Join author David Fiske at Guilderland Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m., for a presentation about Solomon Northup, a free black man living in Saratoga Springs who was lured away from home and sold into slavery.

Enslaved in Louisiana for nearly 12 years, Northup was eventually able to get word to friends in New York and then return home as a free man. In 1853, Northup published a book about his harrowing experiences entitled Twelve Years a Slave – now a major motion picture – and traveled around the Northeast giving speeches and helping fugitive slaves get to Canada.

David Fiske is co-author of the new book Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years a Slave, as well as author of Solomon Northup: His Life Before and After Slavery and numerous local history articles. He is a lecturer, professional librarian, and professional genealogist.

LEGO

Tweens, spend some of your expanded vacation time at the library on Friday, Feb. 21, at 2 p.m., at this session of the Tween LEGO Club, which features LEGO gaming.

What better time to show off your mad LEGO-building skills with friends? 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. You can also take a turn on the Wii system to play a LEGO videogame. We meet in the Helderberg Room. LEGO fiends in grades 3 through 6 are welcome to drop in. 

Read, build, play

Preschoolers aged 3 through 5 years are invited to Read, Build, and Play at the library on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 6:30 p.m.

This evening playtime is full of fun read-alouds and time building a story element with Lego DUPLO blocks. Children will also have free playtime with DUPLOs, Lincoln Logs, and building blocks.

In addition to being just plain fun, playing with building toys increases a child’s school-readiness by developing math, science, and engineering skills.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please call 456-2400, ext. 4 to let us know you’re coming.

Classic film

Most movies just don’t get to you on a TV screen as they do in the movies, and for raw grit and emotion there is arguably no better example than the classic film showing at the library on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6:30 p.m. That’s why we’re showing it on the Helderberg’s big screen, so you get the full effect.

Director Sidney Lumet crafted this gem about 12 angry men serving in a sweltering Manhattan jury room. If you have not seen this movie on the big screen, now’s the time.  You’re not likely to see it as large as this anywhere else.

Library info

The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Avenue. Visit the library’s website at www.guilpl.org. Check out the unofficial library updates at facebook.com/Guilderland.Library, and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib). It all starts at guilpl.org.

 

Have You Googled Your Great-Grandmother?

Come on, admit it: You’ve Googled your name just to see what pops up.  But have you ever Googled your great-grandmother?  Google for Genealogy, presented at the Guilderland Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m., transforms Googling from a curiosity into a vital genealogical tool.

This class will show you how to delve deeper into the family-history resources Google has to offer. Learn how to target specific resources, search the full text of books, roam the earth to view places your ancestors lived, translate records from one language to another, and create and save documents, pictures and maps. In short, you’ll learn how to personalize Google to make it work better for you.

Singing Anchors

Thank you to all who registered to see the Singing Anchors at the library on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m.; we have a full house. If you have not registered  and will therefore be unable to attend take heart; we are trying to arrange for another concert later in the year.

Overflow parking is available across Mercy Care Lane in Mercy Care’s lot, and across Western Ave. in the Guilderland Elementary School’s parking lot.

Sailor’s Valentines

Children in grades six through 12 are invited to the library on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m., to make Sailor’s Valentines, a form of high-seas art. 

Sailor’s Valentines are not paper, nor are they chocolate (sorry); rather, they’re crafted from seashells. We have all the seashells, glue, and wooden boxes you need to create your own.

Sailor’s Valentines were most popular from the mid-1800s to the turn of the century. They were made by sailors from shell gathering along their voyages, and then given to loved ones upon arriving home. Examples of the craft are quite extraordinary, and today are collectibles known for their art-form beauty and quirky qualities. 

Registration is required; please call 456-2400, ext. 4.

Library closed

The library is closed Saturday, Feb. 15; Sunday, Feb. 16; and Monday, Feb. 17, for the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.  We will reopen at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Of course, you can always take advantage of our online library at www.guilpl.org where you can renew material, download eBooks, browse the online catalog for your next exciting read, place books on reserve, and so much more.

Library info

The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Avenue. Visit the library’s website at www.guilpl.org. Check out the unofficial library updates at facebook.com/Guilderland.Library, and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib). It all starts at guilpl.org.

 

Fifty years ago, four young musicians from Liverpool arrived in the United States, and yeah, you know the rest. Or do you?  Come to the Guilderland Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m., and get the cool details.

 Using recorded material and film clips, some rare, musicologist and Beatles scholar Gordon Thompson explores the impact of the British invasion, led by The Beatles in February 1964. He chronicles their historic concert at Shea Stadium, examines John Lennon’s emotional connection to New York City, and discusses how the Beatles’ music continues to be an inspiration to composers and performing artists.

This program is co-sponsored by The Egg: Center for the Performing Arts, Empire State Plaza in Albany.

Bring your child to the library

Kids and families should make it a point to come to Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. 

This family program celebrates families and libraries through a variety of activities. Kids can design a bookmark for our contest and sign-up for their own library cards. 

We have fun activities for the whole family, such as a story walk/scavenger hunt, and a life-size Candy Land. There’s no better way to beat the winter blahs than an afternoon of fun at your library.
No registration required; just show up and play.

Library info

The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Avenue. Visit the library’s website at www.guilpl.org. Check out the unofficial library updates at facebook.com/Guilderland.Library, and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib). It all starts at guilpl.org.

 

The Singing Anchors — Benita Zahn, Jerry Gretzinger, and Jessica Layton — perform a free concert at the Guilderland Public Library on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m.

 

The Singing Anchors – Jessica Layton, Jerry Gretzinger, and Benita Zahn – will bring their special brand of singing and banter to the Guilderland Public Library on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m., as part of the library’s Second Sunday Concert Series. 

While the concert is free, concert-goers must RSVP for the event at http://bit.ly/SingingAnchorsAtGPL, or call the library at 456-2400, ext. 2.

 WYNT (News Channel 13) anchors Benita Zahn and Jessica Layton, and former WRGB (CBS 6) anchor Jerry Gretzinger – he’s now VP for strategic communications at SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering -- originally joined melodic forces with the Fort Salem Theater’s Jay Kerr to produce a evening of song and repartee.  Since their debut at the Cabaret at Fort Salem Theater in November 2009 they have been successfully touring the area.

It’s fascinating to meet these people who are so familiar in their two-dimensional television personas. There they are, performing side-by-side, despite the fact that they’ve worked for competing stations.

People don’t expect that intermingling, said Zahn in a 2010 Troy Record interview. But based on the feedback I get, they love it that we can all share a stage and share the bows. And for each of us, we’re all in this together. On the flip side, it’s really nice to get away from the competitive pressure. [We are] three people who really love to perform and really like each other.

Asked how their employers feel about the trio, Zahn went on to remark it doesn’t take any time away from work. If anything, it’s value-added to the station. It brings us into the community in a way nothing else can.

Library info

Please note that the library will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Avenue. Visit the library’s website at www.guilpl.org. Check out the unofficial library updates at facebook.com/Guilderland.Library, and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib). It all starts at guilpl.org.

 

The Guilderland Public Library’s new director starts on Tuesday, Jan. 21, and he brings with him a lifetime of experience as a librarian, author, and educator.

Tim Wiles, Guilderland resident for more than three years, accepted the library’s board of trustees’ offer in December, even though it meant giving up what he’d thought was his dream job.

“I’m a life-long librarian, it’s what I love. And I am thrilled to take on this new challenge of ensuring the Guilderland Public Library is responsive to the community’s needs, but it was tough leaving the Hall.” Tim, a die-hard baseball fan, just resigned as Director of Research and Public Services Librarian for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

“I believe that an excellent public library is at the heart of an informed community. The Guilderland Public Library has long served as a center for education, entertainment and empowerment, and it serves that role well. But we live in an era of change for libraries, and the ways in which we, as consumers, gather information. Clearly, the library has the opportunity to expand its service through use of new technologies, programming, outreach, and social media. 

 “The prospect of leading the library through this era of change is exciting. But along with leading the organization from within, I also plan to be visible in town, to reach out to and listen to community groups and organizations, and to the voters and decision-makers of Guilderland. We are, after all, ‘Guilderland’s Gathering Place,’ and my goal is to make that true for everyone in town.”

Wiles’ wife, Dr. Marie Wiles, the superintendent of schools, and their son, Ben, are almost as pleased as Tim about the new position.  “Ben’s happy that his dad will be working close to home,” said Marie, “and Tim and I are thrilled to live in the same community that we serve.  It’s a great  opportunity for us.”

Author and educator

Tim’s freelance writing credits include two books: In 2008, he co-authored Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game.’ He was lead researcher and writer along with two co-authors. Not shy about public speaking, he appeared on over 200 television and radio shows to promote the book. 

Prior to that, he co-edited Line Drives: 100 Contemporary Baseball Poems. He’s had articles published in The New York Times, Major League Baseball’s World Series Program and All-Star Game Program, and other baseball-related publications.

Wiles spent a year in the People’s Republic of China as an English instructor at Guangxi University. He taught English to university faculty, students, and staff.

 Experience at the library

Since 2011, he has served as a Director of the Guilderland Library Foundation, and been its president for the past four months, so he has a fair understanding of the inner workings of the library. 

 “Serving on the Foundation, getting to know the professionals at the library, that made the opportunity all the more exciting for me,” he observed.  “I have worked with many of the staff; frankly, I cannot wait to get started.”

When asked what baseball team he rooted for, he replied, “Well, I did grow up in Illinois. So it’s the Cubs all the way.”

Library info

Please note that the library will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Avenue. Visit the Library’s website at www.guilpl.org. Check out the unofficial library updates at facebook.com/Guilderland.Library, and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib). It all starts at guilpl.org.

 

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