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Rockland History Month

The county of Rockland abounds with so much history reflected in county activities this month.  Residents have been invited to an interpretive walk on Iona Island, an island with a varied history of activity, travel a postcard ride of New City, view a play of John Andre meeting Benedict Arnold. The list continues. Currently the library has on exhibit images and original contracts owned by the Concklin family of South Mountain Road.

Take a look around you. Check out the many places that are part of our proud past. Remember that Rockland County began in 1798, 212 years ago! “Oh the place you’ll go” when you walk the Hessian Trail out of Bear Mountain; walk past Rockland Lake into the hills to view the remnants of a past ice industry; or visit the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River in Stony Point.

I’m certain you will return home with a greater appreciation for this very unique county, smallest in the state outside of Manhattan and yet an integral part of our country's beginnings.

New Text Messaging Service for Holds

Now you can receive a text message when your item on hold is ready for pick up.  Stop by the Circulation Desk to sign up for this handy service today!

It's a Wrap!

In use since March, our remodeled Circulation Department still surprises many customers who use the library infrequently.  Now reserved material pick-up is self-service.  Items are wrapped for privacy and requests are shelved alphabetically by your last name.  We include the first three letters of your first name to differentiate those with the same last name.  There isn’t room to print your full first name and we won’t use any personal information relating to your account number.  You’ll quickly become familiar with the general area where your books are located.  Take it to one of our express self checkouts for fast service.  We are so pleased that many of you use the machines which then make it possible for staff to complete other circulation tasks or resolve customer concerns.

The self checkout might direct you to the Circulation Desk if you have overdue material, if your card needs to be updated (a yearly event), if fees are above allowed thresholds or if the hold is not in your name.   For questions about your account please speak to a staff member.

I'M WITH THE BANNED

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.  Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank.  (Yes, the author, not her book.)  Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut.  Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler.  Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson.  What do all of these have in common?  All were deemed objectionable, or unsuitable, or downright offensive.  All were challenged in a library or school in the United States in 2010-- all, in fact, within the past month.  Today kicks off Banned Books Week, when libraries nationwide will be focusing on the importance of our First Amendment rights.  In light of current events, could there be a better time to talk about the freedom to read?

BURNING BOOKS

Got your attention, didn't I?  No, I'm not advocating the destruction of library property-- quite the opposite.  Banned Books Week begins this Saturday, a time when libraries nationwide will be focusing on the importance of our First Amendment rights.  I know, it seems a little strange to think about romances and the First Amendment in the same sentence.  The more Puritan-minded of our Founding Fathers probably didn't even dream of authors like Laurell K. Hamilton, Bertrice Small, or Lora Leigh when they protected our freedom to read.  Even so, fans of steamy romances should spare a moment this week to thank those sober gentlemen.  They found it necessary to a free society to protect all speech-- even the speech they disagreed with, even the speech they personally found frivolous, or immoral, or offensive.  To celebrate, I'm going to talk about books that some would consider to be all three: really HOT romances! 

Mystery Monday

from the Agatha Christie plaque at Torre Abbey, TorquayAgatha Christie would have turned 120 years old last week.  Born September 15, 1890,the daughter of an American father and a British mother, Agatha  Christie is the best known mystery writer of all time.  Few would argue that the books were  literary masterpieces with their pedestrian writing and stock characters, yet people continue to read and enjoy them. Only Shakespeare and the Bible have bested her more than 2 billion copies sold.  But what explains the popularity of Christie's work and the diversity of her readers? Why do her books still sell about 25 million copies a year?

New City Champions --- Battle of the Books

In a contest between 10 libraries, our teens came in second place in The Battle of the Books at the beautiful new Warwick Library on Sunday, September 12.

THOUGHT POLICE

America's freedoms-- of speech and religion, particularly-- have been very much in the news lately.  At the end of September, libraries across the country will be putting a spotlight on the First Amendment by observing Banned Books Week.  In light of this month's events, I thought this would be a perfect time to look at the subject of censorship in speculative fiction.

Needles At Rest

With the summer months soon to become memories, volunteer members of Warm Up America have stashed crochet hooks and knitting needles away until next summer. The thirty-one completed lap robes are on display in the Meeting Room until September 9. Take a look at the varied and colorful pieces. All lap robes will be distributed to area hospitals, students with special needs and Project Linus. And, thanks to all who supported the project.

What's Cooking?: Papers, and Pencils, and Books! Oh, My!

It’s school time again!  Summer is still reluctant to let go of its lingering heat.  Nevertheless, it signals the advent of autumn with its brisk air driving the warmth away.  I love the fall season as parents get their kids ready for school and summer fun is winding down.  With the pressure of getting it altogether, there is no better time than now to find ways to put those meals on the table amidst the back-to-school pandemonium.

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