From the Director

Live programming is suspended during this Covid-19 time. Virtual programming is now being offered.

Today, Elting Memorial Library has an annual circulation of about 95,000 items serving over 14,000 residents of the Town and Village of New Paltz. As a member of the Mid-Hudson Library System we are linked to a system-wide holds/interlibrary loan program, which provides access to vast amounts of material. Through our website (www.eltinglibrary.org), you can go to the catalog to search for material, request a title, or check the due dates of items you have on loan and renew them.

Elting Memorial Library serves a vital function for our community’s information needs. All town residents can use the library and borrow from our library’s collection free of charge. People of all ages take advantage of what the library has to offer. Young children get their first library card, teens research topics for school projects, college students supplement their studies with information from our library, and seniors peruse our vast collection of fiction and non-fiction, all at the same time! E-books, downloadable audio, e-magazines, various classes and data bases are available. People of all ages use our DVD/ video collections and streaming services. Tutors, students, and others make use of our study spaces. Job seekers can search classifieds and work on their resumes, making the most of our free internet access. Visitors from near and far travel to our library to research genealogy and local history in our Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection.

In addition to the services libraries traditionally offer, Elting Memorial Library prides itself on providing programs and offerings that are of interest to our diverse community. Family movie night, story time and the summer reading program for children; game nights, young adult books, and events for our teens; speakers, author appearances, and how-to workshops for our adults are all a part of our effort to make the library a friendly and educational gathering place.

During this pandemic time (2020, 2021), we have either had to close or limit visits inside our facility. Window/curbside service was begun. We have had to rely on our many online services, and circulate physical materials through our greeting window. In-person programming has been very infrequent. However, a great effort has been made to offer online programming, using “Zoom” in many instances. We have had story times, craft classes and many children’s offerings, and teen events. Many adult level presentations have happened. Some of these have been: a local attorney’s U.S. Supreme Court case involvement; a summer music series; Hudson Valley Black history series; monarch butterfly program; early 20th century Black-produced film showing and discussion series; a monthly book club; Medicare workshops; genealogy workshop; college financial aid; winterizing your home; life in an old Native longhouse; a violin and cello concert, and more. Upcoming is a three-part Black History series by a NP high school history teacher and a Black art series with online exhibits and discussion by the artists. We also had a socially distanced outdoor film series in the warmer weather. We will continue with virtual programming, and look forward to a return of live, in-person presentations, hopefully in late 2021.

The Elting Memorial Library is a cornerstone of our community. It is one of the institutions that make our community a rich and interesting place to call home.

— John Giralico, Library Director