, we reached a dead calm. Circulation came to a stop and, as you might imagine, there is a tremendous number of materials that were not checked in.  System-wide there are close to 200,000 items backlogged at member libraries. 
So, like a shepherd gathering up our flock, we are now giving you the go ahead to get those sheep back!  To that end, you may now begin returning your library books to the book drop. Please, stay safe and be respectful of other patrons and maintain social distancing when doing so. 
As I noted above, there are state and federal parameters we need to work within.  One of the requirements was to create a Re-Opening Safety Plan.  Before we even reach the stage of loaning anything out, part of the safety plan calls for everything that comes back through the book drop to be quarantined. 
While Miss Marge and myself will be skipping down the steps with great happiness and enthusiasm to welcome back the returnees, we will be masked and gloved.  It is only after 72 hours of quarantine is up that we can check them in and clear them off your record. 
Like Patton moving troops through Europe, getting these materials moved around is going to take patience and manpower.  Thankfully, we have a fantastic delivery service that will do all the heavy lifting.  Just like the library, I am sure delivery has been planning and plotting to prepare for their very important role in the chain of library service. 
I do have a request; the book drop is for library materials only.  We cannot accept ANY material donations at this time.  If I may be blunt?  Anything coming back in the drop that is does not belong to us or anther library, will be trashed.
I know dear readers, you are as anxious for library service to return as we are to provide it.  Miss Marge and I have chatted with you in person and I have read your many Facebook posts.  
Please be assured, we want to get materials in your hands as quickly as we can; but we will only do that by being thoughtful, reasoned and structured in our approach. 
As we go forward, there will be some changes, accommodations and adjustments along the way that may have to be considered; things may not be as they were prior to mid-March but the day is coming when page turning novels, gloriously illustrated picture books and everything that Melville Dewey and his decimal system can provide, await.  We anticipate those first books coming to you will be via curbside pickup.  Details will be announced as we move along. 
It has been my immense pleasure and honor to have been in service to you all for 43 years and while so much has changed these last many weeks I give you my word that I remain as committed to you now as when I began over 4 decades ago.
We are #PageTurnerStrong @ 19 Kingsbury Avenue.

Dawn Lamphere
Margaret Reaney Memorial Library