Reaney Days

Reaney Days

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Book Day

           We will host Christmas Book Day, Saturday, December 6 from 10 AM – noon.  Patrons are invited to stop by,  browse and select from an extensive collection of adult and children’s holiday books.  Any Christmas books checked out that day will be given an extended due date of January 10, 2015.

            Reading is a wonderful gift to share and we would like to encourage our patrons to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of the season and relax with the magic and mystery of some Christmas stories.

            Christmas cookies, milk and egg nog will be served. 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

November 19th Book Selection Announced

Margaret Reaney Memorial Library’s In Search of Faith book club will meet Wednesday, November 19 at 10 AM.  The group will discuss Adriana Trigiani’s autobiography, Don’t Sing At the Table: Life Lessons From My Grandmothers.
Publisher’s Weekly gave the book this favorable review when released in 2010.
“Fans of novelist Trigiani will be delighted with this guided tour through the author’s family history via her grandmothers, Lucia and Viola. She lovingly details the women’s lives and recounts the lessons she’s learned while offering a fascinating look at U.S. history from the perspective of her Italian-American forebears. Both Lucia and Viola worked hard from an early age, cooking and cleaning among any number of chores, and parlayed their work ethic and expertise into strong careers. Viola started out as a machine operator and, later, co-owned a mill with her husband, while Lucia worked in a factory and then became a seamstress and storefront couturier. Her grandmothers also took pride in passing along wisdom to others; throughout her life, Trigiani benefited from their guidance regarding everything from marriage to money, creativity to religion. Trigiani combines family and American history, reflections on lives well-lived, and sound advice to excellent effect, as a legacy to her daughter and a remembrance of two inimitable women.”
Anyone wishing to join the discussion is invited to contact library director Dawn Lamphere at 518-568-7822 to reserve a copy of the book.  A complete list of upcoming discussion titles may be found at

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Meloharp Comes Home

Margaret Reaney Memorial Library board of trustees, using set aside “museum” funds, recently approved the purchase of, and received, a St. Johnsville made Meloharp. 

        Trustee Sharon Fuller, in her extensive research of local businesses, discovered that the stringed instruments were briefly made in the village.  Fuller turned that information over to Trustee Mat Rapacz, who had been researching the piano makers Roth & Engelhardt and discovered the Meloharp connection to the piano company.  While browsing the Internet Rapacz located an instrument in Philadelphia and completed the purchase on behalf of the library.

        The Meloharp was invented by George B. Shearer of Oneonta in 1895.  St. Johnsville piano action makers Roth & Engelhardt soon enticed Scherer to locate his company in their “old cheese factory” building at the end of South Division Street along the railroad tracks.

        By March, 1896, seven styles of Meloharps, ranging in price from $6 to $30 retail, were made in St. Johnsville.  Meloharp contracted with Roth and Engelhardt to make 30,000 of the instruments for them.  About 9,000 were produced before a dispute over payment and quality turned into a lawsuit which resulted in the Meloharp Company leaving St. Johnsville.  Scherer attempted to revive his company in New Jersey, but was not successful.

        The Music Trade Review of October 26, 1895 described the Meloharp as a “remarkable instrument particularly in its quality and volume of its tone; no stringed instrument of its size has hardly any limit to its possibilities in automatic chord production.”

        Library trustees hope to have the instrument, in fairly good condition, restored enough to make it playable.  Library board President, Rebecca Sokol, commented that the board is absolutely delighted to be able to bring this very special piece of St. Johnsville history “back home”.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Discussion Titles Announced

You are invited to see the tab, Book Club Notes, where the titles have been announced for November 2014-June 2015.  Hope you can join us!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcome Sal

We welcome Sal Davi as a member to our museum committee.  Sal will initially be helping Trustee Mat Rapacz with the military photographs, similar to the work he has been doing for American Legion Post #168.
The library has approximately 2000 unique pictures and upwards a total of 3000 photographs, including the military photos.  Two years ago, Mat and Richard Bellinger spent countless hours sorting and identifying the photos.  The photos are collectively and individually framed as well as stored in a collection of albums and inventoried.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Remembering September 11th

Over the years as library director I have been invited to speak at a number of public occasions.  One of the most profound occurred in 2011 on the 10th anniversary marking September 11.  My remarks proceeded a baseball game at Soldiers and Sailors Park.  My dad always said that as a nation one of the worst things we could do would be to forget the great sacrifices made in the name of freedom.  As you go about the business of living tomorrow remember those people who gave so much on that September day.  Whatever your belief system, there but for the grace of God, goes anyone of us.   

Soldiers and Sailors Park
St. Johnsville, NY
September 11, 2011

As you look out under the canopy of this glorious September day, a day much like ten years ago, you see our future as a nation resting squarely on the slim shoulders of these young boys; some of whom are far too young to have felt the impact of that particular fall day. 

It is these boys, as well as all the children across this great nation, with their enthusiasm and excitement that have given us reason, even during the darkest of days, to keep pressing forward. 

Whenever we are faced with cataclysmic events that define and shape us as individuals and collectively as a society we have no trouble at all recalling where we were and what we were doing when those events unfolded. 

On this grim day a decade ago we see in our minds eyes, through the haze of an entire nation’s mourning, the images which have forever become engraved in our hearts.  We often wonder how much we can possibly bear, how great a burden can we carry?  The sacrifice and suffering of September 11th demonstrated to us that while we as a nation may bend, we remain unbroken. 

As clear as if it were yesterday we recall the determined faces of emergency personnel and first responders and the haunted look of broken families and a devastated citizenry.  Within the stillness of our minds and hearts we hear the focused words of our leaders and the comforting prayers of our pastors. 

We need to remember, never forgetting that day, and all that has occurred at home and abroad because of September 11.  The twin flames of hope and remembrance light our path towards the future as we continue to struggle to find a new kind of normal. 

On what is probably one of the saddest anniversaries our country marks we need to keep hope alive because it is when our despair extinguishes that flame of hope our enemies claim victory. 

On this day remember and pledge yourselves to never forgetting.  On this same day play ball and laugh and hold your loved ones close because if there is one thing September 11, 2001 taught us it is this; how quickly things can change, almost in the twinkling of an eye.    


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Calling all Needlers~

        Nifty Needles is set to resume for the 2014/2015 season.  The group will meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 10 AM beginning September, 23.  All are welcome to the table. Please plan to join us and feel free to invite a friend.


                                                        Dawn Lamphere



September 23, October 14 & 28, November 25 and December 9 & 23

January 13 & 27, February 10 & 24, March 10 & 24, April 14 & 28, May 12 & 26 and June 9 & 23.


Please note:  as we go forward in to winter (boo hiss) should the Oppenheim Ephratah St Johnsville Central School district be delayed or closed on any of the above date Needles will not meet.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Just for Kicks

In doing some shelf reorganizing I came across this nifty book I forgot we had: What are the Seven Wonders of the World and 100 other Great Cultural Lists-Fully Explicated.

Just for fun I thought I would throw a question up every now and again.  Unlike Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune there will be no prizes:) Enjoy!


What are the seven deadly sins?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bricks and Mortar VS Kindles and Tablets

          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.

In the last couple of weeks we’ve had the great pleasure of hosting school class visits and one of the things I emphasis to the kids is getting their own library card and making the library a routine destination.  However, facilitating those initial visits requires the support and enthusiasm of parents. 

            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.  It was at the Fort Plain Library where I rode across the purple sage with Zane Grey, raced neck and neck with Walter Farley’s Black Stallion and day-dreamed slightly dangerous, mysterious, romantic dreams with Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt. 

Perhaps you are a foodie and enjoy wandering a seasonal farmer’s market, or maybe fishing is your thing and a Bass Pro Shop is like dying happy and going to heaven.  Now that summer has arrived baseball is front and center and who among baseball fanatics does not look forward to a visit to the Hall of Fame, cheering on the Mohawl Valley Diamond Dawgs or the Amsterdam Mohawks?  As a reader, visiting the library for me brought those very same feelings of excitement, anticipation, and immense satisfaction.  Simply put, I could not wait for Friday nights.

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.   My point is, those kinds of social interactions help a child develop their communication and related interpersonal skills; skills which have very little bearing when downloading an e-book. 

Am I anti-technology; of course not.  Our library provides public Internet access and as a member of the Mohawk Valley Library System our services include web-based information resources and electronic books.  Personally, I email, post to Facebook and Google is my go-to springboard when diving into the World Wide Web.  However, there is a time and a place for everything and with so many excellent libraries throughout the Mohawk Valley I hope parents will take the time and make a place for their child at a library of their choosing. 
Dawn Lamphere

Monday, June 2, 2014

Climbing the Family Tree

A genealogy question popped up on FB the other day which sent me looking for a baptism.  In doing so, I thought this might be worth sharing.  If you have any early New York State connections you need to be sure and check out the work of Arthur C M Kelly. 

Mr. Kelly has spent decades transcribing, among other things, baptismal and marriage records throughout New York State.  Not only are they faithfully transcribed but indexed as well!  We have close to 100 of his books here at the Reaney Library for your reference and use including baptismal records for the Herkimer, German Flats, Caughnawaga, Mapletown and Stone Arabia Reformed Churches. 

I don’t have a lot of experience in the genealogy field, I leave that to Marta, so I very much appreciate the fact that someone has taken the time to study the old language and handwriting styles and provided a transcription.  Even I can read an indexJ 

To read more about Mr. Kelly and his phenomenal work visit his site at 

Monday, May 5, 2014

We thank you!

There are so many people who make Flapjacks and Fairytales a success.  First and foremost we have to thank former trustee Lois Thomas for bringing the idea forward nine years ago.  Since its inception, like mushrooms in the rain, FJ&FT just keeps growing and growing!


With only seven library trustees and three staff members we rely on lots of help.  To that end, we must thank Bob Fisher and his wonderful and seemingly tireless kitchen crew for their always outstanding job.  Without Bob and his friends in the kitchen there would be no Flapjacks and Fairytales.  Bob works closely with Big and Little M owner Carmen Licari in ordering all the food while coordinating everything in the kitchen. 


We are grateful to Jim and Dorothy Thomas who have donated the butter every year and dear Mary Finch, who single handedly was responsible for making over 500 baking powder biscuits.  Oh my!

We sincerely appreciate the many volunteers who came forward to move baskets, assist in the dining room and help advertise the event. 

In the last nine years we have used the Community House, Masonic Temple and now the Benefit Club.  Each of these venues has been gracious and generous in helping to make Flapjacks and Fairytales a success.   


This year we raffled 78 baskets.  The baskets were donated by individuals, organizations and businesses.  When you see them all together you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the generosity and creativity wrapped up in cellophane and bedazzled with a bow.

The always popular Money Tree was donated by library FRIENDS and won by Betty Sanders.  New this year was a Money Wreath donated by the staff of OESJ School.  The wreath was won by Tiffany Leiphart. 

The JJ Sporting Goods basket will be making its way to Alabama; the lucky winner was in upstate New York visiting family. 

A complete list of donors and winners may be found at our blog


One of my favorite baskets was the bird house replica of Indian Castle Church built and donated by Kenny and Andra Senft.  Former library trustee Charles Welden, who passed away two years ago, was also the long tenured supervisor for the Town of Danube where the church is located.  Charley absolutely loved the Indian Castle Church and all of its attendant history.  I know he would have enjoyed the finely crafted birdhouse.  No matter what the basket was; those who won seemed absolutely thrilled and that is always fun.


Finally, we need to offer a huge thank you to all the hungry pancake eaters who came out.  Every year it is nice to see and say hello to not only familiar faces but also to meet new people.  Without fail, anyone new to the event was amazed by how grand and glorious it was!

Speaking on behalf of the trustees and staff, we are truly humbled each year by this wonderful show of support for Margaret Reaney Memorial Library.  Flapjacks and Fairytales serve as a model for all that is good about small town life in the Mohawk Valley and we are proud to be a part of it of that life and to call this place home

Flapjacks & Fairytales 2014.....and the Winners Were........

1 Little Boy Blue
St. John's Reformed Church Knit Wits
Winner Mary Ann Stowell
2 Pretty Girl
St. John's Reformed Church Knit Wits
Winner Fred Lee
3 Indian Castle Bird Sanctuary
Kenny and Andra Senft
Winner Johanna Sweet
4 Heartfelt Home
the Bergen Family
Winner Julia Tompson
5 Sit Awhile
Lindy and Larry Sweet
Winner Will Brundage
6 Create a Cookie
Tim and Francine Baumeister
Winner Sydney Weingart
7 Keep Calm; Relax
Winner Richard Swartz
8 You're Benched!
Winner Barbara Stagliano
9 Summer Fun
Twister Valley Sports
Winner Kenneth Senft
10 Adirondack Charm
Jim and Sue Race
Winner AJ Hayes
11 Cooking Kids
The Quigglets
Winner Yoder
12 Homespun
Fort Klock and Skip Barshied
Winner Jean Swartz
13 Bow Wow
Kinship Properties
Winner Barbara Foster
14 Show Me the Money
MRML Friends
Winner Betty Sanders
15 Penny Pig
MRML Friends
Winner Margaret Thomas
16 Food For Thought
Joe and Becky Sokol
Winner Judy Swartz
17 Mirror Mirror
Snow White
Winner Marta Zimmerman
18 Road Warrior
Joyce Harrington
Winner Laurie Smith
19 Belly Warmer
Jim and Nancy Shaw
Winner Joyce Schoff
20 Rain Away
Shults Agency
Winner Donn Goodell
21 Snowmen
Bob and Nancy Quackenbush/Quackenbush Trees
Winner Johanna Sweet
22 Bath Time
Kathy and Fred LaCoppola
Winner Elizabeth Ostrander
23 Big Blue
Terry Potoczny
Winner Joyce Harrington
24 Tea Time
Hildegard Cresswater
Winner Evelyn Thode
25 Pinkie
Patricia Cresswater
Winner Donna Darling
26 Made in the USA
Deanna and Fred Campione and Sharon Fuller
Winner Kristin Layman
27 Hometown Pride
American Legion Post #168
Winner Alma Getman
28 Anybody Home?
Sally and Roy Thomson
Winner Cindy Bergen
29 Pamper Yourself?
Amy's Sales and Service, LLC
Winner Linda Flandera
30 Hairs Lookin' At You
Ideal Hair Fashion
Winner Sydney Weingart
31 Nashville Cats
Sophie Cat
Winner Walter Schrell
32 Cup of Joe
Veronica Howard in memory of her husband Brian
Winner Terry Potoczny
33 Gobble Gobble
Camp Emerson
Winner Kim Buddles
34 Adirondack Smiles
Jim and Sue Race
Winner Barbara Foster
35 Kinney Kids
Kinney Drugs
Winner Fred LaCoppola
36 Forest Serenity
Sue and Jim Race
Winner Janet Shuster
37 Out For a Sail
Nancy Reynolds
Winner Jean LaQuee
38 Wasting Away
Mark and Cathy Rice
Winner Jan Carter
39 Mysteries and Sweets
St. Johnsville Senior Saints
Winner Pauline Smith
40 Homemade Pasta Night
Margaret DiGiacomo
Winner Carolyn L
41 Scoot Along
James and Alexandra Zimmerman
Winner Cedric Ward
42 Summer Sunshine
The Quigg Family
Winner Donna Springer
43 A Hunting We Will Go
JJ Sporting Goods
Winner Pat Douglas
44 I Got To Hop
Shirley Putman and Bobbi Button
Winner Mallory Miles
45 Backyard Artist
Thomas Troutwheeler
Winner Rylee Miles
46 Wine A Little
Laurie and Don Smith and Rebecca and Joe Sokol
Winner Marcia Emrich
47 Kitchen Make-Over in a Minute
J&J Confections
Winner Joanne Meier
48 Celebrate!
Winner Cheryl Brown
49 Wanted Man
Winner Roy Thomson
50 $$$$$$
Winner Joan Forbes
51 Soup's On
Ellie Ferris and Carol Green
Winner Freida Bergen
52 Bring Home the Bacon
MRML Friends
Winner Trish Caponera
53 Wrap it Up!
Mary Lou Corso
Winner Jessica Senft
54 Crafter's Delight
Mary Lou Corso
Winner Lois Thomas
55 A Summer Snack
Nancy Reynolds
Winner Sharon LaPrade
56 Don't Fence Me In
Cresswater Farms
Winner Gerald LaQuee
57 Snuggle Up
Nan DiNinno
Winner Judy Swartz
58 Coffee Break
Helmont Mills
Winner Roy Thomson
59 Sowing Seeds
St. Johnsville Housing Authority
Winner Tenisa LaQuee
60 Coffe and Chocolate
The Table-Aaron Katovitch
Winner Mohawk Valley Real Estate
61 Vacation Essentials
Mallory Miles
Winner Felicia Polidori
62 Frozen
DH Robbins PTO
Winner Thomas Szymanski
63 Yummy Good
MRML Friends
Winner Linda Snyder
64 Foxy
CH Burkdorf Lumber
Winner Beth Close
65 K-Cupping
Judy King Insurance
Winner Melanie Weaver
66 Roll Out the Flowers
STJ Village Office Staff
Winner Janice Yunker
67 The Big Easy
Grace Church Sunday School
Winner John Shostek
68 No Place Like Home
Winner Joan Forbes
69 That's Salada Tea!
Winner Dolores Hayes
70 Fun in the Sun
The Dolan's at Bridge Street Bakery & Café
Winner Caitlyn Mosher
71 Lotsa Lettuce
OESJ School
Winner Tiffany Leiphart
72 Homemade Harvest
Damin Farm
Winner Lisa Liddle
73 Tumble Wool
Wendy Snell
Winner Kristin Layman
74 A Taste of Wine
Winner Amber Johnson
75 It's Planting Time
Adirondack Packaging Supplies- the Arduini Family
Winner Steve Warner
76 Batter Up!
Mary Ann Jones
Winner Barbara Damin
77 Splish Splash!
HC Smith Benefit Club
Winner Jenna Hagadorn
78 Belly Up to the Bar
Big and little Ms
Winner Leann & Seth