Sleeping Spirits Awaken In Our Dobbs Ferry Public Library

Ava Neumaier, Staff Writer

“Walking the stacks in a library, dragging your fingers across the spines — it’s hard not to feel the presence of sleeping spirits,” fiction writer Robin Sloan said. But not all of these spirits are sleeping: the Dobbs Ferry Public Library is full of fun. Through its various uses across the years, the outcome is that the building is open as a destination of many means: relaxing, board game playing, competition, culture clubs, studying, and, of course, reading. The library has a lot of spirit – in this compiled list of activities, it’s guaranteed there’s something for you!

Since 1899, when it was only a headquarters for the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement at what was then the very center of town, to when it was ratified as a library by the State Board of Regents in 1909, and to the more recent move to lower main street to support the handicapped residents and growing population, the library is always evolving and changing to the needs of Dobbs Ferry. And now, with a fully decked-out children’s section and an area that offers movies and music as well as reading material, it’s a fun-filled place for whatever you’re looking for.

If you’re into imaginative board games and friendly competition, every Wednesday there’s a chance to play Dungeons & Dragons with others in the neighborhood. With a children’s group for the novices, and a teen and adult group for the more experienced, the public library’s D&D days are filled with bonding, fun, and friendship. “[It’s] pleasant and it was interesting,” says 8th grade Dungeons & Dragons-playing student Brayden Recitas.

For those interested in cultural heritage and babysitting while getting their service hours in, once every two months a meeting is held for the Cultural Explorers club, where a different foreign tradition is highlighted, researched, and celebrated. On certain occasions, you may have seen the tables, activities, and crafts, where children’s books about the tradition line the table-clothed surfaces, kids chalk images on the brick walkway, and parents describe the cultural significance in detail: it’s a really great way to both learn about other societies, and volunteer.

Ads for movie night at the library cover the town once every month or so, but the cinematic selection process requires a lot more time and advertising. “We had five middle schoolers and two high schoolers last year who did posters and movie night, helping us in planning some activities,” says one librarian. It’s easy to think that the library is a place for primarily older people, but many students work there, too.

But if your interest goes beyond just activities, special internships allow aspiring librarians and avid book lovers to work for the library themselves. “You can sort books for our book sale,  help with small tasks like that can be done in an hour office, typing tasks like filing and checking, maybe searching for books, cleaning, tidying, book-shelving,” the librarians explained. No letter or resume is required to work here: just an interview to see if you have a desire to help out. There’s also a program called the Youth Liaisons, where the person can apply for a one-year commitment to become a student representative and ambassador, a position that can be yours if you talk to Dobbs Ferry Middle School’s own librarian, Ms. Annette Gonzalez. “We can work with you and find out what you would like to do,” a librarian offered. “We’re usually very flexible… we can help you meet your requirements… and your goals.”

“The library is an arena of possibility, opening both a window into the soul and a door into the world.” Such a place that epitomizes the poet Rita Dove’s quote is only a few blocks away, in the form of the Dobbs Ferry Public Library, an epicenter of culture, creativity, crafts, community, cinema, and, of course, books. So stop by when you can, whether you’re there for the stories or the service: it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.