Last Wednesday, we held a very special event with local author James Keough who discussed and signed copies of his book, “The First K-9 Trooper in the NYS Police.” Since then, we’ve gotten several calls from folks who were interested in purchasing Mr. Keough’s book.

If you weren’t able to make it to the signing, Mr. Keough has been kind enough to autograph a number of copies for us and you can purchase them here at the library any time we’re open.

SongTeller Sessions

As you may have heard, we have a new monthly concert series that we are very excited about. We’re calling it the SongTeller Sessions and they happen on the first Friday evening of each month. The idea is that each performer receives the same list of 10 questions that they answer through stories and songs.

Among the questions are: What was a song that your parents loved? What was the first bad song that you wrote? What song makes you think of home?

Please join us for our next concert on Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m. Our performer this month is folk singer-songwriter Laura Boggs Gagnon. With influences such as Patti Smith, Natalie Merchant, and Suzanne Vega, she has been writing and performing for over 15 years.

Laura is a teacher-librarian, originally from Guilderland, now working and living in Schoharie County.  Coffee and snacks will be available and all ages are welcome!

“Geography of Bliss”

On Monday, March 6, at noon the First Monday Book Club will meet to discuss “The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner.

Based on the true story of the author’s travels around the globe to learn what makes people happy and contented in different cultures. Please join us.

Trivia night

The past two months, we’ve had to cancel trivia due to illness and snow, but I’m feeling pretty good about this next one: On Thursday, March 9, from 7 to 9 p.m., our monthly Trivia Night is back.

Make a team, study up, and BYOB to this mind-twisting trivia contest! Entrance is $5 and the winning team takes half of the door. Contestants must be 21 and up, please.

Build a birdfeeder

To celebrate the imminent arrival of springtime, bring your favorite young folks down to the library on Saturday, March 18, at 11 a.m. We’ll be building birdfeeders to welcome our feathered friends back from their migrations.

We’ll have a bunch of different types to make, so there will be something to make for every skill level.

Every month, we hold a wonderful event called the Eat Around the World Potluck, where members of our community come together and prepare and share foods from a different culture or country each month. In February, we’ve decided to add another element to the mix.

On Monday Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., we will be sampling the cuisine of Syria. In the Capital District, we have seen many people who have escaped the recent violence in Syria and are now trying to make a new life for themselves among us. Often, these refugees come to the United States with only the proverbial clothes on their backs, and they need help.

To that end, on the night of our potluck and in the week before it, we will be accepting donations of household goods to be distributed to groups that work to resettle refugee populations. Making a donation is by no means necessary to attending the potluck, but if you are inclined, we have wish lists of household and personal goods here at the library that would be warmly and gratefully received.

SongTeller sessions

As you may have heard, we have a new monthly concert series that we are very excited about. We’re calling it the SongTeller Sessions and they happen on the first Friday evening of each month.

The idea is that each performer receives the same list of 10 questions that they answer through stories and songs. Among the questions are: What was a song that your parents loved? What was the first bad song that you wrote? What song makes you think of home?

Please join us for our next concert on Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m. Our performer this month is folk singer-songwriter Laura Boggs Gagnon. With influences such as Patti Smith, Natalie Merchant, and Suzanne Vega, she has been writing and performing for over 15 years. Laura is a teacher-librarian originally from Guilderland, now working and living in Schoharie County.

Coffee and snacks will be available and all ages are welcome.

Book discussion

On Monday March 6 at noon the First Monday Book Club will meet to discuss “The Geography of Bliss” by Eric Weiner. Based on the true story of the author’s travels around the globe to learn what makes people happy and contented in different cultures. Please join us.

Altamont Free Library

— Photo from Joe Burke

I Love My Library! Gala celebrants on Saturday night included, from left, Congressman Paul Tonko, Altamont Free Library Director Joe Burke, AFL Board of Trustees President Christine Carpenter, Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, and Altamont Mayor James Gaughan. They are standing behind Guilderland High School students who volunteered to help for the evening.

Altamont Free Library Gala

— Photo from Joe Burke

Going, going... Linda Cure, an Altamont library trustee, displays a painting by local artist Joan Johnson  as Tony Kossmann serves as auctioneer Saturday evening at the library’s annual fundraiser. This year, the Train Station Quilters were honored.

Another gala is in the books! I have to extend a huge thank-you to everyone who attended the 10th annual I Love My Library! Gala last Saturday night. I hope everyone had as fantastic a time as I did.

Many, many people contributed to the success of the Altamont Free Library event, but a by-no-means-exhaustive list would include Robin Love, Meghan Connelly, Yvette Terplak, Steve Terplak, Pat Spohr, Sally Dague, Sharon Forman, Michelle Stevens, Vicki Vattimo, Christine Carpenter, Ron Ginsburg, Mike Seinberg, and Linda Cure, among many, many others.

I’d also like to thank the many donors of auction items, appetizers and desserts; the great volunteers who kept everything running smoothly; and Bella Fleur and Elegant Touch Catering for their phenomenal work. Finally, many thanks are due to our honorees for the evening, the amazing Train Station Quilters for all their hard work and dedication. Thank you all for your time, energy, and creativity.

We’ve got some pretty great events coming up over the next few weeks.

Juice and Jammie

Tonight, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. put on your PJ’s and join Ms. Erika for a pre-bedtime story, snack and craft! This storytime will be just the thing to prepare your kiddos to count sheep.

Keough signs his book

Please join us for a very special event on Thursday, Feb. 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. Local author James Keough will be discussing and signing copies of his book “The First K-9 Trooper in the NYS Police.”

Mr. Kough served on the New York State Police from 1965 to 1998 and has collected stories over three decades worth of stories with partners both human and canine.

Syria potluck

Every month, we hold a wonderful event called the Eat Around the Word Potluck, where members of our community come together and prepare and share foods from a different culture or country each month. In February, we’ve decided to add another element to the mix. On Monday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., we will be sampling the cuisine of Syria.

In the Capital District, we have seen many people who have escaped the recent violence in Syria and are now trying to make a new life for themselves among us. Often, these refugees come to the United States with only the proverbial clothes on their backs, and they need help.

To that end, on the night of our potluck and in the week before it, we will be accepting donations of household goods to be distributed to groups that work to resettle refugee populations. Making a donation is by no means necessary to attending the potluck, but if you are inclined, we have wish lists of household and personal goods here at the library that would warmly and gratefully received.

Every month, we hold a wonderful event called the Eat Around the Word Potluck, where members of our community come together and prepare and share foods from a different culture or country each month. In February, we’ve decided to add another element to the mix.

On Monday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m., we will be sampling the cuisine of Syria, a nation that has been much in the news over the past two years as a devastating civil war has upended that nation and created a refugee crisis that has affected the entire world. In the Capital District, we have seen many people who have escaped the violence in Syria and are now trying to make a new life for themselves among us.

Often, these refugees come to the United States with only the proverbial clothes on their backs, and they need help. Whatever one might think of the United States accepting refugees from war-torn nations, they are our neighbors now and they need help.

To that end, on the night of our potluck and in the week before it, we will be accepting donations of household goods to be distributed to the local chapter of the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) and similar groups that work to resettle refugee populations. Making a donation is by no means necessary to attending the potluck, but, if you are inclined, we have wish lists of household and personal goods here at the library that would warmly and gratefully received.

Trivia night

On Thursday, Feb. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m., our monthly Trivia Night is back. Make a team, study up, and BYOB to this mind-twisting trivia contest. Entrance is $5 and the winning team takes half of the door. Contestants must be 21 and up, please.

Valentine’s Day craft

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and instead of the usual store bought card, make a card by hand at the library! Please join us on Sunday, Feb. 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. We’ll have all the supplies you’ll need and all ages are welcome.

Juice and Jammie

On Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. put on your PJ’s and join Ms. Erika for a pre-bedtime story, snack and craft! This storytime will be just the thing to prepare your kiddos to count sheep.

Keough signs his book

Please join us for a very special event on Thursday, Feb. 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. Local author James Keough will be discussing and signing copies of his book “The First K-9 Trooper in the NYS Police.”

Mr. Kough served on the New York State Police from 1965 to 1998 and has collected stories over three decades worth of stories with partners both human and canine.

Please join us for the second of our SongTeller Sessions Concerts this Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. In these concerts, each local performer will receive the same list of 10 questions that they’ll answer through stories and songs so that we can get an idea of their personal and creative journey. The questions are:

— What is a song your parents loved?

— What was the first album you bought with your own money?

— What was the first song you learned to play?

— What's the first bad song you wrote?

— What's the first good song you wrote?

— If you could have written any song, what would it be?

— What song do you love that other people seem to dislike?

— What's a traditional/folk/children's/church song that you like?

— What's a song that reminds you of home?

— What song of yours would you like to be remembered by?

Our performer this month is local folk rocker Plupen. Plupen is the stage name of multi-instrumentalist John Florussen. He has been creating music as Plupen since his time at film school in the early 2000s. In 2003, he met and fell in love with an American, and they subsequently traveled the world together. They now live in Schoharie where he continues to make new music.

Coffee and snacks will be available and all ages are welcome.

Gala

It’s nearly Gala time! Please join us at the tenth annual I Love My Library! Gala on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at the Altamont village hall community room. Invitations are in the mail and can also be picked up here at the library. There will be dinner, dessert, live and silent auctions, and much more. This year we will honor the amazing Train Station Quilters who do so much to create the fabric of our community. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and in addition to being important for the library, it’s also a ton of fun. If you’ve never attended before, you don’t know what you’re missing. Please join us.

Book talk

On Monday Feb. 6 at noon the First Monday Book Club will meet to discuss “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson. Based on the true story of the author’s unlikely attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail with his desperately out of shape friend, this hilarious story is a pleasure to read and to discuss. Please join us.

Trivia night

On Thursday, Feb. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. our monthly Trivia Night is back. Make a team, study up, and BYOB to this mind-twisting trivia contest. Entrance is $5 and the winning team takes half of the door. Contestants must be 21 and up, please.

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