The Mid York Library System is located in Utica, New York. Centrally located in the Mohawk Valley, it is a cooperative public library system and its mission is to “improve and expand library service in the counties of Madison, Oneida, and Herkimer”. Mid York’s chartered to serve population is 372,839 residents located within the geographic area of 3,279 square miles.
Mid York, its 43 member libraries and one reading center are fortunate to be located in a beautiful part of New York State, enriched by the vibrant and diverse communities we are chartered to serve. As Utica is also the home to the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, in a local elementary school alone, over 40 languages are spoken! Our libraries are unique as the communities they serve. A sampling includes a Carnegie library; one located on the path of the famous yellow brick road; another houses an Egyptian mummy, while another was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. Regardless of any special distinction, each library is universally valued and recognized by the people they serve as community and information centers.
In 2014, Mid York in collaboration with its libraries and community partners, hosted a community read program, themed Grassroots Read. Instead of the typical community read approach of using a single book, Grassroots Read was unique in that three books were selected for three different reading levels. The Four County Library System partnered with Mid York in hosting its own Grassroots Read initiative in their service area. The idea behind the locally themed Grassroots concept is to focus on a specific aspect of the region and to demonstrate that libraries provide information and programming that is interesting, exciting, and relevant to their local communities. The 2014 Grassroots Read focus was local agriculture and the books selected were:
- The Dirty Life by Rome, NY native Kristin Kimball (Adult and pre-college teen level)
- Potatoes on Rooftops by Hadley Dyer (Middle and Early High School level)
- Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens (Elementary School level)
During this time, many libraries offered a variety of programs and activities centered on the local agriculture theme. Grassroots Read culminated with author Kristin Kimball’s visit to the region with two Q & A community events. Kristin was also the keynote speaker at Mid York’s Annual Meeting and Dinner.
Like other New York State library systems, Mid York is a true example of a successful ‘economy of scale’ endeavor that has been in place for 55 years. In partnership with our libraries, we provide an array of excellent library services which benefits all the diverse residents of our collective and distinctive service areas.