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.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The Canastota Public Library has a group of teens who meet at the library every Wednesday after school. The Libra-teens range in age from 11 to 16. Generally, fifteen to twenty teens attend the weekly programs.

The first event for the fall was redecorating the teen room. That project, which actually began as a part of the Summer Reading Program, allowed the teens to create a new brick and graffiti look to the teen room. Once the new wall hangings were in place, colorful stars were added to the ceiling. New lounge chairs and pillows help to give the teens a place to sit and read or to talk quietly with friends. A bulletin board displays artwork of the students and a calendar of events is posted in the room to allow the teens to know what events will be coming up!

This year, the group has listened to several guest speakers. A workshop on Healthy Relationships was provided by Liberty Resources staff. The group also heard a presentation regarding World Hunger. After this talk, the group donated non-perishable food items to the Opportunity Shop. Recently, teens met with Amanda Hewitt, Product Development Manager at Nelson Farms. Hewitt brought recipes and demonstrated how to make holiday gifts from the kitchen. The group also held a “Survivor Day” at the library where they used library skills to win the game.

Plans for the rest of the year include speakers from Operation Wildcat and Bridges Prevention Program. The teens have planned a movie afternoon, a Valentine’s Party and a recycled craft day.

For more information, call us or stop by our teen room and check out the schedule. You just might realize that the library is a fun place to meet!

Monday, January 4, 2010

An Opportunity for the New Year

We rang in the New Year, like many families, at home watching the ball drop at Times Square. We sat in the living room, eating junk food and drinking soda and were entertained. We hollered and whooped and there were hugs and kisses all around. My husband turned to me at midnight and said, “Well, we made it through another one.”

I’ve been thinking about that comment for a few days now and I have to admit that while I agreed with him, I’ve decided that I am troubled.. With our current economy, the news focused on terrorism, unemployment rates at an all time high, high snowfall and cold weather and more, a person has to feel great frustration in the day to day routine. I’m sure there are many of us thinking the same as my husband. But, “Making it through another one” just doesn’t do it for me. I want to do more than just survive. Don’t you?

In spite of our tribulations, we have countless opportunities available to us. This is a great time to look at our goals, lifestyles, pastimes and be able to make changes. Not resolutions to change but change itself. Change, while sometimes frightening, can be a good thing!

Since my husband lost his job several months ago, the family budget has diminished significantly. Mealtime planning has become very interesting. I now make a weekly “menu” before I leave for the grocery store. How do I decide on the meals? I’ve got a list of family favorites and I’ve been experimenting by checking out cookbooks and cooking magazines from the library. Some of my favorites are The Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith, Once A Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and The Freezer Cooking Manual: From 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy by Tara Wohlenhaus. I look for ways that I can save and still provide a healthy, nutritious diet for the family.

From that menu, I only add to the grocery list those things that we absolutely need. By using a grocery list, I find that I don’t spend extra by impulse shopping. Clipping coupons and checking store circulars while I am working on my menu for the week also help me in keeping the costs down. I buy what is on sale and use that in my menu options. And, if it is possible, I may buy extras of those items that are on sale to use in a future week’s menu cycle.

This past weekend, I took our youngest son with me on the menu planning and weekly shopping trip. He has started to make some of our meals and help in meal preparation so I thought this was a good idea. Since he can be a picky eater, it was helpful to have him with me to support the menu/food changes that we are making.

It also gave us some great quality time to spend together. While he wasn’t ‘feeling the love’ for some of the items that we bought, he understands that change is important. I was surprised to note him checking the prices on some of our old “staples” like name brand cereals and breakfast items. He quickly checked coupons and then decided on ‘store brand’ if coupons weren’t available.

We’re living changes—not making resolutions to change. And, it is due to our family’s economy. This is a great opportunity! The dietary changes are healthier for us. We are spending less, experimenting in the kitchen together and having fun creating and eating improved meals.