Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Friends Fund Early Literacy Initiative

Thanks to the Friends of the Library Book Sale, the Canastota Public Library will be able to continue the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) for another year. The Friends have very generously contributed $5000 from their annual sales to support early literacy in our community.  Many volunteers worked throughout the year to make the October Book Sale a success.  They collected donations and spent countless hours setting up, organizing materials by genre and category and serving as cashiers.  Others baked cookies for shoppers, assembled raffle baskets and helped customers find and carry purchases to their vehicles.  Their annual sale always receives compliments from shoppers as being well organized and very reasonably priced.
The library is grateful to our many volunteers for giving their time, talent and energy so selflessly.

This financial support from the Friends is monumental as the original $30,000 grant Canastota received from the Central New York Community Foundation to start DPIL is rapidly running out. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) was started by Dolly Parton in 1996 in her home community as a way to inspire children and families to dream big and turn those dreams into a brighter future.  To do this, DPIL provides a new, age appropriate book each month to children from birth to age 5. Each partner community provides funding to purchase the books at a steep discount and pay for mailing costs. DPIL covers all administrative expenses and provides logistical support, training, financial management and other support services.  DPIL costs approximately $25 per year per child and Canastota currently has 225 local children enrolled.

This program is very important because a student not reading at his or her grade level by the end of third grade is four times less likely to graduate from high school on time and six times less likely if from a low-income household. A 2009 study by researchers at Northwestern University found that high school dropouts were 63 times more likely to be incarcerated than college grads. Getting books into the hands of young children and reading with them daily gives a child the best possible start in life. And being a good reader may result in more favorable life outcomes.

Donations to the Canastota Public Library Dolly Parton Imagination Library program are gratefully accepted in any amount year round.  Please contact Library Director, Liz Metzger, at 697-7030 for more details.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Autumn & Book Sales...My Favorite Times

Booksale Geeks:  (l-r)Natalie Gustafson, 
Mickey Kissane and Eleanor Bajohr

          Autumn....the colors of rust, red and yellow in our trees, the crackle of dried leaves under our feet, the thrill of the the wind whipping through your hair, the smell of a book in your hand....yes, these all say Autumn to me. 

          I love the autumn and I love a good booksale!  The library is humming with excitement for this year's Annual Friends of the Library Book Sale.  I plan to be there early perusing the gently used books and music CDs.  I will stock up on some of my favorite authors and even pick out some nice books to use as gifts for my nieces and nephews for Christmas.

          Weeks and months prior to this annual event, our volunteers, led by Natalie Gustafson, Mickey Kissane and Eleanor Bajohr, comb through donated books to find treasures that you and I will enjoy on our coffee table, in our bookcases and as gifts.  This year's sale is no different.  There are boxes and boxes of items under lock and key just waiting for patrons to purchase.  The "Friends" already have a nice variety of books, books on CD, DVDs, VHS movies, and music CDs.  If you would like to donate to the variety on hand, please feel free to call the library for guidelines.
          The dates and times for this year's sale are:

Thursday, October 16:      9am - 8:30pm
Friday, October 17:       9am - 5pm
Saturday, October 18:      10am - 4pm

All proceeds from the sale will be used to benefit the library and/or library programs.  Past proceeds have helped to finance library renovations, purchase computers for public use and refinish tables.  

Celebrate autumn...come to the booksale!      

Monday, September 15, 2014

Exceptional Artwork Of Course

Each September for the last five or more years, the Canastota Public Library has featured the work of the Exceptional Artists in Oneida, Herkimer and Madison Counties.  Some years there has been so many pieces that we have had to increase the space and house part of the display on the first floor of the library.
                                                                                                                                                            Exceptional Artworks will be on display this year during the month of September in the Lawson Community Room.  The work includes paintings, needlework, mixed media and more!  The work is always interesting and pleasing to the eye with the artists using texture, color and design to draw in the viewer.
The mission of the Exceptional Artworks Program is to increase public awareness of the talents and creativity of people with developmental disabilities, and to provide the artists with opportunities to express their thoughts and feelings through the arts.  State and voluntary agencies from Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison counties participate in the Exceptional Arts Program.  The Exceptional Artworks Program Committee is comprised of 24 representatives from seven agencies, which are:  THE CNY DSO; Oneida-Lewis Chapter, NY-SARC; Madison-Cortland ARC; Herkimer Area Resource Center; Resource Center for Independent Living; Heritage Farm; Arise (Madison County). 
If you are interested in meeting the artists, consider attending the Artist's Reception.  There, you can tell the artists what you like about their particular piece of art.  An artist’s reception will be held on Wed, Sept 17 at 10am for the artists and anyone else who would like to attend!  We hope you will stop in this month to see what is on display at the Canastota Public Library!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Buttino Donates DVDs

          Lou Buttino, a 1962 graduate of Canastota High School, donated two of his films to us.  The DVDs can be found in the non-fiction section and will circulate for a one week period.  "Fighting the Mob:  The Carmen Basilio Story" and "Broken Brotherhood" are documentaries Buttino helped create.
          On Wednesday, October 8th at 7pm, we will screen "Fighting the Mob:  The Carmen Basilio Story" on the second floor of the library.  Lou Buttino will introduce the documentary.  The film details that Basilio couldn't be bought by the mob-backed International Boxing Commission.  Basilio helped bust up the mob and realized his childhood dream of becoming welterweight and middleweight champion of the world.  The Basilio story is narrated by actor Paul Sorvino and was featured on ESPN.

          "Broken Brotherhood," the other donated documentary, is an hour long.  It depicts the emotional scars left by the Vietnam War.  Buttino and Robert Aberlin look back on the 60's and their time at Colgate University.  They look at the experiences of their fellow alums regarding the war and their decisions.  Those decisions continue to haunt these men.

                   A college professor, Buttino has written three books.  He has also been involved in the making of over two dozen documentary projects.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Local Farming, Local Foods...Grassroots Read

Mid-York Library System’s Regional Read

A Regional Read program brings a community together through reading, learning and discussion of a single book or topic of concern.  In 2004, our Mid-York Library System set the community on fire with Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.  This year, we have chosen a topic that is close to home for us.  Mid York Library’s 2014 Regional Read will be a Grassroots Read.

In this program, we hope to bring together the traditional and the trendy by exploring both the vibrant agricultural community that is a vital part of the Madison, Herkimer and Oneida Counties.  There has been much publicity recently about “locavores,” individuals who endeavor to eat more food that is locally produced and we are hoping to turn our reading, learning and discussions and programming efforts into what we have locally and how we can learn to utilize more of our local produce, local farms and perhaps become more self-sufficient ourselves.

Our featured titles include books for all ages and reading levels.  The titles include:  “The Dirty Life:  A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love” by Kristin Kimball (for adults and advanced readers); “Potatoes on Rooftops:  Farming in the City” by Hadley Dyer (for middle-grade readers) and “Tops & Bottoms” by Janet Stevens (for young and beginning readers).

Kristin Kimball’s “A Dirty Life” tells the author’s journey from life as a journalist in New York City to farming 500 acres in upstate New York.  Her journey began with an interview with an idealistic farmer and continued through the couple’s wedding on the farm they built together.   Along the way, Kimball learns to make maple syrup, drive horses, raise chickens and weed vegetables.

“Potatoes on Rooftops” is filled with fascinating facts of urban farming and a global farming perspective.  The book showcases urban agriculture world-wide and hopefully, provides encouragement for youth to start their own rooftop gardens. Hadley Dyer’s book shows that you don’t need acres of land to grow your own food!

“Tops and Bottoms” is Janet Stevens’ award winning tale of a wily hare and a lazy bear.  Children will love the illustrations and story of a trickster who uses his wits and hard work to overcome adversity.  Children will learn about common farm crops and learn that some vegetables are harvested from the “top” of the plant while others come from the “bottoms.”

In addition to the books, area libraries in the Mid-York System will be offering programs dealing with local agriculture.  At the Canastota Public Library, we began our programming efforts in August with a canning workshop, a “garden to table” cooking demonstration and a seed saving lecture. 

This September and October will bring more programs with a local agricultural spin to the Canastota Public Library.  We hope that you and your family will read one or all of the Grassroots Read books that we’ve selected and join in the discussion of local farming and local food!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Watch Our Garden Grow

Cicero said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”  At the Canastota Public Library, our gardens are beautiful.  If you haven’t stopped to smell the flowers, enjoy the ambiance and check out our raised bed vegetable garden, please try to find the time to do that.

Last year, we started our Canastota Seed Exchange.  It offers anyone in the community the opportunity to share in a wealth of non-hybrid, open-pollinated seeds—many of these lovingly shared from native Canastota families who have grown specific beans, peas and other plants for years.  If you haven’t experienced the Seed Exchange, here’s how it works…you stop in and browse our seeds, select the ones that you would like to try.  Then, you go home and plant them, water them, and grow them to maturity.  Harvest those you would like to try and then save the seeds from one or two plants.  Once they are ready, bring those seeds back to the library and donate them to be planted by someone next year.  It’s a simple and fun concept.

We also decided that although our gardens had many flowers, it would be nice to show our patrons just what some of the seeds look like when planted and grown in our garden.  Katrina and Jan from our staff researched what grows best near each other and created a grid for the garden.  They then planted some of our seeds.  As I walked through the garden this morning, I took the time to check out the progress of the beans and peas and other vegetables planted there.  The raised bed vegetable garden looks spectacular!

Like many libraries that have started seed exchanges, we are considering the option of creating a space for community gardens.  We believe that a community garden would be a place where area residents, adults and children, could learn to grow, share and learn about food, specifically sustainable gardens and food literacy.  In our mind, gardeners who would like to farm on a library plot would agree to follow various practices and maintain their space.  This type of garden in larger cities has helped people feel a greater sense of community and belonging.  Many people who have small properties might like the experience of farming a small lot in a community garden. There might also be a community area where we could grow food that would be donated to the Opportunity Shop for their food bank.  We would probably ask the gardeners to help us maintain that area as well.

The library has much to offer as far as research, books and resources on gardening.  As a matter of fact, this summer we are offering three programs dealing with the garden.  Our first program will be held on Monday, July 7 at 6pm and is titled “Canning, from Applesauce to Zucchini Pickles.”  Small classes will show the process from start to finish.  Amanda Hewitt from Nelson Farms will be teaching this session.  Additionally, in August (August 13 at 7pm), we will present “From Garden to Table,” a cooking demo by Angela Rigler.  She will use fresh vegetables from the garden to prepare a great summer evening meal.  Finally, on Wednesday, August 27 at 6pm, Katrina McManus will offer “Simple Seed Saving” and share tips on how to clean and save your seeds to donate to the Canastota Seed Exchange.  We hope to continue to offer these types of programs for our community.

No decisions have been made regarding a community garden space but we would really like to learn if the general public of Canastota is interested in this type of area.  You can email me your thoughts at btotten@midyork.org or just leave a comment on this blog.  Or, stop by and share your ideas with us at the library.  We’re here for you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fizz, Boom Read and Spark a Reaction Summer

This summer is full of family-friendly fun at the Library!  Join us for puppet shows, animals, magicians and singers.  This year’s summer reading program, Fizz, Boom Read will begin on Monday, June 30th with self-registration all day.  This is for children from pre-school to teens. 

Baby & Me Lapsit with Miss Angela will begin each Wednesday at 10am and run from July 2 through August 6.  This program for babies up to age 24 months and their caregivers introduces your child to the library.  Interactive in nature, the program offers stories, fingerplays, and songs.  New this year is an additional craft session following the Lapsit.  Crafts for this group will be offered at 11am on the same day!  Please remember to register if you will be staying for the craft so that we have enough supplies available.

Storytime with Mrs. Liz will begin on Thursday, July 3 and run for six weeks until August 7.  In this weekly program, preschoolers enjoy read-aloud stories, games, songs, a craft and a snack.  The fun begins at 10am each Thursday.  As a special treat, Mama Pajama will be here for the Storytime on Thursday, July 10th so feel free to wear your pajamas and rock out with Mama Pajama that day.

Other special family fun nights include the following:
  • ·       Thursday, July 10 at 7pm:  Out of the Cage Pet Mobile will offer a hands-on educational experience with a small exotic petting zoo
  • ·       Tuesday, July 15 at 7pm:  Moreland the Magician will astound and delight you with his magic
  • ·       Wednesday, July 23 at 7pm:  Talons:  Birds of Prey will be on hand.  You will see hawks, falcons and owls up close for this performance
  • ·       Monday, July 28 at 7pm:  Story Laurie will perform her Super Sonic Escapade at the library.  Come and sing along!
  • ·       Tuesday, August 5 at 7pm:  Field Paleontologists Mike and Roberta Straka will explore the great extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, some of the creatures that lived in the sea and half of the animals on earth

The teen group has the theme of “Spark a Reaction” this summer.  Teens will begin their summer of fun at the library with a Sparks Party on the lawn on Tuesday, July 1 at 6pm.  We will play twister, light some sprinklers, eat munchies and pick up our “reading records”.

Teens can join our Lunch Bunch Reading Club each Wednesday at 11:30pm for an informal lunchtime discussion about the following five books:  Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper (July 9), Cinder by Marissa Meyer (July 16), The Giver by Lois Lowry (July 23), Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (July 30) and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (Aug 6).

Other fun activities for teens include:
  • ·       Anime Emporium with Danielle Landers for those interested in learning to draw anime (Saturdays, July 12, 19 and 26 from 11am – 12:30pm)
  • ·       Spark a Reaction with Science (Monday, July 14 at 3pm)
  • ·       SteamPunk Jewelry Workshop, a fun make and take workshop (Monday, July 21 at 6pm)
  • ·       Holy Costume, Batman Party will end our summer…with old Batman tv shows, games, and Batman Swag….come to the Bat Cave on Friday, August 8 from 1 – 2pm