Reaney Days

Reaney Days

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Every week is not without some cheerful adventure during story time.  This morning’s gathering was no different.  One of my tiny pals and her grandma had baked some yummy good Christmas sugar cookies to share.  The cookies were done in pairs; for example if a pal selected one decorated with silver sugar to eat, they had to find the “match” to give to their adult partner. 

However, before we got to the cookies there were songs to be sung, wrist bells to jingle, a Christmas story to be read and playtime.  After that, everyone had to make the great trek to the bathroom to wash their hands. 

For our snack, the kids gathered around a table, and my tiny cookie pal distributed colorful napkins and paper plates.  If memory serves, I don’t think Miss L is even two yet, but what a super job she did; so quiet and careful.  

Once the cookies were passed out, and yes, everyone made a match, they were happily enjoyed.  One grandma told me that her girl had eaten a bowl of cereal and two pieces of toast before they came.  That didn’t stop her in any way from eating her cookie. 

As we were cleaning up our lone-eagle little gentleman, we have three but Mr. V  and Mr. T were absent,  decided the red and green paper plate was much too nice to throw away so out the door he went tightly clutching his plate.

Next Wednesday is our last gathering before a winter break. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Always Thankful

Thank you, tiny pals, who came out to story time this morning.  It is fascinating to watch their different reactions and expressions depending on what we are doing.  One grandma told me that she had been driving around for ten minutes because once her granddaughter knew they were off to the library she wanted to leave then and there! 

A couple of other pals, who were off from school, joined us and brought a friend.  We talked about spiders prior to singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider and a little girl announced she had webs at her house.  After hearing that, which I don’t necessarily believe, I got out the Eric Carle book, the Very Busy Spider.  On the last page is a large, lovely, raised web that, if you use your imagination, feels a bit sticky.  Quietly, eagerly all my pals came forward to gently touch the web. 

One little man is rather shy and was crying; I think he was just a bit overwhelmed. 

I grabbed a chair and set him and his grandma on the other side of the folding doors where he could listen and watch but stay out of the fray.  After a bit, the crying stopped.  Playtime soon followed and he and grandma slowly made their way back in the room and in no time at all he was playing with a couple of other children. 

The highlight of the morning had to have been the Thanksgiving song we learned.  At the end you SNIFF.  Tiny wrinkled noses and loud sniffing always brings a smile or two.  When I first mentioned sniffing, one little guy went around and sniffed some of the other kids. 

Here is the song sung to the tune of Frerer Jacques.


Smells like Thanksgiving (point to one side of your nose)

Smells like Thanksgiving (point to the other side of your nose)

Ooo, so good (rub your tummy)

Ooo, so good (rub your tummy)

I can smell the turkey (point to one side of your nose)

I can smell the pie (point to the other side of your nose)

Ooo, so good (rub your tummy)

Ooo, so good. (rub your tummy)


Here at 19 Kingsbury Avenue we wish you all a blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving.   We ourselves are richly blessed by your continued support of our programs and services and the amazing opportunities that we experience each and every day in doing our part to create community.   

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


I know many of our patrons and not-yet-patrons enjoy decorating with primitives and learning more about our early American beginnings.  To that end, I would invite you to check out two magazines you may not be familiar with; Country Sampler and Early American Life. 
In addition to the titles we have on site, including the two mentioned,  you may also borrow dozens of magazines electronically.  Simply follow this link; you will need a library card to set up an account.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Story Time

A grand and glorious time was had during our first week of Story Time.  We had 4 young ladies and one tiny gentleman ranging in age from 18 months to 3 years old.  When you look around and despair at everything that is wrong, unjust or just plain miserable in this world, it only takes being in the company of these cheerful pals to bring you back to a happier place.  Adorable fits this crowd to a T. 

In preparing to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider, one young lady’s eyes grew wide and her tiny mouth formed a perfect “O”.  I can only assume spiders are not her favorite things. 

Our little gentleman, his first time with us, defied his aunt’s expectations and exhibited very nice manners and excellent listening skills.

It was a lovely. 

Story Time will continue to meet Wednesday mornings at 10 AM.  All are welcome.  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Health Insurance

A NYS of Health navigator is available to meet with people in need of health insurance. 
Year round enrollment is available for Child Health Plus, Medicaid or the new Essential Plan.

Enrollment for Qualified Health Plus is now open until January 31, 2019.

For further information and to make an appointment, contact Cindy at 518-775-4092. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Nifty Needles

Nifty Needles will convene at Margaret Reaney Memorial Library, St. Johnsville, on Tuesdays beginning October 30.  The group, which is open to anyone who enjoys handicrafts, will meet at 10 AM.  Thereafter, Nifty Needles will continue to meet weekly through December 18. 
            Anyone wishing further information is invited to contact Dawn Lamphere at 518-568-7822.

Color Me Calm

Color Me Calm With Conversation, our adult coloring group, is set to resume

Monday, November 5, 6:30 PM at the library.

Why coloring you ask? My reply is, why not? Obviously, none of our work is ever going to find its way to the Louvre; we are, after all, simply staying in the lines. 

However, during the hour and a half we are together there are parents who get a tiny break from their children, while others with pressing personal burdens can gather their thoughts and  simply breathe, and those who may live alone enjoy the companionship of a group. When you add in the fact that coloring is so darn colorful and can bring lightness and brightness to your life, not to mention it is just plain fun, what is not to like?

At the end of the day, beyond the pencils and pens, markers and crayons what we are creating is community and that, in my opinion, is as priceless as any Monet or Picasso. 

Mark your calendars and come join us Monday evenings; November 5 and 19 and December 3 and 17.



Thursday, October 11, 2018

Family Storytime

Family Storytime will return to the library for six weeks, November 7-December 12.  The program is open to parents or caregivers and pre-school age children.  The group will meet Wednesday mornings from 10-1045 AM.  

Family Story Time incorporates finger plays, singing, simple crafts, stories and playtime.  A spring session will follow the winter holidays.  The program is free. Anyone desiring further information is invited to contact Dawn Lamphere at 518-568-7822.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We Are Family

Cora Lee Palma was the recent guest of honor at Margaret Reaney Memorial Library, St. Johnsville, to launch her book, Web of Italian Intrigue; a Legacy of St. Johnsville Immigrants.   The event saw dozens of local residents as well as people from throughout the Capital District.   The book is written as an imaginary web, knotting families together wherever possible, sometimes into third and fourth generations. 
Palma was joined at the event by her great grand-daughter Shyanne Sobkowich.  Web of Italian Intrigue can be found on Amazon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


27 freshmen AgPtech students came to visit this morning.  I gave them a brief introduction to the library and its history and from there trustees Sharon Fuller and Mat Rapacz toured them through the museum.  They were an excited, chatty bunch ramping up the noise quotient only a bit.

In the course of conversation one student asked Sharon if we had any “scary” books.  Sharon directed her my way and I casually mentioned Stephen King, who she had read, and John Saul, who she was not familiar with.    Off they went to the downstairs. 

When they returned, I went into the stacks and pulled off a handful of John Saul.  She lit right up with some of the ghostly, horrific covers; one featured a grave yard.  Long story short, a library card was issued and away she went to turn some pages. 

No matter what the weather, it is a great day when a new reader comes into the fold.


Friday, September 14, 2018

Book Debut & Signing

        Former St. Johnsville resident, Cora Lee Palma will debut her book “Web of Italian Intrigue ~ A Legacy of St. Johnsville Immigrants” on Saturday, September 29 from 1 to 4 PM at the Community House on Washington Street. The event is hosted by the Margaret Reaney Memorial Library.   

The book is the result of extensive research of the Italian immigrants who settled in the village of St. Johnsville NY in the late 1800s into early 1900s. Their stories have been compiled into an 8x10, 288 page volume in tribute to these amazing families

Seeking a better life, the strong hearted Italian immigrants somehow found a new path to the rural village in western Montgomery County, where most spent the remainder of their lives, raising families, purchasing homes and establishing businesses.

The detailed volume is a representation of the familial lives of over one hundred Italian immigrant families who journeyed to America under the vilest conditions. Included is a great deal of detailed genealogical information for each family, with Italian and local history personalizing the accomplishments of these determined immigrants, who never abandoned their dreams.

Designed as an imaginary web, linking family threads together wherever possible, sometimes into third and fourth generations, these remarkable Italian immigrants relate their personal stories through the view of author, Cora Lee Palma.

 Palma is a founding member of the Reaney Writers Group,

facilitated by Ali MacDonald. Her other publications are “A Touch of Venus – Wedding Planning with the Bridal Zodiac”, “Bella Italia” and “Saint Simons Island and other Spiritual Sojourns”.

The book will be offered at a special debut and signing price of twenty five dollars and may be purchased by cash or check.

Anyone desiring further information is invited to contact library director Dawn Lamphere at 518 568-7822.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Dr. Charles M. Klock Memorial Park

Enjoy this timeline of  Klock's Park; former location of the Transient Camp and now the Harry C. Smith Benefit Club.
Thank you Sharon Fuller for your work on this project.

Dr. Charles M. Klock
Memorial Park



       ---5/19/1920--Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Reaney have presented the village of St. Johnsville without reservation a beautiful 10 acre tract of land to be used for a public park.  The park is to be known as the Dr. Charles M. Klock Memorial Park and this name is the only condition attached to the gift.  The park is located near the mill road of West St. Johnsville and was formerly known as Chain Swing Grove and also as Indian Gully.  The village board promptly accepted the gift and will take steps looking into the proper management of the gift.


       ---11/25/1927--(From the letter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Reaney to the village board)--“We desire to present to the Village of St. Johnsville a gift of all out interest in the following described land, for a public park and playground:  the letter continues to describe the surveyed area of the 50 acres, more or less, that the Reaneys were gifting.”

        ---11/30/1927-(From the St. J. newspaper)--At a village board meeting a communication was received from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Reaney giving the village an additional 50 acres to add to the original 10 acre gift given in 1920 and known as the Dr. Charles M. Klock Memorial Park.  The gift consists of a parcel of rugged valley extending along Klock Creek including the famous “Big Six” swimming hole and the big six spring on the property.


       ---5/11/1929-(Ams.-DD&R)—The Community Club has completed planting 3,000 white pine trees in Morris Klock Park at St. Johnsville.


       ---5/23/1932--The present village board is favorably inclined towards development of Klock Park, but are hampered by the fact village funds are tied up with numerous demands, but the main hindrance is the fact that the park is cut off for travel and only reached over a private right of way.


       ---1933-4-(From a booklet handed out at the opening of the new addition of the Margaret Reaney Memorial Library)--A 20 acre plot, which completed the allotment and gained an entrance on the north road, was the third and final section of donated by the Reaneys for Klock Park.


       ---2/1/1934-(Ams.-ER)--Ivan Asay, Herkimer, TERA official, has announced that the government intends to establish a transient camp near the village.  It is understood that representatives have been looking at land in the Chain Swing section in West St. Johnsville.

       ---4/3/1934-(Utica-OD)--The St. Johnsville village board approves $30,000 for the building of a camp for transients to be located at Klock Park.  Under the contract with the government St. Johnsville, at the end of two years, will own the building to use as it pleases.

      ---4/7/1934-(Ams.-ER)--Three members of the St. Johnsville ministerial group protested (three days after the contract had been let) against the establishment of the transient camp at Klock Park, claiming that the wanderers might stray into the village and cause trouble.

      ---4/18/1934--Work is starting on the transient camp at Klock Park.

       ---5/9/1934--The Transient Camp is nearing completion.  Visitors to the site of the Crum Creek road above Hills Falls are impressed with the extent of the project.  The transient camp building consists of a central building with wings stretching from either side.

       ---5/30/1934—Six hundred blankets and 200 pillows have arrived at the transient camp.

       ---5/30/1934-(Yesterday-6/1/1934)--Work is progressing at the immense transient camp at Klock Park.

       ---6/5/1934-(Utica-DP)--The occupants of the big transient camp at Klock Park will not want for recreational facilities.  A lot across the road has been transformed into a baseball field (land courtesy of J.H. Reaney) and double tennis courts built to the southeast of the camp.  Showers are also available.

       ---6/8/1934-(Cooperstown-Otsego Farmer & Republican)--The huge Montgomery county transient camp in Klock’s Park, St. Johnsville, will be ready for occupancy by June 10.

       ---7/4/1934--The Federal Transient Camp for homeless men in St. Johnsville, located at Klock Park, was opened last week.

       ---7/11/1934--A fire in the wood lot known as the Chawgo Woods was reported to the transient camp and boys from the camp brought it under control.

       ---7/18/1934--Work is being done on the baseball diamond directly across the road from the transient camp.  The transient camp team will play a game of baseball tomorrow night at the camp diamond having as opponents the county road team.

       ---8/1934--Mr. Reaney, appreciative of the need for recreation for those who do not find enjoyment in the ball games and other sports at the camp, has presented the camp with a small library of 750 volumes.

       ---8/4/1934-(G-J-MH)-A few days ago, a petition, signed by a number of townspeople, was presented to Major Charles P. Savary, in charge of the transient camp in Klock Park, requesting he keep the transients from using the swimming pool known as “Big Rock”, located near the transient camp.

       ---10/24/1934--Capacity has nearly been reached at the Transient Camp.


       ---2/11/1935-(Ams.-ER)--Frank Stasi, who stabbed a man at the Transient Camp in St. Johnsville gets one and a half years to three years at Clinton prison.

       ---3/20/1935--A report states that a large amount of work has been done by the men of the transient camp in the woods near the camp.

       ---5/8/1935--A group of men from the Federal Transient Camp at Klock Park will start working on a roadway to accommodate visitors to the Scout Camporal and Rally easy access to the grounds.

       ---9/17/1935--A resolution objecting to a proposal that after September 20 no more transients will be cared for by TERA funds was featured at the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors.  A communication from the state division director of TERA stated it planned to give no more relief to transients after September 20 and instead institute a WPA relief program for transients in this county and others.

       ---12/4/1935--The upkeep of the Transient Camp in Klock Park was entirely a state proposition and the village or town paid nothing.

        ---12/11/1935—Chris Caffrey replaces Maj. Charles Savary as the supervisor of the transient camp.  The camp went under WPA supervision the first of this month.


       ---6/11/1936-(Utica-OD)--The progress made on the grounds at Camp St. Johnsville was demonstrated Tuesday evening.  An inspection of the grounds showed a number of good roads have been constructed, as well as foot and bridle paths.  Campground and stone fireplaces have been built.

       ---6/19/1936--Mr. J.H. Reaney donates 500 shrubs to be set in the foreground of the transient camp.

       ---8/18/1936-(Ams.-ER)--The Transient Camp in Klock Park at St. Johnsville is one of 6 of the original 24 that were in the state.  It is one of two that is operated by the WPA.

       ---10/22/1936-(GJ-LH)—Transient camp to close—no date set.

       ---10/21/1936--The transient camp will close.  The property reverts to the village.  The local institution is to be liquidated by the government.

       ---10/30/1936-(Cooperstown-OF)-- The WPA camp management division has announced that as soon as the necessary formalities can be concluded, Camp St. Johnsville, the transient camp institution in that village, will be closed.

       ---10/1936-(Ams.-ER)--Members of the St. Johnsville Board of Elections have announced they have that they have refused to let 166 inmates of the transient camp to register to vote on November 3.  The transients are not residents of this town and must vote in their own towns.

       ---12/5/1935-(Utica-DP)--The village has named a caretaker for the transient camp building in Klock Park.


       ---5/8/1937-(Ams.-ER)--Klock Park will be formally opened May 15 for public picnics.  There are a number of fireplaces, running water and many fine walks laid out for the comfort of those who wish to visit Hills Falls.


       ---8/24/1938--The local King Hendrick tribe of Red Men of St. Johnsville repulsed an attack by the Fort Plain Red Men in a softball battle on the Red Men’s diamond opposite the former transient camp at Klock Park.


       ---8/16/1939--The local Red Men will meet the Brown Bros. softball team diamond tomorrow night.  Alofs will pitch for the locals.


       ---1/25/1940-(G&J-MH)--The Rotary Club reversed its attitude of a week ago and adopted this resolution: Be it resolved that we go on record as being opposed to the bringing of the National Youth Administration school to the transient camp here.

        ---1/26/1940-(Utica-OD)---The former transient camp in the municipally-owned by the village will not become a National Youth Administration vocational school.  The St. Johnsville Village Board has vetoed the NYA proposal.

        ---8/21/1940---Arrows, on which the name of Klock Park has been printed in large letters, have been placed at the corner of Mill Rd. and Route 5, West St. Johnsville, and at the junction of roads on Klock Creek.  Also, at both entrances to the park, the one opposite the ball diamond and the other on the easterly bank of Klock Creek, are large signs which guide motorists to the picnic area.


       ---6/1941-(Utica-OD)--Klock Park, the municipally owned tract located a mile from the village, has been definitely decided upon as the site for the Regional 4-H Club Camp, to be conducted during the 1st week of August.

         ---7/29/1941-(Ams.-ER)—The first summer camp  of the Mohawk Valley 4-H Clubs opened Sunday at Klock Park.

       ---11/10/1941—(Ams.-ER)—The 4-H are meeting at Klock Park for their postponed Halloween Party.


        ---7/22/1942-(Ams.-ER)—The former transient camp at Klock Park is to be used by 4-H Club campers.


        ---5/20/1943-(Ams.-ER)—The local Auxiliary Police organization went on record approving the proposed leasing by the village of former transient camp building for use by the NYCRR to house maintenance employees.

         11/12/1943-(Ams-ER)--A lease, granting use of the village-owned former transient camp building in Klock Park to the New York Central Railroad at an annual rental of $1500, has been entered into by the village board, but a clause permits cancellation of the lease by either party.


       ---3/29/1944-(Ams.-ER)—Local Spanish students will act as translators for Mexicans at the former transient camp.

       ---4/14/1944-(Ams.-ER)--The half a hundred Mexican laborers employed by the New York Central Railroad housed in the former transient camp in Klock Park, received their first pay Wednesday.

       ---5/18/1944—The Central School will provide English classes for the Mexican laborers in the former transient camp.

       ---7/31/1944-(G&J-LH)--Three Mexican employees of the New York Central Railroad, housed at the former transient camp in Klock Park, were arrested for public intoxication.


       ---4/17/1945-(Ams.-ER)--New York Central Railroad will be terminating the lease on Klock Park April 30.  The mayor states New York Central has left the camp better than when it was first used by them.  Improvements have been made in the kitchen, on the building. The well and disposal facilities.


       ---6/1947--New York Central Railroad is again renting the building at Klock Park to house laborers.


       ---4/26/1948-(G&J-MH)--The transient camp was rented last year; there is no indication that it will produce any income this year.


       ---9/30/1954-(G&J-LH)--Consideration is being given by the St. Johnsville Village Board to the disposition of the former transient camp building in Klock Park.

       ---11/11/1954-(Under Legal Notice)--Notice: Sale of the Transient Camp--Bids not later than 11/23/1954


       ---7/25/1957--Mohawk Indians meet with the village board to discuss the possibility of purchasing the transient camp and some land of Klock Park for a museum.  Offers in the range of $10,000 or more will be entertained for the camp building and 10 acres of land.


       ---5/29/1958--The Rod and Gun Club offers $3000 to the village transient camp and an adjoining 10 acres.

       ---6/30/1958--The St. Johnsville Village Board has given approval to acceptance of the $3,000 offer by the St. Johnsville Rod and Gun Club to purchase the former transient camp property in Klock Park, with a provision permitting re-purchase by the village under certain conditions.

                           --It was voted to write a formal letter to the assessors of the Town of St. Johnsville, requesting that the new assessment of $2,400 on Klock Park be removed, since the property is used for municipal purposes.

       ---11/27/1958-(Ams.-ER)--The lease drawn for the transient camp property was satisfactory to the Rod and Gun Club and only minor changes will be made.

       ---9/30/1958-(Ams.-ER)—The St. Johnsville Rod and Gun Club votes to buy the transient camp.


       ---10/29/1959-(Ams.-ER)--Arby Green appeared before the village board and handed in his resignation as caretaker of the transient camp at Klock Park, effective December 1.


       ---1/14/1960--The St. Johnsville Village Board officially approved the lease agreement between the village and the Rod and Gun Club for the transient camp property.  It was submitted by Attorney James Conboy to Mayor W. Kraft for the latter’s signature which the board agreed to. (This agreement later fell through.)


       ---4/1/1961-(Ams.-ER)--Correspondence from the State Conservation Department was read to the village board concerning a possibility that the department may take over the Transient Camp in Klock Park.

       ---5/16/1961-(Ams.-ER)--The fate of the former transient camp building in Klock Park was discussed at the meeting of the Village Board, but no final action has yet been taken.  The Auxiliary Police have indicated an interest in the property, but Mayor Kraft has had contact with the State Conservation Department which has also indicated an interest.

       ---11/30/1961-(Ams.-ER)--Also discussed at the St. Johnsville Board meeting, as it has been countless times in the past, was the deteriorating condition of the former transient camp building in Klock Park.


       ---3/1/1962--The Auxiliary Police are interested in buying the building and a small portion of the land surrounding it at Klock Park, but not the complete park land.

       ---5/24/1962-(G&J-LH)--The village board votes to receive bids for the sale of the transient camp and for complete removal of the buildings with an alternate bid offering to remodel the buildings.

       ---6/15/1962-(G&J-LH)--A bid of $1000 was received from Dominick Peruzzi for the purchase of the transient camp at Klock Park.  He is to tear down and remove the buildings.

       ---8/9/1962--The Benefit Club purchases a portion of the Transient Camp for $400.  The club arranged to buy the center portion from Dominick Peruzzi, who came into possession of the building through an agreement with the village to raze the structure.

         ---8/23/1962--Monday evening of this week was set as the date to start work reconstructing the remaining portion of the former transient camp building by the St. Johnsville Benefit club, which recently purchased it.


       ---9/14/1963--There was a discussion if taxes by the village board on the former transient camp building in Klock Park.  The St. Johnsville Benefit Club recently acquired it and remodeled it.  It was brought out that the Benefit Club has the responsibility of paying the taxes on the building while the village is responsible for the taxes on the land.


        ---11/19/1964--The St. Johnsville police apprehend vandalism suspects who committed damages at Klock Park.


       ---11/12/1969-(Ams.-R)--The Benefit club, meeting at the rooms at Klock Park voted to rename the club after Harry C. Smith who was treasurer of the club until his death two weeks ago.  Mr. Smith spent many hours laboring on helping to rebuild the building and donated $100 to the purchase price.





Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Recognizing our Past


Margaret Reaney Memorial Library is delighted to host former St. Johnsville resident, Cora Lee Palma-Hayden, for the debut and signing of her new book  "Web of Italian Intrigue ~ A Legacy of St. Johnsville Immigrants" on Saturday,  September 29 from 1 to 4 at Community House, St. Johnsville. 

Please come join us as we learn more about the many families who played a large role in our community’s history.

Monday, August 20, 2018

High in the Sky

You may have noticed some recent outdoor action here in Libraryland.  Pete and Tom Elwood have been hard at work in the heat repairing, replacing where necessary and repainting 32’ of fascia and soffit.  When you get to be 109 years old, a bit of repair is sometimes necessary! 

We are ever so grateful to the Adam and Nellie Horn Foundation and Sentator George Amedore for the funding which made this project possible. 

PS...the Elwood’s did offer to take me up for a closer look but I passedJ 


Friday, August 17, 2018

Library Cards; Any Place, Any Time.........

September is Library Card Sign-Up month and we got a jump on it when word came down that these kids were in need of library cards.  Since I frequently breakfast at their mom’s place, Bridge Street, I “opened” a temporary office at the breakfast table the other morning. 
These are great kids; friendly, polite and good students.  Their parents have every reason to be proud of them. 

Get your card on; it is as simple as buttering a piece of toast! 

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.