Reaney Days

Reaney Days

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.