“A good public library reflects their community,” said Asha Golliher, Outreach Librarian at the Ellenville Public Library & Museum. Golliher’s role is to advocate for library services and to ensure that the library remains relevant to community needs. For a place like Ellenville, this is an important job.
Golliher moved to the area in 2003 with her husband Jeffrey, the vicar for St. John’s Memorial Episcopal Church. It was at Ellenville’s annual Blueberry Festival that Golliher got to know the village beyond the church her husband serves at. She loved its small-town feel, historical significance, diversity of people and beautiful surrounding landscapes. Over a slice of blueberry pie, she met someone who would go on to help her land the position she now holds at the library.
“I love it, it’s a wonderful job to have and this is an outstanding public library,” Golliher said. Ellenville Public Library & Museum takes a multi-dimensional approach by integrating excellent library resources and programming with a local history museum and art gallery.
Like a slice of small town United States, Ellenville has cycled through the ups and downs of industry, enterprise and commerce. The village has been through historic battles, and the locals have participated in all levels of government, including legislators, congressmen and more. The library, as Golliher describes, is a sort of cultural center for it all.
“The convenience, cleanliness and friendliness of our staff really serve as sort of a point of hospitality,” she said. “Newcomers come in and immediately feel at home. We have resources and programs for folks even if they don’t have a card.”
“It’s really a library beyond the four walls,” she said. “We work collaboratively: along with Shadowland we support culture. Along with the school we support life-long education. Along with the Hospital we add to community health and well-being.”
Though truly groundbreaking in its holistic approach, Golliher said the library is pretty low-key about it, because they don’t want to distract from their real purpose, which is to serve.