Start your super summer reading adventure. Kids, teens  and their folks, of course, will want to be at Guilderland Public Library the evening of Wednesday, July 1, at 6 p.m., for the ice cream-fueled kick-off of 2015’s Super Summer Reading Adventure.

As has been proven time and time again, keeping reading skills sharp is vital to success in school. While summer is a great time for fun in the sun, trips to the lake, or the shore, or to the mountains, it’s also the time when kids might fall into The Summer Slide, when the hard-won edge might come off those precious reading skills.  Kids and teens can fight the slide with GPL’s summer reading program and become a Super-Reading Hero!

Take a few moments to check out the summer reading club brochures that went home in backpack mail for elementary and middle school students before school ended. Or you can go online right now to check out the kids’ activities and programs – “Every Hero Has a Story” – at, and the Teens’ “Unmask!” events at

There’s a very special event taking place starting July 1: We are asking our youngest readers to create a design for our new GPL Kids Library Card. Entry Forms will be available at the Super Summer Reading Adventure Kick-Off. All entries will be displayed in the Library, and the public will vote on the winner.  So don’t forget to pick up the Entry Form when you come to the Library. We cannot wait to see what you create.

But the key thing now is to come to the July 1 Kick-Off. It starts at 6 p.m., and there will be plenty of ice cream for all. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Take our survey

What do you want your library to be? How often do you use GPL? What do you like about it, what needs improvement, or what new programs or services would you like to see?

These simple questions, and a few more, are what the library’s long range planning committee would like you to answer in the “Tell GPL!” survey.  By taking the survey — either online at or by completing one of the print copies at the library — you can keep your responses absolutely confidential, or provide your name so you can be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $25 gift card from a local business.

We are asking everyone to take part, library users and non-users alike. GPL’s mandate is to serve everyone in the town. Only through your participation can we formulate a plan that will meet the community’s needs.

Blood drive

With the onset of summer comes the dramatic increase in the need for blood donations. The American Red Cross is holding a Blood Drive at GPL on Thursday, July 2, from 1 to 6 p.m.

Make an appointment by going to, and using the location and calendar feature. Drop-ins are always welcome. Remember: Your help is urgently needed.

Library holiday

and summer hours

GPL will be closed for the Independence Day weekend Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4. This first weekend in July starts GPL’s summer hours when the library is closed on Sundays during July and August, so GPL will be closed on Sunday, July 5 as well.

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).

— Photo from Mark Curiale

“Once Upon a Time” in a library, these young Guilderland Central School District artists are pleased with how well their mural graces the lobby of the Guilderland Public Library.

“We wanted to do something to brighten the library, and, while looking at some of the artwork the high school students had on display here in May, well, it just gave me an idea,” said Tim Wiles, director of the Guilderland Public Library, as he watched his maintenance staff install some new artwork in the library’s lobby.

Tim’s inspiration came to fruition this past Wednesday as Guilderland Central School District art teacher Meredith Best and a few of her Advanced Placement and Advanced Art 2 student artists delivered their “Once Upon a Time” mural to the library.

“It’s big,” said Ms. Best. “We needed to use a school bus to get it here.”

Evoking the infinitely varied stories that can be found in books, the eight-foot wide by four-foot high mural features a sailing ship, fire-breathing dragon, schools of fanciful fish, and a pair of cavorting dolphins all flowing out of the pages of a book. To the right of the mural is a lone reader, reaching high on a shelf for a book.

The mural’s concept is the brainchild of student Alicia Chen. She sketched out the idea, and then she and 10 of her fellow students — Eden Alin, Marissa Burack, Celia Chaikowski, Hayley Chang, Brian Cubello, Vivian Dai, Olivia Elmore, Jonathon Feil, Maggie O'Brien, and Emily Romano — took brushes in hand to craft this extraordinary creation. 

“I love reading books,” said Ms. Chen. “They sort of transport you to a different world.” Her love of reading is reflected in the mural.

When asked if art is in their professional futures, the students were varied in their responses. While she enjoyed working on the mural, Hayley Chang revealed that next year she’s off to the University of Rochester for a double major in art history and evolutionary biology leading up to one day going to medical school.

Olivia Elmore is hoping her interest in art leads to a career in the fashion industry, and possibly going to the Fashion Institute of Technology. Maggie O’Brien plans on minoring in art, but working in the health and wellness field.

And Eden Alin, who’s going to the University at Albany in the fall leading to a medical career, summed it up best when she said she and her fellow students will “have a part of ourselves in the library for a while.”

The mural has been a lobby traffic-stopper. Patrons have slowed and stopped to admire the artwork. One, Rob Futterman, commented, “It’s inviting and colorful; I really like it.” He paused, and added, “It sure beats the brick wall.”

Staff members enjoy it, too. Commented Youth Librarian Leslie Saperstone, “It looks fantastic and brightens up the lobby so much.  Thank you, students!”

Every spring, young artists from the Guilderland Central School District hold a showing of their creations in the Library’s Helderberg Room. Elementary school students display in April, and the high school students show in May. 

“It’s the unofficial start of spring for us here when the students’ art goes up,” said library staffer Carol Belstraz. “And it’s kind of a bummer when the art comes down at the end of May. Now, though, we’ll have this delightful creation with us all year long.”

“It’s just another example of the school district and the library working closer together,” said Wiles, whose wife is the district’s superintendent of schools.  “Everybody wins. The students get another venue to showcase their talent, and the library’s customers get a more inviting welcome.  I love it.”

Officers from the Guilderland Police Department will be at the Guilderland Public Library on Saturday, June 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a bicycle safety rodeo and a child car-seat installation check.

The bicycle safety rodeo teaches your youngsters how to stay safe when bike riding. Bring your kids – and their bikes – to this event so you can all learn how to make sure that bikes and helmets fit properly, why it’s vital to wear a helmet, and how to stay safe around other cyclists and vehicles.

Riding a bicycle is a fun and healthy way to spend time outdoors, but it’s important to remember a bike isn’t a toy, it’s a vehicle. Bicycle-related accidents are often the cause of injury, including traumatic brain injuries, to children and adolescents.

The car seat installation check is an excellent way to make sure your child’s car seat is safely installed. Our police department’s officers are experts in this. Take advantage of their expertise; it’s your child’s traveling safety that’s at stake.

Free financial advice

Dollars & Sense @ GPL continues through June with two more financial-wellness classes.  All sessions are free, and start at 5:30 p.m., on Tuesdays. Registration’s easy: Just call 456-2400, ext. 2 to let us know you’re coming. These are the sessions:

— June 16: Sheila Cervera, a certified long term care specialist and estate planner with SEFCU, talks about options for long-term care; and

— June 23: Frank Roylance, an associate financial advisor with Key Bank, will present a program on retirement readiness and estate planning.

Art exhibit

Completing the cycle of annual art exhibits at GPL, the Guilderland Senior Artists League is holding its 14th annual art show in the library’s Helderberg Room through Friday, June 26.

Earlier this spring, the Elementary and High Schools’ art exhibits brought color, light, and creativity to the library. Now the Senior Art League does the same, but with a maturity of talent that only years of experience can bring. We encourage you to come and spend some time at this gallery; you’re sure to enjoy it.

Early taverns and hotels

“Stopping By: Guilderland’s Early Taverns and Hotels,” part 2 of GPL’s Beer: From Hops to Home series, will be held on Saturday, June 13, at 2 p.m. It’s a fascinating and often amazing word-and-picture tour of Guilderland’s original and now long-gone inns and taverns.

Utilizing the Guilderland Historical Society’s extensive slide photo collection, Mary Ellen Johnson will discuss Guilderland’s erstwhile watering holes, which offered travelers food, drink, and respite on their journeys. These locations later became business and vacation destinations, and have been replaced by newer structures today.  This before-and-after visual tour is not to be missed. Please call 456-2400, ext. 2 to let us know you’re stopping by.


By the way, there are just a few tickets left for the Upper Hudson Valley Beer & Tasting on Saturday, June 20, at 2 p.m.  Come to GPL to get a ticket for this beer tasting/talk. You can have tickets set aside by calling 456-2400, ext. 2, but you must stop by to pick them up. Regardless of apparent age, you might be “carded.”

Book bargain bonanza

GPL’s Better Books Sale on Saturday, June 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is going to be a book bargain blowout. CDs and DVDs, too. So many donations have come in over the past month that we’re having trouble finding places to store it.

Our valiant volunteers have weeded and sorted the offerings, and from what we’ve seen this sale is going to be Huge! (Sorry, Billy.) Get here early.


GPL’s “It Came From The 80s” Film Series offers a snapshot of that decade’s more peculiar creations when it screens “Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure” on Wednesday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m., on GPL’s big screen in the Helderberg Room.

In short: man-child Pee-Wee Herman gets his beloved bike stolen in broad daylight, and he sets out across the U.S. on the adventure of his life. It’s 91 minutes long, and rated PG. Popcorn will be served.

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).

Join author and Cooperstown mayor Jeff Katz at the Guilderland Public Library on Saturday, May 30, at 11 a.m., as he reads from his new book, “Split Season: 1981: Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball,” which chronicles the never-before-told story of the baseball season torn in half by the player walkout.

 “For most baseball fans, the summer of 1981 is a void, an absence, a black hole. Jeff Katz has finally illuminated that dark space, showing us what was going on behind the scenes of the sports world’s most prolonged labor action.”  says  Paulo Lukas, “” and “Uniwatch.”

No need to sign up for this program; come on in! Books will be available for purchase.

Dollars & Sense

 We're bringing in the experts for an informative, four-part financial-wellness series. Sign up for one or sign up for all four, it’s up to you.  All programs are held on Tuesday evenings in June, at 5:30 pm.

— On June 2: Brian Doherty, author of the book “Getting Paid to Wait: Bigger Social Security Benefits the Simple and Easy Way” will discuss how to maximize your social security benefits;

— June 9: Emily Bacon, a financial services representative with First Investors Corp., will present on the basics of investing, with a look at tailoring your portfolio to meet your needs;

— June 16:  Sheila Cervera, a certified long term care specialist and estate planner with SEFCU, will talk about options for long-term care; and

— June 23: Frank Roylance, an associate financial advisor with Key Bank, will present a program on retirement readiness and estate planning.

 These programs are sure to be popular, so sign up soon. Be sure to sign up for each individual date and program you would like to attend. Call 456-2400, ext. 2, or go to, and register via the Events & Registration Calendar.

Chinese calligraphy

Prized above all other traditional Chinese arts, calligraphy reflects Chinese culture's devotion to the power of the word, and you have the opportunity to learn a bit of this art on Thursday, May 28, at 6:30 p.m., when Dr. Wei Zhang will present Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy at GPL.

Unlike alphabetic or phonetic systems, each written Chinese word is represented by its unique symbol, an abstract diagram called a character, which not only denotes specific meanings, but also reveals energy and vitality in its natural way. Calligraphy is the perfect tool to express the aesthetic forms and dynamic energy embodied within Chinese characters.

GPL provides all the necessary materials of Chinese calligraphy. You will have an opportunity to write a few useful Chinese characters, such as numbers one through 10 and your own name in Chinese.

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).



The Singing Anchors — WNYT’s Benita Zahn and Jessica Layton and former CBS 6 anchor Jerry Gretzinger — will perform at the Guilderland Public Library on Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m.

Senator George Amedore and Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple will partner with Catholic Charities Care Coordination Services to host an educational heroin forum on Monday, May 18, at the Guilderland Public Library.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Albany County Sheriff’s mobile education center to learn about various factors and dangers surrounding drug addiction, ending with incarceration. The unique feature of the mobile education center is that it comes fully equipped with a functioning jail cell.

 At 7 p.m., a presentation on opiate overdose prevention and response will be given by representatives from Catholic Charities’ Project Safe Point program. Participants will learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose, understand the risk factors associated with overdose, and learn how to reverse the effects of an overdose with the drug naloxone (narcan). Trained attendees will be given a kit containing naloxone.

“We need to do everything we can to combat the heroin epidemic that is devastating our communities, including that as many people as possible are trained and prepared to help if a family member, friend, or loved one is overdosing. A dose of narcan can be the difference between life and death for those who are battling a heroin or opiate addiction. I want to thank Catholic Charities Care Coordination Services and Albany County Sheriff Apple for partnering with my office on this important community event,” said Senator George Amedore

 “We believe our mobile education center drives home the point that if you want to experiment or use drugs as you travel through life, you may end up in a jail cell, or worse, another fatality at the hands of drugs. Albany County Sheriff’s deputies and EMS personnel have all been trained to administer and now carry narcan kits, which is an opioid-reversal drug which helps save heroin and opioid users from death by overdose. It’s just another tool in our toolbox to help battle the heroin epidemic plaguing our communities,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig D. Apple, Sr.

 “We’re proud to partner with Senator Amedore and Sheriff Apple for this educational forum, as this is an example of how community organizations and elected officials can work together to address this very serious issue. If you or someone you care about uses heroin and/or prescription opiates, this training and the information available could be the difference between life and death,” said Keith Brown, Executive Director, Catholic Charities Care Coordination Services .

 “We are very pleased to be able to host this event,” said Guilderland Public Library Director Tim Wiles. “Overdoses have become such a problem, and it’s vital that the community knows there’s a way to combat their effects.”

Please respond to Senator Amedore’s office at if you plan on attending.

Public comment session

GPL’s board of trustees invites the public to come to the library’s Tawasentha Room on Thursday, May 14, at 7 p.m., to comment on the library’s proposed 2015-16 budget.  Information on the budget is available online at, and in the library newsletter you received in the mail.   

Following the public comment session, the board will hold its regular bimonthly business meeting at 7:30 p.m., in the Tawasentha Room. The public is encouraged to attend.

History of Grant Cottage

Learn the fascinating and sometimes-heartbreaking history of Grant Cottage at GPL on Saturday, May 16, at 2 p.m., when Tim Welch, president of the board of trustees of Grant Cottage, will discuss Ulysses S. Grant's final days there.

It was in this Adirondack cottage where Grant died of throat cancer on July 23, 1885. He had arrived at the cottage from New York City on June 16, 1885, with his family, servants, and doctors; he went to the cottage to complete his memoirs thus assuring the financial security of his family.

Today, the cottage remains essentially the same as during the Grant family's stay. Visitors can tour the downstairs of the cottage, viewing the original furnishings, decorations, and personal items belonging to Grant, including the bed where he died, and floral arrangements that remain from Grant's funeral.

The Cottage itself is remarkable in it’s one of few New York State historic sites operating without a State Parks employee present. Its small staff is complemented by a strong, dedicated volunteer base that keeps the Cottage running throughout the season.


Join Union College Anthropologist George Gmelch at GPL on Monday, May 18, at 7 p.m., as he discusses his new book, “Irish Travelers”, and shows his 2012 documentary film, “Unsettled: From Tinkers to Travellers.”

Holiday schedule

 GPL will be closed for the Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday, May 23, Sunday, May 24, and Monday, May 25.

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).