It’s the holiday season when we give thanks, and also have a thought for those less fortunate.  That’s why the Guilderland Public Library is starting, on Tuesday, Dec. 1, a month-long campaign where your late fine on a book/CD/DVD will be forgiven when you donate non-perishable, unexpired food items to our Fine Food drive. It’s a one-for-one exchange: One late fine gets forgiven for each food item you donate.

All donations will be given to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. The campaign ends on Monday, Jan. 4. GPL staffers will bring donations to the food bank every couple of days, so that the food bank can aid those in need over the holiday season.

Toys for Tots

The local Marine Corps Reserve unit is asking you to donate an unwrapped toy to its annual Toys for Tots drive via the donation boxes in the library lobby. The mission of the program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. Over its life span, the Marine Toys for Tots Program has distributed over 494 million toys to over 230 million less fortunate children.

Cell Phones for Soldiers

By donating your unused cell phone in the Cell Phones for Soldiers collection box in the library’s lobby, you will provide a lifeline to our troops serving around the world. Your generous, tax-deductible donation delivers calling cards that connect military members with their loved ones at home. For more information, please visit HYPERLINK ""

E-1 to O-10 a library card for you

Armed services active-duty members, reservists, and veterans who live outside GPL’s service area can now get a full-privilege Guilderland Public Library card for just $25, half of the card’s regular cost.

To get your GPL card, simply bring proof of service; military ID for active duty and reservists; DD-214 (Report of Separation) for veterans to GPL, and go to the circulation desk to complete a library card application. We’ll give you a card that puts the full resources of your new library to work for you.



Open house

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators welcomes one and all to an open house being held at GPL on Monday, Dec. 7, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. 

You’ll be able to view and purchase children's books just in time for holiday giving. There will be books of every type, so come in and browse: You may just find the perfect gift.

Star Wars trade show

Don’t miss the library’s biggest and best popular culture event to date, the Star Wars Trade Show, happening on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring a full day of comics, graphic novels, food, toys, games, and a life-size R2D2.

Part of the fun is the Star Wars Cantina at 12:30 p.m., where you can get a free pizza lunch.  Some seats are still left, but you have to register. Call 456-2400, ext.  2 to reserve your seat, or go to

Last call for NYC

 You’ll see the sights, sounds, and holiday cheer of Manhattan when you join your neighbors and friends on the chamber of commerce/library bus trip to NYC on Saturday, Dec. 12., that is, if you’ve already made your reservation.  If not, you still have time. You can purchase your seats at the library. We accept all major credit cards, checks, and cash, or you can purchase your seats online at the Chamber website at HYPERLINK "" Click on the calendar, and page down to Dec. 12. Links there enable you to purchase seats assuming there are any left.  Act now.

Family film

“Inside Out,” the First Friday Family Film that’s showing in the library’s Helderberg Room on Friday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., follows young Riley and her emotions including joy, fear, anger, disgust and sadness, as she navigates a new city, house, and school.  This film is rated PG, and is 94-minutes long.

Thanks in large part to a $75,000 grant obtained by Assembly woman Pat Fahy, and further financial support from National Grid, you’re seeing the Guilderland Public Library in a whole new light. All incandescent and fluorescent bulbs are being replaced with LEDs that are brighter, energy-efficient, and long lasting.

Within the library, the improvement is immediately apparent: The whole building is brighter, and those areas in the main reading room that were dark even on the sunniest days are now amply lit. Reading titles in the stacks is markedly easier thanks to the clear illumination provided by the new fixtures, and — if you’re here at night — you’ll really appreciate the vastly improved parking lot lighting.

This project means long-term cost-savings on two counts: First: LEDs consume much less electricity, yet yield more light, so we shall shortly realize a much-reduced electric bill. And, secondly, since LEDs last so long, bulb-replacement expenses will drop dramatically. Some of the legacy lighting elements lasted only six months or so.

Work is proceeding rapidly, but there are so many fixtures to replace that the work will extend to early December. You may notice that some areas are unavailable for an hour or two, but we are ensuring that the inconvenience is minimal.

We’re sure you’ll notice the difference. These new, brighter lights are making  your library a better place to read, work, or just relax.

Take & Bake

Just in time for the holidays, we're adding some new and unique items to our library collections — bakeware and folding tables. 

If you have a Guilderland Library card, you can check out cookie cutters or take home a table, just as you would a book or DVD.  Our "Take and Bake" collection has a few dozen items, and we have nine tables (six six-footers, and three four-footers) you can check out, just right for Thanksgiving and holiday parties, and for your upcoming spring garage sales.


Have some unique bakeware you'd like to donate?  We're accepting items in good condition such as specialty character or shaped cake pans, and holiday cookie cutters. Help our collection grow.

Please donate

The Red Cross is holding a blood drive at GPL on Monday, Nov. 23, from 1 to 6 p.m., and the need for donations is urgent.

Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others. In fact, according to the American Red Cross, one pint of blood can save as many as three lives. And donating is simple: The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10 to 12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 minutes. 

You can just drop in, or you can make an appointment at HYPERLINK "", or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

GPL Sprouts

 Join us for a fun-filled STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) program for kids ages 4 to 7 on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 3:30 p.m. You’ll explore sinking and floating through literature, experiments, activities, and crafts. Lots of hands-on learning for everyone. Please call 456-2400, ext. 4 to register.

Li'L Lego Club

 Our Lego Club for children in grades kindergaten through second meets in the Storyhour Room on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 3:30 p.m. Use your imagination for some creative play with friends, and create things of Lego wonder! Bring your own bricks or create with ours. As usual, creations that you bring to show off will be kept separate from the library supplies.

Yo, Nipper

Don’t miss hearing Times Union reporter Paul Grondahl and editor Teresa Buckley as they discuss their book, “Great Dogs of Albany and Beyond,” at GPL on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 2 p.m.

This is part of GPL’s ongoing “Read Local” series, which celebrates the many accomplished authors and book illustrators among us in the Capital District.



Thanksgiving hours

 The library will close at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and is closed all day on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26.




The Guilderland Public Library and the Pride Center of the Capital District have many fun programs planned for this winter, and the first one is being held at GPL on Monday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m. So please stop by this gathering to learn more about these exciting events.

iPadding Zoo 

Some people think these things are kind of cute, others really don’t understand what all the excitement is about, while a few people would just as soon not be bothered. So why don’t you find out what all the fuss is about by coming to GPL’s “iPad Petting Zoo” on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m.

You’ll get “hands-on” time to find out what these amazing devices can do for you. Read a book? Sure, but there is so much more: Browse the web; check e-mail; FaceTime — think video calling — with friends near and far; watch movies, and YouTube videos, and TV; and even replace your laptop. (Yes, you can play games, too.) 

But the first step is coming to this no-pressure learning environment. Nobody will try to sell you anything; you’ll just find out if these things are right for you. 

Please register by calling 456-2400, ext. 2.  

Let's visit Japan

Join us for a fun evening of books, and activities at “Globetrotters Family Storytime: Let's Visit Japan!” on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m.

This is just one event in a continuing “Globetrotters Family Storytime” series.  We'll visit a new country and culture each month, learn how to say "hello" and "goodbye" in a new language, and lots more. This program is most appropriate for children in preschool and elementary school and their families, and aligns to third grade social studies curriculum. So make a note: In December you’ll visit Russia, in January you’ll see China, and in February you’ll learn all about Germany. 

Mother-daughter date night

Calling all Moms. Drop in to GPL on Friday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m., with your tween daughter for an evening of bonding activities. Make your own lip gloss, create mother-daughter friendship bracelets, and work on a self-esteem project. No registration required. 

First Friday Family Films 

Just about the cutest movie you’ll ever see — about a bear named Paddington — is screening at GPL on Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. It’s the story of a young Peruvian bear who travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.  This film is rated PG, and is 95 minutes long.  Popcorn will be served.  

Dollars and Sense for Kids

It is never too early to talk to kids about the “value” of money planning, and saving, so start at GPL on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m., at Dollars and Sense for Kids. 

SEFCU’s Jenny Brannon will present an interactive program for kids in kindergarten through grade 3 to help them understand the importance of setting and keeping savings goals. As encouragement to stick with these goals and make saving fun, each attendee will create a special savings jar to take and use at home.

Please register for this program by calling 456-2400, ext. 4. 

“Un Rêve Américain”

“Un Rêve Américain  is a film about music in French America showing at GPL on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. Franco-Ontarian musician Damien Robitaille introduces us to the history of the people in the United States of French Canadian heritage. Driving from Montreal to Los Angeles, he uncovers a paradoxical, almost imaginary society dissolved into American life but still very much alive. This program is co-sponsored with La Fédération Franco-Américaine du New York.

The Guilderland Public Library is proud to count many accomplished authors and book illustrators among us in the Capital District, and we are celebrating one of them on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m., at the kick-off of our new Read Local series.

 Bruce Dearstyne, former program director at the New York State Archives and professor of history at University at Albany, SUNY Potsdam, and Russell Sage College, will discuss his latest book, “The Spirit of New York: Defining Events in the Empire State's History.” His book received a starred review in “Library Journal,” and that’s a big deal.  You’re invited to attend the reception after the talk.

Teen Open Mic Night

Teens from throughout the area will be performing at GPL’s Open Mic Night on Friday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m., and everyone’s invited to come enjoy what will surely be a delightfully musical evening. No registration is required to attend this event.

Great Ghoulish Pumpkin fun

Get ghoulishly spooked out for the first-ever Guilderland Ghoulish Pumpkin Decorating Contest. Enter to win great prizes (for all ages) and show off your pumpkin at GPL. You must register by Saturday, Oct. 17; you can drop off your pumpkin at the library starting Monday, Oct. 19 until Saturday, Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. The Ghoulish Pumpkin judging and awards ceremony will be on Sunday, Oct.25, at 1 p.m.

Make sure to register online or by calling 456-2400, ext.  4, and then stop by the library to pick up a copy of the rules, plus a discount coupon for your pumpkin from our friends at Gade Farm. The contest is organized into four age groups: Pre-kindergarten to grade 2; grades 3 to 6; grades 7 to 12; and adults. Please indicate your grade or age when you register. Each age group will have a winner.

Go “Batty!”

Kids in pre-kindergarten through grade 1, accompanied by an adult caregiver, are invited to GPL on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 10:30 a.m., to “Go Batty” with WMHT’s Barbara Lukas.


You’ll watch a fun movie based on everybody’s favorite bat, Stellaluna. You’ll also read books about bats and other flying animals, create bat crafts, and get a free book to take home. Please register by calling 456-2400, ext. 4, or online at HYPERLINK ""

Monday night baseball

Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz joins us on Monday, Oct. 19, at 6:30 p.m., for a discussion of his bestselling book, “Split Season: 1981: Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and The Strike that Saved Baseball.”

Split Season is the fascinating, behind the scenes story of the exciting and memorable 1981 baseball season, the year of Fernando Valenzuela, Pete Rose, and the last Yankees and Dodgers World Series, and the mid-season, owner-provoked strike that cut the heart out of that American summer. Above all, 1981 is a year of entertaining stories and Katz will talk share many, as well as tell us what it's like to be a baseball fan who's been elected mayor of Cooperstown.

Bring your fedora

 Frank Sinatra would’ve turned 100 this December, and GPL is celebrating by showing some of his best movies on the big screen. The first flick, on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m., is about three sailors and their 24-hour-leave on the town in New York City. Put on your fedora and join the party. See you there.

Teen Read Week

Kick off Teen Read Week by coming to GPL on Monday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. and simply sitting down and relaxing with a book; drop in to read with friends, munch on snacks, and enter a drawing.

Teen Read Week is Oct. 18 to 24 and spotlights all the great resources and activities available to help teens build literacy skills while reading for the fun of it. We want to help teens escape the day-to-day grind of school, homework, family responsibilities, part-time jobs, and so on by simply picking up something to read.

Rite Aid flu clinic

 Rite Aid Pharmacy will hold a flu vaccine clinic at GPL on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. Drop in and get vaccinated. No need to sign up in advance. Please bring your health insurance card.



“Who ya’ gonna call?”

 “He slimed me” and “Who ya’ gonna call?” spirited their way into the popular lexicon in 1984 with the release of the movie that GPL is showing on the big screen on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at This movie will be seen in the Helderberg Theater; and is 105-minutes long. Just wait until you see the “Stay Puft Marshmallow Man” looming towards you. This comedy is part of GPL’s It Came From The ‘80s Film Series and is rated PG.


Blue skies, green grass, a pink bunny, and a pig with a yellow bib and rainbow parachute are all featured by Shuying (Melody) Gao in her prize-winning design for the Guilderland Public Library’s new kids’ card. She and her family have just moved to Guilderland from China.

Every Kids’ Card entry is on display at the Guilderland Public Library. The new kids’ cards will be introduced at Library Card Sign-Up Month.

Over the summer the Guilderland Public Library sent out a call: “All Young Artists: We Want YOU to Design GPL’s New Kids Library Card.” We are pleased to announce that — after spirited online voting on the six marvelously creative nominated designs — we have a winner!

The winning design was created by one of our newest and youngest patrons, a young lady named Shuying (Melody) Gao; GPL’s new Kids Library Card features Melody’s artwork. The cards will be available to children of all ages on Tuesday, Sept. 8, right at the beginning of library card sign-up Month.

We received so many wonderful drawings, all of them delightful interpretations of libraries as seen through children’s eyes. We want to share them all, so Miss Leslie, one of GPL’s youth librarians, created a “You Are All Winners!” bulletin board showing every entry. You really need to come see it; it’s on the wall outside the Story Hour Room.

There is a human-interest backstory to how Melody found out she won. It’s best told using the words of GPL youth librarian Sandy Tabor, who shared the story with the GPL staff in a Wednesday, Aug. 26, e-mail:

“Just want to share a fun ‘series of fortunate events’ @ GPL tonight.

“At about 6:10 a woman came up to the youth services desk and asked if she and her daughter could attend Kindergarten Boot Camp at 6:30 p.m. She explained that they were from China and had been in the United States for about a month. She was hoping her daughter could come to the program to learn about school in the US.

“We chatted and … I walked with them to the Helderberg Room, and was waiting to introduce them to Beth Rienti [Youth Department Head, who was running Kindergarten Boot Camp], so Beth would be aware of why an older child was attending the program.

“While I was waiting, the mother came over to me with the GPL Kids brochure and showed me the cover with the winning library card design, and told me her daughter had drawn and submitted the picture! I introduced them to Beth who explained that she had been unable to reach them by phone to tell them that the daughter had won, and was so happy to meet them.

“But wait — it gets better.  It turns out the family has just moved to Guilderland.

“They came back to the desk after the program to tell me how welcomed and happy they felt at the library — and to take pictures to send home.

“A very fun and fortunate series of events…GPL is a very special place.” 

Isn't story time grand?

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 10:30 a.m., for a special story time celebrating grandparents and grandchildren. We'll have books, music and movement, and a fun craft.

If grandma or grandpa live nearby, bring them along. If not, you can send them your craft as a special Grandparents Day gift.

Children ages 2 ½ to 5 years old are welcome with a caregiver. Register for this program by calling 456-2400, ext. 2.

Book club

Teens are invited to this out-of-the-box book discussion series. Get crafty with a fun project while you chat with your peers about a book.

 The group meets on the second Thursday of every month, at 4:30 p.m. Register by calling 456-2400, ext. 2, or online at, and then stop by the reference desk for a copy of the book. Registration ends one week before each session.

 On Sept. 10 we will discuss “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard and the craft will use letter stickers to spell out a word or quote on canvas, then have fun painting over it for a cool effect.

On Oct. 8, we will discuss  “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell and the craft will use paint over an old CD and scratch out a design. Then on Nov. 12, the discussion will be about “Seraphina” by Rachel Hartman and the craft will be  to create your own string art using a hammer and nails.

 About GPL

 The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Ave. in Guilderland. Visit the library's website at to get more information on these and other upcoming programs, and to register online via the homepage’s “Events & Registration Calendar.”Check out the unofficial library updates at and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib).