Library News

2019 Community Letter


It’s hard to sum up a year. In this letter there’s a lot of numbers, statistics, and projects. What I hope you remember, though, is that each number shows a person who came in for a book, or a program, or a service. The projects made serving them possible. All these people are the reason we do what we do. In 2018, 18,078 people walked through the library doors, and because of them, it was a good year.


With weekly programs for children, teens, and adults, 2018 was busy. We doubled the number of early literacy programs during the school year, 55 total, offering programs at the library and collaborating with other organizations around Lowville, with a total attendance of 821. We also expanded our Summer Reading Program, offering over 50 hours of programming, and saw a 57% increase in attendance compared to the last three years, for a total of 728. We offered over 120 other programs for children, teens, and adults.

Over the course of the year, that added up to 2,694 people participating in library programs. We also offer one-on-one programs, primarily tech help, and saw 230 people in 2018.

We loved participating in community events, including collaborating on the Healthy Kids story time, providing the Hooked on Books program in all Lewis County Head Start classrooms, and seeing many community members at Food Truck Fridays and the Lewis County Fair.

Our community rooms are used by individuals and other organizations who need a space to meet, host, or work. In 2018, the community rooms were signed out 111 times.


Of course, books are what people think of as the library. In reality, materials are only part of what we offer, but a vital part. In 2018, 21,378 physical items—books, audio, and video—were checked out, which averages 411 items per week. We’re fortunate to be part of North Country Library System, giving patrons access to materials beyond what we have in our building. Last year we received 4,588 items through interlibrary loan, and sent out 3,328.  

Use of our digital materials, e-books and e-audiobooks, increased significantly this year, after promoting the service and teaching a number of training sessions. Until last year, use had been decreasing every year since being introduced in 2014. There was a 72% increase in digital checkouts in 2018 versus 2017. Digital materials extend the reach of the library, with access anytime, anywhere.


The completion of a fiber optic connection project made a major improvement in the technology we offer to our community. The library was connected in May, and increased our average connection speed from 7 mbps download to 100 mbps, with equivalent upload increases.

Our wireless network was accessed 14,372 times in 2018, or 276 times per week, and our public access computers were used 2,201 times through the year.


We continued working on a variety of other projects, including resolving issues that had caused flooding in our building, doing repairs after flooding, putting a new roof on the back of the building, and starting a generator project for future emergencies.

Maintaining a library collection is an ongoing project, and goes beyond buying books. Staff put in many hours to keep our collection up to date, books and shelves looking fresh, and the catalog updated.


Public funding makes up the bulk of our budget, with 54% coming through the Lowville Academy and Central School District, and 12% from the Village of Lowville, Town of Lowville, Town of Watson, and Lewis County combined. Our budget for 2019 is $128,552.

The rest of our funding comes from fundraisers, grants, donations, and other receipts. The board held three fundraisers--the Garden Tour, a garage sale, and the November Calendar Raffle. Many people supported us through volunteering, donations, and purchases that made them successful.

In 2018, we received grants from the Elks Lodge #1605, Lowville, which funded the Hooked on Books and Storywalk programs; Stewart’s Shops, which funded the Summer Reading Program; Pratt Northam Foundation, which allowed us to have a workership student who facilitated the majority of our Summer Reading Program events; and two grants from North Country Library System, which went towards our nonfiction collection.

We received many gifts from and in memory of individuals of our community. The incredibly generous gift from Anna Tabolt was a landmark of our year. Ms. Tabolt was a regular patron at the library, and we enjoyed many lovely conversations with her. Her gifts will impact our area for many years, but our community had already been impacted by her faithful life here. For both things, we could not be grateful enough.


In September, we were given a Library Improvement Award from North Country Library System, which recognized the work staff and board had put in over the previous year. Our board of trustees is incredible, working diligently to provide vision, secure funding, and oversee our services. In 2018, Bill Waite, Sue Rubenzahl, Sheree Vora, Mary Comet, Danielle Munn, Michele Gingerich, Jesica Nichols, Karen Oldroyd, Shannon Schrag, and David Fraser spent time on our board of trustees, with Sharon Sears serving as treasurer, and Mary Pelletier-Hunyadi serving a second year as president. And of course, our staff is the foundation of everything we do, serving our community well.

It is a joy to serve this community. Here’s to 2019!


Meghan Harney
Director, Lowville Free Library

2018 Letter to the Community


Hey everyone! 

Everyone's saying it. It's crazy it's January. And it's crazy it's 2018. (Some days it's just crazy.) I'm glad, though. There's a lot ahead of us, and that's a good, good thing. Let's do this! 

Construction update

You may be wondering what's going on downstairs at the library. We're in a holding pattern at the moment, working to solve the issues that caused the flooding, and waiting on installing new flooring until we've taken care of everything. While it limits our community rooms (though some use is possible), it gives us an opportunity to work on some other projects that we might not get to otherwise. We'll continue to work, and I'll give you know updates as we go. I so appreciate everyone's patience, understanding, and concern as we figure this out. 

Upcoming Projects 

This year we're going to be doing a few projects, so you can expect to see some changes around the library. Our collection and services are always evolving, as well as how people use the library, so changes to the physical space are necessary to keep up with that. To start off the year, we'll be moving the location of our audiobooks, as well shifting the NYS and REF collections to accomodate. This will enable us to work on these collections, as well as building the collections that are in the main stacks. We'll also be moving some of the furniture to replace old pieces and make more workspaces. I'm always happy to talk about changes that have happened, so feel free to stop by anytime and ask! 

Upcoming Events

(Click on the event name to see more information.)

1/9, Take Toxins Out of Your Home (Essential Oils series)

1/11, Tech Open Lab

1/16, Lowville Free Library Board meeting

1/18, Book Club

1/23, Intro to eBooks and the Library 

1/30, Stitches and Stories

Storytime meets every Tuesday morning at 10:30.

Teen Group meets every Tuesday and Friday at 3:30 pm. 

The library will be CLOSED Jan. 15 and Feb. 19.

Remember, the library may close for inclement weather. For updates, check Facebook or local news outlets.

You can look for my community report 2017 with a summary of our year soon, but until then, thank you for your support of the library this past year. I believe in this, creating a space for community, access to information, and fun in our town, but I'm so thankful for the many times and ways I saw that you believe in it too. Thank you. 

Here's to 2018! 

Meghan Harney
director, Lowville Free Library 




Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I know things are getting busy, and I'm hoping this reaches you in time that you can join us for any or all of our holiday events. We certainly understand if things get too busy though-we'll see you in January!

This December, look for displays of new books, Christmas stories, and audio books, and keep your eye out for a few wintery friends joining us around the library (Kudos if you grab a photo with them, post it, and tag the library! There may be prizes, just so you know.)!


Upcoming events (click through for complete details): 11/ 28, Holiday Card Making, 6pm (RSVP required, cost $15) 11/30, Make a Holiday Wreath, 6pm (RSVP required, cost $25) 12/2, Holla Day Open House, 10am-2pm (library open house-please join us!) 12/5, Make Gifts with Essential Oils, 6pm (RSVP required, cost $10) 12/12, Gift Wrapping Party, 6pm 12/28, Family Story Afternoon, 2 pm

Regular events (story time, teen group, book club) will continue as usual, unless otherwise noted. There will be no storytime on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, and no teen club on Dec. 26.

The library will be CLOSED Nov. 23-24, Dec. 25-26, and Jan. 1.

Remember, the library may close for inclement weather. For updates, check Facebook or local news outlets.


Plan ahead! We will be scheduling a series of tech classes and labs in January and February. So... if you get a new device (Christmas present?) and want some help, have a list of tech questions saved, or want an intro, look for details on these classes in late December. If you have any topics you would like to cover specifically, please let me know (via email, phone, or in person)! It would help me plan what would be most useful to you.

We hope to have a full schedule of programs this winter (with something for all ages). Look for information on Facebook, via email, or stop in to talk about them anytime!


I hope for you this holiday season that you will have time--long meals with laughter and candles burning all the way down, cozy evenings inside with a hot drink, walks outside in our beautiful North Country, working on something with your hands that gives you joy, and plenty of stories--music, and books, and films, and conversations.

We at the library are so glad to be part of your lives, and that you are part of ours.

Cheers, Meghan



Hello everyone!

It’s been awhile, as our summer looked far different than we planned, with the repairs needed downstairs after the flooding this spring. We started the work in the lower level of the library, but the task is going to take longer than we anticipated. We’re reopening the small community for limited events, while we continue to do work as we are able. We hope to add more programs and open both rooms for general use soon. We’ve missed hosting, and look forward to getting back to a full schedule (and even expanding our programming schedule in the future).


A few other miscellaneous things I want to let you know about:


Even though we had to relocate/reschedule many of our summer reading program classes and events, we still had good turnout and a wonderful time! One of my highlights was the Eclipse America program in August when we watched the partial solar eclipse, learned about what's happening in the eclipse, and did some activities. I knew it would be exciting to see the eclipse, but it was far more awe-inspiring than I expected. I think as each person put on their eclipse glasses and looked up at the sun, every one said, "WOW." It was a great day. (Did you know the next solar eclipse in North America will be in April 2024? And did you know that Lowville will be in the path of totality?)


An event that's always a highlight is the Storywalk at Lowville DEC, which is funded by a grant from Elks Lodge 1605, Lowville. The children got to read the story along the trail, do crafts and activities (the most popular being fishing--some kids fished for hours), and had a picnic, all of which Elks members ran that afternoon. I also heard from many families who visited the Storywalk many times throughout the summer (the story is changed each month). Though the Storywalk is closed for the year, look for details next summer--as well as similar events during the year. 

The library is very grateful to the organizations that give grants which make our summer reading program possible, including Elks Lodge 1605, Stewarts Holiday Match, North Country Prenatal and Perinatal Council, and Pratt-Northam. We also got to partner with WPBS and Cornell Cooperative Extension for some of our programs, which was wonderful. Thank you to everyone who participated! 


Thanks to funding provided by Lewis County Legislators, we now have Chromebooks available for use at the library. They will supplement our public use computers for use in the library, and will also be used for digital literacy classes and other events.

If you haven't used one, Chromebooks are a small notebook with a web browser which you can use like any computer, and access many tools like a word processor, spreadsheet, and drawing program when you sign into Google. We hope to schedule a class soon, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask. 


If you haven't heard, North Country Library System now has an app that holds your account information, a digital library card, mobile catalog, and library contact and event information. It's pretty great! Available for Apple and Android operating systems. 


One more month to get your November calendar raffle! $10 for 30 chances to win, with over $1,500 of prizes from local businesses. Plus, you can win more than once! Pick up a ticket at the circulation desk of the library. 


Thanks for continually supporting the library! Stay tuned for upcoming events! 

Meghan Harney
director, Lowville Free Library


Lowville Free Library
5387 Dayan Street, Lowville, NY 13367



Hello everyone!

Due to flooding this spring, some cleaning and repairs are needed in the lower level of the library. Consequently, the lower level of the library will be closed for the next several weeks while work is being done. All regular community room use and the ongoing book sale will be suspended during this time.

However, we will still be holding summer reading program classes and events for kids ages 0-12. Tuesday classes will be moved to Lowville Baptist Church hall (you can still park at the library if you want!), and special event locations will be announced individually (check our facebook page for the most up-to-date information). 

Tuesday summer reading programs-
Ages 0-5, 10:30-11:30
Ages 6-8, 12:00-1:00
Ages 9-12, 1:30-2:30

We've also rescheduled the Storywalk for Jul. 28! Hope to see you there for a great story, crafts, fishing, and a picnic. 

Scheduled events are as follows: 
7/11, SRP classes (Lowville Baptist Church)
7/18, SRP classes (Lowville Baptist Church)
7/19, 11:00-3:00 Face painting for kids (Lewis County Fair)
7/20, Book Club (location TBA)
7/25, 10:30-11:30 WPBS program for kids (location TBA)
7/28, 11:00-2:00 Storywalk (Lowville DEC)
8/1, SRP classes (Lowville Baptist Church)
8/8, SRP classes (Lowville Baptist Church)
8/12, 10:00-12:00 Exercise Extravaganza for kids (location TBA)
8/21, 2:30-4:00 Eclipse America for kids (location TBA)

No storytime Aug. 22 and 29. 

Teen club will be held every Tuesday and Friday, located in Teen Zone upstairs at the library. 

We'll also be holding a garage sale and book sale to benefit the library during the village-wide garage sales the first weekend in August. If you'd like to make a donation, give us a call! Otherwise, stop by that weekend to support the library. 

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know! And I appreciate your understanding and patience while we complete the project downstairs. And keep reading-summer is a wonderful time to spend some time with a book (or ten)! 

Meghan Harney
director, Lowville Free Library

Lowville Free Library
5387 Dayan Street
Lowville, NY 13367


Past Newsletters: 

January 2017 

February 2017 (Annual Report to the Community)

March 2017

April 2017 

June 2017