Reaney Days

Reaney Days

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






Thursday, March 22, 2018

Free Parenting Program

Margaret Reaney Memorial Library, St. Johnsville, in cooperation with Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties, will present a 5 part parenting program beginning Monday, April 9.

This highly interactive course is designed by family and social scientists to equip parents with the tools necessary to engage their children in difficult family scenarios.  Participants will learn constructive skills proven to lessen drug and alcohol abuse in youth, school and homework problems, delinquency and other problem behaviors, family conflict, and more. 

While the program is geared towards parents of teenagers, any parent or adult care giver is welcome to attend. 

The program is free and will meet 630-730 PM over the course of five consecutive Mondays. 

For planning purposes, please contact the Reaney Library at 518.568.7822 to register. 

Margaret Reaney Memorial Library is located at 19 Kingsbury Avenue. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

When Ag PTech Comes to Visit

This sloppy, snowy morning we welcomed two groups of Ag PTech students with their instructor, Patrick Clear.  Also accompanying the groups were staff members Angeline Conte, Alaina Campolieta and Abigail Jacobs.  The students had a very specific purpose for their visit; to see our mineral collection. Apparently New York State minerals play a role on an upcoming science Regents. 


Our collection is primarily the work of three collectors; Robert M. Hartley, Lewis Smith and Alice Edmunds.   Both Mr. Smith and Mrs. Edmunds were long time members of the library board and avid collectors.  A couple of years ago a topographical New York State map was added to the display that helps to pinpoint the various mineral deposits throughout the state.  Current trustee Mat Rapacz facilitated their visit.


The kids were polite, boisterous and seemed to be enthusiastic with the trip.  It was a great experience to have them here.  On the way out, one young man spotted some anime books in front of the desk.  Anime is a style of hand-drawn and computer animation art originating in Japan.    The books he was looking at were given to us several years ago and are part of an uncatalogued collection.  They’ve been dormant for a while and I asked him if he would like to take them.  You thought I’d given him gold.  He filled up a couple of plastic bags and happily went out the door.  I know he will give them a good home. 


On this day, life is indeed good in Libraryland!




Sunday, March 11, 2018

Program Notes

Two programs are resuming this week:

Color Me Calm; an adult coloring group Monday, March 12 @ 630PM.  Other dates through are March 26, April 9 & 23, May 14 and June 11.

Nifty Needles; Wednesday, March 14 & 28, April 11 & 25, May 9 & 23 and June 13 & 27 at 10 AM.  

Come join us!