February’s fewer days are chock full of exciting events for the Altamont Free Library’s faithful patrons.  Read through the list and make your choices:

— A kids’ team trivia tournament is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m.  Show your smarts and have some snacks.

— It happens every year at just about this time.  It’s the Winter Bird Walk.  We’ll meet at the library at 9 a.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, before carpooling to Brandle Road. Dress warm and bring binoculars if you have them.  If you don’t we have some to loan.  Remember, you won’t see if you don’t look.  Come join us.

— Also on Wednesday, Feb. 19,, at 3:30 p.m., we’ll be hosting a brand new program.  It’s called Altamont Inventors. It’s open to all; school aged inventors and up. Participants will learn about local inventors and then make a creation of their own. We’ll have all sorts of materials on hand for people to use. This program is in conjunction with an exhibit in the Altamont Archives hallway curated by Marijo Dougherty and Connie Rue on display from Feb. 16 to April 6.  Please sign up for this one.

— CSI: Library Edition.  It’s on Friday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. A crime has occurred at the library. Kids 8 and up are invited to come and solve the mystery.  Let us know if you’re coming.

— Finally, the library was recently presented with a brand new coat hanger. It was designed and created by Kevin Mulligan of Guilderland Center. In keeping with our history the actual coat hooks are derived from railroad spikes. It is an impressive piece of unique furniture and we are most grateful.

The big day this week is Saturday. That’s because this week’s Saturday, Feb. 1 is Take Your Child to the Library Day. The show starts at 10 a.m.  Many activities are planned, ready, and waiting at the Altamont Free Library.

They include an indoor snowball fight, the details of which, for obvious reasons having to do with the faint of heart among us, are not being released.

There will also be a number of Early Literacy Stations where parents will be encouraged to discover and take home exciting, interesting ways to augment their child’s reading readiness, and a family-wide yoga program.  It’s not a stretch to promise that it will be a fun event for those who are fun-prone and fun-seeking.

Take Your Child to the Library Day.  If that sounds overbearing, let your child take you to the library for Take your Parents to the Library Day.  Either way will work.  Both, once again, are happening on Saturday, Feb. 1, starting at 10 a.m.

Gala tickets

A few seats for the Feb. 8 Winter Wonderland Gala are still there for the taking.  Let us know if you’d like an invitation packet.  Our number is 861-7239.

Book club

There is just one for February.  A fiction group will discuss The Orchardist, by Amanda Coplin on Feb. 16, at 7 p.m.

Come one, come all.  Actually, we really mean come two, come all.  It’s the Altamont Free Library’s very first Bring Your Child to the Library Day. The date is Saturday, Feb. 1, from 10 a.m. until noon.  A special program is in the works. 

We’ve never disappointed you before. You and your child.  Come two, come all.

Or you and your mate and your child.  Come three, come all. 

Or you, your mate and your twins.  Come four, come all. 

Whatever combination. Come many, come all.  Everyone is invited.  The more, the more fun.


Eat Around the World Potluck is Pakistan this month on  Monday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m., at the library.  Be on time to introduce yourself and your dish.

The Gala  is on  Saturday, Feb. 8, from 5 to 9:30 p.m.  The cost is $50 per person.  Please RSVP with payment by Jan. 31.

The book club will discuss the adult fiction TransAtlantic by Colum McCann; on Monday, Feb. 3, at noon, at the library.

Fritters, Bhuna Quail, Tandoori Fish, Kheer. These are four popular dishes from a place halfway around the world.  Sound interesting?  Sound tantalizing?  If so, the next paragraph is for you. 

On Monday, Jan. 27, at the Altamont Free Library, the Eat Around the World Potluck is docking in Pakistan. The time is 6 p.m. sharp. The library is the place.  Please sign up if you plan to attend. We have cookbooks for those of you made more comfortable by their guidance.


Some weeks ago the library placed the dismembered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle on the front shelf of our circulation desk. Patrons who read a borrowed book and checked it back in were invited to find and fit one piece into the puzzle. The finished product was Ron Ginsburg’s much admired photograph of the library, all shiny, made over, and new.

Patrons enjoyed the puzzle game.  Now we have a new one.  It’s a Lego version of the Empire State Building. For every book someone checks out they’re allowed to snap one piece of the structure into place.  Check it out.

Younger set

A two-part construction project for kids is also in the works. The final product is a piñata. Part one, building the piñata, will take place on Wednesday Jan. 22, at 3:30 p.m.  Part two, decorating the piñata, will take place a week later, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 3:30 p.m.  

Ideally, these works of art are meant to be kept and admired, not crashed, mashed, and smashed.

New art

There’s a new display in the library’s meeting room, photography by the local team of Scott Stoner and Denise Hackert-Stoner.  The photos concentrate on the natural world, and include several mega close-ups of insects.


This is likely the first time you’ll hear about it, so give it your strictest attention. The Altamont Free Library’s annual Gala dinner and auction fund-raising celebration is coming.  Its official name: I Love My Library “Winter Wonderland” Gala.

As always it will be held in the Altamont Community Room on Main Street. The hours are 5 to 9:30 p.m. The cost is $50 per person. Please RSVP with payment by Jan. 31.  

This is most important: The event always sells out.  Year after year, winter after winter, the event always sells out. Do not put this off until the last minute. It will probably have passed.  Do not put this off till the last minute.  The event always sells out.

Meet the memoir-ists

On Saturday, Jan. 11, at 3 p.m. the library will be celebrating the community members who wrote their memoirs with us: Dorothy Armstrong, Ann Vlahos, Stewart Linendoll, Sara Killen, and the group that wrote the history of the train station/library transformation. The gathering will feature readings, light refreshment, and camaraderie. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon in January.

Adult trivia

This is not a contradiction in terms.  In fact this is a lot of fun.  Come already part of a team of four, or come on your own and we’ll put you on a team.  The cost is $5 per player.  Please sign up at the library.