Volunteers in Action: 6 Weeks! 19 People! 120 Hours!

Volunteers Martin Miller and PatRick Kiely hang our sign.

… Yes, our library is back. And we couldn’t have done it without the generous and capable support of all our volunteers. In the six weeks from when we moved into our new location in Hudson, NY on November 10, 2015 until the Christmas holidays, nineteen volunteers from the community worked to get the library up and running.

We started tracking volunteer hours with the online program Track It Forward (free for under 50 volunteers), and the total hours people contributed over those 6 weeks was 120!

Thank you to all of our volunteers: Ann Finucane, Raimond Flynn, William Furse, Branko Furst, Caroline Gordon, Karin Haldeman, Mary Haley, Mary Linda Harrington, Seth Jordan, Tom Jordan, Emma Kiely, PatRick Kiely, Martin Miller, Tommy Moore, Christina Porkert, Maggie Paholak, Tim Paholak, Nathaniel Williams, and Jen Zimberg.

The 120 hours does not include all the time that the new Friends of the Rudolf Steiner Library group have been working to get established so they can raise funds to supplement the $60,000 budget allocated for the library in 2016.

Thanks to the Friends for their diligent labors: Harold Bush, Raimond Flynn, Joyce Gallardo, Karin Haldeman, Martin Miller, Robert Oelhaf, Christina Porkert, Margaret Rosenthaler, Douglas Sloan, and Nathaniel Williams.

Thanks also to General Council member Dwight Ebaugh and Director of Operations Katherine Thivierge for their careful work as the Council’s new library committee.

The work continues, and we still need you. If you’d like to volunteer, contact the library or fill out our online application form. There’s a variety of jobs you can help with.

Rudolf Steiner Library | (518) 944-7007 (voice & text) | rsteinerlibrary@gmail.com

Library assistant Nadia Bedard checking out a book for mailing; Martin Miller sanding the sharp corners of the plexiglass surface of the service desk. Volunteer Tommy Moore sorting new periodicals.

Volunteer Tim Paholak re-shelving pamphlets. Martin Miller troubleshooting the computers.

Post written by Judith Kiely and Nadia Bedard.
Rudolf Steiner Library | (518) 944-7007 (voice & text) | rsteinerlibrary@gmail.com

December 8, 2015: We’re back!

library-moving-in-photo-1 library-moving-in-photo-2

Although we are still unpacking, we are ready to fill new requests for library materials, and receive materials you wish to return. You may also renew items you have checked out unless another borrower has requested them. Just phone, email, or text us (mailing address & contact information below).

Because members were enthusiastic about borrowing books for a full year when we closed in 2013, we will continue this practice. Materials can also be renewed for 6 months. One exception: materials will be subject to recall after 3 months if requested by another borrower.

We had hoped to offer free mail-order lending in the coming year, but are unable to do so. Mail borrowers will need to continue to pay the round-trip postage fees for mail-orders. Library rates range from $2.59 for 1 pound, to $6.91 for 10 pounds. Most orders are within the 1 – 10 lb. range.

We are in the process of updating our Paypal account to accept postage reimbursements, but you may still pay for postage by mailing us a check or stamps.

Research services will be available as time permits. The first half-hour of research is free to members, and thereafter is $30/hour with a $15 minimum charge.

Due to the substantial reduction to the 2016 Anthroposophical Society in America budget, we are in straitened financial circumstances. Please donate what you can: https://secure.anthroposophy.org/np/clients/anthroposophy/campaign.jsp?campaign=145

Our new Friends of the Rudolf Steiner Library group is working to obtain tax-exempt status. Charitable donations to the Friends will directly support library services and programs, along with facility, equipment, and materials collection needs. We’ll keep you updated on the Friends progress.

Mail library materials to be returned to:
Rudolf Steiner Library 351 Fairview Ave Ste 610 Hudson NY 12534-1259
(518) 944-7007 (voice & text) | rsteinerlibrary@gmail.com
Hours: Tue 1-4 pm | Wed-Thu-Fri 9-12 & 1-4 pm (closed 12-1 pm) | Sat 9- 12, and by appt.

New hours starting Jan 2016: Thurs – Fri – Sat 10 am – 3 pm

Moving in, and Robert Logsdon’s Lazuring: Update November 8, 2015

Yes, we’re finally moving into our new home at 351 Fairview Avenue, Suite 610 in Greenport (Hudson), New York, next door to KB Chiropractic, but we won’t be open to the public for a few weeks.


The lazuring of the space was completed by Robert Logsdon and his crew, Nika Dubnansky, Michael Graeff, and Kettil Hoel, on October 22. The photos below just give a hint of the life that the lazuring has brought to the rooms.


Left : A view into the rear of the space (before the floor was cleaned and polished).
Right:  The painting crew at work: (from left) Kettil Hoel, Robert Logsdon, Michael Graeff, and Nika Dubnansky.


Two views toward the front of the space; Michael and Nika at work.


Left: Meeting room exterior in progress; Michael and Kettil.
Right: Finished meeting room exterior.


Left: View from inside the meeting room toward the office.
Right: Office exterior (with recycled window).

photo-10  Finished interior wall of the office.

You are invited to come to our open house on Saturday, November 28 (1-4 pm) to see the lazuring for yourself.



Construction Progress Report, 18 October 2015

Yes, we’re overdue to re-open!


Our move-in dates have been postponed until November, but with good reason—to accommodate a special project in the new space.

Volunteer Raimond Flynn of New Paltz, NY, gathered together a small group of donors who wanted to artistically enliven the space, and they are funding the project in entirety. More information and photos will follow in our next blog entry.

Note to local members: please do not come to get a preview of the space this week, as it is disruptive to those working on the project. Thank you.

Painters applying the final finish coat to the walls on October 12.

Facility fundraiser update: 91 members and friends have donated $11,625 toward rent and utility costs for the next two years. Thank you to all our donors who have helped to make our re-opening possible.

Our new Friends of the Rudolf Steiner Library in the Berkshire-Taconic region held their second meeting on October 15. Members will be helping to coordinate our open-house celebration scheduled for Saturday afternoon, November 28, 1-4 pm. This a drop-in event, so please come by if you’re in the area.

On the morning of Nov. 28, 10-12 noon, we will also hold a review conversation of library committee work over the past two years, based on our survey conducted this past summer.

Once we are moved into the space, there will be plenty of unpacking and re-shelving of materials to do. If you have time to volunteer, please contact Judith Kiely at rsteinerlibrary@gmail.com.

Artist Robert Logsdon at work on the special project.



Library Construction Update, 17 September 2015

Progress on our new space at the Greenport Town Plaza, 351 Fairview Avenue, Hudson, NY, continues apace, and we hope to re-open in October.


Once the new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system is installed, the 14-foot dropped ceiling can be closed up, and what’s left to do is install the electrical outlets, clean and polish the tiled floor, and wire the space for internet. Then we move in, and you get to start borrowing books again!


[Photo: Library staff member Nadia Bedard in the doorway of our new office.]

Our immediate neighbors in the plaza include a chiropractic treatment center, with whom we will share an entryway and lavatories, and the studio of artist Robert The www.bookdust.com
who is known for his gun-books and other sculptures made from discarded books.

The Periodicals Service Company www.periodicals.com suppliers of back issues of out-of-print periodicals—another endeavor of our busy Premier Riverview landlord Robert Koskey— has offices in the front of the building and warehouse in the rear. Also in the rear is Premier Brands of America www.premier-brands.com suppliers of foot care, health, and beauty products.

Additional tenants include the new Hudson Carpet One Floor & Home store next to the existing Brands Farm Thrift Store; and of course the Price Chopper supermarket at the far end of the plaza. You can combine a shopping trip with your library visits.

With the budget cuts recently announced by society treasurer Jack Michael, we need your financial support more than ever. Please donate online at www.anthroposophy.org.

Thank you for all your contributions!

Library Construction Progress Report, 16 August 2015

On August 13 Raimond Flynn, Nathaniel Williams, and I visited 351 Fairview Avenue in Hudson to view the progress on our new library space. Nathaniel and Raimond have been instrumental in securing our new location in the Berkshire-Taconic region.

We were pleased to see the many developments:

  • all exterior walls, along with the meeting room and interior office have been framed, and most of the sheet-rocking completed
  • the shared entryway with lavatories has been framed, and the sewer line installed
  • the front windows and door have been cut out.

Here’s a view from just inside the space, by one of the new front windows. The emergency exit door you see will be filled in, and a new 6-foot doorway will be installed to the left of this existing door.


In the photo it looks positively leafy outside beyond the dumpster, but don’t be fooled. Beyond that one tree is an enormous asphalt parking lot whose future the property owners have not yet decided upon. Send us your ideas, and we’ll share them with our landlord.


Unlike at the carriage house in Harlemville and our temporary location in Philmont, parking will be ample as you can see; and we won’t have any hazardous hills to contend with in the winter—all the more reason to come visit when we re-open this fall!

Thank you again for your support.
Donations may be made online at: http://www.anthroposophy.org/rudolf-steiner-library.html

Library update: Re-opening Fall 2015

Coming Fall 2015 — Our new location at 351 Fairview Ave, Hudson, NY


The library is still closed, but our staff is eagerly looking forward to re-opening in the fall
of 2015.

We will be moving to 351 Fairview Ave, Suite 610, Hudson, NY, 12534, as soon as the construction of our 2500-square-foot suite is completed. Our new landlord, Premier Riverview LLC, has begun construction of the space, which will be part of a mixed-use plaza.

Our local Berkshire-Taconic community has so far donated nearly $10,000 to help fund the cost of rent and utilities at the new space for 2015-16. That’s $1800 more than we appealed for this year, so these additional donations will be set aside to fund facility expenses for 2016-17.

Thank you for all your support and your patience!

We will be posting updates on the construction as it progresses, and plan to have a re-opening celebration once we get settled in.

Check our online catalog for the new books that will be available when we re-open.

Although we’ve had to change the shelving layout, here’s the floor plan of our new space.
We hope you will visit us when we re-open in the fall.




Temporarily closed

The Rudolf Steiner Library is temporarily closed; we hope to resume lending and research services within a few months. All materials currently checked out have been renewed.
If you need to return your books now, our mailing address is:
Rudolf Steiner Library, PO Box 800, Philmont NY 12565-0800.
Our phone number will not be in service while we are closed; you may contact the librarian at rsteinerlibrary@gmail.com.
Thank you for your patience, and we look forward to being able to serve you again soon!

GERMINAL CELLS – reflections on our first work week

“Little thoughts will get us nowhere, so we must pluck up the courage to think big thoughts.”    ~ Rudolf Steiner

Germinal Cells are all that physically remain of a caterpillar in the midst of metamorphosis.  Small clusters of cells swim in a sea of liquid, enclosed in the cocoon.   The form of the butterfly will manifest upon this foundation.  Nature’s wisdom lies with the beings that stand behind her forms.  Contraction, dissolution, redistribution, flow, movement and unconditional surrender to the process are part of metamorphosis.  This is the image I hold when I consider the Library in this time of transition.  We know its present form quite well, but its future form is still a mystery.  The being(s) that stand behind the library guide a process to which we surrender our preconceived ideas, our beloved, and habituated forms, trusting that the ‘germinal cells’ of the library will remain to hold the center.   This became very clear to me during the library’s recent Youth Section work week.


Fresh from the inspiring InPower conference in Spring Valley, these young men and women spent a week at the library, repairing books, discussing non-violent transformation and the future of the library.   Accomplished in their own rights, as musicians, educators, scholars, social reformers and initiators, it was heartening and touching to experience their collective energy, the freshness of their perspectives, their enthusiasm and commitment to bring anthroposophy into practical life.   We accomplished a great deal in terms of book repair, but more importantly we conversed about the future of the library with a generation through whom that future will manifest.

“Sending many books off to the book sale and removing all but the most helpful of old markings felt like a controlled forest burn or deadheading of garden flowers. The library is poised for new growth, though the specific forms have not yet sprouted. What intangible deeds underlie this transformation? With what forces are we working when we care for these old books and the space that now houses them? There is an amazing archive of writings in the library, the documented heritage of our movement, and it must be living.”  ~Elizabeth Roosevelt

Wonderful social events filled the week: community dinners, conversations amidst beautiful waterfalls and natural beauty, shared meals among participants and library staff, and more.   The week’s theme engaged a global perspective; and one could see  how it related to regional, local and even personal matters.  Non-violent transformation.  How are forms and relationships changed while holding to the sacred integrity of the other?  To the necessity of the relationship?  How has humanity made the large transitions from violent overthrows and resistance to non-violent, socially dynamic, life-affirming processes of change?   How will we change ourselves and our own relationships through processes that value and recognize the inherent integrity of individual destiny and freedom?  It is a fitting theme within which to also explore the library’s transition.

“We gathered to brainstorm and prototype possible future forms and processes for the library. We wondered how this library could be renewed, revitalized, transformed. It is currently funded by the Anthroposophical Society in America and membership fees.  We wondered how the library could connect the books to the people who need them, who will use them, regardless of cost. How can we get the books to the people who will take the information in them and transform it into living knowledge within themselves? How can Anthroposophy become living knowledge within human beings, rather than stagnate and calcify…What form is needed? What processes would bring life and vitality to this organism? Many beautiful and creative ideas were put forward.”  ~Olivia Hanna

“We searched for certain common qualities that nonviolent actions and resisters seem to share. I noticed how leaders seem willing to commit to giving everything, even their lives, for the sake of gaining equality for their brothers and sisters….I wonder how I can connect with this truth forceand place of fearlessness within myself and apply it to what comes towards me out of the future in my own life?” ~Olivia Hanna

 YS work week gorge jump

The shared work of repairing books created an atmosphere imbued with intentionality, focus, rhythm and peace.   It invited dialogue, inspired questions, drew forth ideas and reflections, and brought diverse perspectives into relationship.  The ghosts of former readers resurfaced, through notes in the margins and underlined sections of text, offering questions and questings from past generations to the present.  It became clear that group engagement with the collection was an important aspect of keeping the dialogues alive and relevant, of bringing new life into concepts once delivered and codified many years ago.

“As we erased anonymous underlining in old books, striking phrases jumped off the page and echoed around the table. Through whose hands had these pages passed?Encountering each book, we wondered about its history and its previous readers”.  ~Elizabeth Roosevelt

In the picking up and sifting through of books and manuscripts, there was a space made open for questions to sprout and ideas to blossom.”  ~James Kuhn

Many participants expressed how wonderful it was to work together like a buzzing beehive, how enjoyable it was to work with their hands and craft something with care and attention to detail. I found this way of working together very nourishing and I wonder how this type of work can be expanded and applied to other project areas to create healthier communities where we can freely give our work to create something beautiful together.” ~Olivia Hanna


Relationship, community, conversation, connection, these are perhaps the “germinal cells” around which the new form of the library will manifest.   Can one unite inwardly with the process?  Can one offer outer support?   It can be as small as a donation, a “share” on social media, or a letter outlining your thoughts for relevancy in a quickly changing world.   You can come for a few hours when visiting the area, or join us for a work week and spend 20+  hours repairing books while participating actively in the processes forming the future.

One question that still burns in me is: WHO? Who is going to take these ideas and transform them into reality? Who is actually going to commit and do the work? I sensed that those of us sitting in the circle were inspired in some way to hold the library in our consciousness and to participate in small and large ways towards renewing it. Working on the books helped me to feel connected to the specific collection there. I am now curious to see what will happen with it, to stay in touch. I wonder how my generation….will be able to work with and renew the Anthroposophical organizations that exist, many of which were guided and guarded by individuals in the past who gave decades of their lives to caring for these social organisms.”    ~Olivia Hanna

The August and September work weeks hold the same promise as the Youth Section work week.  Participants will have opportunities to interact more deeply with the collection, meet and discuss significant matters related to the role books play in our biographies and the dissemination of ideas in the world, and support and participate in the transition with human will, intention, and openness to what is streaming toward us from the future.  It is an exciting time at the library.   We certainly hope you join us in the process.

I am grateful for having been able to participate in the library week. It seemed that, as participants, we were fed by the same forces of renewal that we strove to bring to this place.”  ~Elizabeth Roosevelt


  DSCN0514 library open doors

Lisa Damian

For more information on how you can participate in the RS Library transition, check out the August Work Week, the September work week, Book Repair Workshop, or fill out the Volunteer Form.