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Category Archives: libraries

Library Looking Good

I went to Basloe Library in Herkimer this morning,  to get on the computer and to check on the status of their renovations.  I brought my Tablet with me to get a few pictures.  Now I am at home on my Tablet, typing in my blog post one letter at a time.  Note to self:  Next time you go to the library, plan ahead, so you can type in your blog post with all ten fingers, as God intended.

Where was I?  Ah yes at the library, admiring the surroundings.

Here’s a cozy looking area.

There were some comfortable chairs in the library before, but the last time I was in there, this space was occupied by the temporary information desk.

I especially like the big windows.

I guess I needed a flash. It is quite a sunny day today.

I like being able to look out a window when I’m writing, which is something I often go to the library to do.  With that in mind, I was really happy to see a couple of well-placed tables.

One of the tables was already in use.

I asked the nice young man if he minded being in the picture for my blog.  I told him to keep doing what he was doing, so it would be like a candid.

I hope to write more about the library renovations,  with more pictures.  In the meantime, this makes a nice change from my usual Monstrous Monday.   And I can share monster pictures later in the week.



Beat the Heat with Books!

The heat wave continues in the Mohawk Valley, and I do not have air conditioning.  However, libraries do!  In the last two days, I went to two, so I thought I would give them a shout out instead of having my usual Tired Tuesday post.

Monday I went to Basloe Library in Herkimer, NY.  I actually went so I could print out the script to Where’s the Cheesecake?, the play I am in during Little Falls Cheese Festival, July 14 (I’ll make tomorrow’s blog post about that, by the way) (preview of coming attractions).  I still don’t have a printer, but I was just as happy to go to the library.   As I paid for my printed pages, I remarked that it might be time to purchase a printer of my own.

“Then again, I’m not too unhappy to be here in the air conditioning,” I told the clerk.  She agreed that this was a good place to be, especially since they also have books.  With that in mind, I found a few books.  Then I sat down and tried to write.  That did not go so well, because I had a headache.  As I left the library, I saw they had changed the sandwich board outside to say, “Come on in!  It’s cool and we have books!” I only wish I had had my Tablet with me to take a picture.

Today I went to Weller Library in Mohawk. I was determined to write more.  For one reason, I did not have a headache.  For another reason, they have the most beautiful reading room.  Once again, I ought to have had my Tablet with me.  Next time!

Well, once again, the writing did not go so well, so I looked for books. I thought I found a couple of Agatha Christie’s I had not read, only to discover that they were novelizations based on, I don’t know, a movie or a play.  I put them back on the shelf and found a couple of authentic Agatha Christie novels, one of which I actually have not read. Score!

I managed to get a little writing done: some on a novel that I fear is not going to go anyplace, and some on a murder mystery for the fall.  I think the murder mystery is going to work out. I’ll write more on it tomorrow.

So, my advice to anybody who is tired of the head and doesn’t have air conditioning:  go to the library!  It’s cool, and they have books!


At Least I Got a Blog Post Out of It

Early on today, I knew I was going to stop by Ilion Free Public Library.  You see, I am attempting to write an article about Russell Park for Mohawk Valley Living magazine and wanted more background.  So far I have the story of me and Steven walking through the park and a work friend’s reminiscences of boyhood visits there.  I wanted more background, especially about the park’s history.  Another work friend said they probably had a whole file in the local history section of the library.

What a great idea, I thought.  The library will hook me up, and I can also write my blog post about the visit.  You see how I utilize my resources for multiple purposes.  I felt pretty pleased with myself.   And that should have given me my first clue that things would not go as planned.

When I walked in and made my request to the librarian, she said, “Let me look up the hours the history section is available.”

Oh dear.

I had already missed the hours it was available today.  Tomorrow they are closed for Veteran’s Day.  Thursday evening I can come in between six and eight.

Feeling as foolish as I usually feel, I explained how I do not have my act together and my deadline is fast approaching.  In my defense, I had planned to write an article about quite a different topic, only that fell through (long story, may make another blog post).  One of the VERY nice librarians volunteered to go upstairs and see if there was anything they could photocopy for me.

While she was gone, I couldn’t help noticing the ongoing book sale on a couple of carts right next to where I stood.   Ooh, that one looked good… oh, I already have that book.  Then I found one I hadn’t read.  By the time the lady returned, I had two hardcover, two softcover and a book on CD by Bruce Campbell (I adore Bruce Campbell).  She had not found anything. I thanked her for trying.

“Hang on, let me go and take one more look,” she said.

I paid for my purchases while she went.  She still did not find anything, but I told her how much I appreciated all the effort.   My deadline is on Friday.  There is a chance I could go Thursday night and still get it together.  As an added incentive, I noticed the library is having a pie sale on Thursday.  I do like homemade pie.

In conclusion, Ilion Free Public Library is a great resource with extremely helpful people.  As for me, I mean to begin earlier to write my articles and do my research in a more timely fashion.

The library is located at 78 West St., Ilion, NY.  Phone number 315-894-5028.


OF COURSE We Need More Books!

I don’t know how well I will do with my writing for the foreseeable future. You see, Steven and I just returned from the Book Sale at Basloe Library in Herkimer, NY, and now I have some serious reading to attend to.

To be completely honest, our finances are not in the best shape these days, and our house is getting rather crowded with stuff. In other words, we don’t need to be running out and buying more books. Who am I kidding? Of course we do! Additionally, this is a library book sale. Good prices and a good cause, that’s a win/win to me.

So we took a drive to the library, parking in the Prospect Street parking lot and walking through the little park to the library on Main. The sale was in the little back room, where Guitar Group meets on Saturdays and Herkimer Now meets once a month. There were several tables covered with books. I was in my element.

At first I did not see anything I had to have, although I enjoyed browsing the variety of titles. Then I saw a Dominick Dunne book I haven’t read, People Like Us. I was delighted. Dominick Dunne is one of my all-time favorite writers. I continued to browse, feeling that if I left with only that book I would be happy.

After a while, Steven told me he had seen another Dominick Dunne book.

“I already have An Inconvenient Woman,” I said. He said it wasn’t that one, but he couldn’t remember which it was. “Oh, here, it is,” I said, spotting Dominick Dunne on a spine. “Too Much Money. I don’t have Too Much Money!”

“Neither do I,” Steven said. I had not realized till I said it how it sounded. I laughed loudly for about ten minutes.

I went on to find several more books. Steven found one book and a DVD of Good Night and Good Luck, about Edward R. Murrow and Joseph McCarthy. We were very happy with our purchases. The sale continues till Friday, so we may return. Or we may make our way to Frankfort Free Library, which is also having a book sale. So many books, so little time.

I Do Love a Library

Tuesday I wrote about the Prom Attire Giveaway at Frankfort Free Library. Today I shall write about the rest of the visit to the library.

I must have looked confused as we walked in the door, because the lady behind the desk asked could she help me.

“Oh no, we’re just here to enjoy the library,” I said. Then I explained that I intended to write a blog post about it and possibly an article to submit to Mohawk Valley Living (incidentally, I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about that magazine and TV show).

After chatting with the lady for a bit, Steven and I browsed the shelves. I picked out one book (conservative for me). I asked if there was an ongoing book sale, as libraries often have. The lady said they didn’t have the space for it.

“Yes, this is the smallest library in the area,” I said.

“Poland is smaller,” she told me.

“I’ll have to check that one out.” Could be a future blog post.

Before we left I wanted to go down into the basement, where they were organizing the donated prom gowns (which I wrote the previous blog post about). We had quite a nice talk with the lady in charge of that, whose name I foolishly did not get. She showed us the Early Literacy Room, where classes are held weekly for young children. It has all the accoutrements of a good kindergarten room (if I remember my kindergarten days correctly) (no, it was NOT in a one-room schoolhouse; I’m not that old. Sheesh!).

“And this becomes a graveyard for our haunted house,” the lady said.

“Ooh, a haunted house,” I said. “Maybe I could volunteer for that.”

“We can always use more actors,” she said.

“I’m very dramatic.” I made a dramatic pose to demonstrate, but I think she believed me to begin with.

The Frankfort Free Library offers a lot to the community, with movie nights twice a week as well as other special programs. Santa Claus visits in December, and the Easter Bunny in the spring. Their April calendar shows Drop-in Craft Night, All Things String and How Many Jelly beans in the Jar? You can visit their website for a list of current events: They also have a Facebook page (they accepted my Friend request).

The library is located at 123 S. Frankfort St., Frankfort, NY. Phone number is 315-894-9611. They are open Monday and Wednesday 2 to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cinderella Could Have Used This

One thing you can say about the Mohawk Valley: many of the people who live here are generous. I got more proof of that the other night, when Steven and I went to Frankfort Free Library.

I had actually been going to write a whole post about the library (you know how I love libraries), and I don’t rule out doing that at some point. Tonight, however, I want to give a shout-out to their Prom Attire Giveaway.

As Steven and I pulled into the parking lot at 123 S. Frankfort St., Frankfort, NY, we saw a lady pulling several fancy dresses out of her vehicle.

“Something is going on,” I said. With my theatre background, I immediately thought costumes for something.

Steven was more well-informed. “It must be for their prom dress giveaway.”

“Oh, I did hear something about that.” I think I saw a poster asking for donations.

After we were done with our library visit, I suggested we peek downstairs, where a they were busy sorting dresses and getting ready.

“We’re being nosy,” I told the lady in charge. Then I explained that I write a blog about the Mohawk Valley, which seems a better excuse than common or garden nosiness.

Response for the event has been great. Many beautiful dresses have been donated. Businesses have also donated gift certificates for hair, nails, jewelry and more. I remembered a couple of bridesmaids dresses I have that would be good prom attire. If only they were not buried in an unknown location in my attic, I could have added them to the collection.

The giveaway will be held from from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 4, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 5. The student going to the prom must be in attendance and must try the dress on. The dresses are to be given away at no cost.

I felt really good after visiting the library. What a blessing to get a fabulous dress for a special night for free! And what a good way for ladies to pass on lovely dresses they may never wear again. It’s a win/win situation! It almost makes me wish I was still at the age to go to a prom.


Another Delightful Library Trip

Monday after work, Steven and I went to Ilion Free Public Library. I had an ulterior motive for going there, which I may share in a subsequent post. Right now, however, I would like to write a straightforward post about Something I Did in the Mohawk Valley.

My default Thing to Do at almost any time is to go to the library. In the Mohawk Valley, we are blessed with many beautiful libraries.

Ilion Free Public Library, 78 West St., Ilion, NY, is in an historic-looking stone building. I learned from the library’s website that it was designed in a Romanesque style by New York City architect George P. Chappell and erected by local builder Albert N. Russell. This was after Clarence W. Seamans purchased the land.

Seamans was a local philanthropist of some note. I was particularly interested to note he had worked for Eliphalet Remington and Sons. He later became president of the Remington Typewriter Co. I was at the Remington Museum recently where I particularly noted the Remington Typewriter. I like to think that typewriter was partly responsible for the library I was in.

Inside, the library looks more modern. The most beautiful room is the Remington Room, a meeting room and art gallery. The room hosts events such as bake sales and plant sales as well as being available to groups for meetings. Steven and I were particularly interested in a display case of artifacts and photographs from Ilion’s past. The room also contains a large table with chairs and a long sofa.

“You could sit on that sofa and read a book,” I suggested to Steven, but he was not equipped with a book at the time.

On a wall just outside the Remington Room are several pen and ink drawings of historic buildings in Ilion. We enjoyed looking at those before browsing the shelves. As usual, I had to restrain myself from getting more books than I have time to read. I showed Steven a biography of Bob Fosse (we’re big fans of his movie All That Jazz). We may return and check that out soon. Steven perused the DVDs but did not find anything.

We also looked at the listings for “Lunch and a Movie” and “Snack and a Movie.” For the former BYO sack lunch and Friends of Ilion Library provide a beverage. For the latter, the Friends provide a snack and a beverage. That might be another activity for Mohawk Valley Girl.

As we left the library, we noticed a fundraiser sale for the Friends of Ilion Library. Knitted and crocheted items were offered as well as some lovely notecards. We did not have time to looks things over as much as we would have liked. Just another reason to return to Ilion Free Public Library.

Library Hours are Monday,Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. to May;
Closed Saturday from Memorial Day through Labor Day; closed Sunday.
Hours are subject to change. To confirm library hours, for Historical Room hours or more information, call 315-894-5028. Or you can visit the website at

A Brief Sunday Post

I have entertained (or not) my readers with my computer troubles and tribulations. I will say it again: as disasters go, this one is minor. One could say, more an inconvenience.

But it’s all a matter of perspective. My blog is important to me. It is a goal I have set myself to post something every day. When this becomes impossible for reasons other than my own lack of initiative, prowess, talent, oomph, etc., I get frustrated. Therefore, I would like to make a brief post today to give a grateful shout out to Basloe Library in Herkimer, NY, who has made my posts since Thursday possible.

Full disclosure: I am composing this on the keyboard at the library on Saturday. I just published my Saturday post and I see I have over twenty minutes left on my session. I further see that WordPress offers a feature that you don’t have to publish immediately but can put a date and time to publish. Perfect! I can write this now, set it to publish tomorrow (when the library is closed) and I HAVE NOT MISSED A DAY! This is wonderful news for me!

That said, I don’t really have a whole lot to say other than, “Thanks, Basloe and all the lovely people who work there!”

Well, why not be brief on a Sunday? I hope you all are having a lovely day, and I hope to see you Monday.

Books and Music on a Saturday

I was on Facebook this morning (hey, it’s my day off!) and I saw a post from Basloe Library in Herkimer reminding us that Guitar Group meets today. Come hear some acoustic guitar music, they invited. I love acoustic guitars! I asked what time. 11 2 p.m.

I had wanted to go look for some books of plays, seeking something to replace Dirty Work at the Crossroads for Ilion Little Theatres’ fall production. I had thought to go after work Monday, when Steven could join me. However, acoustic guitar music is a great bribe for going today. Also, I might as well start reading plays as soon as possible, right?

Shortly before 11, therefore, I was at the library, wandering the shelves. I tend to have better luck doing that than looking at the supposed card catalog. I call it supposed, because there are neither cards nor a catalog. It is a computer and we all know, sometimes computers mystify me (OK, it’s not that hard to mystify me). I used to rock those little cards in the drawers! But enough strolling down memory late; I was strolling amongst the shelves.

I quickly found three books of plays and one book about an old Hollywood scandal. I do love an old Hollywood scandal. I went to check them out and asked where the guitar players were.

“I can just go listen, right?” I asked.

“Oh, sure, just listen, learn to play, sing along, they don’t kick anybody out.”

“If I tried to sing, they might kick me out,” I told them, but the folks behind the counter did not think that would really happen.

I found the room and sat at a table in the corner. A man was warming up, sounding really good. A few others arrived and they were all chatting and setting up. They were obviously regulars.

They played a lot of different tunes, mostly older stuff. I confess to singing along with “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue.” Nobody kicked me out, but I sang quietly just in case. One man played the harmonica. I really enjoyed that. I laughed out loud when they sang the song about Rye Whiskey, particularly the verse about if the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck.

“You didn’t actually bring any whiskey, did you?” I asked. Nobody had. One man brought up the inadvisability of drinking whiskey and driving. He had a good point. I was just kidding anyways. I haven’t had whiskey in years.

I only stayed about an hour, but as I left I thanked them and told them I had enjoyed listening.

“Come again!” they invited.

“I will!” I promised. I intend to. It’s a nice way to spend a little time on a Saturday in the Mohawk Valley.

Frank J. Basloe Library is located at 245 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY, phone number 315-866-1733. They are open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (closed Saturdays during July and August), closed Sundays. For information visit their website at, or you can like them on Facebook. Tell them Mohawk Valley Girl sent you.

Can’t Have Too Many Books

There ought to be a saying about those with too many books are apt to buy more. It’s quite true. Steven and I proved it Tuesday at the Basloe Library Book Sale in Herkimer, NY.

Basloe is located on Main Street. There is a public parking lot on Prospect, which is one street over. You walk through a little park next to the building to get to the library.

The sale was in a room off the main part of the library. Several large tables covered with books beckoned. There were even more books on the floor underneath. I was in my glory.

I started out in non-fiction, because lately I’m really into history and biography, but I checked out the fiction too. I found a historical romance and a trashy romance. I picked both up, but told Steven I would probably hate myself in the morning. I won’t mention the authors’ names, because I don’t want to start anything. The historical lady brags on how much research she does and how accurate she is, but I’ve read the history. She takes liberties. But compulsively readable. I can’t put her books down, and then I read them again. The trashy writer, also compulsively readable. I’ll save them for a treat. If I ever deserve one.

Soon I had a small armful of hardcover books. Then I found a small pile of Writer magazines. Magazines were five cents apiece. Of course I picked them all up. Steven offered to carry my hardcovers for me. The gentleman working the sale said he could put them near the cash box so we wouldn’t have to carry them around.

I decided I had chosen enough before Steven was done looking, so I sat in a handy chair and started reading one of the magazines. He found a DVD of Ruthless People, a silly movie we had just been talking about the other day.

When we checked out, I counted 18 magazines, but told the guy to count it as 20, to make it an even dollar. Our purchases added up to $4.50. I said, “Let’s make it an even five, since it’s for the library.” He graciously agreed. I said, “If this was a garage sale with a person, I might have said, ‘Can we make it four?’ For the library, I’ll make it five.” I do love libraries.

For you local readers, the library sale continues through Friday. Frank J. Basloe Library is located at 245 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY. Phone number 315-866-1733. Or you can go to