Reaney Days

Reaney Days

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Annual Report June 1, 2021-May 31, 2022

Each year, usually in March, the library is required to file an annual report with the state education department.  Here are some statistics from our most recent report.  The report is filed according to our fiscal year, June-May.  Click the image to enlarge. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Peanut Butter and Jelly Book Club


Greetings Readers,


          I hope you enjoyed time with family and friends from Thanksgiving through the New Year!  Cheers to 2023!

           We will gather for book club 2023 starting February 11 and continue meeting throughout the year the second Saturday of the month at 10AM.

 February 11: Book Talk

Bring a title or two that you found to be absolutely among the best books you have EVER read.  Share with the group the title(s), author(s) and a brief summary.  I’ll take your recommendations and compile a “best of” list that will be distributed at our March meeting. 

 March 11: Heartland by Sarah Smarsh

Smarsh was born a fifth-generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side, the child of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. In HEARTLAND, she introduces readers to a compelling cast of characters from her own family—grandmothers who act as second mothers, farmers who work themselves to the bone, builders who can’t afford their own homes, children who move from school to school.

Smarsh maps their lives against the destruction of the working class wrought by public policy: the demise of the family farm, the dismantling of public health care, the defunding of public schools, wages so stagnant that full-time laborers could no longer pay the bills. Readers will learn what Smarsh did: Working hard in this country probably won’t get you ahead after all.

The complex, often brilliant people of Smarsh’s story defy stereotypes amid a culture that embraces the term “white trash,” suggesting that some lives are of lesser value and even dispensable. Part memoir, part social analysis, part cultural commentary, HEARTLAND is an uncompromising look at class, identity and the perils of economic hardship in a wealthy nation.

Prior to our discussion, Jackie Lape, coordinator of the STJ based Helping Hands Food Pantry will be our guest and speak of local efforts to overcome food insecurity and cultural instability.

April 8: Fates & Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini

John Wilkes Booth, the mercurial son of an acclaimed British stage actor and a Covent Garden flower girl, committed one of the most notorious acts in American history—the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

The subject of more than a century of scholarship, speculation, and even obsession, Booth is often portrayed as a shadowy figure, a violent loner whose single murderous act made him the most hated man in America.

Lost to history until now is the story of the four women whom he loved and who loved him in return: Mary Ann, the steadfast matriarch of the Booth family; Asia, his loyal sister and confidante; Lucy Lambert Hale, the senator’s daughter who adored Booth yet tragically misunderstood the intensity of his wrath; and Mary Surratt, the Confederate widow entrusted with the secrets of his vengeful plot.

May 13: The Son by Philipp Meyer

The rise and fall of a Texas family made rich in the oil and cattle businesses is detailed in the novel The Son by Philipp Meyer. The story spans six generations of the McCullough family from the time it claimed its first headright in Texas through its rise to great wealth to its tragic end. A myriad of themes wind their way through the novel. These include discrimination, family life, cultural relationships, religion, sexuality, death and dying, and wealth and morality.

My pal, Jade Gallt, will be baking some traditional cornbread to enjoy with our discussion.  

To reserve a book, available in regular, large print or audio, call the library at 518-568-7822.  

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Winter Lunch


One thing that is fun to do in the winter is to make snowballs.  If there is no snow outside, we can still have winter fun by making snowball sandwiches.  Enjoy!

 You Will Need

 Large round cookie cutter or plastic drinking glass

 Plastic Wrap


2 slices white bread or two pieces of wheat bread

filling of your choice   


Start by cutting a circle from a piece of bread, using the biggest circle cookie cutter that will fit on the slice.  If you don’t have a round cookie cutter you may also use the top of a plastic drinking glass

Lay out a piece of wrap on the countertop.  Place your circle of bread on top of the wrap.

Drop your filling into the middle of the bread. I spread a little cream cheese and a small dollop of raspberry jam in mine. Be careful not to use too much filling as it may squish out when you roll it up!

Gather the sides of the plastic wrap in your hand, so that the bread folds up on itself.

Tighten the plastic wrap, taking care to let the air escape.

Twist the wrap until the bread has formed into a firm ball.

Unwrap the snowball and carefully remove the sandwich.

Repeat with a second piece of bread to create another sandwich.

Put your snowballs on a plate, add some veggie sticks, fruit, and something to drink for a perfect wintertime lunch.



Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Gobble, Gobble

It takes a village to Q-tip paint a Thanksgiving turkey!  Among our great joys here at 19 Kingsbury is to welcome our tiniest of patrons to Toddler Time.  Today was no different as we broke out the Q-tips and created very festive turkeys.

Last week I asked volunteer Miss Mallory if she would draw me a turkey as I lack any artistic talent.  Keep in mind our pals are under the age of 4 so it didn’t have to be terribly detailed.

Yesterday, Miss Marge cut out a template and drew the turkeys on small canvases.  Like any great masterpiece, they were all uniquely individual.  There were some beaks a tad off center, legs of varying widths, and some feathers taller than others depending on if the Sharpie raged out of control.

Tuesday afternoon our most junior volunteer, Miss Lela, painted a turkey to serve as an example.

Today, after we shared some singing and enjoyed playing with puzzles and toys, we returned to the reading room and began creating.

Enjoy the work of Miss Z, Mr. J, Mr. I and Mr. J#2. 

We do have other children that attend but I think the weather may have kept them away.  There will not be Toddler Time next week as families travel, prepare or just relax in anticipation of the holiday.  The library will be open regular hours.


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Questions, Questions!

We get asked lots of interesting questions here in Libraryland.  Most recently, someone wanted to know how to get their water turned on and another individual asked what I knew about a book that spoke of an incident when canal boats were frozen in Oneida Lake.

The first inquiry was pretty straight forward; call the village clerk who would then alert DPW and with the second I reached out to the Oneida County Historical Society who in turn contacted the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse.  While neither could speak to an actual book I did get some basic information which eventually led me to this 1936 article from the Utica Daily Press. 

The photo is courtesy of the Canal Museum and the Daily Press article was found on the newspaper site 

Enjoy and learn!

Utica Daily Press- December 14, 1936

Crowds Inspect Icebound Fleet at Sylvan Beach


Well, the fleet is in.  It's tied up alongside the pier at the entrance of the Barge Canal at Sylvan Beach. Indications last night were that the ships would keep their berths until spring. Such channel as there was from Oneida Lake where the vessels had been Icebound for a week, into the canal, was a pretty sketchy affair. Broken ice showed where the craft had banged their way through. But at noon the thin layers of Ice crystals were forming on top of the open water between, blocks, and by this morning the whole surface will doubtless be another layer of ice.

These members of the Barnes fleet hardly fit the usual conception of Barge Canal craft. They are sea-going vessels of 200 feet or more, Diesel powered and ready to go places. That is, anywhere in or on water that is not covered with from six inches to six feet of ice. The difference is accounted for by the thickness of the “pressure ridges" which form on big bodies of water when ice takes bold

and buckles itself into thicker sections.

Those blocked the five ships out in the lake last week. After Friday's thaw their skippers and crews thought they had a chance to make port. Their first effort had been to reach Brewerton at the western end of the lake. They missed that by 15 miles. Saturday, they had only five miles to go to make Sylvan Beach—If they could break a channel through the ice.  The state tug Syracuse helped clear the way.

The Andrew M. Barnes was out in front and with some dynamite ahead of it, finally crashed its way through to the haven of Sylvan Beach. Some of the crews, many of whom talked with a Scandinavian accent thought the dynamite was more bother than it was worth and really had little to do with getting alongside a pier.

But they arrived, the last about I p. m. Saturday. Yesterday they were visited by hundreds of curious persons who went to the Beach to see what ice-bound freighters might look like.

The fleet includes the Robert Barnes Fiertx, the Alden Barnes Fiertx, the Andrew M. Barnes, the Detroiter of Wilmington, and the Michigan, all members of the Barnes fleet They are loaded with everything from steel to caustic soda. Part of the cargoes are consigned to a silverware company In New Haven. Smart local boys were advising the crews yesterday to sell the stuff to the Oneida Community and cut down hauling charges.

The crews had no particular excitement to report from their week's sojourn in the lake. They were surprised to have been caught off-shore by ice but let it go at that.  Attendants were on duty at Lock 20 but had no activity to report. Nothing Is moving in the channel between Utica and Rome. The channel eastward is similarly icebound at least as far as Little Falls.

There were unconfirmed reports that the Transoil, coastwise tanker, had broken its way eastward to Lock (?) and might make the Hudson River and open water. Other tugs and barges, however, were thought to have been "interned by the frost for the duration of the winter."

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Extraordinary Keepsake


Margaret Reaney Memorial Library is very pleased to offer for sale an extraordinary St. Johnsville keepsake at the upcoming Bridge Street Block Party August 13 & 14th.

 From the June 7, 1939 Enterprise and News newspaper:

“Mr. Joseph H. Reaney has caused to be struck a number of bronze discs which relate to the local Margaret Reaney Memorial Library.  Each medal weighs one half pound and measures 3 inches in diameter and is a quarter inch think.  It is cast in bronze of the proper alloy approved by the United States standard of quality.

The medal shows the library in relief with the inscription: “Margaret Reaney Memorial Library, St. Johnsville, NY.”  On the reverse side is shown the soldiers’ monument (which is on the library south lawn) with the inscription: “Fifth NY Duryee Zouaves, erected in memory of Joseph Reaney.” 

The medals are $20 and will come with a photocopy of the original 1939 newspaper article.