You may have noticed by now that your copy of The Altamont Enterprise this week is a little thicker than usual. That’s because this week, you’ll find a special four-page supplemental section of the paper dedicated to the 100-year history of the Altamont Free Library!

This extraordinary document is the product of countless hours of research, writing, and editing by the indefatigable Kristin Casey, to whom the library owes a great debt for all of the work that she voluntarily put into it. Kristin was ably assisted by numerous editors and contributors, including Linda Cure, Keith Lee, Christine Carpenter, and Ron Ginsburg among others. Thank you all.

The publication of this history marks the end of the celebrations of our centennial year. Throughout 2016, we have had many opportunities to reflect on the changes our library has seen over the past 100 years: Changes in our location; changes in our community; changes in reading habits, and changes in our role in the community.

We have grown from a rather exclusive dues-paying organization with 482 books for lending into a determinedly inclusive community resource with over 13,000 books, as well as movies, computers, and more to be borrowed and used by anyone residing in Albany or Rensselaer counties. From our home in the historic Altamont train station, whose renovation was perhaps the ultimate expression of the virtues of community, we look forward to a bright future in our 101st year and far beyond.

Many thanks are due to everyone who has played a role in the celebrations of our centennial. The list of names of those involved would require an additional four newspaper pages to print, but please know that you all have our sincere appreciation and the appreciation of the many generations hence for whom this library will exist.

The library will be closed on Sunday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day. From all of us on the library staff to all of you, we hope you have a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2017!

New-gadget assistance

Now that the holidays are behind us, many of us are left trying to figure out how the heck to use the new techno-goodies we’ve received. For everyone who takes to new technologies like a fish to water, there are five of us who are utterly befuddled by new devices.

But fear not; that’s what the library is here for. Call the library at 861-7239 to book an appointment to sit down with a librarian for up to a half-hour to sort out your gizmo issues.

Book discussion

On Monday, Jan. 2, the Noon Book Club will get the new year started by discussing “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” by Jan-Phillip Sendker. We’ve got plenty of copies set aside, so please join us for what will certainly be a phenomenal discussion.

SongTellers sessions

In the new year, we will be starting a new monthly concert series that we are very excited about. We’re calling it the SongTeller Sessions and they’ll happen on the first Friday evening of each month.

Each performer will receive the same list of 10 questions that they’ll answer through stories and songs.

Our first performer will be local soul rocker Bryan Thomas on Friday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. All ages are welcome.

Potluck postponed

We normally hold our monthly Around the World Potluck on the last Monday of each month. For the next potluck, we’ll be sampling the food and drinks of Venezuela. Please join us at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30, to join in the festivities and bring a dish to share. If you’d like some help in finding a Venezuelan recipe, swing by the library and pick up one of the cookbooks we’ve got on display.

Since February, we have been selling raffle tickets for a beautiful quilt specially made by the Train Station Quilters in honor of the Altamont Free Library’s 100th anniversary. Over the past 10 months, we have sold a spectacular number of tickets to support the library’s work.

At last weekend’s Victorian Holiday Celebration, we held the raffle drawing and the quilt was won by Train Station Quilter Melinda Beliveau! In what Quilter quarterback Ruth Dickinson describes as a “minor Christmas miracle,” Melinda has generously given the quilt to Don Scrafford, whose beloved late wife, Bobbie, contributed a panel to the quilt.

I think I speak for everyone involved when I say how grateful we are that the quilt has found such a meaningful home. Congratulations to Melinda and Don!

Many thanks are due to all of the Quilters who contributed their time, talent and creativity to this masterwork. They are: Judy Newcomb. Michelle Poulsen, Charlene Stevens, Barbara Quackenbush, Ann Cartmell, Yvonne Berschwinger, Melinda Beliveau, Jinny Ucci, Rebecca Hout, Sheila Galvin, Linda Chaffee, Jackie Perry, Susan Cable, Lois Ginsburg, Elinor Sutty, Irene Peck, Margie Jordan, Ruth Dickinson, Marie Viscio and Bobbie Scrafford. Thank you all!

Kids’ craft

With the holidays quickly approaching, we have so many people to get gifts for and there’s no better gift than one made by hand. On Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., bring your young folks to the library to make presents for all the special people in their lives.

We’ll have all the crafting supplies you’ll need and a bunch of ideas to spark their imaginations. Register in advance, please, by stopping in or calling us at (518)861-7239.

“Gratitude”

In December, both of our book discussion groups will be reading the same book, “Gratitude” by Oliver Sacks. Sacks was a beloved and respected author and neurologist who produced a short series of essays on the subject of gratitude in the last months of his life.

It is a short book and a quick read, but a profound one and one that will hopefully stick with you long after you’ve returned it to the library. We will next be meeting to discuss the book on Monday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. If you’ve ever wanted to join our book clubs, this would be an ideal opportunity.

Venezuela

It’s almost time again for another of our ever popular Eat Around the World Potluck dinners! Come broaden your culinary horizons and share a meal with a bunch of friendly people. This month we’ll be sampling the food and drinks of Venezuela!

Please join us at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 26 to join in the festivities and bring a dish to share. If you’d like some help in finding a Venezuelan recipe, swing by the library and pick up one of the cookbooks we’ve got on display!

I Love My Library Gala

Save the date! The always anticipated annual I Love My Library! Gala is coming up on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Community Room at Altamont Village Hall. Invitations will be in the mail soon and tickets will be available at the library in the coming weeks.

 

— Photo from Joe Burke

Architects with candy and crackers: On Dec. 4, children and their parents gathered at the Masonic Hall for Altamont Free Library’s annual gingerbread house decoration event. The gingerbread houses will be on display at the Masonic Lodge during the Victorian Holiday Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 11.

There’s so much going on over the next month and so much competing for your holiday season attention. Check out all of our December happenings in the brand new edition of the library newsletter at the library or on our website. If you’d like to receive the newsletter by email every month, you can sign up on our website, or get in touch with us at 861-7239 or by email at and we’ll sign you up.

Library Lights

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our 19th annual Library Lights campaign. We had a lovely little ceremony for the lighting of the Orsini Park Gazebo last Sunday featuring the reading of the 179 names of friends and loved ones in whose honor lights were dedicated. You can find a full list of all of our honorees on our website at AltamontFreeLibrary.org.

Trivia night

This Thursday, Dec. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m., Trivia Night is back by popular demand. 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.

Victorian holiday celebration

Please visit us during the Victorian Holiday Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 11. The library will be open from noon to 5 p.m., and we’ll be hosting storytellers, authors and artists with gifts for sale. Don’t forget to be here at 5 p.m. for a very special train arrival with a very special passenger. (I don’t think anyone told Santa that the library isn’t a train station anymore! Let’s keep that a village secret, shall we?)

Quilt raffle

While you’re here for Victorian Holidays, you’ll have one final opportunity to buy a ticket for our quilt raffle fundraiser. Our beautiful, prize-winning, hand-stitched Centennial quilt made by the fabulous Train Station Quilters will be raffled off on Sunday, Dec. 11 during the Victorian Holidays Celebration. Tickets are a dollar for one or six for $5 and all proceeds go to benefit Altamont Free Library.  

Exhibit closing

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to check out the exhibition in the village hall — For the People: 100 Years of Community Enrichment from the Altamont Free Library — you still have a little while longer to see it. The exhibit, which details a century of AFL history is closing on Dec. 16, so don’t wait too much longer. The hallway gallery is open weekdays during village office hours 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. until Dec. 16. It will also be open Sunday, Dec. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. for the Victorian Holiday Weekend Celebration.

Kids craft

With the holidays quickly approaching, we have so many people to get gifts for and there’s no better gift than one made by hand. On Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., bring your young folks to the library to make presents for all the special people in their lives. We’ll have all the crafting supplies you’ll need and a bunch of ideas to spark their imaginations. Register in advance, please, by stopping in or calling us at 861-7239.

There’s so much going on over the next month and so much competing for your Holiday Season attention. Check out all of our December happenings in the brand new edition of the Library Newsletter at the library or on our website.

If you’d like to receive the newsletter by email every month, you can sign up on our website, or get in touch with us at (518) 861-7239 or by email at director@altamontfreelibrary.org and we’ll sign you up.

Juice and Jammies Story Time

On Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., put on your pj’s and join Ms. Erika for a pre-bedtime story, snack, and craft! This low-key storytime will be just the thing to prepare your young folks to count some sheep.

We’ve been having a lot of fun with these J&J storytimes, so it looks like this will be a twice-per-month addition to our usual Tuesday and Wednesday morning storytime rotation. The next J&J will be on Dec. 29.

Gingerbread houses

One of our favorite annual events for young folks is taking place soon. Come decorate your very own holiday gingerbread house on Sunday, Dec. 4, from noon to 3 p.m. The gingerbread houses will be displayed at the Victorian Holidays Celebration at the Altamont Masonic Lodge and will be available afterwards for you to pick up and display (or eat!) yourself.

We’ll have all the supplies you’ll need to make a creative and delicious holiday treat. So that we’ll know how much candy to have on hand, please stop in or call the library at (518) 861-7239 to register in advance.

Library Lights

This holiday season, you can honor the memory of a loved one with a holiday light on the Altamont Village Gazebo! Lights cost $3 each ($3.50 if you’d like a postcard sent to the honoree’s family) and all proceeds go to benefit Altamont Free Library.

The honorees names will be read out at the lighting ceremony this Sunday and will be published on the library’s website. Look for the submission form this week in The Altamont Enterprise or stop into the library in person to donate.

Whether you donate or not, please join us for our annual gazebo lighting ceremony this Sunday, Dec. 4, at 4:30 p.m.  Thank you!

Gratitude

In December, both of our book-discussion groups will be reading the same book, “Gratitude” by Oliver Sacks. Sacks was a beloved and respected author and neurologist who produced a short series of essays on the subject of gratitude in the last months of his life.

It is a short book and a quick read, but a profound one, and one that will hopefully stick with you long after you’ve returned it to the library. We will be meeting to discuss the book on Monday, Dec. 5, at noon and on Monday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. If you’ve ever wanted to join either of our book clubs, this would be an ideal opportunity.

Trivia Night

On Thursday, Dec. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m., Trivia Night is back by popular demand! 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.

Victorian Holiday Celebration

Please visit us during the Victorian Holiday Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 11. The library will be open from noon to 5 p.m., and we’ll be hosting storytellers, authors, and artists with gifts for sale.

Don’t forget to be here at 5 p.m. for a very special train arrival with a very special passenger! (I don’t think anyone told Santa that the library isn’t a train station anymore! Let’s keep that a village secret, shall we?)

Quilt raffle

While you’re here for Victorian Holidays, you’ll have one final opportunity to buy a ticket for our quilt-raffle fundraiser. Our beautiful, prize-winning, hand-stitched Centennial quilt made by the fabulous Train Station Quilters will be raffled off on Sunday, Dec. 11, during the Victorian Holidays Celebration. Tickets are a dollar for one or six for $5 and all proceeds go to benefit Altamont Free Library.  

It’s the time of year of the counting of blessings and the giving of thanks! We here at the library are tremendously thankful for each and every member of the library community who give life and meaning to Altamont Free Library.

We will be closed on Thanksgiving, but we’ll be open bright and early the next day for your Black Friday reading pleasure.

Social Security workshop with John Kalil

Please join us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29 for a free public information workshop called “Making the Most of Social Security.” This workshop is designed to help people ages 45 to 75 better understand their Social Security retirement benefits and what they may be entitled to.

Presenter John Kalil is a volunteer from Retirement Solutions, an office of MetLife, who specializes in retirement planning.   

Centennial Night at Mio Vino

As 2016 winds down, the Altamont Free Library is closing out our Centennial year. What better way to celebrate the library than by sharing a drink or a meal with friends and neighbors and supporting the library in the process!

On Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mio Vino, located at 186 Main Street, will graciously be donating 10 percent of all drink and meal proceeds to help raise funds for the library. Call Mio Vino at (518)595-5095 to make your reservations.

Library Lights

This holiday season, you can honor the memory of a loved one with a holiday light on the Altamont Village Gazebo! Lights cost $3 each ($3.50 if you’d like a postcard sent to the honoree’s family) and all proceeds go to benefit Altamont Free Library. The honorees’ names will be read out at the lighting ceremony this Sunday and will be published on the library’s website.

Look for the submission form this week in The Altamont Enterprise or stop into the library in person to donate. Whether you donate or not, please join us for our annual gazebo lighting ceremony this Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m.  Thank you!

Middle East Potluck

Please join us at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28 for another in our series of fantastic Eat Around the World Potluck suppers, this month focusing on the food and drinks of the Middle East! If you haven’t already got a favorite Middle Eastern recipe, come grab a cookbook from our display. Please bring a dish to share and sign up in advance at the library.

Victorian Holiday Celebration

Please visit us during the Victorian Holiday Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 11. The library will be open from 12 to 5 p.m., and we’ll be hosting storytellers, authors and artists with gifts for sale.

Quilt raffle

Our beautiful, prize-winning, hand-stitched Centennial quilt made by the fabulous Train Station Quilters will be raffled off on Sunday, Dec. 11 during the Victorian Holidays Celebration. Tickets are a dollar for one or six for $5 and all proceeds go to benefit Altamont Free Library.

Pages