Skaneateles Library: A Love That Spans Generations

For generations, Skaneatelans have been visiting the library and enjoying its wide range of services. From relishing the quiet in a cozy corner to clapping along during a musical story time with a group of enthusiastic toddlers, there is truly something for everyone, at every stage of life, and for every reading level. 

February is Library Lovers Month, and what better time to highlight the multigenerational impact of this beautiful space from the perspective of a few local library-lovers? 

“Our kids loved the children’s room and selecting books to bring home,” says Mary Sennett, Mayor of Skaneateles and a 30-year resident. “I’m now a Granny Nanny for my three-year-old granddaughter, and most Thursdays go to Storytime with Miss Mary Beth. She loves that time—the books, the music, and the crafts.” And rest assured, the excitement isn’t just for the young ones: “I enjoy being able to request books. If it’s a new release, I may have to wait weeks but eventually it shows up and it’s like getting a present!” says Sennett.

The gift of the library is precious, and often intangible. A personalized note from library staff on a Lego build—“The Most Delightful Space Scene We’ve Ever Had the Pleasure of Seeing”—is the kind of gift that no physical item can match. (And the time and creativity that third graders put into building it is an invaluable gift to weary parents!)

Many residents who have cherished memories of the library are now creating new ones with their own families. “I remember going to story hour with my mom as a toddler. As a teenager I would regularly stop to check out books and magazines to read on slow days at my summer job,” said Kate Sosnoff, who moved back to Skaneateles in 2021 after living in the DC area for years. “My second-grader absolutely loves the explorer kits, and my preschooler has loved the Tonie Box kits. There are so many creative ways for kids (and adults!) to engage with the library.”

When, in the coming years, the physical location of the library changes, the new building will bring more space for engaging with our neighbors and continuing to create lasting memories with friends and family. Reflecting on the memories made with his own grandchildren, and what the future library means for this next generation, Dave Hempson, a library-lover and board member, emphasized the great efforts of a team “focused on meeting the needs of the boarder community by providing a library that is fully accessible. Our children feel at home at the library; they are always excited to visit.”

Peaceful. Cheery. Warm. Community. In a building dedicated to words, these are the first that come to mind for this group of library lovers. This Library Lovers Month, when you step through the doors at 49 E. Genesee Street, pause for a moment and see what your word is.