Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Exercise....At The Library???

 by New Ventures BOCES Intern, Savannah Souza de Lima

          Did you know that there is an exercise program that meets regularly at the library?  Christine Crandall is the instructor for the weekly "Bone Builders" program  The program targets more mature aged adults who are interested in maintaining their health and/or getting in better shape.  

          Research has shown that regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. It can delay aging and improve your appearance. Exercise can make you feel more confident and boost your self-esteem. Exercise helps improve both sleep and bone density, which lowers the risk of osteoporosis. Muscle mass diminishes with age. If you do not replace the lean muscle you lose the percentage of fat in your body will increase.

          Exercise can help control and lose weight. By burning more calories than the calories you consume, you can lose weight. It’s as simple as that; diet and exercise, smaller portions and longer walks. Exercise improves mood.  Physical activity stimulates brain chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body, leaving you feeling happier and more relaxed. After a boring or overwhelming day at school or work, there is nothing more I want to do than take a long walk with my dog or spend an hour at the gym.

          Not sure where to start?  The library has exercise books like Kathy Smith's "Fitness Makeover:  A 10 Week Guide to Exercise and Nutrition" or Porter Shimer's "Too Busy To Exercise" which offers some great ideas on how to get exercise into your day.  The library also has DVDs on a myriad of exercise programs like yoga and the "Dance It Off Workout" with Jennifer Galardi.  And, if you want to try our Bone Builders Program, stop in on Tuesdays at 1pm and see Chris Crandall.

          You only get one body. Take care of it. If you don’t use your body then you will lose your body.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015



              Are you doing some spring cleaning and have some donations for the library?  The guidelines for donations of materials has changed recently.

            The Friends of the Library has determined that some items that have been accepted previously may no longer be accepted for the Annual and Ongoing Book Sales at the library.

            Canastota volunteers will gladly accept gently used books, music, books on CD and DVDs.  All these must be in good condition and free of donor stipulations. 

            Unfortunately, due to space and sales requirements, the library volunteers will not accept the following:
    • Textbooks
    • Old Magazines
    • Non-Fiction Books that are more than five years old
    • Books containing marks, underlining or other defacements
    • Soiled, damaged, discolored, moldy or torn items
    • Illegal, stolen or “pirated” copies of copyrighted materials
    • Encyclopedias
    • Reader’s Digest Condensed Books

If you have any questions, you may call and ask a staff member at the library about the new guidelines.  All donations may be left with library staff during any hours that the library is open.  The library is open currently on Monday through Thursday from 9am – 8:30pm; Friday from 9am – 5pm and Saturday from 10am until 4pm.  Library staff can be reached at the library or by calling 697-7030.   You may also email the library at

To volunteer your time to the Friends of the Library, feel free to leave your name at the library and a member of the Friends Group will contact you.  The Canastota Public Library is located at 102 W. Center Street.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


 By Savannah Souza de Lima
(Madison-Oneida BOCES New Ventures Intern)

The Canastota Public Library is interested in planning and planting a community garden in the village.  There are many reasons that a community garden can be beneficial to families and individuals in a community.  Our Madison-Oneida BOCES New Ventures Intern has highlighted some benefits of growing your own food. 

1.     Growing your own food saves money. The price of food (fruits and veggies especially) is becoming more and more expensive. With a minimal investment you can save hundreds off your grocery bill. Research shows that the average household will throw away $600 worth of produce every year. We are more likely to throw out mushy vegetables that have been bought at the store than something we ourselves have grown. Fresh homegrown vegetables also taste better which makes us less likely to let them sit and spoil.  We would much rather eat them sooner and enjoy them.

2.     Introducing your kids to vegetables makes it fun for them. There is a better chance of getting children to eat their veggies when they have grown and picked the vegetables on their own garden.  Children also learn more about our food sources when they are actively working in their own garden.  They have an invested effort in their own food.

3.     Working in your garden is therapeutic. Liz Metzger, Canastota Library Director, says, “I love pulling weeds! I feel like I am accomplishing something in such a small amount of time.” Planting seeds, nurturing them and watching them grow also gives a sense of accomplishment and pride like nothing else.  Harvesting and then canning, freezing or otherwise preserving your harvest allows you to enjoy your food all year long.

4.     Knowing what’s in your food is important. By growing your own food in your garden you’re in control of how you fertilize and control pests. Growing food without pesticides and herbicides cuts down on air and water pollution.  Many people are finding that they prefer to grow heirloom seeds or seeds that are not Genetically Modified Seeds (GMOs).  These heirloom seeds are the seeds that past generations have enjoyed for years.  They have a tendency to grow better in their “home” soil.

5.     Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is environmentally friendly. Producing food locally greatly reduces the greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation of food. Fruits and vegetables sold in supermarkets spend as many as 7 to 14 days in transit to arrive at their final destination. During this time, almost 50% of the transported food is lost to spoilage. Locally grown food reduces or eliminates this transit time, helping to greatly reduce waste.

6.     Spending time outside is healthy! Working in your garden gets you outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.  And, everyone knows that getting outside is a real boost for your spirit, outlook and attitude.  Just being in the sun helps to boost the Vitamin D that your body needs.

7.     Beautifying the neighborhood is beneficial. While vacant lots can be magnets for litter and criminal activity, community gardens are observed and managed by the gardeners, resulting in a cleaner space and more active local community.  Communities that have community gardens tend to have friendlier neighbors who look out for each other and for the neighborhood.  Community Gardens produce a great sense of self-worth or community worth!

8.     Exercising is Easy. Gardens can be areas for recreation and exercise. Gardening is considered a moderate to heavy intensity physical activity.  According to MyFitnessPal, a popular calorie counting application, if you weigh 150 pounds and work in your garden for an hour, you will burn about 270 calories.  Your total calories burned depends on several factors including weight, age, metabolism and gender.  The best part of exercising in your garden is you won’t find yourself watching the clock or counting the minutes until you are finished. 

The Canastota Public Library has been considering creating a community garden as a way of bringing the community together and lessening environmental strain. Get involved! For more information on the status of the community garden, visit the library located 102 W Center St, Canastota, NY or call (315) 697-7030.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Guest Blog by Savannah Souza de Lima

          Our blog today is by our student intern, Savannah Souza de Lima.  Savannah told us that her favorite book is "My Antonia" by Willa Cather.  We decided to ask her to write a short review about the book to encourage folks to read it....what follows is Savannah's Book Review!

My Ántonia is a story of a young girl who moved with her family from Bohemia to Nebraska in the early 1900’s. A childhood friend, Jim Burden, narrates the story and share memories of his close friend Ántonia Shimerda, who, after leaving his childhood home and town, had a profound impact on his life.
Growing up in the house next to Ántonia, Jim witnessed the Shimerdas’ devastation after they realized that Nebraska was not as friendly or as promising as they had hoped. Jim also saw Shimerda family experience great loss and heartbreak after Mr. Shimerda committed suicide. And again, Jim watched the cruel and unfair happenings hit the Shimerda family after a young Ántonia is abandoned by the father of her unborn child.
Through the story, Jim tells the reader all the unfortunate happenings that occur in Ántonia’s life and he expresses his admiration for her good spirits, her sense of life and her taking on the role of an unexpected and lonely motherhood. The story of Ántonia Shimerda leaves the reader with the image of a remarkable and unforgettable young woman.
Praised as one of Willa Cather’s best works, My Ántonia is a “must read.”

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Library Value Calculations

On this last day of the year, I was wondering if my life has changed for the better in the past year. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, I realized that my affinity for the library has actually resulted in some valuable benefits.

The website, actually has a Library Value Calculator.  At this site, you can see how much your library is saving you.  There is a list of library materials and services.  You enter in the left hand column the number of times per month you have used each service and the website calculator does the rest.

Since I couldn't remember exactly how many books, magazines, movies and newspapers I had borrowed, I estimated and I believe that my numbers were far below my actual usage.  I am an avid reader and rarely buy books anymore if I can borrow them from the library.  I estimated that I borrowed 19 hardcover books, 6 teen/children's books, 5 paperback books, 18 magazines and read at least 35 newspapers at the library throughout the year.  I borrow more than 2 movies and borrowed more than 24 audiobooks for my car trips to visit the family in West Virginia. I know that I used other library services such as Interlibrary loans, online resources, databases and classes but for my purposes here, I didn't include those items.

This past year, just using the above numbers that I listed, my library saved me about $150 per month or almost
$1,800 this year. The value of my library is even more than that.  I have met so many great people here at the library, including other writers, the staff and very knowledgeable tens who have taught me about sports, current events, and offered insight on many different aspects of my life. The teens that I work with enrich my life every week that I spend with them.

As we close 2014, you might want to check out the Library Value Calculator and see what you saved by using the library this year.  I'm sure you saved even more than the calculator will tell you.

I love my library.  And, not just because that's where I work!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Food for Fines Now A Year-Round Program

            During November and December for the past few years, the Canastota Public Library has held a “Food for Fines” program.  In doing so, the library forgives a patron’s overdue fines for the Canastota Public Library when the patron donates non-perishable food items to the library.  In turn, the library staff has then taken the food to the local Opportunity Shop to help stock the shelves of that local food pantry during the holiday season.

            Hunger is not just a holiday issue.  Hunger affects many local residents year round.  The Board of Trustees of the Canastota Library were so impressed with the number of donations that we’ve received during the holiday season that they have extended the effort to a year-long program.  The trustees believe that this will be a benefit to community programs and help many in our local area.

            While we will still accept cash for your late fees, you can now bring a non-perishable food donation anytime there is a late fee due to the library.  Unfortunately, if a patron loses an item or if an item is damaged or never returned, the patron will be charged for the replacement of that item.

            All non-perishable food donations will be divided equally and donated to the following programs: The Opportunity Shop Pantry, The Compassion Connection Pantry at Believer’s Chapel and Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen located at the United Methodist Church in Canastota.  We can also accept donations of cat and dog food which we will donate to Wanderer’s Rest.

            The library is a community center in the village and hopes to continue a spirit of giving that we have held since we began providing services in 1896. Our knitting groups continue to knit and donate items to Oneida Healthcare Center, the Extended Care Facility, area shut-ins, and the Carol Baldwin Cancer Breast Cancer Research Fund. The library also provides the Dolly Parton Imagination Library at no cost to area children.  We will continue to help our community in whatever ways we are able to help. For additional information on any of our library programs, please stop in or call us at 697-7030.

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.