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Summer Reading Kick-Off – Dragons: Return of the Ice Sorceress is here!
If you’re craving some visual inspiration or want to connect with your human heritage, you should check out UNESCO’s online collection of photographs, linked here. If you didn’t know already, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a branch of the United Nations which oversees the cultivation of the world’s educational, scientific and cultural heritage. UNESCO’s photo archive is a timeline of human achievement reaching from 1945 to the present and includes over 5,000 images capturing moments such as the Campaign to Safeguard the City of Venice and the Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. During these trying times, it’s easy to feel isolated, but these images offer the opportunity to connect with the greater tapestry of our humanity.
Join in the fun this summer as we guide you on a virtual journey designed to encourage you to Imagine Your Story with a celebration of fairy tales, folklore, mythology and sharing your own unique story and voice. Our varied and fun interpretations of the theme range from exploring the classics, Time Travel, Dungeons and Dragons, a Trip Down the Rabbit Hole and more! This year, we are adding three new programming levels: T(w)een, Teen and Adult, so programming covers all ages, from 0 on up!
Participants earn points for reading and will receive prizes upon completion of the program. Register online through ReadSquared.
The program kicks off Saturday, June 27th with Dragons: Return of the Ice Sorceress, a special county wide virtual program with Science Tellers. Library programs run Monday through Thursday, with a few added special events scattered throughout. Then, we invite you to join in the fun of our Summer Reading Finale Parking Lot Car Parade on August 15th at 10 AM. It’s a celebration of you and your reading achievements! Drive through, pick up your prize and for added fun: Can you guess which library staff members are dressed as literary characters?
But wait, it gets better! Ulster County Libraries are working together and partnering with Mohonk Preserve, Woodland Playhouse, the Ashokan Center, Opus40 and DRAW Kingston on county wide activities for children! Families can also view wonderfully exciting shows with PageTurners Adventures and ScienceTellers for several weeks online after they premiere!
Participating children can have fun filling out BINGO cards with a variety of reading, art, STEM, Nature, and Museum activities. Visit uclib.org/srp-2020/ for more information and to download your bingo card. If you are unable to download, please visit the library during our curbside service hours to pick one up.
Libraries are re-opening soon across New York state, but if you’re feeling impatient to scratch that intellectual itch, there are a bounty of free online resources for you to access. For example, take the Digital Public Library of America (linked here), which is a free compilation of informational resources ranging from American archives, museums and cultural heritage sites. This digital library provides everything from online exhibitions to primary source sets to free e-books. If you’re looking to examine the historical roots of contemporary issues, there is currently an online exhibition on America during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic as well as an entire curated digital archive topic on the Civil Rights Movement. So go check it out, and learn a little!
Wow, we missed the library and all of you! The director, staff and board are busy writing the plans, policies and procedures that will guide us toward a phased restoration of services, while meeting all of the local, county and state safety requirements.
During the time that the library building has been closed to the public, we have all kept very busy. The staff began offering online programming, technical and tutoring support by email or by phone, and training in areas that they wanted to learn more about.
We also used this time to make improvements, perform maintenance and make repairs in and around the building. We are also planning modifications that will allow for physical distancing as we progress through the coming phases of reopening to the public.
Please be patient with our library staff as we launch this first phase of new service – curbside. Read on for information and FAQ on how that is shaping up so far. Per the library’s adjusted Patron Code of Conduct, masks must be worn at all times when on library grounds.
We look forward to seeing you (from a distance!) and providing you the books and other materials that you have been missing.
All the best and wishing you good health,
—All of us at the Town of Ulster Library
How Will Curbside Pickup Work?
1. Place items on hold, as you normally would … you can:
- Visit our website to search for items currently available at Town of Ulster Library.
- Call us at 845-338-7881 or send an email to email@example.com. Please have your library card number ready and the list of titles you are requesting.
- Temporarily, patrons are limited to 110 (TEN) holds.
- Please note that items are subject to a 5-day quarantine period upon check in and before check out, which will slow the whole process but is nonetheless an important precaution to take.
- Items currently on the hold shelf can be checked out through the first week we are open for curbside.
2. Wait for notification, then schedule a time.
- We will notify you when your hold is available for pickup.
- Schedule a date and time when you can come by and pick up your items.
- Hold pick up information will also be included in your hold slip notice. You are also welcome to call us at the library.
3. Once you’ve booked your date and time, pick up your items at the curbside location.
- Please proceed slowly through the parking lot as there will be new patterns of traffic and staff delivering materials to car on foot.
- Call us when you get to the parking lot.
- Pickups will happen at the door on the Salvation Army side of the building.
- For ease in connecting, some spots will be numbered.
- If you do not have a cell phone, please call before you come or knock at the pick up door and then step away. Please wait in your car or by the picnic table while we gather your items.
- If you are on foot, we can arrange to have bags on a table outside the building. Find your bag labeled with the first four letters of your last name.
- Grab your bag and enjoy!
Other things to know:
Homebound patrons can designate another person to pick up their holds. Please call for more information and to schedule such a pickup.
Beginning Monday, June 15th, our outdoor book drop is available 24/7 for you to return borrowed items any time that’s convenient for you. All returned materials will be quarantined for 5-days before being processed and circulated. (Items currently in our building haven’t been touched in several weeks.) Your items will not be taken off your account until after their 72-hour quarantine period (this will not create penalties or any overdue fines for your account in any way).
Returns will only be accepted via the outdoor drop box. Please do not try to hand anything to staff. If you have any questions or something to tell us, please just go ahead and drop your items in the box with a note and or give us a call.
Curbside Pickup FAQ
How will I know my hold items are ready for pickup?
You will receive an email or phone notification, based on the preference on your account.
How do I return materials?
Please use our exterior book drop for all item returns ONLY. Do not hand returns to staff members. Only use the drop box, as this allows for measured quarantining.
Do I need a library account?
Yes, patrons must hold a library card registered with the Mid-Hudson Library System to use curbside pickup. If you do not have a regular library card, the library staff can help to create one for you. Call the library and our staff will place your new library card in the bag with your materials. Please note that temporary online registrations can only be used for online services, but we can convert an online registrations to a regular library card for you.
What if I have mobility issues and cannot leave my vehicle?
If a patron experiences mobility issues, we can provide an accommodation such as placing bagged items in the trunk of your vehicle. Please request this when you call.
What materials are available for pickup?
All circulating physical materials currently on the shelf at Town of Ulster Library are available, including books, DVDs, magazines and audiobooks.
Can you look for specific items or provide reading suggestions?
Yes, please call us at (845) 338-7881 for book or movie recommendations based on your interests, or what you like to read or watch.
What are you doing to protect the safety of patrons and library staff?
The contactless curbside pickup model is our first attempt at restoring partial services – using physical distancing for the safety of our patrons and our staff. Staff will use gloves and cloth face coverings or masks in accordance with CDC guidelines.
What’s Happening Behind the Scenes?
- Town of Ulster Library is taking a phased reopening approach that prioritizes the health and safety of our patrons and staff.
- On-site staff are required to follow public health guidance like wearing face coverings, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and maintaining proper distance during any in-person interactions.
- Staff are busy shelving books, pulling holds, ordering and adding new items, quarantining returned materials, helping to circulate items and planning/hosting for virtual programs.
- Our library staff continues to take your questions by phone and email! They’re also providing and expanding online offerings such as virtual services and programs and the digital collection.
If you’re looking to watch something fun or learn something new, you should look into the National Film Board of Canada, linked here. This is an online streaming platform that allows you to watch movies of all different genres, time periods, durations and topics entirely for free. It’s a great resource for documentaries, kids’ entertainment or even animated shorts. June is pride month, so you might consider celebrating by watching one of the many films on their LGBTQ2+ list. Canada’s National Film Board offers a veritable cornucopia of options, so why not give it a shot?
If you are an educator for students ages 6-11 looking to wind down the school year with a fun lesson plan aimed at connecting students across national and cultural boundaries, you should check out Empatico. Empatico, linked here, is a free online platform where educators throughout the world can coordinate to synchronize their classrooms across borders and oceans via live video. This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain a new global perspective, build cross-cultural interpersonal skills, and grow on a socio-emotional level. Empatico will not only connect you with a teacher of your choice across the globe, but also provide educational resources as well as a ‘tech test’ to make sure there are no technical hiccups once you get started. So why not check it out and give your students a lesson in empathy that they will remember!
It is now as important as ever to help build a community based on mutual respect, cooperation, and understanding. One of the most important ways to forge these communal links is through education. If you are an educator or a parent, you should check out Teaching Tolerance, linked here. This site provides free educational resources for teaching topics (K-12) related to class, ethnic, religious, and sexual diversity. It includes everything from a ‘Text Graffiti’ activity on the history of American segregation, through an exploration of gender stereotypes through role play. You can even download a PDF of the latest issue of the Teaching Tolerance magazine for free, here. Take a look and lend a hand in building the foundation for a better tomorrow.