Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Music and Movement Starting Soon!

Music and Movement with Julie Reksc will begin on January 15th for children age 4 and under. This special Saturday morning program will run from January 15 through February 19th. Each of the six sessions will begin at 10:15am. The program offers children a chance to dance and sing to some favorite tunes! Space is limited so please contact the library at 315-697-7030 to sign up today!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Madison County Literacy Coalition Seeks Volunteers

Volunteers who are interested in getting involved with the Madison County Literacy Coalition are invited to attend the Literacy Planning Meeting on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 8:30 am – 11 am. The group will be meeting at the New Beginnings Church on Genesee Street in Wampsville.

The Madison County Literacy Coalition is committed to assist 100% of literacy providers to collaborate in achieving the vision of 100% access to literacy services in Madison County. The coalition was formed after results from a Literacy Needs Assessment for Madison County done by Kim Scott of Literacy Powerline. In the assessment, it was discovered that Madison County is challenged by a silent crisis: 5,520 of Madison County adult residents live with low literacy skill. This crisis severely limits Madison County's potential for future growth and prosperity.

The U.S. Census Bureau (2006) estimates the current Madison County population as 70,107. Sixteen percent of that population has not yet completed a high school diploma or its equivalent. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy Report (2009) estimates 10% of the Madison County adult population functions below the basic level, which indicates they have only the most simple and concrete literacy skills. These 5,520 individuals need adult literacy services. Thousands more individuals need continued skill development to advance in the workforce.

The Literacy Planning Meetings are being held the first Wednesday of every month through March 2nd of 2011. For further details or additional information on how you can become involved in this community movement, please plan to attend the meeting on December 1 or contact Carolyn Gerakopulos at the Oneida Public Library, 315-363-3050.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rebecca Eddy Memorial Writing Contest Awards Ceremony

More than fifty children and adult contestants entered their original poetry and short stories in the Canastota Public Library’s 10th Annual Rebecca Eddy Memorial Writing Contest this year. One surprise this year was the announcement of several drawings for all participants who attended the Annual Awards Ceremony. A laptop computer and various raffle basket winner’s names were drawn from those participants who attended the awards ceremony.

Drawing Winners
Dell Laptop: Donna Walrath
Raffle Baskets: Madelyn Milligan, Tricia Green, Marleah Roseman and Jeffery VanLiew
The contest was organized by Joan and Doug Eddy as a memorial to their daughter, Rebecca Eddy, a local Canastota woman who died at a young age in an automobile accident. Ms. Eddy was a graduate of Canastota High School as well as a graduate of John Hopkins University. She was an athlete, an artist, a thespian and a scholar. Eddy felt a passion towards writing and also towards her community. Joan and Doug Eddy were on hand to congratulate the winners and to encourage them to continue writing.

The winners of this year’s competition were named at a special awards ceremony at the library on Thursday, November 18.

The winners included the following:
10 and under Short Story
1st Place Kacey Cashel
2nd Place Megan Cretaro
Honorable Mention M. Loryn Wilcox
11-14 Poem:
1st Place Stephanie Seitz
2nd Place Harley Whitmeyer
Honorable Mention M. William Milligan

11-14 Short Story:
1st Place Sarah Cretaro
2nd Place Lydia Scheuermann
Honorable Mention Holly Popple
Honorable Mention Allie Cretaro

15-18 Poem:
1st Place Melissa McGovern
2nd Place Cassidy Backus
Honorable Mention Chris Bradley

15-18 Short Story:
1st Place Jessica McCallops
2nd Place Ryan McDowell
Honorable Mention Marleah Roseman

18 and over Poem:
1st Place Bernie Conklin
2nd Place Margaret LeBlanc
Honorable Mention Michael Seagriff
Honorable Mention Anne DeFrancisco

18 and Over Short Story:
1st Place Michael Seagriff
2nd Place Pam Maihafer
Honorable Mention Olin Davis
Honorable Mention Rachael Ikins
All contestants received a certificate for entering the competition. First and second place award winners also received a cash prize of $25 and $10 respectively. Every participant also received a bookmark of one of Rebecca’s poems. After the awards presentation, writers were encouraged to read a portion of their work to the audience.
The contest is coordinated each year by the Canastota Public Library at 102 W. Center Street in Canastota.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Swamp Snappers Display Work at Library

November's Art Display at the Canastota Public Library is a new photography group organized for the purpose of enjoying nature while learning about their craft of photography!
The Great Swamp Conservancy "Swamp Snappers" are a group of photography buffs that regularly meet every second Saturday of the month at the Great Swamp Conservancy to share their enthusiasm about outdoor photography. There are workshops, speakers, field trips and experienced photographers mentoring beginners. The group offers an opportunity for experienced & beginning photographers to share and critique their images with the community.
The photos of the Swamp Snappers are available for viewing and purchase at the library in the lower level Lawson Community Room. The pictures are breathtaking and amazingly were taken in our own backyard of Canastota! Members of the newly formed group include Peter Cann, Mike Clouse, Nancy Grabow, Eleanor Jones, Barbara Lindsley, Hayley Patane, Rusty Patane, Cheri Sassman, Donna Ward and Sherry Wright.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


When I was growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I was one of the “middle” children in our neighborhood. Those older than me were five or ten years older than me. And, those who were younger than me, also seemed to be at least five years younger than me. I spent a lot of time by myself or with my Mom. I don’t remember playing with toys or dolls at all. I must have had a Barbie or two, but I just don’t remember them. I remember reading. I can remember Mom taking me to the Grants store and buying me coloring books and reading books. I was enchanted.

As I grew older, I continued reading Little Women, The Little House Series, Trixie Beldon and more. Books were friends. They took me places and allowed me to see more than the tree in my backyard. At about twelve, I discovered romance novels and I devoured them. How glorious, to always have a happy ending! I loved it that true love always won out. Then, I started reading Mary Stewart and Mary Higgins Clark. From Mary Higgins Clark, I learned that I loved a mystery and if there was a love interest involved, so much the better. Sometimes I wondered if I would have become a different person, if I had read non-fiction. I might have been a little more cynical, a glass half empty sort of girl.

The fiction novels allowed me to find a world were happy endings were always possible—no matter the odds. I could become the heroine and save the day, whether putting out a fire, assisting a homeless pet or loving a child that wasn’t my own. Those novels made me believe that reality could be what I wanted it to be.

Somewhere along the way, life can really get us feeling down. And, we think that we can’t reach our goals. We can’t find our way in the storm. We will NEVER be able to try something new with our lives. Every negative thought that comes our way stops us in our tracks. We settle for the lives we think we were meant to live.

I think that our lives should be more like those fiction novels. Where the evil is always triumphed against and the demons of life are slain. Like those books, we should be able to find our way in the storm. We should be able to change our lives in mid-stream, to find a better way for us and for our families. Books offers us hope and the challenge to overcome obstacles; we need to accept that challenge.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Make Potato Chip Scarves for the Holidays!

There is still time to sign up for a special evening presentation of "Creating Potato Chip Scarves" at the Canastota Public Library! If you are planning to make some of your holiday gifts, why not consider learning to make these attractive scarves?

On Thursday, November 11th at 7pm, the Library Knitters will host a special instructional program on knitting potato chip scarves. If you are interested, you will need to bring 8 oz of a sport yarn as well as #4 knitting needles. Please call the library at 697-7030 to let them know that you will be attending so we can be sure that we have enough instructors available!


Monday, November 1, 2010

The First of November

I'm still not sure how November got here so quickly but I know it is here.  We had some of the white stuff blowing around in my yard last night and this morning and there is definitely a November chill in the air!  I guess just due to the chill, I am already thinking about getting my holiday shopping started this week.  I do have my wreath out and ready to go on the front door, but I've hesitated to put it up.  My husband won't be in the holiday spirit until December 1st or so!  I guess I've always felt the holiday spirit about a month earlier than him--probably because the holiday shopping is done by me.  If we waited for hubby to get it done, we would have our gifts purchased on Christmas Eve just as the mall is getting ready to close!  This year, I'm trying to get some gifts made and am trying to find really unique gifts for family and friends!  And, I am looking for warm, indoor activities to keep me busy!  This week at the library, we've got two very warm evenings planned for patrons!

This Wednesday,  November 3 at 7pm, The Great Swamp Conservancy Photographers will open their November Show in the Lawson Community Room.  We invite the entire community out to view this great photography show.  This group of photographers is a newly formed group and is sure to be a great treasure to our community!  Light refreshments will be served!

On Thursday, November 4 at 7pm, the library will host Julie Rimmel for a wonderfully warm presentation of "Holiday ABC Books".  Mrs. Rimmel has a collection of alphabet groups through the ages and she will share some of her favorites.  While children are welcomed, this program is designed for an adult audience.

If you have been thinking about making some of your holiday gifts this year, there is still time to sign up for our special evening presentation of "Creating Potato Chip Scarves."  On Thursday, November 11 at 7pm, the Canastota Library Knitters would be honored to help you!  You will need to bring 8 oz of a sport yarn, as well as #4 knitting needlesPlease RSVP by calling 697-7030 so the Knitters will know how many people to expect!

We hope to see you this week at the Library!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Annual Rebecca Eddy Memorial Writing Contest Underway Now

The 10th Annual Rebecca Eddy Memorial Writing Contest is coming back to the Canastota Public Library! This year's contest has an additional surprise! As well as being eligible to win 1st and 2nd place for each division, entrants who attend the awards ceremony in November will have the chance to win a laptop! Stop back soon to see the details on this great prize!

Entry forms should be available when school starts next week! Short stories and poems may be any style and/or subject and should be submitted to the library by October 31, 2010.
Entry requirements indicate that original poems should be 20 lines or fewer and original short stories should be between 500 – 5,000 words. Submissions should be made in only one category (poetry or short story) and will be judged by a panel of judges from the community. The following age divisions will be used in determining awards:
· Ages 10 and under

· Ages 11 – 14

· Ages 15 – 18
· Over Age 18
The contest was organized by Joan and Doug Eddy of Canastota as a memorial to their daughter, Rebecca Eddy.  Ms. Eddy was a graduate of  Canastota High School, as well as a graduate of  John Hopkins University.   She was an athlete, an artist, a thespian and a scholar. Eddy felt a passion towards writing and also towards her community.  Joan and Doug Eddy read each entry that is received into the contest.

The contest is free to enter and there are no residential requirements or limits. Entry Forms, available at the library, should be submitted with each entry.
An awards ceremony will be held in November (Date To Be Announced Soon) on the second floor of the library for all participants. All participants will receive a certificate for entering the competition. First and second place award winners in each age category will also receive a cash prize of $25 and $10, respectively.
The contest is coordinated each year by the Canastota Public Library at 102 W. Center Street in Canastota. For additional information, please contact the library at (315) 697-7030.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Biggest Book Sale EVER!

The Friends of the Canastota Library will be holding their Annual Book Sale on October 21, 22 and 23 in the entire lower level of the library.  Gently used paperbacks and hard cover books, VHS tapes, audio tapes and CDs will be available at great prices during the sale.  While the Friends have an ongoing book sale at this library, this book sale is where the Friends pull out all the stops!  There will be raffles and library commemorative items also on sale.

The hours for the sale are Thursday, October 21:  9am - 8pm; Friday, October 22:  9am - 5pm and Saturday, October 23 from 10am - 4pm.  The Friends of the Library group is a great help to the library, offering volunteer services, fundraising events and assistance at community programs on behalf of the library. 

Membership dues for Friends of the Library are available on an annual basis.  The memberships are reasonable at $3 per individual and $10 per family.  Both membership dues and profits from the annual book sale go towards the purchase of special library supplies and programs.  During past years, the Friends have purchased new window treatments for the Carnegie Room, a dishwasher for the library's Community Kitchen, a speaker's podium and a much needed bicycle rack and garden bench.  The Friends also made a donation to match the grant offered by the Gates Foundation to purchase laptops and desktop computers for public use. 

We hope that you might stop out to support the annual book sale!  We are sure you will find a few good books!

Monday, October 4, 2010

October brings back Storytime and Baby & Me Lap Sit

Happy October!  In October, we're very excited to see the babies and preschoolers come back to the library to enjoy fun library time!

Storytime with Mrs. Liz begins Thursday, October 7 at 10am. Habits begin at a young age and trips to the library to read is a very healthy habit. Your preschool child will enjoy stories, songs, a craft and a healthy snack at each session! No reservations are necessary...just come and have some fun! Storytime is held every Thursday from 10am until 11am beginning October 7 through December 16.
Miss Angela invites you and your baby to the fall/winter session of the Baby and Me Lapsit Program. The group of babies and caregivers meets each Wednesday at 10am in the Children's Area on the second floor of the library. The first session will be held on Wednesday, October 6 and for each Wednesday through December 15 at 10am. Bring your baby and come to learn about numbers, letters, colors, animals, and the farm! We promise lots of smiles and playtime with other babies. Baby and Me Lapsit is geared towards babies from birth through 24 months.
Hope you can start your child's life out right with countless trips to the Canastota Public Library.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thank You!

The staff of the Canastota Public Library thanks you for your support as we grieve the loss of our beloved collegue, Pete Leggett. 

We were overwhelmed by the many of you who attended Pete's calling hours and funeral services. 

We will continue to have our first floor cabinet dedicated to Pete and some of his work.  This display will remain up at the library for several more weeks.  Additionally, at our circulation desk, you may stop by and post your memories of Pete in a special notebook.  This notebook will be given to Pete's family in October.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pete Leggett

Pete Leggett
1958 - 2010

Our Beloved Friend and Colleague
Unforgettable and Irreplaceable

Your Library Family Will Miss You Always

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Upcoming October, November and December Events

On three Thursday evenings at 7pm in October (October 7, 14 and 21), Aimee Walrath of Scientific Paranormal will discuss Paranormal Activities. Her three weekly talks will include “Understand the Paranormal”, “Evidence Collection” and “Debunking or Finding Natural Explanations for Paranormal Events”. Founded in Syracuse in 2007, Scientific Paranormal is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scientific answers to unexplained phenomena to alleviate the fear and misunderstanding associated with this. The group uses the latest in audio, visual, and other specialty equipment in order to locate natural sources for claims of paranormal activity.

Thursday, November 4th at 7pm, the library will host Julie Rimmel for a wonderful presentation on “Holiday ABC Books”. Mrs. Rimmel has a collection of alphabet books from throughout the ages and she will share some of her favorites. While children are welcomed, this program is designed for an adult audience.

If you have been thinking about creating your holiday gifts this year, join the Canastota Library Knitters for a special evening presentation on “Creating Potato Chip Scarves.” On Thursday, November 11th at 7pm, the Library Knitters would be honored to instruct you! You will need to bring 8 oz. of a sport yarn as well as #4 Knitting Needles. Please RSVP by calling 697-7030 so the Knitters will know how many people to expect.

The Fourth Annual Victorian Holiday Tea will be held on Sunday, December 5th beginning at 1:30 pm in the Lawson Community Room. Hostess Kathy Bruno has a craft, games, teas and desserts planned for this special day. Bring your daughter, mother, grandmother, favorite aunt or special friend to this fun holiday event! Tickets are $5 per person and should be reserved prior to the date of the tea. Please contact the library at 697-7030 for reservations.

On Friday, December 17th, join us for a presentation on “A Century of Hats”. The presenter, Marlene Miner of Morrisville will be showing us fashionable hats from the last 100 years. This free presentation will be held on December 17th at 10:30 am in the Lawson Community Room.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Paranormal Investigation Series at the Canastota Public Library

Are you interested in the paranormal? Love watching Ghost Hunters? Feel that you may have experienced Paranormal Activities? Interested in hearing more about Paranormal Investigations locally?

On three Thursday evenings at 7pm in October (October 7, 14 and 21), Aimee Walrath of Scientific Paranormal will discuss Paranormal Activities. Her three weekly talks will include:

Oct 7: “Understand the Paranormal”
Oct 14: “Evidence Collection”
Oct 21: “Debunking or Finding Natural Explanations for Paranormal Events”.

Founded in Syracuse in 2007, Scientific Paranormal is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scientific answers to unexplained phenomena to alleviate the fear and misunderstanding associated with this. The group uses the latest in audio, visual, and other specialty equipment in order to locate natural sources for claims of paranormal activity.

Refreshments will be served at this free event, compliments of Scientific Paranormal!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chair Caning at the Canastota Public Library

Canastota resident and long time caner, Justine Mulford will provide chair caning instructions at the Canastota Public Library this fall.  Beginning in late September, Mulford will offer two classes for chair caning.  One group of caners will meet on Monday afternoons from 1 pm until 3pm.  A second group of caners will meet on Tuesday evenings at 5:30pm.  Both groups will begin meeting in late September and continue meeting through October and November.

While there are no fees to participate, caners will be required to obtain a list of caning supplies and a chair which will be recaned or caned during the sessions.  Participants should pre register as both sessions have a limited number of open slots.  Please contact the library at 697-7030 for a list of materials needed, dates of classes and reserve your space to participate!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bridge Lessons Sponsored by Friends of the Canastota Public Library

         Beginning September 30, the Canastota Public Library will offer Beginner Bridge Lessons with Mary Walsh from the “Bridge Studio” in Syracuse. The class is for new Bridge players only.

      The class size is limited to students who have never played Bridge. The series will be held in the Lawson Community Room, located on the lower level of the Canastota Public Library for eight consecutive Thursday mornings beginning September 30. The classes will be held from 10 am until noon on September 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4, 11 and 18.

      The cost for this eight week program is $25 per person and the fee must be paid by Friday, September 24 to participate in the program. Space is limited on a first come basis. Checks should be made payable to The Canastota Public Library. You can call the library to reserve your spot at (315) 697-7030.

      Please feel free to contact the library with any questions. This program is being sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Canastota Public Library, at 102 E. Center Street.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Library Friends,
     I hope you had a chance to see the stunning garden at the library this summer. It was planted, weeded, watered and pruned by a group of dedicated volunteers. The volunteers worked in the heat and sun to produce an outstanding array of long lasting blooms that brightened the days of each individual who happened upon it. From hosta to hydrangea, peony to purple coneflower, the library garden has been a joy to behold from May through September. The flowers will soon be gone but the memory of them will linger in our minds through the coming winter months. And with spring they will return, once again to lift our spirits.
     On behalf of the Library and our Board of Trustees, I wish to thank the volunteers for their labors because as Nineteenth century poet Augusta Carter said, “You don't have a garden just for yourself. You have it to share.”

Liz Metzger
Library Director

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's All About Learning

 Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. ~Chinese Proverb

     When thinking about writing this blog, I came across the proverb listed above. The quote helped me to remember how important learning is to all of us. When we stop learning, we stop living! There are various ways that we “learn”. Our libraries are full of books on a variety of subjects and can help us to keep our minds humming. Additionally, our local libraries are able to offer new learning opportunities for many in the community.

     The proverb also reminded me that school will be starting very soon! This time of year for many children and adults is a time of renewal. The summer is almost gone and we begin thinking about what we will do with our fall and winter free time. At the Canastota Public Library, we are doing the very same thing. This is the time of year when we plan our programming efforts, engage speakers, recruit volunteers to assist with programs and activities and motivate ourselves for a great fall and winter season at the library!

      It is sometimes difficult to decide what types of programs and activities we should offer at the library. Would patrons be interested in joining our book club, hearing about a specific topic, learning a new craft or skill? With so many patrons and so many different ideas and avenues to explore, our late summer efforts can get crazy!

     In past years, we have offered crafts for kids, various teen activities and our Lap Sit and Story Time programs. For adults, we have invited local authors to do book readings and signings and have had speakers on topics including The Underground Railroad, Hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Preparing for Community Emergencies. Our crafts for adults have included recycled crafts, holiday crafting, and decorating for the holidays.

     While we will continue to offer our popular Lap Sit, Story Time and Libra-teen program, we are always looking for interesting topics and activities for adults. If you have any suggestions or ideas on what types of programming you would like to see the library offer this year or in future years, please comment on this blog. Your help will be greatly appreciated! At the Canastota Public Library, we want to be a conduit to the treasures of your life.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Got Books?

The Friends of the Canastota Public Library are looking for a few good books! If you have books that you are interested in donating to the library, just bag them up and drop them off at the library during regular library hours.

Right now, the group is preparing for their annual Friends of the Canastota Public Library Book Sale. The sale is scheduled about a month earlier than previous years. This year’s sale will be held from October 21 through October 23.

The Friends of the Canastota Public Library can accept gently used hard and soft cover books, books on CD and audio cassette, DVDs, CDs, and VHS Tapes. Books should be in good condition, without any rips or tears. Books should also be clean or free from any writing, mold or mildew. Unfortunately, the Friends cannot accept encyclopedias, text books or Reader’s Digest Condensed books as they have found that there is no market for the resale of these books.

This annual fundraiser for the Canastota Public Library through the Friends of the Library allows the library to continue to provide needed services and programs to the community.  In previous years, these Friends of the Library funds have been used as a match to purchase additional public access computers for use, to provide specific programs and other needed resources to the library.

To volunteer your time to the Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale, feel free to leave your name at the library and a member of the Friends Group will contact you. If you have any questions about book donations, please contact the library at (315) 697-7030. The Canastota Public Library is located at 102 W. Center Street.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Harvesting!

It’s hard to believe that it is already the end of July. I had great intentions and lots of energy planning out a garden this year. It really didn’t happen the way that I planned it.

I was able to plant a nice three tiered strawberry garden in my side lawn. I can’t take much more credit for them than the actual planting. My husband and I planted about sixty strawberry plants. The plants are thriving and I’m sure that this is due to the long, hot and humid days and my husband’s evening watering. To date, we have picked two large bowls of strawberries and enjoy them just as quickly as we pick them. New shoots are sprouting out every day.

Although I had plans for a large garden, it never happened. We did plant four tomato plants in upside down containers that are hanging from my side deck. The tomatoes are growing but nothing is red yet! We also planted a jalapeno plant in a container. It is on the back deck and my son tells me that the peppers taste delicious. He is putting them on just about everything that he is eating! We also planted bell peppers. They are coming along nicely. We purchased a bag planter and planted potatoes this year for the first time. I am really looking forward to some home grown potatoes. Finally, I bought some seed strips to try. I planted radishes and hope that they are able to harvest within the next few weeks.

So, in spite of the fact that my plan was downsized, we should still have some tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and radishes this year. After our vacation, I’m hoping to make tomato sauces and salsas so that we can enjoy them through the winter!

If you have a garden or are buying local produce to put up for the winter, we hope you will stop by the library for some great books on preserving your harvest! I would suggest that you take a look at "Canning & Preserving Your Own Harvest" by Carla Emery and "The Farmer’s Wife Guide to Growing a Great Garden and Eating From it too: Storing, Freezing and Cooking Your Own Vegetables" by Barbara Doyen. We also have some magazines that will help with some great tips and advice like Mother Earth News, Mary Jane’s Farm and Hobby Farms.

Happy Harvesting!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Libra-teens Earn Madison County's Promise Mini Grant

The Canastota Libra-teen Group has recently been awarded a 2010 Madison County's  Promise, The Alliance for Youth Mini Grant in the amount of $200. The teens, who meet at the library once weekly during the regular academic year, will be working on a project geared towards bringing awareness to the goal of reducing substance abuse and building a safe and healthy community.

The teen’s project is entitled “The Power of Knowledge.” Each of the teens in the program plans to create a poster showing why knowledge is such an important issue in understanding the dangers of drugs and other substances. The teens hope to show that there are resources available at the Canastota Public Library to educate both teens and their parents about drug and substance abuse issues. The posters will be on display at the library’s Lawson Community Room during the month of December 2010 for public viewing. The teens also plan to write a script for a sixty second video as well as sixty and thirty second public service announcements for local radio stations to air. The video will be posted on YouTube, the library’s website and Facebook site as well as on PAC99. The radio commercials will be given to the local radio station, WMCR for use. The scripts and commercials will be created in the fall.

“We hope that the community will look at the library as a resource to find information about drug, alcohol and other substance abuse,” said Abby, one of teens working on the project. She also noted that the group hopes that other teens will find the library to be a safe and fun place where they can hang out with friends.

There are about fifteen members of the group who will participate in this project. The library will provide a safe meeting place, resources, various supplies needed and a team leader for the project. Madison County’s Promise mini-grant will allow the teens to purchase supplies needed for poster creation and video creation.

The teens will be working on this project during September, October and November. For additional information regarding the Canastota Libra-teens, please contact Beth Totten at the library. You can also visit the library’s website at For information regarding Madison County’s Promise, The Alliance for Youth, contact Sarah Johnson, Coordinator for the program or visit

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bored With Book by Beth Totten

I have always enjoyed James Patterson’s books. So, I was very excited to see another book, co-written with Maxine Paetro, called Private come into the library recently. I saw the book marketed just about everywhere—from the internet to the television and radio. There has been and continues to be a lot of hype for this book! And, the ‘buzz” about the book made it sound mysterious, high profile and kind of sexy. On Patterson’s website, I read the following intro for Private: “Former CIA agent Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily—and his staff of investigators use the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.”

Since Private is a new book, I was able to check it out for two weeks. It has never taken me more than a few days to scream through a Patterson novel though so I wasn’t worried. I was looking forward to secrets, a sexy private investigator and a thoroughly good read. This book, as with all of Patterson’s books, was a fast read. The chapters were tight and short. As I read before bed one night, I kept thinking that the chapters were so short that I could just “read one more” before sleeping. Unfortunately, when I finished the book, I didn’t feel like Patterson and Paetro delivered what they were advertising!

The book, while filled with a few “secrets” was too easy to figure out—no hidden mysteries or complications for our hero, Jack Morgan. The main character seems to have difficult relationships with family and unbinding relationships with women. The reader learns that Jack really loves his friends and would do anything for them, but I would have liked more depth to his character. As a reader, I never warmed up to him.

The cases that the private agency took on left me a lukewarm, as well. There were basically three investigations that the agency took on during the course of this book. The first that we’re introduced to is the murder of a former girlfriend of Jack’s. The girlfriend recently married Jack’s best friend and the best friend is accused of the wife’s murder. The second investigation involves multi-million dollar NFL gambling ring which also involves Jack’s twin brother and an uncle. The third investigation is with the local police and involves finding the maniac who is killing young school girls—eighteen in all. All of these investigations are done by the agency pro-bono. The investigations were predictable, short on details and lackluster. I never got enough information to get excited.

The marketing for the book touts the fact that the agency is world-wide. This reader was expecting travels to these various locations with secrets, murder and mayhem happening all over the place. After all, the cover lists New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris as places where the agency has a presence. The book takes place in and near Los Angeles but Jack only takes phone calls from the other branches around the world. The reader really doesn’t learn too much about these other offices, or how or why Jack opened offices in these other cities.

Running through all the investigations are Jack’s issues with committal…he previously dated the recently murdered wife of his friend. Things didn’t work out. There is also another forensic psychologist on the staff of Private who Jack had a relationship with for many years. He couldn’t commit and she moved on to the district attorney on the case of the murdered school girls. Now, he’s dating his secretary but poor old Jack can’t warm up to her either. Frankly, Jack’s love life bored me as much as the investigations.

I’m not exactly sure what happened with this book and that has been bothering me since I finished it last week. Was it me? Was I expecting too much? Was it the writing? Was there not enough information? Did the authors try to “shove” too much into one book? Was there not enough depth? I’m still not sure.

All I am sure about is that I didn’t enjoy this book. It didn’t make me feel involved in the investigations or the characters as other Patterson books have made me feel. Instead, I felt like I really didn’t care. I felt like I was reading a script for a ‘made for television movie’ that I was watching just because there wasn’t anything else on the other channels. The only thing I can say for sure is that the chapters were short and I read the book in two evenings. It was not memorable. I may try another James Patterson book in the future—he has four more books being published between now and March of 2011—but I’m not sure that I will be waiting in great anticipation!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Dark Side of Tanning by Dale Boyd

“GTL” is the unofficial catch phrase for the hit reality show “Jersey Shore”. It stands for “Gym, Tan, and Laundry” which from what I have gathered from watching the show are three of the most important things in life for Ronnie D and “The Situation” (yes that is what they really call themselves). What they apparently didn’t consider when they formed this motto is that excess tanning is dangerous and unhealthy; nearly doubling the risk for melanoma. A few months ago, a “Tan-tervention” was held on the show to show them all the risks of tanning and to convert them to safer spray tans. However, millions of Americans still go to the tanning beds to get the perfect look despite the risks.

Teens and young adults are the group that is most likely to use tanning beds. Melanoma is the second most common type of cancer for 15-25 year olds. Girls frequent them more often than guys, probably because girls usually put more emphasis on their appearances than males. This is not to say that men won’t overexpose themselves to either sunlight or tanning beds. In fact, tanning can become habit forming and for many people, even compulsive in ways that are akin to anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder.

July 1 is the date when Obama’s Tanning bed tax went into effect. Starting now, there will be a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning. One of the justifications for this tax was to offset the healthcare costs brought about by the dermatological illnesses caused by tanning. Of course, there are not currently any proposed taxes on sunlight, but it is clear that the problem of over-tanning is significant enough that it would garner the attention of the highest level of the Federal government.

So why would so many people be willing to risk their health and spend money on darkening their skin anyway? What do they believe that their skin color says about them? There was once a time in the United States when milky-white skin was fashionable and coveted. One of the reasons for this was that white skin was a symbol of wealth and class. Even as far back as Victorian England, women would wear makeup that made them look as white as possible. This makeup often contained toxic substances like lead, thus posing a major health risk.

Skin tone is a genetic trait. Unlike shoes or clothes, which can be changed with the times, there is only so much that one can do to change ones skin color. There was certainly an Anglo-centric bias embedded within the antiquated standard of pale skin color, in that not everyone could attain that standard without outrageously unhealthy means. This was a time when any skin color other than white was considered ugly.

This same phenomenon is still going on, yet now the desired skin color has darkened a bit. Now people are lying half naked underneath powerful UV lights and damaging their skin until they achieve the skin color that they desire. Not only is this unhealthy, but there are many people who no matter how many times they sunburn, they will not get a dark tan. Many people of northern European and Scandinavian descent simply do not have the ability to significantly darken their skin by tanning. They are also more susceptible to skin damage from prolonged UV exposure. Unless they feel like pouring brownish-orange goop on their skin, their skin will never compare to those who are fortunate enough to be genetically “beyond the pale”.
While tanning to the extreme is surely dangerous, there are some health benefits to a moderate amount of sun exposure. Sunlight helps the body produce Vitamin D, and a lack of sunlight can contribute to mental conditions such as depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Moderation is the key.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cell Phony: When Technology Betrays Us by Dale Boyd, Summer Intern at CPL

A Commentary on the book, Cell by Stephen King:

What if cell phones destroyed our minds and turned us all into brain-dead zombies? Leave it to Stephen King to write a book based on this idea. His 2006 book “Cell”, which is now being made into a televised movie, is the story of how one afternoon, everyone who answered his or her ringing cell phone instantly became a mindless, savage version of a human being. Ironically, many of those who saw this crazed behavior going on in the streets turned to their cell phones to call 911, thus turning themselves into brain-dead savages. These “phoners” would go on to form insect-like colonies with unusual psychic powers, leaving only the lucky few who either did not own cell phones or did not answer cell phones to try and survive the collective hives that now ruled the Earth. What an apocalyptic take on how we have come to rely on our electronic devices for information, and how the predictability of our reliance on these devices can leave us open to threats.

I send about five to ten text messages a day and almost never am without my cell phone, and as I was reading the book, the idea of my cell phone turning me into a mindless zombie made me want to take the battery out of it and lock all my doors and windows against King’s imaginary impending zombie doom. However, even as a cell phone user, I get annoyed when people put their cell phones ahead of what is physically going on around them. This is part of the dark appeal of this book, in that those stereotypical cell phone users who clog up supermarket checkout lines and swerve absent-mindedly in and out of their lane when they are texting seem to get punished by a divine act of vengeance. This is the sentiment that I perceived from the author, who specifically includes in the preface to “Cell” that he does not own a cell phone.

But why the dark appeal, Mr. King, for such a cellular social upheaval, and why is it also so terrifying? Technology has rapidly changed the way in which people communicate and socialize. It has expanded far beyond cell phones, into social networking sites like Facebook accessible by computer, and smart phones which now blur the line between phone and computer. A change in social communication also leads to changes in society. Words like “wall”, “profile”, “text”, “friend”, “tagged” and “like” now have different meanings than even a few years ago when the book was written. If King had written the book in 2010, he would have had a whole new slew of ways in which to terrify us with technology gone wrong.

Part of what makes “Cell” scary is the prominent role of electronic communication in our lives. I felt fine in the days before I had a cell phone, but once I got one, I felt almost naked without it. My phone conjoined with my wallet and keys to form a sort of Holy Trinity of my pants pockets; things I would never dream of leaving the house without. I was also fine before I got a Facebook, now that I have one, I feel uncomfortable going one day without checking it to see what messages friends and family have left for me. Things in our pockets and in our homes with screens, keys, and buttons open up many doors for us, but as soon as we become complacent and adjusted to them we can only feel deprived when we are left without them. The fact that so many people including myself rely on them for maintaining professional, personal and familial relationships makes it very disconcerting that they would ever betray us, leaving ourselves and those on our contact lists vulnerable.

Of course, it is possible and actually quite common for such betrayal to happen. While we don’t have to worry about our iPhones turning us into iZombies (I hope), human beings can get inside our cell phones and computers and try to sell us things that we do not want, pretend to be people who they aren’t, hack in to our devices and profiles to get our personal information, and even hijack our names to send viruses to our friends and families.

This happened to me once when I clicked on a Facebook message that looked like a YouTube forward from an old friend. After I that, I got an ingeniously evil virus that was designed to look like an antivirus program, and only got worse when you tried to remove it. I ended up spending $85 dollars to get it repaired, and I was left wondering if the cost of the Internet was worth the benefits.

Of course, I still use my computer, Facebook, and cell phone all the time, perhaps more than before. When I’m home from school, my computer and my phone are where my friends and family “live”. When we go without our computers and phones, we don’t miss them because we enjoy them as possessions, we miss them because we miss our social connections. Most of us do lead lives where all of our friends and family are under the same roof or in the same town. Rather, we have loved ones and professional contacts all over the nation and sometimes all over the globe. By far the most convenient way to reach them is electronically. The best thing that we can do is to be cautious and aware that other people and programs may be listening in on our electronic conversations.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Today's Guest Blogger for the library is Dale Boyd.  Dale, a student from Keuka College will be with us at the library for six weeks this summer!!!

As the month of June progresses, many college students caught halfway between the world of education and the real world find themselves in summer stupors. Lying listless on couches in front of televisions and air conditioners, they count the days until the next semester begins. Still others find themselves working in fast-food restaurants and supermarkets, driven by the desire for a few extra bucks and also to assuage their parents nagging them to “Get a job!” However, Keuka College students such as I often have a much different summer experience than others. Keuka’s focus on “Experiential Learning” demands that students go the extra mile over their breaks to get real world learning experience. I have chosen the Canastota Public Library as my learning site for the next five weeks, and I am very happy that I did.

Keuka College requires all of its students to complete four of what they refer to as “Field Periods”. This consists of four to five weeks spent out in the real world to attain a valuable learning experience. Students can go to foreign countries to do volunteer work, work in Fortune 500 companies, or do something right in their own hometowns. The idea is to gain skills and develop work ethic that lasts for a lifetime. I chose the Canastota Public Library because of my proximity of my home in Oneida to their location, my appreciation of the value of volunteer work, my appreciation of the value of education and my desire to help them develop more effective communication with the public.

As a communications major, I hope that I can learn a lot from the people working at the library. I look forward to witnessing how the library as an organization communicates with patrons, other libraries, and how individuals within the library communicate with one another. I also hope that I can help them to achieve their social media goals this summer. The library currently has its own Facebook and MySpace pages, and I hope to increase the number of people that visit these sites as well as to submit interesting content to enrich the viewing experience of those who visit the sites.

I am only in my third week, and yet I have been afforded the opportunity to contribute to the library in many different ways. So far, I have had to opportunity to redesign the library’s bookmark. The updated version includes a picture of the front of the building facing Center Street. The information concerning the services provided by the library as well as the library’s policies have also been updated. I have also had the opportunity to create the aquatic-themed children’s display on the second floor, following the suggestions of Liz Metzger, who is the director of the library and also my supervisor. Each kid gets their own cutout fish that he or she can color in according to his or her own creative vision, and each shape will be unique.

I was also entrusted with the task of hosting the library’s annual “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” game at the Roberts Street School Carnival. This year, we were lucky enough to dodge the downpours and we got a big turnout from the kids. They ranged from 4th to 8th grade, but it turns out that pretty much everyone was smarter than a fifth grader. I’ll admit, there were actually a few questions that I myself wouldn’t have known without the answer key. I have also created fliers that have been put up around the library to advertise the various events hosted by the library. This has familiarized me with the program Microsoft Publisher, as it is very useful for creating attention grabbing fliers in a short amount of time.

I look forward to the second half of my time here at the library and I hope that by the end of my experience here I will have helped them as much as they have helped me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Canastota Author Book Talk At Library

On Thursday, June 24th at 6:30pm, Canastota resident Margaret Ann LeBlanc will be at the Canastota Public Library to talk about her book, “The Mexico Adventure, Book Three of the Ms. Maddy Series.” This presentation is for parents and children!

All of the Ms. Maddy books tell stories involving Ms. Maddy, her dog, Gertie, and their friends, Chloe, Kate and Pete. In the Mexico Adventure, Ms. Maddy, Gertie and the children take a surprising trip with the aid of a magical purse and handkerchief!

LeBlanc, who is originally from Canastota, NY, has worked in the restaurant business for all of her life. She enjoys meeting new people and traveling to faraway places. She has also been a personal chef, doggie biscuit maker, and recipe collector. For several years, LeBlanc lived in the small village of Canaan, Maine. She and her husband moved back to Canastota within the last year to be closer to family.

Following the presentation, LeBlanc will be available to autograph books for those in attendance. The cost of the book, “The Mexico Adventure” is $16.95. Light refreshments will follow. The event will be held in the library’s Lawson Community Room on the lower level of the library.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


     When Nat King Cole sings “roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer”, it sure gets me thinking about all the summer days when I would curl up on the chaise lounge on our front porch. That was my favorite place to go to read a book! The porch was shaded and even on the warmest day; I could feel a slight breeze.

     If you are having a lazy day this summer, or thinking about going on vacation, you could probably use a good book to read. I hope you will remember that the Canastota Friends of the Library has an on-going book sale! The books and other materials for sale are set up in the computer area and the adjacent space at the library. Stop by any day that we are opened to check out the selection of paperbacks (Just 5 for $1) or hardcover books (either $1 or $3). We also have a selection of cds, dvds and videos that you can peruse. These are great for taking on vacation to the beach or just for some light reading after dinner.

     Some of us seem too crazy busy to stop and read a book. It that is you, you’ll want to check out MYaudio2go from the Mid-York Library System and the public libraries of Oneida, Madison and Herkimer Counties. MYaudio2go allows you to access hundreds of audio books from your home computer, twenty-four hours a day, seven days each week! MYaudio2go allows you the freedom to enjoy audio books, anytime, anywhere. It allows you to borrow audio books even when your library is closed and there is no need to worry about fines because the file becomes unplayable on the computer when the loan period ends. The service gives you access to bestsellers and classic literature and is jointly funded by the Mid-York Library System and its forty-three member libraries.

     To try out the service, go to and click on the link for digital audio. Go to the web site and install the free software. Browse for a book or search for a favorite author. Check the audio book out using your library card. Download the file and enjoy listening to the book on your PC or transfer the file to a compatible device to enjoy on the go.

     With all of us so busy these days, even during lazy, hazy and the crazy days of summer, the Canastota Library is here to meet our needs. Whether you are like me, and enjoy having the book physically in your hand; like my husband who enjoys audio tapes or like the kids who are really interested in using the MYaudio2go, the library is a great resource in the community! I’ll see you there. And, if I’m not working, you’ll find me on the porch at home, reading.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


If your children are like mine, they are already filling their summer days with lots of activities. And, like most parents, I’m looking for activities that are full of learning opportunities and that don’t break the family bank! The library is offering some great reading and writing programs for area youth at no cost! Not surprisingly, research shows that students who read during the summer breaks go to school better prepared in the fall semester! This year’s Canastota Public Library Summer Reading Programs are geared for fun and learning.

Children aged kindergarten to sixth grade may participate in the “Make a Splash at Your Library” Summer Reading Program. The “Make a Splash” program will run from June 28th through August 9th. Activities and special events are scheduled on a weekly basis. While most events will take place at the Canastota Public Library, some of the events will be held at the Auditorium at the Roberts Street Elementary School. Calendars listing all events and activities are available at the Canastota Public Library. Registration for “Make a Splash” is scheduled all day on Monday, June 28th at the Canastota Public Library on the second floor. Parents can also register children online through the Library’s website.

The library will also coordinate a special summer reading program for teens in grades six through twelve. Sign up is also schedule for all day, June 28th at the library on the second floor and through the library's website.  The theme is “Make Waves @ The Canastota Public Library”. Events, which all will have a water or beach theme, include a Battleship kick-off tournament at 2 pm on Monday, June 28th. The teens will also be able to participate in craft programs, a journal writing course and a reading club.

The Lunch Bunch reading club will meet each Tuesday at 12:30 beginning on July 6 and ending on July 27. A list of books that the group will be reading can be picked up at the library. Lunch will be served on the days that the group meets at no cost to participants.
The Write Stuff, the Library’s summer writing program for teens will meet each Wednesday beginning June 30 and ending July 28th. This year will feature journal writing including prompts and exercises! A journal and pen/pencil will be provided.

Teen Craft Days will be held on Thursdays at the library beginning at 1pm. Some supplies will need to be purchased by participants. Sign-ups will be necessary for Teen Craft Days so that we are sure we have enough materials for all to participate. Crafts include t-shirt decorating, flip flops enhancements and drink coaster sets.
The library notes that these programs can be made available due to the support that we receive from the Friends of the Library and in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute for Museum and Library Services!

These programs can be fun and informative for kids in grades kindergarten and up! And, the prices are definitely right at “free”. We hope that you will encourage your child to read this summer. Reading can take them to some very exciting places and help to prepare them for a successful school year in the fall!

Monday, May 24, 2010


I am becoming increasingly annoyed at new technology. In the past, my husband has indicated that I am the most technologically challenged person that he knows. And, although he is absolutely correct about my affliction that is not why I am annoyed with every new fangled gadget that comes down the pike.

I realize that there is a learning curve for everything that is new and different. I know how to basically use my email, my cell phone, and my iPod. My annoyance comes from the constant bombardment of communication. We have email, snail mail, telephones, cell phones, pagers, tweets, and blogs. Our information comes from the internet, television, radio, newspapers and magazines. While this is all very nice and sometimes even immediate, I think it is the immediacy that is most troubling and yet at the same time, helpful.

Tweeting, when I was young, was something that birds did. And, it made sense. Birds communicated with other birds by tweeting or chirping. Tweeting today, allows an infinite number of people around the planet, and perhaps beyond our planet, to know what a person is doing or thinking at the exact instant that they are doing and thinking whatever it is they are doing or thinking. Do we need to know that a particular person thinks that salespeople in the metropolis where they are shopping are rude and disgusting? Some things might better be kept to yourself!
I like my cell phone. A cell phone is particularly helpful in emergencies. I like to travel with a cell phone and have one with me in the event that a family member or coworker can reach me in an emergency. I do not like to chat. My college aged daughter communicates almost exclusively through chatting. The main reason I don’t like to chat is that when chatting, a person can’t see your emotions or hear your tone of voice. The second reason that I don’t like chatting is that I don’t understand most of it. Chatting seems to use a lot of slang. Often, my daughter will pepper her chats with little coded messages like “LOL” and “bc” and “GTG”. There are actually manuals online that list many, many different ways to “say” different things when chatting. For instance, the following all have to do with laughing: LOL, ROFL, FOFL, LIS, LMHO, LMSO, LOLA, LOLZ, and LOOL, to name just a few. Why can’t people just say, that made me laugh? Or, that is funny? Or simply—funny!

There are times in my life when I actually want to be alone. I crave the quiet. My best thinking moments are those spent on the deck listening to nature. I am able to focus more on important issues.

My undivided attention allows me to think through a problem and create solutions. I think that more of us should find that type of quiet and alone time. It should be time without a radio, a cell phone or any of those modern gadgets that shake or rattle or roll.
In this case, I believe there is more value in life in watching the birds and hearing them “tweet.” I have no interest in “tweeting” myself.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Canastota Native, Joan Cerio, to Speak at Canastota Public Library

On Tuesday, May 18 at 7pm, Canastota native, Joan Cerio, will speak about how she wrote her book, “In the Key of Life, An Activational Journey to the Soul”. The talk will take place at the Canastota Public Library in the Lawson Community Room. In her talk, Cerio will provide tips on how to allow your writing to flow.

Cerio, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Master of Science degree in science education, has also studied the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of life. She began this study as a massage therapist and then became a Reiki Master Teacher, Advanced Level Integrated Energy Therapy Practitioner and studied Healing Touch and Ortho-Bionomy. In addition to being a healer, Cerio is an author, mystic, teacher and speaker.

Cerio’s book, “In the Key of Life, An Activational Journey to the Soul” provides nine keys for opening to the truth of who you are and your life's purpose. This book is not a typical self-help, new age, metaphysical, or spiritual book. The book really is an extension of Cerio’s healing work and is a way to bring energetic support to more people.

Ms. Cerio will hold a book signing immediately after the presentation. The cost of her book is $13.95 plus tax. She can accept cash or checks only. Light refreshments will be served following the presentation.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

I love to sleep.  Sleeping in and sipping a steaming cup 'o joe on my deck is a spring and summer ritual for me. This time of year it is especially wonderful.  My husband filled all the bird feeders during a warm spell last week and the bluejays, cardinals, wrens and finches are visiting us in droves! 

This morning, alas, I was not able to sleep leisurely.  A friend, who also happens to be a library patron, decided that spring brings with it a new physically fit Beth.  Although I didn't want to admit it, she is right.  All of the health magazines and women's magazines that I am reading tell me that I need to get in shape.  Exercising will help me to decrease my blood pressure.  Eating healthier portions with more fruits and vegetables will help my cholesterol numbers to drop.  But, most of all, the winter blues that I get should diminish as I begin to exercise more both at the gym and outside. 

Today, my regiment began.  I was ordered to be up, walking, dressed for the gym and waiting in my driveway at 5:10am.  At that time, a blue van with my chaffeur and exercise partner, Lisa, would pick me up for our appointment.  Holy Toledo!  I didn't realize that anyone actually got up at that hour, let alone exercised.  Are people really that crazy, I thought?  Yes, they are.  My alarm jarred me at 5am.  I was up, dressed, walking but definitely not awake!  We made it to the gym and had to look for a parking place!!!!  I was amazed at all the other folks who are up, exercising and SMILING.  I did about 25 minutes on the treadmill and another 20 on various weights to tone what once was a size 2 body.  And, although I will never admit it to my friend Lisa, I rather enjoyed getting up and going early.   My day started so much more productively than usual. 

I guess some of my spring mornings will now be spent at the gym.  So, that leaves the deck and all those wonderful birds for my evenings, after dinner.  I bet the birds are still feeding then.  You'll find me there with a new bestseller and my cinnamon scented coffee.

Happy Spring everyone!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


In the small community in Western Pennsylvania where I grew up, I can remember how “adult” I felt when I was permitted to ride the bus or walk downtown to the public library. For me, the library outing soon became a regular event. Every Saturday, I would find a project that needed me to check out the card catalog on the first floor of the library. Hours were spent pouring through the catalog and various books to ensure that I would create a good research paper. I would sit in one of the reference rooms and work on term papers, read books and giggle with friends who had also gone to the library to hang out! For me, that was heaven!

Today, much has changed. The card catalog has been replaced by a computer program. The internet has replaced many of our book resources. But, much hasn’t changed. I am still drawn to peruse new books. I love to check the shelves for books on subjects of interest—from planting a summer garden to organizing my house and on genealogy. Sitting in the magazine room and flipping through the current issues is an enjoyable afternoon or evening pastime. And, the library staff is still friendly and helpful. If I can’t find a particular book, the library has the resources of more than 40 other libraries in its system and countless other libraries, world-wide.

The Canastota Public Library is a great community center for our area. Monthly, the public is invited to art exhibits showcasing artisans from the area. On Sundays, we’ve been showing “Oscar’s Best Picture” films, alternating between early and more recent winners. This spring, we’ve held two free concerts for the public on Sunday afternoons. Every Friday morning, the area’s knitters descend on the Lawson Community Room to knit, sew and talk technique with others. Mothers and their babies and tots arrive every Wednesday and Thursday mornings for our Children’s programs on the second floor of the building. As well, seniors have been able to obtain help in completing their taxes with a volunteer since January. We’ve also featured programs on breast cancer awareness, surviving a money crunch and hiking the Appalachian Trail. Over 100 local community groups meet at the library on a regular basis including girl scout troops, tutors, public service groups such as the Rotary and Lions Clubs, a Bridge playing group, The Canastota Community Chest and more.

Change is inevitable in life. And, while change has happened in the library, I’m so glad that the library hasn’t changed too much! It is still a haven for me and so many other readers, researchers and members of the community. The Canastota Public Library touches many lives in our area!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is Our Library Essential?

Did you know that Governor David Paterson is proposing a $2.4 million cut in Library Aid in the NYS 2010-2011 Executive Budget?  This will be the fifth cut in less than two years and will bring Library Aid down from $102 million in 2007 to $84.5 million in 2010. These cuts combined total an $18 million or 18% reduction in funding for library services. Libraries are part of our safety net—they are essential to life long learning, jobs and opportunity, quality of life and community empowerment.

Here at the Canastota Public Library, we have seen an increase in the number of people using services here.  From our regular programming like StoryTime for Toddlers and Baby & Me Lap Sit to our Teen Group and evening programs, we see more people walking through our doors.  We have also seen a rise in computer usage here at the library.  With so many locally out of work, we've had people coming in to fill out on-line applications, search job opportunities on the internet and take out books on starting a business or writing a resume!  Our DVD collection seems to see a lot of action, too.  Many families can't afford to take the whole gang to the movies but they can borrow a DVD for two nights at no charge, make popcorn at home and have a great time!
Last year, when my husband was out of work, we looked to the library for resources on cutting our household expenses, living on a budget and for entertainment purposes.  The library had those resources for us!  Our children use library resources for educational learning and for reading entertainment.  The library is our second home.
We asked some of our patrons why the library is essential in their are some of the answers!
  • My library is essential because: "My son couldn't live without the library.  He has a great love for the library!"
  • My library is essential because: "It is the touchstone of Canastota and life!"
  • My library is essential because:  "Without it, I would be lost."
  • My library is essential because:  "It offers many hours of peaceful entertainment."
  • My library is essential because:  " We couldn't afford to buy books for our children.  We don't have a computer at home. My children use the library to get information for school like the computers and books that the library has."
If the library is essential in your life, you can provide support.  Stop into the library at 102 W. Center Street and sign our petition which will be delivered to Albany politicians in March.  Or, visit  There, you can sign the online petition as well as see what a typical day at a library looks like.  We have submitted a Wednesday Video from our library and statistics for a typical day here at the Canastota Public Library.  We used statistics from Wednesday, Feb 2, 2010.

When we, as a people, seem to have less resources, the libraries are the first place we turn.  Why would we allow Albany to cut aid to libraries again?  Please offer your support!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Calling All Teens! Learn To Knit @ The Library!

Have you ever wanted to learn to knit? If you are a teen, in grades 6 and up, this is your chance! The Canastota Library Knitters are offering free knitting classes for teens during the month of March!
The Canastota Public Library Knitters will provide a pattern and plenty of assistance during this free program. The knitting lessons will be provided every Thursday evening during the month of March from 7 – 8 pm. Classes will be held on March 4, March 11, March 18 and March 25. Teens need only provide a set of single pointed knitting needles, size 7 or higher and one skein of worsted yarn. Teens should also bring their enthusiasm for learning something new.
To register for the Teen Knitting lessons, contact the Canastota Public Library at (315) 697-7030. Or, stop by the circulation desk to register with your name and telephone number.

The Canastota Public Library knitters meet every Friday morning at the library. Their goal is to offer friendship, knitting lessons and knitted items to local non-profit agencies and those in the area who might be in need of knitted items. The group is open to anyone who knits or would like to learn to knit.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chase Away the February Blues @ The Library

February is the shortest month of the calendar but I still find that it is one of the hardest months of the year for me.  Perhaps I feel that way because I am tired of the cold, windy, snowy weather that keeps me housebound. I find that I develop cabin fever and start looking for new hobbies or new places to visit just to get me out of the house.

In February, we have a lot going on at the Canastota Public Library!  Several of our regular programs such as Baby & Me LapSit, Preschool Storytime and our Librateen programs gear back up during February.  As well, we have some special programs that you might want to check out. 

Baby & Me Lap Sit With Miss Angela will begin February 3 through May 19. The program will run every Wednesday morning for parents and/or caregivers and their babies to age twenty-four months. This spring session will include numbers, letters, colors, zoo animals and the farm. Baby and Me Lap Sit begins at 10 am and includes story reading, fingerplays, songs, rhymes and more to stimulate your baby!
Thursdays at 10am is our Preschool Story Time. Bring your preschooler for stories, games, crafts and a snack. This hour-long program is definitely a favorite of children and parents who attend. This program will be held Thursday mornings beginning on Thursday, February 4 and will continue through Thursday, May 20.

The Canastota Libra-Teens will begin meeting every Wednesday afternoon after school. This group (grades 6 and up only) will create fiction, hear speakers, make crafts and a whole lot more! The group meets from February 3 through May 19 each Wednesday afternoon until 4:30pm. If school is not in session( for vacation or for weather reasons), there is no librateen meeting. All are welcomed.

If you love beautiful artwork, you'll want to stop by the library during February to discover the art of M. Santiago Pavone. Ms. Pavone was born in Puerto Rico, raised in Connecticut and now lives in Canastota with her husband, Mike, her dog, Gala and a beta fish named Rojo. Pavone enjoys working in oils, ceramics, color pencil, pen and ink and pencil. Currently a graduate student, Pavone would love to someday be a Children’s Book Illustrator.  Her work is whimsical and can brighten up a dark February day!
For the movie lover, nothing goes better than Sunday afternoons and movies! We’re showing the Best Picture Oscar Winning Films on the first and last Sundays of each month. Our Sunday Cinema shows begin at 1pm in the Lawson Community Room on the lower level of the library. We will be alternating between early and more recent winners. Light refreshments will also be served during the movies.  Movies for February are:

February 7: American Beauty (1999)

February 28: You Can’t Take It With You (1938)

The last Wednesday of every month is the library’s Book Chat. The book discussion begins at 1pm in the Lawson Community Room. February’s meeting will be on February 24. The discussion will be featuring, “The First 48,” by Tim Green. Books are available at the library.

“Surviving A Money Crunch” will be the topic of a presentation by Consumer Credit Counseling Services on Tuesday, February 9 at 7pm. The talk is open to the public and will be held in the Lawson Community Group. We ask that you call the library to confirm that you will be attending so that we have enough handouts for everyone!

On Monday, February 15, the Canastota Public Library will be closed in honor of President’s Day.

For more information on these events and our regular weekly programming, go to and click on the Mid-York Calendar of Events.

Keep Smiling!  February is a very short month!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Learn How to Survive a Money Crunch @ The Library

When the economy gets tough, many of us have trouble staying current with our creditors.  Wouldn't it be nice to learn how to create a family household budget and survive these difficult times?

Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Central New York will provide a free one hour session at the Canastota Public Library on Tuesday, February 9 at 7pm. The session will be held in the library’s Lawson Community Room.
This workshop, “Surviving A Money Crunch” is designed for anyone facing a financial crisis such as a loss of income or major unexpected expense. Participants learn how to prioritize their obligations and gain control of the situation. A Consumer Credit Counselor will talk about recognizing your money personality, developing a spending plan and will teach you the Six Steps to Gaining Financial Control.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central New York ®, Inc. (CCCS) provides solutions to budgeting, credit and debt problems. Since 1972, the agency has helped individuals and families gain control of their money and get on the right track to financial stability. CCCS is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) agency, licensed by the New York State Banking Department as a Budget Planner. CCCS is a member-affiliate of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and maintains accreditation through the Council on Accreditation. There are no income qualifying guidelines for the agency’s free financial counseling.

This program is free but to ensure that there are sufficient materials for all who plan to attend, reservations are requested. To reserve your space, call the library at (315) 697-7030. Located at 102 W. Center Street in Canastota, the Canastota Public Library is a timeless community resource for you and your family.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Potato Chip Scarves

Potato Chip Scarves?

          What can be better in the winter than a nice warm colorful scarf to keep the wind from swooping down into your coat?  I can't think of anything, personally.  And, if you like knitting, you'll love Potato Chip Scarves.  The Canastota Public Library Knitters recently completed their latest project, “Potato Chip Scarves.”

          “They just look like the chips that come out of those cans and they are really delightful,” noted Eleanor Bajohr of the Knitters Group.

          With an average of fifteen to twenty knitters attending meetings to knit every Friday morning at the Canastota Public Library, the knitters are just coming up to their second anniversary! They are very proud of their donations to various organizations in the community. During this past year, the knitters created preemie hats, hats and booties for the newborns at the Oneida HealthCare Center. They also knitted caps, scarves, mittens and slipper socks that were donated to the Opportunity Shop in Canastota. This year, sixteen lap robes were donated to area shut-ins.

          The Canastota Library Knitters meet every Friday morning at the Canastota Public Library at 102 W. Center Street in Canastota. The meetings run from 10am until noon. Everyone is welcomed to attend. If you are interested in learning to knit or an accomplished knitter, feel free to stop in for one of the Friday meetings. Additionally, the knitters group always appreciates donations for their projects.