The Altamont Free Library currently houses a scale model of itself, something like an architectural homunculus. It rests on top of the Young Adult Fiction bookcase; and it’s 5-feet long,                    1-foot and a half wide, and 2-feet high, including cupola.  

It’s constructed of gingerbread, uncountable cookies, candies of various colors, shapes, and dimensions, all cemented in place with dried white frosting. Written description can go no farther.  You’ll have to come see it.

The model was built by Kevin Efaw, a chef at Orchard Creek Restaurant on the banks of the Bozenkill. It has been on display there for many months, where tickets were advertised and sold in conjunction with the library’s recent I Love My Library Gala. The winning ticket was drawn at the Gala this past Friday evening. The lucky ticket holder was Travis Stevens, our county legislator, and he in turn donated the sweet structure back to the library.


Our February destination is Mexico. We don’t have to tell our patrons how wonderful Mexican food is, or how much fun the dinner is likely to be — so just the facts. The date is Monday, Feb. 24, starting at 6 p.m. The place is the la biblioteca.

Downton Abby tea

Not since the Beatles has British culture captivated us so. Be ever so nice and plan to join us on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 23, at 2:30 p.m., for a tea party. We’ll be screening Episode 8 of Season 4. It should be enjoyable. If not, we shall be very cross.

Meant to invent

That heading, evolutionary arguments aside, might be a perfect description of the human mind. On Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 3:30 p.m., the library will sponsor a program to show school aged people and up (way, way up)  how neat it is to make something new — to make it up and then make it.  Every necessary tool and material we can think of will be available for you to fiddle, fool, and fabricate with.  Things will get underway with a brief program about inventors in Altamont’s history                  

Coat alert

At the close of last weekend’s fund-raising Gala someone accidentally headed for home in the wrong black coat. If it might have been you, please check your closet. If you find the wrong coat – in this case the right coat – please call us.  Our number is 861-7239.


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.