Halloween is right around the corner, so be sure to put your turn signals on as you head down Main Street. Last year, there was a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer. Rubber bats flew as far as 50-feet. If it happens to rain this year, the fallen candy corn will melt into a runny mess that will harden into a brown-yellow-orange paste all along the roads just in time for Thanksgiving.

Don’t forget to test your kids’ candy to make sure it’s safe for you to sneak handfuls of when they’re not looking. Keep your eyes out for the annual holiday specials for shows debuting either on Saturday morning or Wednesday evening, depending on your age. Take your orange and black clothes out of the closet for a festive look that would be right at home on some of Hollywood’s more refined celebrities, such as the Adams family! For some E-Z Halloween decorations, simply refrain from doing any dusting, vacuuming, cobweb-cleaning, or general routine home maintenance for a little while, and watch as your residence turns into a perfect example of a spectacularly elaborate Halloween decoration. At least, that’s my excuse. Of course, it will be necessary to burn said home down afterwards, but that is a small price to pay. Tell your friends! Please don’t mention my name!

As you head out into the night with your kids and their officially licensed costumes that make them look just like their officially licensed hero or heroine, save for the fact that they’re three feet tall and wearing little red sneakers. They also tend to wander into things – bushes, ravines, houses, you – because they can’t see through their masks since the alternative is usually makeup. This wouldn’t be so bad, except their makeup tends to smear after an hour or so, so that as the night wears on, they start to look less like you remember their beloved fictional character, and more like the character after they have fallen victim to a zombie plague. This, come to think of it, is quite appropriate for Halloween.

Don’t forget to stop by the Altamont Free Library during your trick-or-treat rounds this year, and happy Halloween to all of you out there!

We’re well into October, and there’s something of a nip in the air. Maybe it’s the darker days that seem to be settling over the town, as Earth’s axis tilts us away from the sun a little more. It could be the spirit of Halloween setting in.

Or perhaps it’s your neighbor’s bitey kids, clinging to your leg because they found their parents’ Halloween candy early and have gone on a sugar-fueled rampage throughout the neighborhood. At any rate, as soon as you detach them from your tibia, come to the Altamont Free Library for…

Library teen night

Teens 14 and up only are invited to come in and hang out at the library on Friday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m.



This month, we’re heading to Croatia. Bring in a Hladetina, some Ražnjići, or just enough tuna fish sandwiches for everyone. The dinner will be on Monday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m. Sign up at the front desk.

After-school craft

Halloween is coming. We have a spidery craft for younger patrons on Oct. 29, at 3p.m., and don’t forget to stop by the library when you make your trick-or-treating rounds on the 31st!

Fall is finally here, leaving a handful of us joyful for the cooling weather, glad for the upcoming fall harvests, and exchanging lawnmowers for rakes. Thus, we unwittingly give additional joy to small creatures that live in the leaves. Try not to think about that next time your kids jump in a pile.

Eat Around the World

Potluck Canada

On Monday, Sept. 29, at 6 p.m., the Altamont Free Library will be feasting on some recipes native to more northerly latitudes. Feel free to bring anything from a variety of places and climates, from salmon to cloudberries to – on second thought, leave the whale meat at home, please.

Book club

For the book club next week, we’ll be reading The Book of Unknown Americans and discussing it on Oct. 6 at noon. Feel free to bring any of the title characters along, and allow them to introduce themselves.

Build it!

As always, we’ll have Lego, K’nex, Snap Circuits, and more every Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Lawn games continue

Lawn games will continue (for now) on Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. This is generally our cue for an unseasonal snowfall.

Story time

As always, story time will be on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. for preschoolers, and on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. for toddlers.

As the air cools off, the skies become grim, and the kids are bouncing merrily off to school (sometimes led by a tractor, some very thick ropes, and inch-deep claw marks in the pavement).

At the same time, Mr. Sun starts slacking off until he gets a warning slip on his desk in mid-December. In the midst of the chaos, our Altamont Free Library activities will continue as always.

Name That Tune —

oldies style

On Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m., teams will test their knowledge of songs with the musical styles of Don Snyder. For a time, quiet shall not be enforced in the library as strictly as usual. No, the owner of the Washington Redskins will not be able to arrive here.

Build it!

Every Wednesday at 3 p.m., bring the kids out to the library to build stuff. We have Lego (I’m informed that this is the correct plural), K’nex, Snap Circuits, and more. Leave the steel girders at home this time, please.


lawn games

The Lawn Games League will be rolling on into the fall. Join us on Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Don’t leave us a-lawn. And don’t pun-ish us for that last joke.

Story time

As always, story time will be on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. for preschoolers, and on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for toddlers.

It’s fall migration time! Join Dan Capuano as we search out warblers, raptors and other autumn travelers. Meet at the Altamont Free Library on Friday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m., and we’ll carpool to our birding destination.

Candy science

Determine the density of a marshmallow, test pixy stix for acidity – we’ll explore the principals of science through a most delicious medium. For school aged kids. This program is on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 4 p.m.

Story times

School is back in session and story time is in full swing. This month we’re offering two sessions a week – Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., geared toward kids in pre-kindergarten, and Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., for toddlers.  All programs are drop-in and sibling are welcome.  

Sunday hours

In other autumnal news, the library has resumed its Sunday hours. Come in between 2 and 5 p.m., to read the paper, print out homework, browse books, or movies or just avoid your messy kitchen.

Book club

The library’s Penultimate Monday book club is meeting a week early! Join us at 7 p.m. on the antepenultimate Monday of the month (that’s Sept. 15) to talk about Karen Slaughter’s mystery BlindSighted.