Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Every year at this time the Cambridge Public Library releases a report to our community highlighting the many accomplishments of the previous year. Admittedly, the library’s Board of Trustees and Library Director were excited to do so again this year. 2019 was an incredible year for Cambridge Public Library. Sadly, the recent events have made the annual report to our community especially difficult to write. 2020 has been tumultuous, tense, and at times terrifying. It is critical that our community not only hear about the wonderful things that happened last year, but also the plans that your library has for the future.
Cambridge Public Library hosted 324 programs at our library in 2019 and had nearly 4,000 patrons in attendance. Youth programs such as Preschool StoryHour, Book Club, Robotics Club, Art Club, and Science Club were held at the library 3 times a week. Patrons of all ages also enjoyed monthly health and wellness lunches, author visits, climate change workshops, financial wellness dinners and more. In addition to expanding our programming, the library added new morning and evening hours to meet the needs of our community. The library also began the first steps necessary to develop a construction plan, working with an architect who specializes in historic buildings, that would meet our needs for space and accessibility while preserving the historic beauty of the library. Cambridge Public Library won the Southern Adirondack Library Program of the Year Award for our Better Readers Program and received a “5 Star” rating in Library Journal’s National Library Index for the 8th year in a row.
Despite the impressive increase of Cambridge Public Library’s programs and services in 2019, nothing could have prepared us for the challenges of 2020. When the library building was closed in March of 2020 we were optimistic that the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency would pass quickly. In the meantime, your library and the rest of the Southern Adirondack Library System scrambled to provide digital library cards, expand electronic resources, and make themselves available virtually to all of our patrons. Since closing the doors of the library building Cambridge Public Library staff members have been helping patrons via email and phone to access medical information, find affordable health insurance, answer Unemployment Insurance questions, offer homework assistance, and more. In addition, public wi-fi access is available 24/7 from the parking lot, and patrons can access free resources on our website such as NovelNY, Libby, TumbleBooks, and NewsBank.
As New York State moves forward Cambridge Public Library has developed a Step-by-Step Guide to reopening our library. Curbside and delivery service of library materials will begin on June 22, 2020 dependent on Capital Region developments. Summer Reading Programs will be done virtually this year and will be open to all ages. Every community member who completes the Summer Reading Challenge will receive a $10 gift certificate to a local small business. As your library begins the reopening process it is critical to remain flexible. We will do our best to provide the highest level of service while maintaining the safety and well-being of our staff and community members. Cambridge Public Library encourages our patrons to contact the Director of the Library with any questions or concerns and to check our website Cambridge.sals.edu for up-to-date information.
Be well. Be kind. Be Cambridge Strong. We will see you soon!