Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Art Camps

A series of Summer Art Camps for children going into grades 6 to 8 have been scheduled on Wednesdays, July 13, 20, 27, and August 3,from 9:30 - 11:30 at the Canal Street Studio, 200 Canal Street, Fort Plain in cooperation with the Fort Plain Free Library. Each week, a different painting technique will be Illustrated including Adire Eleso which simulates tie dyeing on July 13 with King Lion's Gift; Japanese brush painting or calligraphy on July 20 with The Spider Weaver; hieroglyphics on July 27 with Tutankhamen's Gift; and beadwork on August 3 with Tremolo ~ The Mohawk Creation Story. Participants are encouraged to sign up for all, some, or one of the sessions.
Register for the basic Summer Reading Program online at for your chance to win a collection of age appropriate free books. Funding for this program was made possible, in part, with a contribution from the Montgomery County Youth Bureau.                    

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One World, Many Stories

This summer you and your children are invited to explore the theme One World, Many Stories duringthe Fort Plain Free Library'sSummer Reading Program that will run from June 19 through August 20. The Summer Reading Program will help to keep children reading during vacation by offering free activity sessions that will include stories, crafts, and special presentations for children of all ages. This year, basic record keeping will be done exclusively online either from your home computer or from the library. All ages, pre-school through adult, are encouraged to take advantage of this method of recording books read and even of posting a short review to share particular favorites with others. The online reading tracker at be available June 19, and anyone who registers will be entered into a drawing to win an age appropriate collection of books at the close of the program.

We are particularly excited to once again partner with the Youth Recreation Summer Program to offer this opportunity to their participants. On Friday, July 8, the Summer Reading Program will kick-off with a performance of One World, Many Stories with musician Cathy McGrath, at 2:00, at the Fort Plain High Schoolfor all attending the Youth Recreation Program. Families from the community are, of course, welcome to join us. Beginning on Wednesday, July 13, and continuing through August 10, children who have completed kindergarten, grades 1 and grades 2will be bused from Youth Rec to the library to share in the Summer Reading Program's weekly activity session featuring stories, crafts, and book selection. Children will be able to borrow books, and parents are encouraged to help their youngsters keep track of their selections and bring them to the program on Wednesdays so that they are returned to the library each week. In addition, a series of Summer Art Camps for children going into grades 6 to 8have been scheduled on Wednesdays, July 13, 20, 27, and August 3,from9:30 - 11:30. Watch the papers for specifics of these and other exciting offerings.

Should you have any questions about any aspect of the Summer Reading Program, please stop in at the Fort Plain Free Library or call 993-4646 during regular library hours.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May I?

As a child I would ask, "Can I have a cookie?" I was always quickly corrected, "Do you mean may I have a cookie?" May 15th is touted as National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. As synonymous as milk and cookies is NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® semi-sweet morsels and chocolate chip cookies. This product has been on the market since 1939, and there is a very interesting history and recipe collection on its web site. There are also several books devoted to this little piece of perfection, one of which, NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Best Loved Cookies, is available through the library system. A quick perusal of the Fort Plain Free Library shelves finds the following offerings…Double Chocolate Crisps in the Taste of Home Baking Book and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cake in the Better Homes and Gardens 9 x 13: The Pan That Can book.
On May 11th, the Fort Plain Free Library was honored to receive the Mohawk Valley Library System's Library Recognition Award at the system annual meeting in recognition of this past summer's Twain Along the Mohawk event. The award honors the efforts of a library to improve, expand, or enhance services to its community and the region. As stated in the citation, "Books have the ability to bring communities together as we have all seen with the success of community reads. The Fort Plain Free Library took this idea with a twist for its Twain Along the Mohawk program last summer, joining the author and his words with a celebration of community."
On Tuesday evening, May 24, from 6:00 – 8:00, the library will present Fort Plain's Finest Foodies. The program, by public request, will bring together samples and provide demystification of complicated sounding recipes. Participants are invited to bring a prepared appetizer, entrĂ©e, desert, etc. that sounds "gourmet" but is, in reality, easy to make. They will hand out copies of their recipes and explain the finer points of its preparation. Plates and service will be provided. The program is free and open to all. For more details, drop by the library.
So, what is the difference between may and can? Anyone may (to imply permission) go the library where they can (to imply ability) learn something new!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two Weeks For the Price of One

    April 10th through 16th is National Volunteer Week. Our mother was always a volunteer, though we didn't attach any special significance to the word. It was just what she did. And when we were pressed into service, volunteered so-to-speak, we thought that we were doing what all offspring of volunteers were supposed to do. After a couple of years of weekly trips to the nearest library in the next town, our mother decided we needed a hometown library. One of my earliest memories of volunteering was sorting boxes of books in the large room above the Redman's Hall in the small town where I grew up. After that, Mom decided to start a volunteer ambulance core, and I was enlisted to draw a depiction of the half-scale Cadillac ambulance for the fund drive. I could go on and on with our mother's efforts, but the point of this tale was her simple definition of volunteering. "Doing something to make the world a better place."

    April 10th through 16th is also National Library Week. Libraries make the world a better place. The authors whose works of fiction and non-fiction entertain and inform strive to achieve this goal. A volunteer can help to make the library a better place. There are often singular or routine tasks that can be performed by volunteers, thus freeing up staff to accomplish other tasks. The Summer Reading Program at the Fort Plain Free Library is one program that particularly lends itself to this type of service. Should you be interested in volunteering in any capacity, stop in at the library and leave your name, phone number, what you would be interested in doing, and we will get back to you. You never know where a simple act of volunteerism might lead. When Mom and my sister became Candy Stripers at the hospital, my sister went on to become a nurse and hospice volunteer. After a career in business and years of volunteering, my youngest sister went all the way and started her own non-profit, staffed by volunteers. Mom's library efforts (now housed in our old eight-room schoolhouse) started me down the printed path. As for that Cadillac ambulance I drew, it eventually materialized and arrived just in time to deliver my firstborn!

    On Tuesday evening, April 26th, from 6:00 – 8:00, The Fort Plain Free Library will host a program on Iris Folding. Participants will learn how to create beautiful, spiraling patterns using this simple technique. While this program is free, open to the public, and presented by volunteers, seating is limited.

For further information, please call the library at (518) 993-4646.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NetLibrary Access

Did you know that as a cardholder at the Fort Plain Free Library, you are able to download digital versions of popular bestsellers, book club favorites, and books by award-winning authors free of charge? Over 1,200 titles are available with an additional 30 added each month. Books may be downloaded to your home computer and to many portable listening devices including portable music players, portable media centers, pocket PC's, and some select smart phone devices. Books you choose are circulated for three weeks and are guaranteed to be available whenever requested.

The download service is available 24/7 from the NetLibrary web site that provides access to the downloadable audio book collection that the library has purchased and made available to patrons. First time users must create an account following the directions at After creating an account, users will be able to log in directly to the audio book website without going through a verification process.

Further information on this opportunity or tips for getting started will be provided in person at the library or by calling the library at (518) 993-4646.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Yer Old Sod!

An Irish Country Courtship (Patrick Taylor), Death of a Gentle Lady (M.C. Beaton)I spent most of February reading myself through Ireland. Just when I thought I was ready to revisit Jan Karon's Mitford, North Carolina, where did she take her readers but to Ireland via In the Company of Others? Aside from catching a glimpse of people of another time and place or catching up with already familiar characters in their time and place, there is often another gift to be found when reading fiction. I came away with several thoughts beyond the storylines of these excellent books. It's nice to read about people who are satisfied with what they do and care about the people in their charge. They are sturdy, unpretentious, and dependable. They and their likes are the foundation of a community. Moreover, they slow things down for us and, by example, teach us to appreciate the people we know and the beauty of the world around us.

While on the topic of the Irish and upcoming St. Patrick's Day, The Little Book of Irish Family Cooking by Ruth Isabel Ross offers up two interesting recipes, Apple Amber and Bread and Butter Pudding. Check the book out of the library and try one of these recipes for the upcoming holiday. Irish Crochet Techniques and Projects is available on interlibrary loan for those who are a little experienced in crochet. You may want to Google "Mountmellick," Irish Whitework, embroidery as well.

A friend sent me her favorite St. Patrick's Day recipe for Corned Beef Casserole.
Take ten ounces of medium wide egg noodles, par cook, drain, and place in large bowl.
To this, add one twelve ounce can of corned beef, shredded, eight ounces of sharp, diced cheddar cheese, one can of cream of chicken soup, and one cup of milk.
Pour into a greased 2 ½ quart casserole and top with ¾ cup buttered breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for forty-five minutes.
Serves six. Very good!

On Tuesday evening, March 15th, beginning at 6:00pm, Sherri Byrne will present a program dealing with natural fragrances in the home. She will offer recipes for furniture polish, rug deodorizer, bath salts, dusting powder, and potpourri. Materials are provided by the library, but enrollment is limited to fifteen, so please register at the library prior to the program to make certain there is a spot for you.

For further information on programs or publications, please call the library at (518) 993-4646.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Big Chill

I recently read that the Miriam Webster dictionary company word for the year 2010 was austerity. It brings to mind the native Mohawks for whom the word austerity was a fact of life in February of a bad year. When the Palatine Germans arrived, bringing with them their own lifestyle, pre-planning for the austerity of late winter was slightly more attainable. The harsh existence of ages passed was accepted as day to day life. Yet each culture still found the time and the means to express the beauty of the world around them. With the Palatines in mind, the Fort Plain Free Library will present a program on pierced paper Valentines on Wednesday, February 9th, beginning at 6:00 pm with local artist and instructor Joanne Resch. Participants will create a project reminiscent of German Fraktur work. The program is free and open to the public but seating is limited.
An upcoming program tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, beginning at 6:00 with Sherri Byrne will focus on herbal fragrances. More details will follow next month. Art and herbs, two ingredients of life, expressed and utilized by every culture that has come into this valley. Through our libraries, we can learn about their continuing influences on our everyday life.
If Cornell Cooperative Extension had been around two centuries ago, it probably would have offered a program called Save Energy, Save Your Energy. Today it's called Save Energy, Save Dollars and on Thursday, February 10th, from 1:00 – 2:30, Craig Clark of Cornell Cooperative Extension will offer local residents practical advice on how to lower their utility bills through no-cost/low-cost means.
Those of you who haven't been chilled enough by the weather might enjoy reading At the Mercy of the Mountains: True Stories of Survival and Tragedy in New York's Adirondacks by Peter Bronski. As for myself, I'm taking an armchair flight to the warmer climate of Ballybucklebo, County Down, Northern Ireland via An Irish Country Courtship, the fifth book in the Irish Country series by Patrick Taylor.
For further information on any of these programs or publications, please call the library at (518) 993-4646.
Submitted by Sally Taylor, member of the Board of Trustees