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Goshen Public Library and Historical Society

Across the Reference Desk

by Anita Whitehead

March 17, 1999

One of the best kept secrets of the Ramapo Catskill Library System RCLS), is the Directory of Community Resources. This is an up-to-date listing of clubs, fraternal organizations, recreational organizations, support groups, community education centers and hotlines in Orange and Rockland Counties. The goal of this ongoing project is to provide contact points for resources not readily found in telephone directories.

Each year, librarians from all our local public libraries track down the presidents or chairs or contact persons for hundreds of different community groups. They gather current information such as phone numbers, addresses, meeting times and places, services offered, fees, eligibility requirements, and handicapped accessibility information. Then with the support of RCLS, the information is entered into a large database.

This database is available at every public library in the RCLS system. At Goshen Public Library patrons use a PAC terminal and at the main menu select the item "Community Organizations." It is possible to search by an organization's official name - the entries range from AA to YWCA. Or search by the subject covered and look for recreation, senior citizens, or consumer affairs. Or search by a simple keyword. Type "Goshen" and discover the 61 organizations that are Goshen related, among them food pantry, little league, appetite control, Embroiderer's Guild of America, Katskill Chorus of the Sweet Adelines, SCORE, and WINGS. Wonder what these groups do?? Check them out at the library.

The only groups you won't find in the Community Organization list are those easy to find in a phone book. It was decided not to include churches, fire departments, libraries, parks, schools, and government agencies.

Just recently, it became possible to access the file of community organizations on the Internet. From home or office, patrons just need to access the Goshen Public Library home page at, click on reference, click on search the JAVA version of the catalog, click on Community Organizations. Then search for the organization of your choice.

Print copies of the Orange County and Rockland County listings are also available. The Goshen Public Library will soon have copies of the 1999 Orange County edition. The price is $7.50 plus $3.50 postage.

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