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.

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!