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What's Cooking?: A Birthday Tradition

 

A tradition I’ve created in my family since my children were young was to let them request a special menu for their birthdays. They looked forward to suggesting dishes they would like to have for their birthday dinner.  When they were young, the menu was simpler like fried chicken, pizza, lasagna or noodles.  As they grew up, their palates and food selections also did, with the exception of my youngest who still requests lasagna.  

New City Takes First Place

 

In a tense competition, New City Library took first place in the Ramapo Catskill Library System's Battle of the Books.  With over 100 spectators cheering on their teams at the Haverstraw Library, our teens won by an 8-7 victory over Livingston Manor.  The very last question clinched the championship.  Members of our Book Battle group include from left to right: Susan Zollinger, Alex Borovoy, Shawna McKivergan, Chanda Bhandal, Rathna Ramanathan, Rachel Borovaya, Marie Yatsky, and in front Nicholas Procino and Ben Eisenberg.  Our team displayed their extensive knowledge of the eight titles selected this year. 

Keeping It under Our Caps: Bonnet Fiction

I was very tempted to do an entry on "tempest-tossed romance" today, but I suspect you'll be getting enough of that on your own this weekend.  Instead, I thought I'd offer something more in the way of a comfort read.  There's a category of romance that's been steadily growing in popularity as our own lives have gotten more stressful and technologically complex: "bonnet" fiction.

"Bonnet fiction" refers to romances set in Amish or Mennonite communities; the term comes from the depiction of characters in their ever-present "kapps" on the front cover.  (If you don't see a bonnet, the character is probably an "English," or outsider).  Sometimes, you'll see the term expanded to include pioneer and prairie romances also, or other "simple living" groups like the Shakers.  Beverly Lewis, herself the granddaughter of an "Old Order" Mennonite woman, is often credited with founding the genre with the first of her Heritage of Lancaster County series, The Shunning, based loosely on her grandmother's life.

All Aboard! Storytime - at the Congers Train Station

No registration necessary -- just come on down for this new event on whichever dates work for you!

 

Join Mrs. B for preschool storytime at the Congers Train Station.  Each child needs a carpet square or cushion for sitting on the floor.  Adults need to stay close at hand in case they are needed.  Restrooms are available, and there's plenty of parking.  About 25 children ages 3 - 5 will fit comfortably.  The storytime will last 30 minutes or so.

Planned dates for this program are

    Tuesdays - September 20 & 27

                     October 4, 11, 18, 25

Upstairs, Downstairs

What is going on?  Did you do a double take when you saw a familiar face from 'downstairs' working at the Circulation desk? Perhaps you saw some unfamiliar faces behind the AV desk.  Your eyes did not deceive you.  In June, AV and Circulation became one team known as Circulation Services.  We are working together to improve our service model and hope to be up to speed soon.  There is so much to learn, but cross training will give us the flexibility to provide staffing where needed at any time.  So whether we are upstairs or downstairs our focus remains on you, our customers.

Beyond Books

I have been working at this library for many, many years (too many to actually give you a number!).  It always amazes me however, when I tell people who I meet in the community, about the wealth of materials available to them in their own library's Audiovisual Department and they have no idea that we are even here, tucked away on the lower level.

We not only have current movies, we get these movies on their "streetdate".  In other words, as soon as Netflix or Blockbuster has them, so does the New City Library.  I buy multiple copies of the most popular titles to keep the wait time short. The same holds true for our children's current movies.  We receive our copies on their streetdate so that the children in our community will get to see their favorite screen characters.

We also have thousands of music CDs covering all different genres.  Classical, pop/rock, R&B. gospel, world music, jazz - the library has it all.  We also have a large selection of children's music including the popular Kidz Bop series.

Better Than Google

Libraries have changed quite a bit over the last decade or two due to the Internet and the advent of electronic databases.  In olden days, librarians relied almost entirely on reference books to answer questions.  Now the information has been transformed from print to electronic resources.  Sadly, our print reference collection has shrunk and continues to get smaller.  Happily, the information is still available and in a more accessible and convenient form.  Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the electronic library never closes, and the information you need is always there for you.

Fabled Cities

Stories live where we do.  When people lived in cottages and castles, travelling from village to farm to walled town through remote mountain passes and deep, dark woods, that's where our stories went, also.  They hid in the margins: dwarves and goblins and dragons dwelt deep in the mountains.  Elves and other fey folk populated the far green spaces.  Witches kept remote cottages deep in the ancient forest, and enchanted princesses slept in abandoned castles walled in by briars.

Now we live in cities and suburbs, in high ranches and apartments and skyscrapers, and our stories have moved in right along with us.  The Wild Hunt rides Harleys through the city streets at midnight, while wizards sell two-bit charms in back alleys.  Vampires hunt in night clubs, and forgotten, eldritch gods lurk in the sewers.  The magic of old has gotten a little glitzier, a little grungier, but it's still there, existing side-by-side with our digital toys. 

This is urban fantasy-- think of it as a faerie tale coming soon to a city near you. 

Romance under Pressure

Genre-blending-- bringing together the elements of two categories of fiction-- is becoming more and more popular these days.  Romance + fantasy, romance + mystery, romance + horror, romance + westerns, romance + post-apocalyptic science fiction... I've even seen romance + cookbooks.  And of course, there's no reason for authors to limit themselves to only two genres; take a powerful female mage, a handsome elven police detective, and throw in a magical murder, and you've got romance + fantasy + mystery. 

I plan to talk about several of the more popular types of genre-blended romance over the next few months, but right now I'll start with the most time-honored: romantic suspense.

Museum Pass Online Reservations

Customers love that we offer museum passes to the American Museum of Natural History, Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, Intrepid Sea and Space Museum, Museum of the City of New York and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.  These family passes save our customers thousands of dollars a year.

Reserving the passes was not always so easy.  Reserving a pass by telephone could be troublesome for customers and the library alike.   Beginning tomorrow, August 3rd, the library will introduce a new system to reserve passes online. 

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