With Election Day just around the corner, it might be nice to step back from negativity and think about how lucky we are to live where and when we do. Working in the Altamont Free Library, I often think about all of the changes that our building has seen since it was completed in 1897.

Over the past 119 years, this building has seen the expansion of political, social, and economic rights and opportunities for enormous segments of our population. It has witnessed multiple wars, recessions, depressions, and hardships.

It has seen cultural changes, the likes of which could not have been imagined by the builders of our train station or the founders of our library. It has seen the eradication of horrific diseases and the dramatic increase in life expectancy. It has seen people on the moon and the rise of instantaneous global communication.

All of this reminds us that change is always difficult and discomforting, but despite all of those changes the essentials remain: We live in one of the most beautiful, bountiful places on the face of the planet and we are sustained by our strong community ties.

No matter what the outcome is on Election Day, rest assured that the Altamont Train Station will still be here, ready as always to take you on your next exciting journey.

Constitution book club

Monday, Nov. 7 is the day before Election Day. It is also the day that our First Monday Book Club meets at noon. One of our book club members had a phenomenal idea of how to combine both occasions: Instead of discussing a novel, let’s read and discuss our national owner’s manual, the United States Constitution.

It’s a short read, and we’ve got copies that you can keep, so please join us for what will certainly be a fascinating and relevant conversation.

Bake sale

Speaking of Election Day, there is one surefire way to leave the polling place with a smile on your face: Get yourself a brownie. Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent, we can all agree that homemade cookies, pies, and bread make the world a little sweeter, so please visit the library’s Election Day bake sale at Altamont village hall while you’re voting on Nov. 8.

All proceeds from the sale go to support the Altamont Free Library. Better yet, you can also donate baked goods to the sale! We need plenty of bakers to make this fundraiser a success, so if you’d like to donate some baked goods, give Joe a call at 861-7239.

Juice and Jamies

In November, we’ll be trying out a new idea: On Thursday, Nov. 10 and 17 at 7 p.m. put on your pj’s and join Ms. Erika for a pre-bedtime story, snack, and craft. This low-key story time will be just the thing to prepare your young folks to count some sheep.

If there’s enough interest, we’ll add this as an ongoing addition to our usual Tuesday and Wednesday morning story time rotation.

Election Day is nearly here and, like many of you, I can’t wait for it to be over. Before stepping into the voting booth or filling out your absentee ballot, make sure to do some research on where the candidates stand on the issues that matter most to you.

While the presidential elections get so much attention, it’s easy to forget that there are candidates for the United States Senate, New York State Legislature, county judgeships, and more on the ballot on Nov. 8. If you need any assistance in learning more about the candidates or finding your polling place, let the library help you.  We’re here for you.

Spooky stories and crafts

Pumpkins and cobwebs and ghosts, oh my! It’s the spookiest time of the year and we’re getting out some of our nervous energy by making spookily cool crafts and telling scary stories.

Please join us this Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for an evening of crafts, laughs and frights. Please call the library at 861-7239 to register in advance.

Election Day bake sale

Speaking of Election Day, there is one surefire way to leave the polling place with a smile on your face: Get yourself a brownie! Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independence Party member, we can all agree that homemade cookies, pies, and bread make the world a little sweeter, so please visit the Library’s Election Day Bake Sale at Altamont’s village hall while you’re voting on Nov. 8.

All proceeds from the sale go to support the Altamont Free Library. Better yet, you can also donate baked goods to the sale. We need plenty of bakers to make this fundraiser a success, so if you’d like to donate some baked goods, give Joe a call at 861-7239.

Juice and Jammies

In November, we’ll be trying out a new idea: On Thursday, Nov. 10 and 17 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.  If there’s enough interest, we’ll add this as an ongoing addition to our usual Tuesday and Wednesday morning storytime rotation!

Communications Survey

Over the next few weeks, the Altamont Free Library will be running an online survey to find out how you receive news and information about the library.

Please help us out by going to the library’s website (AltamontFreeLibrary.org) and clicking on the link for the Communications Survey on the homepage. It will only take a few minutes and your answers will help us serve you better. Thanks!

 

— Photo from Joe Burke

Wildlife Rehabilitator Kelly Martin of Middleburgh displays a great horned owl that she has rehabbed during an Oct. 13 presentation at the Altamont Free Library. “We had nearly 70 people crammed in here for her presentation,” said Joe Burke, the library’s director.

On Thursday, Oct. 20 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.

Altamont fall festival

On Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the village of Altamont will host its’ first fall festival in Orsini Park and the library will be right in the thick of it. We’ll be extending our hours that day to stay open the whole time that the festival is going on. We’ll also be telling stories out in the park, selling quilt raffle tickets and other library gifts. Please visit us.

China potluck

On Monday Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. AFL will host another of our ever-popular Eat Around the World potlucks. This month, we’ll be focusing on the food and drinks of China. If you’re in the mood for a some chow mein, some Peking duck, or dumplings, please join us and bring a dish to share. Please note that since the last Monday of the October is Halloween, we’ll be holding this potluck a week earlier than our usual last Monday of the month. See you there.

Candidates forum

Do you have questions you want your leaders to answer before the elections? Here’s your chance to be heard. On Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Guilderland Public Library, come meet the candidates for the NY State Senate 46th District, George A. Amedore and Sara K. Niccoli and ask them the questions that matter to you. This event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Altamont Free Library and the Guilderland Public Library.

Spooky stories and crafts

Pumpkins and cobwebs and ghosts, oh my! It’s the spookiest time of the year and we’re getting out some of our nervous energy by making spookily cool crafts and telling scary stories. Please join us on on Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 7 p.m. for an evening of crafts, laughs and frights. Please call the library at  861-7239 to register in advance.

Communications survey

Over the next few weeks, the Altamont Free Library will be running an online survey to find out how you receive news and information about the library. Please help us out by going to the library’s website (AltamontFreeLibrary.org) and clicking on the link for the Communications Survey on the homepage. It will only take a few minutes and your answers will help us serve you better. Thanks!

Over the next few weeks, the Altamont Free Library will be running an online survey to find out how you receive news and information about the library. Please help us out by going to the library’s website (AltamontFreeLibrary.org) and clicking on the link for the Communications Survey on the homepage.

It will only take a few minutes and your answers will help us serve you better. Thanks!

Owl presentation

Hoooo’s there? Owls! Please join us on Thursday, Oct. 13 at from 4 to 5 p.m. to meet some feathered friends. We’ll be joined by great horned owls, barn owls, screech owls, short eared owls and possibly more!

Wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Martin will teach us all about our nocturnal neighbors and about her many years of experience in healing and reintegrating animals into the wild.

Book talk

The Penultimate Monday Book Club will be meeting on Monday March 17th at 7pm to discuss “In the Unlikely Event,” the new novel by acclaimed children’s author Judy Blume. Despite her reputation as an author of books for younger folks, this novel was written for an adult audience and it has gotten phenomenal reviews.

There’s plenty of time to pick up a copy at the library, so please join us for what will no doubt be a fascinating discussion about one of the years’ most popular books. Please note that in October the Penultimate (ie. second to last) Monday Book Club will actually be meeting on the third to last Monday of the month.

Trivia night

On Thursday, Oct. 20 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.

Altamont fall festival

On Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the village of Altamont will host its first Fall Festival in Orsini Park and the library will be right in the thick of it. We’ll be extending our hours that day to stay open the whole time that the festival is going on. We’ll also be telling stories out in the park, selling quilt raffle tickets and other library gifts. Please visit us.

China potluck

On Monday Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. AFL will host another of our ever-popular Eat Around the World potlucks. This month, we’ll be focusing on the food and drinks of China.

Candidates forum

Do you have questions you want your leaders to answer before the elections? Here’s your chance to be heard! On Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Guilderland Public Library, come meet the candidates for the New York State Senate 46th District, George A. Amedore and Sara K. Niccoli and ask them the questions that matter to you. This event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Altamont Free Library, and the Guilderland Public Library.

The Train Station Quilters sewed this book especially for the upcoming Altamont Archives and Museum exhibit opening in Village Hall this coming Sunday. The Altamont Free Library is housed in the historic train station at the center of the village.

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, 2016 is Altamont Free Library’s Centennial. For 100 years, our library has been at the center of village life and we have grown and changed along with the community we are lucky enough to serve.

Starting this Sunday, that growth and change will be memorialized in a new exhibit at the Altamont Archives and Museum in village hall. Please join us on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. for a first look at this fascinating collection of photos and artifacts from our history. We hope to see you all there to share in this celebration of our unique and special little library in the heart of our unique and special village.

Scavenger hunt

In addition to it being the library’s 100th anniversary, it’s also the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of the village of Altamont so please join us in celebrating our history on Friday, Sept. 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. by taking part in a family friendly scavenger hunt around the village.

There will be prizes for all participants and a grand prize for the first group to find all the locations. We’ll need to know how many teams to expect, so please register in advance by calling us at  861-7239 or emailing director@altamontfreelibrary.org.

Back to (wizard) school

Now that school’s back, homework is back, too. With all the homework you’ve got, you’ll need to take a study break. What better way than by joining us to go back to school with our favorite wizard, Harry Potter. On Sundays in September, we’ll be showing Harry Potter movies, and this week we’ll have “Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban” on Sept. 25 at 3 p.m.

Upstate potluck

As you may know, every month we hold a very popular potluck dinner where we focus on a different national or regional cuisine every month. Since the early fall gives us such wonderful food here in the Capital District, we’ll be coming back home this month.

At 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, we’ll be sampling the foods (and drinks!) of upstate New York. If you’ve never joined us for a potluck before but have always wanted to, this is the month to do it.

Please call the library to register in advance and bring a dish to share. If you need inspiration, check out one of our upstate-focused cookbooks.

 

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