Reaney Days

Reaney Days

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Today in Libraryland

As you know,  I have added a Library Page and a Junior Assistant to my staff this summer. 
My Junior Assistant is 9 years old.  Just what does she do during her one hour of work?  Well, today she had a very important duty; washtime among the Little People :) 


Photo #1-  Scrub-A-Dub-Dub the Prince is in the tub

Photo #2-  The whole crew sunning themselves and drying off on the "beach"

Oh, we have a grand and glorious time.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Summer Faces

There are a couple of new “summer” faces here in Libraryland; my wonderful page, Miss Samantha, and my junior assistant, Miss Faith. 

Samantha, who is a combination high school/PTech/college student has proven to be a quick study competently handling the four times a week Interlibrary Loan delivery.   The delivery is the way we request from and fill requests for materials throughout our system as well as facilitate several rotating collections; audio, film, large type, graphic novels, and teen readers. 
Using the parameters I outlined to her, Samantha has also completed weeding the picture books, toddler books and easy readers.  Just as you weed a garden so your fruits and vegetables flourish, you also have to periodically weed a library collection to make room for new titles.  As a result of that project, Book Bench was launched. Once the weather clears, you can look forward to seeing bags of free titles to take home for your personal libraries.  A delightful young woman, Samantha currently works 15 hours a week.

Miss Faith approached me in late winter wanting to volunteer.  At the time she was 8.  I told her to come see me when she turned 9.  Once she had her May birthday, finished dance, baseball and school for the summer, Faith came aboard.  She works 1 hour a week from 10-11AM.  She enjoys emptying the book drop and checking in the materials found there.  She also helps me shelve books and has a fairly good idea where things go.  We work from 10-1030, take an employee break, and resume work until her mom picks her up at 11. 

Recently, I asked her to come up with some ideas for our main floor display case.  She had a list of 15 potential subjects.  This last Tuesday, she settled on children which was then interpreted to mean babies and parenting.  Together we looked for appropriate titles and Faith arranged the display and wiped down the glass after I sprayed it with cleaner.  Faith has a younger brother waiting in the wings until he turns 9! 

What do a teenager and 9 year old have in common?  They both are avid readers and have brought much joy and assistance to 19 Kingsbury Avenue.


Friday, July 13, 2018

the British Are Coming

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah

With a love like that

You know you should be glad!


Ladies and Gentlemen and music lovers across the Mohawk Valley Hey Jude….the Tribute, will be rocking the St. Johnsville Marina with all your favorite Beatle tunes on Monday, July 16.

The concert is set to begin at 630 PM.

Reaney Library trustees will be on hand serving hotdogs, cold soda and water, and ice cream.  Plans also call for a 50/50 raffle. 


Grab your lawn chair or blanket and be part of this homegrown British Invasion!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Family Stories Writing Workshop

We still have room in our Becoming Ancestors: a four week workshop on collecting, preserving and sharing family stories.

The Thursday afternoon sessions will meet July 19 & 26 and August 2 & 9 from 1-330PM at the Community House.

Evening sessions are scheduled for Wednesdays at 630-8PM August 15, 22, 29 and September 3.

If you would like to register please call the library at 518-568-7822.  Your future family is waiting to hear your voice.

For those unable to participate due to time or distance,  please enjoy the Introduction below.  I will post follow-up materials as they become available.


Becoming an Ancestors

First Handout: Introduction

 The idea for this workshop came to me recently when my brother passed away and his son said, “Aunt Ali is the last grownup in our family and the only one now who knows the stories.”  After the shock passed of being “the grownup,” and feeling sad so many are gone, I started thinking about the passing on of family artifacts.  I had cared for my mama as she passed and brought home with me some of the family memorabilia.  I have the photos, the birth and death certificates, the yearbooks and military portraits. 

It is an honor and a horror to be the family archivist.   I want to do a decent job of it. 

 In this workshop we will explore ways to gather and tell family stories.  Ways to speak them and write them down.  We are going to look at some of our own artifacts and, by remembering their stories, gain some understanding of why they are important and why it is important to pass them along.

My nephew, William, now has no living father.  I have decided to give him what I can of a living memory.   And the other, younger, members of my family as well.  I’m going to share with them some of the funny, sad, embarrassing, and wisdom filled stories that will tell them where they come from, who they are.

 I am going to work with you here.  We’ll bring in some of our family stuff, stories, and dreams and figure out ways to pass on the wonder and wisdom of the lives we and our families have experienced.  We are living in extraordinary times, but I tell you a secret, it is always extraordinary times.  Every life is a real historical epoch, every family story is a bygone era.

The idea here will be to gather and find ways to preserve the stories we tell around the holiday table after the turkey is eaten, after the presents are opened, on birthdays, and when the funeral is over as we gather to remember each other.  The time Uncle So-and-so drove his car into the river…the time Aunt Ah-hem lost her drawers walking across Main Street.  Both of these stories have been told me over the years.  I know many more are out there waiting to come to life as gifts to the future.

This will not be a class on English grammar or spelling or proper manuscript forms.  The emphasis will be on personal style and how to tell or write down some of your family tales.  We’ll talk about how to combine our photos and writing, but though I will have a dictionary on hand I am not going to be the English major here.  I’m going to be a person looking for ways to honor her family.   This will not be about how to research your roots, though methods of genealogy will probably be discussed.

Bring a pen or pencil, a notebook, and try to do the weekly suggestion assignments.  The first session please bring some photos of yourself.  The youngest available, or one that shows the you your family knows best.  Or one that you feel expresses who you feel yourself to be.  Bring your yearbook photo, communion or wedding.  Birthday or holiday pix are good.

Alternately bring any other photos you feel are important to your family story.  Bring in a photo of family pets or the house you grew up in.   Try to spend a little time before we meet with these, think about them, explain them to yourself.   You will be asked to share your picture, but you are never under obligation.  It will be enough that you attend and if you feel silent that is ok, too.  We are gathering to inspire and explore, if you feel like speaking out that will be great.  No pressure ever.





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Starlab Returns!



            We are so very excited to announce the Dudley Observatory’s Starlab, a portable planetarium, will be returning to the Library on Saturday, September 22 for two morning programs.  Details will be announced as the date draws nearer. 


Monday, July 2, 2018

July 4th

The library will be closed July 4-8. Regular hours will resume Monday, July 9 @930AM.

Friday, June 29, 2018

the Book Bench

Coming soon; the Book Bench.  Over the next several weeks as we weed our collection, some will find their way to a bench on the front lawn.  The books are not for sale, you simply need to give them a good home and enjoy!  

The Book Bench is weather dependent but I’m thinking some books will make their debut on Monday.  Weeding has started with our picture book collection.   Just like a garden, weeding is necessary to allow the collection to flourish with new selections. 

Also, as the heat of the summer rolls on I would remind you that you are welcome to come by and take advantage of the library’s AC and a refrigerator stocked with water. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Resident Artists

Story time came to a close this morning. Donning plastic aprons and exhibiting some mad skills with paint and brush the children had a fantastic time creating artistic masterpieces.
Use your imaginations.    I can tell you somewhere among these canvases of cheerfulness are rainbows, a cactus and a boat on the water.
Overall, these young artists tended toward the abstract. Enjoy their bright colors!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Kids and Libraries

Story Time is always a delightful affair and this morning was no different.  Next week will be our last gathering and we will be doing sponge painting.  I can’t wait. No doubt half of the paint will land on the canvas while the other half will smear up and down little arms with a dot or two left over for cheeks and noses!  Rumor has it one of our tiny pals may bring a cousin along; a young man I have not seen since he was a child. 

What can one say about 48 visiting kindergartners?  They swarm like locust and chatter like magpies.  It was wonderful having them here.   The noise level rose a few decibels and that is ok; their enthusiasm is invigorating. 

We talked about getting a library card and taking care of the books that they borrow.  Drawing from my decades of experience, I always issue a warning about the most dangerous enemy of books; no, it is not cats or dogs, but rather BABIES!  They gnaw, they tear and yes, sometimes the diaper FAILS!  That story never fails to bring on lots of laughter. 

After we shared a couple of books and the call and response story of Let’s Go On a Bear Hunt, the kids broke up into circles and enjoyed some Look and Find books as each group then took a turn picking out a gift book to take home and make a part of their personal libraries.  The gift books were donated to us by the Mohawk Valley Library System. 

After leaving the library they were off for fun and lunch at the park playground and would end their day enjoying a yummy ice cream cone at Parkside.   Taking a poll, a twist seemed to outnumber singular chocolate or vanilla.   I told them to give my regards to Miss SamanthaJ

The air rang with good byes and thank yous as they made their way out the front door and down the sidewalk. 

Please moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, and related adult caregivers make the library a regular part on your summer routine.  Not only does reading over the summer keep skills sharp for when children return to school in September, but visiting the library is also a way for children to practice their manners and gain confidence interacting with other people outside of their immediate circle.  
The strength and longevity of our society depends on our ability to communicate directly and civilly with each other.  That is a lesson no child is ever too young to learn and is so easily demonstrated by providing directions to subject areas when asked and chatting over the circulation desk as we send a child on their way with an armload of page-turners that have the capacity to both entertain and teach. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Stone Arabia

Every year about this time I head off to my old stomping grounds; Stone Arabia.  As a founding member and former trustee of the Stone Arabia Preservation Society I help out when local 4th graders come to visit.   Our group this year was from the Fort Plain district. 

Carol Edwards, who serves as the society’s president, does an excellent job speaking about Stone Arabia’s early settlers who first arrived to work in the tar camps of Queen Anne.  That venture proved to be a failure and eventually the Palatines moved up the Schoharie Valley and westward through the Mohawk Valley. 

Ken Edwards rang the church bell and invited a couple of very excited kids up to help him ring it.  Ken always cautions them to let the rope go otherwise they might fly off their feet.  I’m sure if and when that happens it will be the highlight of the visit.

This year Eunice Bollen was on hand to play the pump organ.  I’ve known Eunice for years as my dad sang in her church choir at the Fort Plain Reformed Church.  Eunice is an excellent musician, even with a sometimes cantankerous old organ.

My role is to share the events leading up to and including the Battle of Stone Arabia which took place October 19, 1780.  It was a time when the men of the Mohawk Valley set down their hoes and took up their muskets and squared off against the might of the British Empire.  Many fell that day in Stone Arabia spilling their blood in the name of freedom.

The trip concluded with the children walking down to the cemetery where Colonial John Brown and the men who died that fateful day are buried. 

When you stand at the church and gaze across to the hills towards Cherry Valley one cannot help but be humbled in the face of such sacrifice. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Becoming Ancestors

Becoming Ancestors:  a four week workshop

            On collecting, preserving and sharing family stories


Ali MacDonald is presenting a four-week workshop  Thursday afternoons July 19, 26 and August 2 and 9 in the St. Johnsville Community House at 1pm to 3:30.  A set of evening sessions will be held on  Wednesdays at 6:30 t0 8pm from August 15, 22, 29 to September 5.

MacDonald has facilitated various workshops on writing around the Mohawk Valley for over 23 years.  This workshop will be about exploring ways to gather, preserve, and pass on family stories.  The children of the future need our stories.  Relatives not yet born will want to hear what we were like.  Almost everyone wants to know where they come from, who their forebears were.  They want to know how we did things and what we thought about.  Our artifacts and our stories are our gifts to the future.

Imagine how you might enjoy reading a letter or hearing a tale from one of your great-grandparents.  That will be our goal.  We are the funnily dressed, strange acting, wise and wonderful ancestors for the great-grands ahead.  Share your wisdom, your humor, and your joy with those to come.  Your future family is waiting to hear your voice.
For those who live out of the area but still wish to participate the weekly assignment will be posted here or the library's Facebook page.  You are then welcome to email your work to us for sharing with the group.  The first assignment will be posted in early July.

To register please call the library at 518-568-7822.

Monday, June 4, 2018


Are you a parent in the process of separating or getting a divorce?
Parenting planning mediation is a cooperative approach to making arrangements for custody and parenting time with the assistance of trained mediators.
An informational session, offered by Catholic Charities-Dispute Resolution Center, is scheduled for Monday, June 11 from 6-7PM at Margaret Reaney Memorial Library, St. Johnsville. 

For more information please call April Rando at 518-842-4202, ext. 3133.

The Reaney Library is located at 19 Kingsbury Avenue.  The program is free.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

This Week....and It's Only Wednesday!

It has been a fantastic week, thus far, in Libraryland! 

Last winter I secured some study materials for an individual who was taking a Civil Service exam to advance in their employment. Unfortunately, these test materials are not always easy to come by.  While lots of libraries buy copies, the fact is they are frequently not returned.  Thankfully, I was able to get my hands on what this individual needed.  Over the winter I saw this person once while they were salting a sidewalk.  Stopping my car I shouted out my window “Are you studying?”  Yes, they had been.  The exam was taken and the waiting begun.  Earlier this Spring I saw the person again.  “Any word yet?”  Nope.  The results might not be in until June.  Time marched on. 

Tuesday I had a visitor.    It was a very happy patron.  They had passed their exam and had come in to thank me with a beautiful card and gift.   Oh my goodness, what a great feeling it is to know that you have made a difference.

 Also this week we have had the pleasure of welcoming a couple of very nice teenage girls who were simply stopping by to do some homework.  As they worked away, they were respectful to each other, respectful to our space and respectful to me.  I’ve enjoyed having them stop by and hope to see them again.

 A couple of my tiny pals showed up yesterday.  While there is never any question of just how important and necessary reading is to our quality of life educationally, socially and professionally, a question that does pop up from time to time on social media, news and professional sites, and blogs is just how relevant are bricks and mortar libraries in this age of kindles, tablets and IPhones?  In my opinion, they remain extremely relevant.

My first public library experience was at the Fort Plain Free Library when every Friday night our family would “go to town”.    My parents would drop me off on the corner of Willet and River Streets as they headed off to do the grocery shopping at the Red and White.  The library director, Miss Charlotte Wetterau, ran a tight ship.  The library was always quiet and we spoke in low, reverent tones as befitting her expected solemnity of the place.  

What a treat it was to explore among the stacks, pulling off a book here and there, reading the dust jacket and wondering if it were a “keeper” for the week.  Once my selections were finalized I would take them to the front desk for check out which was no cut dried affair.  As Miss Wetterau carefully wrote my name on each card and stamped the date due we would enjoy some conversation.  We’d talk about the weather, the books I had brought back, the books I was taking out, and what was going on in town. 

Each and every visit required me to take ownership of my responsibility in borrowing materials, articulate my thoughts, speak up with confidence, and look Miss Wetterau in the eye when talking with her while all the time being polite, patient, and respectful.   Those kinds of social interactions help a child develop their communication and related interpersonal skills.    

Yesterday, as one of my pals sat quietly looking at a book, I approached the table and inquired if I might ask him a question.  Looking at me, he very calmly replied “Yes, Dawn.”, and we chatted on from there.  It was not just a matter of my questions and his answers, rather it was conversation.  Heading out with a backpack full of books, I look forward to the family’s return.  In the meantime, somewhere in my spare room, is a Millennium Falcon.   Once I dig it out, it will find a new home with this Star Wars fan!

Finally, today I received some fantastic news.  A young lady who volunteered here several years ago has returned to school to get her Master’s Degree in  Library Science!  Her mom wanted to thank Marta and I for inspiring herJ

I arrived among the stacks June 1, 1977.  It is weeks like this that remind me why, after all these years, I continue to enjoy my work. 


Friday, May 18, 2018

Calling All Readers

We are traveling back in time for our June book discussion.  Put on your poodle skirts and saddle shoes as we visit 1951 through the pages of the critically acclaimed Judy Blume novel, In the Unlikely Event. 

Our group meets Saturday, June 9 @ 10AM.  New readers are always welcome.  If you would like to join  us call 518-568-7822 to reserve a copy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Respect and Trust

For many years, a group of writers have met at the library on a monthly basis to hone their craft and find support among like-minded individuals.  The group is capably guided by local writer Ali MacDonald.  While there is a core group of 8 or so, there are also some members who, due to distance or circumstances, cannot participate in person.  Those folks keep in touch via email and conversation.  One such member, Emery, hosted the group in his home over the holidays.  It never ceases to amaze me the profound friendships, based on trust and respect, that have developed between these one-time total strangers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

And the Winners Were....................

2018 Flapjacks & Fairytales Baskets; donors & winners (with apologies for any misspellings!)


1.A Sweet Cabinet

Larry and Lindy Sweet

Winner: Katie Frye

 2.Go Bag

Miss Page Turner

Winner: Deanna Young

 3. Globetrotter

Mr. Chris Chapter

Winner: Donald Cole

4.Ship Ahoy!

Cap’n Book

Winner: Molly Eggleston

5.Bob the Builder

The American Legion

Winner: Skip Darrach


6.To Your Health

Sally Statile

Winner: Dolores Hayes

7.Money Does Grow On Trees

Friends of the Library

Winner: Joyce Harrington

8.Builder’s Delight

Sally and Roy Tompson

Winner: Darin Lynch

9.Gardener’s Delight

Rebecca and Joseph Sokol

Winner: Kim Buddles

 10.At the Marina

Terry Potoczny

Winner: Ellie Smith

11.I Love Little House

Ali and John MacDonald

Winner: Jennifer Feagles

12.Summer Wheelin’

      Dawn White-Swartz

Winner: Judy Swartz

13.Pigeon Says…READ

       Johanna and Donald Sweet

Winner: Denise Hillegas

14.Books and Brandy

    Lois Thomas

Winner: Alan Littrell

15.Where History Comes Alive

     Fort Klock

Winner: Paige Young

16.Teddy Bears’ Picnic

      Bonny Andrilla

Winner: Sean Renodin

17.Toast of the Town

     Cindy and Frank Stagliano

Winner: Judy Swartz

18.“K” is for Kayak

       MRML Board of Trustees

Winner: Pat Crouse


19.Grab the Remote

     Tammy Victor

Winner: Laurie Smith

20.Supper’s Ready

     Deanna and Fred Campione

Winner: Kim Buddles

21.Suck It Up, Buttercup

      Friends of the Library

Winner: Amy Hladick

22.Biker Chick

     Joyce Harrington

Winner: Josh Frye

23.Hoppy Easter!

      Tom, Carlee, Henry, and Harvey Elwood

Winner: Emmi Choi

24.Outdoor Fun

      Bergen and Burdziakowski Families

Winner: Bailey Fink

25.Camping Essentials

   Tara and Nolan Stanton

Winner: Brandon Herrod

26.Peep! Peep!

    Fred and Kathy LaCoppola

Winner: Alexis Hudson


27.Let’s Get Baking

     Chef Ava and Chef Dustin

Winner: Sean Renodin

28.Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

    James and Alexandra Zimmerman

     Aleigha Jo and Sophia Cook

Winner: Gary and Carol Warn


29.$$$ A Hungry Pig $$$

       Friends of the Library

Winner: Sandy Lane

30.Patio Party

      Ruth and Howard Staley

Winner: Wendy Calkins

31.Poetry in Motion

      The Friday Poets

Winner: Amanda H

32.Grill Time

    Superior Plus Energy Services

Winner: Ken Senft

33.Birds of Prayer

      Ken Senft

Winner: Reggie Manikas

34.Super Suppertime

      Sylvia and Terry McClellan

Winner: Tina Diehl


35.Coffee Break

      Shults Insurance Agency

Winner: Judy Swartz


36.A Bearyful Basket

       John and Judy Swartz

Winner: Quinn Battisti


37.Box It Up

      John and Judy Swartz

Winner: Deb Schell


38.A Rockwell Collection

      John and Judy Swartz

Winner: Keith Seeber


39.Romance on the Rails

Mark and Cathy Rice

 Winner: Justin Hubiak


40.Tea Time

      Parkside—Samantha and Aaron Manikas

Winner: Skip Darach


41.My Hometown

     Vincent A. Enea Funeral Service

Winner: Aaron Yoder


42.Bringing Up Baby

      Shirley Putman and Bobbi Button

Winner: Laurie Miller


43.Paw Patrol

      Glenna Capece

Winner: Ron Millington


44.A Ducky Treat

      Friends of the Library

Winner: Maggie Christensen

45.I’ll Have a Burger

      Friends of the Library

Winner: Sandy Lane


46.Summer Party


Winner: Kathy LaCoppola


47.Think Spring

      Ellie Ferris and Carol Green

Winner: Margaret Thomas


48.Safety First

      Judy King Insurance

Winner: Mindy Valent


49.Cozy Evening

     John and Judy Swartz

Winner: Greeta Rathbun


50.Snuggle Baby

    The Knitwits of the Reformed Church

Winner: Meridith Liddle

51.Doggone Fun

     St.J. Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

Winner: telephone number

52.Winter Warmth

     Mrs. Elizabeth Schiavi

Winner: Amanda H


53.Wagons Ho!

     Gehring Tricot Corp.

Winner: Kim Buddles


54.Mean Green Machine

     Friends of the Library

Winner: Linda Welden


55.Bake me a Cake!

      Kinney’s Drugs

Winner: Judy Swartz


56.Breakfast Time

     Village office Staff

Winner: Steve Miller


57.Lookin’ Good

Ideal Hair Fashions---Barbara Stagliano

Winner: Brenda Smith


58.Mouse Party

    Amy’s Sales and Service

Winner: Jennifer B.


59.Something Egg-citing

      St. J. Senior Citizens

Winner: Richard Swartz


60.Do You Feel Lucky?

Joyce Harrington

Winner: Deb Schoff


61.How Does Your Garden Grow?

St. Johnsville Business Girls

Winner: Janice MacLauchlin

62.Snacks Galore

Licari’s Big M

Winner: Pauline Smith


63. Snick Snack

Licari’s Little m

Winner: Becky Hagadorn


64.A Taste of the Mohawk Valley

Damin Farm-Barb and Steve Damin

Winner: Edna Bowman


65. Cooking With Copper


Winner: Kathy Schlotzhauer


C H Burkdorf & Son

Winner: Janice Maclauchlin


67. S’Mores


Winner: Nicole Cosar