Skene Library update:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

After careful consideration of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) health safety issues, the Board of Trustees of Skene Memorial Library are temporarily closing the library to the public beginning on Wednesday, March 18 and through at least Tuesday, March 31. Please check back here for updates and more information. We hope all our patrons and neighbors will take care and stay healthy.

For further infomation and local resources goto:
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County info:


Advocacy Alert -2020

January 22, 2020


Governor Cuomo released his FY2020-2021 Executive Budget proposal. For the fourth straight year he has drastically cut funding for our libraries.

From the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal:

Library Aid: $91.6M ($4M CUT)
The proposed funding is $4M less than what was in last year’s enacted state budget. This proposed CUT fails to acknowledge the crucial role libraries serve in our communities, and the contributions they make to our state’s education system. Libraries ARE Education!

Library Construction Aid: $14M ($20M CUT)
As you know, the State Library Construction Aid program was originally cut by $20M in the FY2019-20 Executive Budget. However, thanks to our champions in the legislature, the Program was restored to $34M in the final days of the 2019 legislative session.

Yet again, Governor Cuomo has proposed cutting the Program’s funding. The State Division of Library Development estimates that library renovation and construction needs are $1.5B statewide. Over 50% of public libraries in NYS are 60+ years old, and an additional 31% are 30+ years old. Investment in the Library Construction Aid program must be increased to address aging infrastructure, energy inefficient buildings and the evolving ways people use libraries.


Join our ONLINE PROTEST! Send a message of support to your elected representatives as well as a roster of legislative leaders that need to hear our message and understand the volume of passionate library advocates!

More Ways to Get Involved

As always, NYLA is relying on its members to take action, and contact your elected officials through NYLA’s online advocacy tools. Encourage everyone to “Become An Advocate”by visiting When engaging with your elected officials, it is important that you discuss the great work you and your library are doing, and to also stay on message by using the talking points we have on our website. For those of you on social media, we have posted a set of tweets that we encourage you to use, and tweet at your local Assemblymember and Senator.

Library Advocacy Day is Tuesday, February 25, 2020! Come to Albany and make your voice heard!

Post your Library Advocacy Signs with messages for Albany NOW online with #NYLALAD20   and    #FundLibraries – we’ll be gathering them up and posting an album of the virtual rally!

Pre-Advocacy Day Activities.

Travel to Albany one day early (Monday, February 24) and partake in some top notch professional development, the Library Advocates Luncheon, and more!
Complete details can be found by clicking here

Real People. Real Dollars.

Real People. Real Dollars is an effort to drive more library advocates to the NYLA Online Advocacy Center and increase awareness of Library Advocacy Day. Once again, we’re calling on libraries from across the state to participate in the Real People. Real Dollars. campaign. Investing in libraries has a big return on investment for the communities they serve, help us tell that story in pictures as we prepare for Library Advocacy Day!

Past Event – Nov 16:

Dr Mike Freeman Book Reading and Talk:
Walton Family Hits the Road for Famed
El Camino Walk in Spain

Santiago de Compostela in the northwest of Spain is a long way from Walton, New York—even if you walk there from France. And that is just what the family of Walton’s Dr. Michael J. Freeman did—Dr. Mike, his wife Dr. Denise Freeman, and their children, Michael and Emmaline—in 2014.

The famed El Camino walk is a pilgrimage from any number of starting places to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where Saint James, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, is said to be buried. The Freemans made their way from the edge of France, traversed the Pyrenees to cross the border, then headed west to the town and its strikingly grand medieval cathedral with its carved stone facades. The journey took 14 days, through terrain both hilly and flat, in changeable summer weather, sometimes in the company of other walkers, and producing lots of tales to tell—enough to inspire Dr. Mike to write a book: Buen Camino! Reflections from the Road and Trails, El Camino de Santiago, The Journey Is the Destination offers a day-by-day account of the journey, its pleasures and difficulties, hardships and amusing moments, and the spiritual meaning the author and his family took from the experience.

Skene Memorial Library is pleased to present this reading and talk by this first-time author and Delaware County neighbor.  For more info contact Linda at 845-254-4581

Date:     November 16, 2019
Time:     1:00 PM
Where : Skene Memorial Library, Main Street

The event is free, and all are welcome.

Remembering Dorothy Minion

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Dorothy Minion who worked for many years as a daily Skene Memorial Library volunteer and also as a librarian substitute. Library visitors will remember Dorothy for her kind and mild demeanor and for her hard work.

Just short of her 91st birthday Dorothy died suddenly on August 31, 2019. Born in Manchester, UK on November 13, 1928 she attended school in England and, before coming to the US, worked as a bookkeeper at a cigarette factory.

With her husband Norman Dorothy emigrated to the US in August of 1964 and was employed as a secretary at Lebanon Hospital in New York City. In 1980 she moved to Fleischmanns where she has lived ever since.

In memory of our late colleague and friend, The Board of Directors of Skene Memorial Library has decided to rename the reference room The Dorothy Minion Memorial Reading Room. Donations in memory of Dorothy Minion may be made to the Skene Memorial Library, Fleischmanns, NY.

Skene Memorial Library – A Proud History

Sometime around 1894, summer resident Mrs. Alexander Skene  first proposed the idea of the creation of a Library for Griffin Corners.  (As known physician Dr. Alexander Skene had a summer home east of Griffin Corners, and enjoyed their time in the Catskills immensely.   It took several years, but plans progressed, and a Board for a Library Association (one type of Library then quite popular in New York State–not municipally -President.  Other prominent citizens such as DeWitt Griffin, Mrs. T. C. Banker, and Mrs. George H. Lasher were on the board.    Plans progressed slowly.

In July 1900, Dr. Skene died,  but Mrs. Skene continued to pursue the goal of creating a library, now to be named in his memory.   Funds were raised, including a $5,000 donation from famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie.   (Carnegie endowed many libraries all over the country, but this was special to him–he and Alexander Skene had been boyhood friends.)

The cornerstone for the building was laid in November 1901, and Griffin Corners finally had its library.   Skene Memorial Library is unusual for it is one of the few area libraries built AS a library.   As people and conditions changed, the Association Library structure no longer was working here, and in 1930 the building was turned over to the Village of Fleischmanns, and Skene became a Municipal Library.

In 2001, in honor of its centennial,  Skene Library was placed on both the New York State and the National Register of Historic Places. A special Postal Cancellation was held to observe the centennial.

Skene Library in Pictures

Skene Library History in Pictures

images courtesy of the Greater Fleischmanns Museum of Memories