Preserve and Learn! The Rosendale Library

The Rosendale Library, like all other libraries, has the mission to make reading materials, knowledge, and learning tools accessible all in a recreational and leisurely manner that meets the needs of educating and informing the public, using both print and electronic services. The staff addresses the mission statement by allowing the community access to all forms of media, adding to the collection as requested, and by engaging with whole families with programs like story hour, which is also enriching for the community.

Connected to the Mid-Hudson Library System, the Rosendale library serves other communities as well, such as Dutchess and Putnam Counties through a loan service and has an open dialogue with the Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz. Some of the weblinks are provided to the Rosendale Library through the Ulster County Library Association. These connections keep the Rosendale Library up to date with and connected to other libraries, so an open dialogue can occur between them, so all libraries in the area can address problems in their communities together.

On the website homepage, there are links to websites like Kanopy and Acorn TV to watch movies on if you have a library card. Within the physical Rosendale Library, you can also rent out DVDs, allowing access to both physical and digital movies. Rosendale Library, like most libraries, also has free-wifi and no-fee access to public computers. The website also has a pdf link of the history binder list, alongside links to historic newspapers and genealogy resources, such as Heritage Quest. This helps the community understand its own history and find how far back their family has lived here, alongside the other questions genealogy can answer.

Within the walls of the Rosendale Library, you can find movies, fiction and non-fiction novels, historical textbooks, magazines, computer access, a children’s section, and a free book bin. The free book bin contains novels either donated to the library or from the library’s collection that the library can no longer house, so they are free to take and can be added to a personal library at home, free of charge. The Rosendale Library also operates as a used bookstore, where there is a collection of items for sale in their downstairs vendor area, set up by The Friends of the Rosendale Library. The items are sold at cheap prices, with large coffee table books being the most expensive at three dollars. These sales are all done by the Friends of the Rosendale Library so the Library itself can remain non-profit and donor-supported.

The Rosendale Library keeps track of local history. Part of my internship is going through the wall of history and research binders and finding what relevant information each binder possesses and organize them accordingly, but one bookshelf is dedicated to town history. This collection includes newspaper articles and other material about town events, old ledgers, maps, obituaries, directories, business records, history on the cement industry, minority histories and more. Some binders are more organized and have clearer visions than others, but each is a piece of the town’s history. Though the binders are not to leave the library, the public can view them on request, so they can read about the history of the town from documents saved from that time period.

Technically, the Rosendale Library is a piece of restored history, as the building used to be a church. The exterior of the building retains its Gothic Revival Episcopal appearance from when it was the All Saint’s Chapel. As a library, the building does retain many of the architectural elements of a church, keeping the stained-glass windows and the pitched gables and spires. A piece of modern history is that back in 2008, a new roof was installed on the building, partially as a celebration of the building being the home of the library for the past fifty years.

The Rosendale Library is a fair representation of libraries as a whole, as this important institution preserves local history and puts efforts into education and serving the public, being able to answer a number of questions someone might have, let it be about the history of their home or where to find a fiction novel.