ONEIDA — It’s been one year since the Oneida Public Library moved into its new building, and it’s become more than a place to pick up a book.
To celebrate its anniversary, the Oneida Public Library staff held a celebration and invited the public for a day of fun for the whole family, from arts and crafts for the kids to a car show for the adults.
Librarian Ariel Wilber has been with the Oneida Library since May, but she had been a patron before the move.
“I moved to Oneida in 2020, and I got to watch the new Library get built,” Wilber said. “It feels so good to see so many people using the library, especially since we offer more than books.”
Movies, laptops, hotspots, and even bicycles can be checked out. And for those looking to get some work done, there are more than enough computers and even a recording studio ready for use. At the Library’s celebration, a local voice actor was making use of the recording studio to record some lines.
Wilber said the Library is there to help anyone and everyone who walks through its door. Just recently, the Library helped a local woman get emergency rent relief.
“And just this week, we had a gentleman come in to fill out a job application online, and we helped him out,” Wilber said. “And he’s got an interview.”
Serving the community is nothing new to the Library. During tax season, the Oneida Public Library hosts tax counseling services for the senior community. And on more than a few occasions, the Red Cross has held blood drives at the Library.
“We also offer programs for all ages, from infancy to old age,” Wilber said.
Wilber said she was especially excited for the Adult’s Hogwarts Academy starting Oct. 18. The first Harry Potter book came out in 1997, nearly 24 years ago, so many of its fans have grown up — but still love the franchise.
“This is perfect for millennials like myself, who always wanted to go to Hogwarts,” Wilber said. “There’ll be a potions class, herbology, defense against the dark arts, a scavenger hunt, and a modified quidditch game.”
On the first night, attendees will be sorted into their house and make their wands while enjoying a butterbeer bar. Registration is required, so visit www.eventbrite.com/e/hogwarts-academy-tickets-173711324247 to sign up.
Over on the youth side of things, Youth Services Coordinator Megan Gillander said the move to the new Library had been a huge benefit to her and her programs.
“We’ve been able to hold larger programs thanks to the extended space,” Gillander said. “And we’ve been able to host outdoor programs on the lawn, like outdoor movies — something we couldn’t do at the last location.”
Just having a green lawn for the children has been a blessing, especially when she hosts storytime outdoors. And when it comes time for activities, the activity room is excellent for painting. “We’ve got a sink right there, and it’s the little things like that.”
For upcoming events, Gillander said she’s bringing back the American sign language basic courses for families of all ages.
“There’s a lot going on at the Library, but it’s so much fun,” she said.
There’s a whole host of events and services available at the Oneida Public Library and a staff ready to help.
“We want people to come to the Library and feel welcome and that they can ask us anything,” Wilber said.
“We love our patrons, and we’re happy to help them, in whatever capacity.”