The only thing better than being in the stands on a summer evening watching a baseball game is watching the man who undoubtedly holds the world’s record for performing Casey at the Bat do it once again — and knowing that the man is none other than the director of your local library.

That’s right. The Valley Cats game at "The Joe" on Monday, July 21, is being held on Baseball Heritage Night/Guilderland Public Library Night, and will be preceded by GPL’s own director, Tim Wiles, doing his classic Mudville performance. The Casey recitation is in keeping with the historic theme of the evening. 

Wiles’s epic begins at 6:35 pm, sharp, prior to the game’s 7 p.m. start.  Don’t miss it, because the first 1,500 fans to arrive that evening will receive a bobblehead doll of local baseball hero, Johnny Evers, the Troy native who went on to stardom with the Chicago Cubs of “Tinker to Evers to Chance” fame, and who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946. 

Tickets to this game are discounted to only $5, but you have to buy them at the Guilderland Public Library.  Call 456-2400, ext. 110, or send an e-mail to  Order soon. There is a limited number of tickets.

 After the recitation, “The Mighty Casey” will be available in the stadium concourse for kids of all ages to pose for photos and get “Casey’s” autograph.

Please join us on July 21.  Play Ball!

Digital photo forum

Area photographers will gather at GPL on Thursday, July 17, at 7 p.m., to discuss work they are doing and to share information about how to improve their work. This is an open forum, with occasional special guest photographers. All are invited to bring their work to share and also their questions. Bring work on memory cards, USB drives, CDs. The group meets the 3rd Thursday of each month, except December and August.


Anyone who has an appreciation of art and beauty must come to the library to see the display of extraordinary quilts that’s running through July.

These artistic creations – to call them quilts is unjust, and you don’t want to put them on your bed – is put on by the Capital Region Textile Artists, a group that takes fabric, thread, beads, paint, dyes, found objects, yarn, and anything else that strikes their fancy, to craft a three-dimensional artistic fantasy.

Some of the artists featured have exhibited nationally, while others are just beginning to find their voice in this medium; all share an abiding joy in creating and sharing their art.

Please stop by GPL and spend some time in the Helderberg Room enjoying the exhibit. Featured artists in this show are Helen Farnam, Barbara Quackenbush, Tina W. Raggio, Mary Reich, Nancy Schlegel, Lila Smith, and Sue Updike-Porter.

Read game show

The Fizz, Boom, Read Game Show, featuring Magicman Chris LaBarge, will be held on Tuesday, July 22, at 2 p.m., and it’s going to be a blast.

Magicman Chris blends the magic of science with the science of magic. Presented in a fun game-show format, you and your friends and other audience members will compete with each other while being amused and astounded.

 Kids, teens, and adults will enjoy this performance that will leave you all wondering: Is it science or is it magic?

No registration is required; just be there. 


Ink-ventions is a two-session creative writing program that will help young teens unlock their bursting-to-get-out writing talents. The first session is on Tuesday, July 22, at 3 p.m.; the second is on Thursday, July 31, at 3 p.m.

If you’re 13 through 16, this is the place to be. No pressure, just fun. You know you have an imagination; this program will encourage your creativity, inspire your imagination, and help you put your imaginings to paper.  Does speling count? No wey!


On Wednesday, July 23, at 6:45 p.m., the library’s Helderberg Room is all about Crime Lab Science, and if you’re a teen and love science – or are hooked on those CSI TV shows you need to be here.

Presented by staff from the Museum of Innovation and Science, this program will help you discover the technology used to uncover the world's criminal mysteries. You’ll get to put your newly learned detective skills to work to help unravel a criminal case.

Please call 456-2400, ext. 4 to let us know if you’re going to be part of the scene.

Genealogy on the Road

Guilderland's own genealogy enthusiasts will share some of their experiences using travel to research family history. The first in a series of programs – taking place on Thursday evening, July 24, at 7 p.m., at the library featuring travels made in the United States and parts of Canada.  Hear tales of visits to town and county clerks’ offices, cemeteries, and famed genealogical libraries. Revel in a story of how informal discussions led to amazing, serendipitous discoveries.

There will be time for questions and comments. We are preparing a similar program on European locations on Aug. 14, with other specific countries to follow in the future. Please register by calling 456-2400, ext. 2, or visit the library website at and click on the calendar link.

The following people will tell their stories:

— Larry and Suzanne Canell: Deerfield, Massachusetts;

— Michael Haley: Boston (New England Historic Genealogical Society); Salt Lake City, Utah (LDS Library);

— Robin Millan: Westchester County, adoption records;

— David Nerrow:  Connecticut;

— Anna Oles: Delaware County, NY; Hartford, Connecticut; Quebec; and

— Warren Sheldon: National Archives, Washington DC; New London, Conn.; Norwich, Ledyard, Troy and Albany, NY.

Teddy bear sleepover

What happens after the library closes for the night, for instance, on Friday night, July 25? Is it a quiet place of resting books, idle computers, and silent racks of DVDs and CDs, or is it a place of mischief, mayhem and madness? 

Your teddy bear could tell you. But only after it spends a night in the library.

 Join us for a Mad Scientist Teddy Bear sleepover, and leave your bear in our gentle care (we promise to make sure they’re all safe) so that it can find out what goes on after the doors are locked, the lights are off, and the library settles in for the night.

Drop your teddy or any other adventurous furry friend off by 3 p.m., on Friday, July 25. And, then be sure to pick up your furry friend before 4 p.m., on Saturday, July 26. You’ll be able to see pictures of their overnight adventures.

Family fun

Join the excitement on Saturday, July 26, as GPL holds its Annual Family Fun Day in the Community Literary Garden.

The fun starts at 11 a.m., when we have reading activities, games, and giveaways with Southpaw from the Tri-City Valley Cats.

And then at noon, the garden becomes the site of three hours of fun and games and loads of activities that will keep kids entertained. Back by popular demand is the Dunk Tank. Show your arm strength and play Dunk the Director (or his designated representative)!

Play spin art, test your strength with our purple dinosaur hammer game, draw designs on the windows with glass chalk, and, of course, enjoy snacks from the ever-popular SnoCone and popcorn machines.

There is so much more with prizes, including a Sunday Funday 4-pack of tickets to the Valley Cats’ Sunday, Aug. 3 game against the Batavia Muckdogs.

Library info

 The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Ave. in Guilderland. Visit the library's website at Check out the unofficial library updates at and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib).


Come to Guilderland Public Library on Wednesday, July 8, at 2 p.m., and learn the answer to these fascinating questions: Can you smell with your tongue? Can you see in the dark?

Jump in and learn all about senses in this hands-on exploratory program. We will learn about our own five senses as well of those of some of the animals that live at the CNSE CMOST museum through experimenting at our sense stations. Students will have the opportunity to see like a bug, play musical instruments and more.

Registration is required and limited to 25 children, pre-kindergarten through grade one. Please call 456-2400, ext. 4 to let us know you’ll be there.

Blood drive

The library will host a Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, July 8, from noon until 6 p.m.

The need for blood locally remains constant, and donations are needed to offset summer blood shortages. People can donate a pint of blood every 56 days. Donors are encouraged to eat a meal prior to giving blood and drink plenty of water. Photo ID is required at donation time. Blood donation requirements include a minimum weight of 115 pounds and minimum age of 17. A 16-year old may donate blood with written parental consent. There is no upper age limit for donating blood. Many health conditions and medications do not prevent someone from donating blood. People taking insulin, blood pressure, thyroid, and cholesterol medications, aspirin, antidepressants, and hormone replacement, can give blood. Tattoos are also okay as long as they are healed and have been done in a reputable tattoo facility.
To make a donation appointment, please call the Red Cross at 1-800 RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Book buddies

The Book Buddies program is back and calling all kids entering grades one through four. Register for this program so that you can come to GPL on Wednesdays in July, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and Thursdays in July, 3 to 5 p.m., and read to a teen buddy to build up your reading skills and self-confidence.

The Book Buddy sessions are 30-minutes long. The sessions begin every half hour. Please specify one time slot that works best for your child when you register. We will do our best to be accommodating.  All reading levels welcome.

To register, call 456-2400, ext. 4, or go online to

Story laboratory

 This writing workshop, being held on Wednesday, July 9, at 2 p.m., is designed for tweens ages nine through 12 to help foster their creativity while teaching them the basic tools of creative writing.

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

Drop-in card gaming

 Kids and Teens, bring your Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! or other cards to GPL on Thursday, July 10, at 11 a.m.,  for a fun hour playing and sharing strategies.

This is just the first meet: You can get together to do it again on Thursdays at 11 a.m., on July 17, 24, 31, and Aug. 7.  Come with a friend or make new ones. No need to register; just drop in.

Bongo Joe and the science of music and rhythm

Using instruments from around the world, Bongo Joe will be at GPL on Thursday, July 10, at 7 p.m., to introduce children to the science of sound through ventriloquism and puppetry in this musical comedy show. We’ve seen what he does; this is going to be a hoot. No registration required.

Preschool movies

Beat the heat at GPL and join us for our summer preschool movie series at 10:30 a.m., on Fridays, July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. We'll be watching short, literature-based films, appropriate for children ages three through five.

Kids’ Just Dance

summer party

Kids in kindergarten through grade two are invited to a Wii Just Dance Party on Friday, July 11, at 1:30 p.m., using the popular Wii Just Dance on the big screen games for younger kids.

While you wait your turn to dance, create cool crafts and color when you need to rest your dancing feet. We’ve got balloons, hula hoops, and fun crafts, all we need is you.

Please register for the Kids Wii Just Dance Party by calling 456-2400, ext.  4, or by visiting

Tweens’ Wii Just Dance

summer party

 Tweens are invited to a summer dance party using the popular Wii Just Dance games on the big screen; it all happens on Friday, July 11, at 3:30 p.m.

You will get to create an awesome craft while you rest your dancing feet. We’ve got the hula hoops, party lights, and freeze pops, all we need is you. For grades three through six.

Please call us at 456-2400, ext. 4 to let us know you’re coming; or, you can register online at

Elephant toothpaste

While there will be no real live elephants in the room on Saturday, July 12, at 10:30 a.m., Barbara Lukas from local PBS Station WMHT will lead you in creating an eruption of foam that looks like it was squeezed from an elephant-sized tube of toothpaste.

You will then conduct your own experiment when you mix a mild acid with a microscopic fungus and create an amazing, foaming, exothermic reaction.

Registration is required and is open for children in grades two through six. Each child must be accompanied by an adult caregiver. Please register at 456-2400, ext. 4, or

Board meets

GPL’s board of trustees will meet on Thursday, July 10, at 7 p.m., for its annual meeting during which new trustees Karen Carpenter Palumbo and Carolyn Williams will be sworn in, as will incumbent trustees Robert Feller and Barbara Fraterrigo. 

At 7:30 p.m., the board will hold its regularly scheduled bi-monthly business meeting.

Board meetings are video-recorded and broadcast on Guilderland cable channel 17 at 2 p.m., on the Sunday following the meeting, and again at 1 and 7 p.m. on the Monday following the meeting.

“Play Ball!”

All American Girls Professional Baseball League player Dolly Konwinski, active during the AAGPBL’s 1947-52 seasons, will speak about her own League of Their Own experience at GPL on Thursday, July 10, at noon. 


The event begins with a showing of Kalamazoo Klouters, a short video narrated by Mel Allen. Dolly will then read from her book, Summertime Dreams: Yes – Girls Can Play Baseball, and participate in a question and answer session.

Happy Independence Day

The library will be closed from Friday, July 4, through Sunday, July 6, and will open at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 7. 

Just a reminder: GPL goes to summer hours during July and August; GPL is closed on Sundays and the library’s Friday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Library info

 The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Ave. in Guilderland. Visit the library's website at Check out the unofficial library updates at and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib).


By Mark Curiale

“It’s about sparking the love of reading in kids” said Tim Wiles, Director of the Guilderland Public Library, as he announced the start of the Guilderland Public Library’s 2014 Summer Reading Club for Children and Teens on June 23.  “Yes, these activities are fun, but at their core, they’re designed to inspire questions … and the answers can be found by reading.”

There’s a lot of fun to be had in GPL’s reading clubs. Events include special programs by amazing guests – notably meteorologist Hurricane Howie Altschule (formerly of WNYT), former All American Girls Professional Baseball League player Dolly Konwinski, and professionals from CNSE CMOST – and a host of awesome activities such as Social Robotics and The Fizz, Boom, Read Game Show!

There are two reading clubs: “Fizz, Boom, Read!” is tailored to young readers from pre-kindergarten to grade six; you can find out about all the great things going on by visiting your SRC website at

The other club is “Spark a Reaction!” the theme of the Teens’ Reading Club; details on all that excitement are waiting for you at; check it out. One special activity for teens is the “Games of Hunger” marathon on Friday, July 25; there will be pizza.

At those sites, you can download a printable club brochure if you did not receive one at school or at the library.

Family Fun day

It would not be GPL’s Summer Reading Club without the annual Family Fun Day, which is slated for Saturday, July 26.  It starts early this year at 11 a.m., because Southpaw, the Tri-City Valley Cats mascot, will lead a special story time. Then at noon, the games, window painting, chalk art, snacks, prizes, and other awesome fun stuff begins.  And it all happens in the Community Literary Garden. By the way, the staff invites your participation in the very special activity called “Dunk the Director”.  You get the idea! No registration is required for Family Fun Day; just be there.

Registration for the clubs is easy, just go to either or, and sign up online. Also, find the events you want to attend, and use the events’ online registration links to let us know you’re coming.  As always, you can register online, in person, or by calling 456-2400, ext. 4. 

 One aspect of the club that’s new is rolling registration. Programs open for registration four weeks prior to the start of each program; be sure to register as soon as you can.

Summertime Dreams

If you loved the movie A League of Their Own which told the story of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League then you’re going to love the Summertime Dreams event at GPL on Thursday, July 10, at noon. 

That’s when you’ll have a chance to meet one of the players, Dolly Konwinski, who was an AAGPBL player during the 1947 to 1952 seasons. She will read from her book, Summertime Dreams: Yes – Girls Can Play Baseball. Konwinski will then participate in a question and answer session. 

Konwinski will have her books available for sale, and she will autograph your own baseball memorabilia for a small donation to the Guilderland Library Foundation.

Do you collage?

Adults need creative outlets, too, Kids have the Summer Reading Club, and now adults have Collage on Saturday, June 28, at 11 a.m. This program requires no artistic knowledge, and only a bit of inspiration. Collaging is a great way to find your unique creative voice.

We supply the materials and adhesives; all you need to do is bring your imagination. Once you get into making a collage, it just carries you away. You’ll be amazed at what you create.

Please call 456-2400, ext. 2 to register, and do it soon. Space is limited.

Quirky QR treasure hunt

When you’re at GPL on Monday thru Thursday, June 30 thru July, and you’ll probably spot a bunch of little boxes that look like some sort of graphic code, Eureka! You’ve found a QR (Quick Response) code. That little coded box will lead you to a trove of treasures throughout the library!

Teens and tweens who successfully complete the treasure hunt form will be entered into a drawing for a great prize. No registration is required; just stop by with your smart phone.

If you don’t have a smart phone, no problem, borrow one of the library’s iPads to participate.

           Library info

 The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Ave. in Guilderland. Visit the library's website at Check out the unofficial library updates at and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib).

Voulez-vous voir un film?

Among the 18,000 or so DVDs that you can borrow from Guilderland Public Library’s collection are some 800 videos in languages other than English. These are not English-language works overdubbed in, for example, Korean or Russian, but native-language productions from around the world.

To make it easy for you to find and browse these videos, GPL has established a special “World Cinema Collection” as part of the DVD section you’re already familiar with.  This collection features videos in Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Indic (Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Scandinavian (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish), and Spanish.  Most are subtitled in English.

An International section offers films in Albanian, Arabic, Bhutanese, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Kazajo, Kinyarwanda, Kurdish, Mongolian, Northern Sotho, Pashto, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Serbo-Croatian, Tagalog, Thai, Tamashek, Tupi, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Zulu. Many of these, too, are English subtitled.

Please come in and browse the world, or go online to, and search for your favorite foreign-language title. We are sure you’ll enjoy.

“Do you want to see a movie?” in my best high school French. 

Classic film

On Thursday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m., join us for one of Billy Wilder’s more manic movies, The Flat on the big screen in GPL’s Helderberg room.

Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray are the stars in this film.

The plot is simple, a corporate middle-manager tries to rise in his company’s hierarchy by allowing its executive to use his apartment for, er, midday meetings.  Complications naturally follow, and our hero unwittingly ends up in a romance of his own.

Popcorn? Of course!

Library info

 The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Ave. in Guilderland. Visit the library's website at Check out the unofficial library updates at and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib).

The Star-Spangled Sing-Along, being held at the Guilderland Public Library at 4 p.m., on Saturday, June 14, will be led by Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy. She will add her voice to the nationwide group sing of our national anthem as friends, neighbors, and youngsters from around Guilderland celebrate the 200thanniversary of the flag that inspired our national anthem.

In response to the library’s invitation, Ms. Fahy said that she “would be honored to conduct the Star-Spangled Banner Sing.” She will be among the many who gather around the library’s flagpole Saturday afternoon. Guilderland’s crowd is just one among the many that will join in villages, towns, and cities across the land to lift their voices simultaneously in singing the Star-Spangled Banner in this Smithsonian-sponsored event

Guilderland’s ad hoc chorus will get into the spirit by warming up with renditions of America the Beautiful, My Country, ‘Tis of Thee, and other patriotic songs before the 4 p.m. anthem sing. The Assemblywoman encourages all to come to the event, and to bring friends, family, and lots of enthusiasm.

If you’ve ever been to a ball game, you’ve seen someone blow their lines, so song sheets will be given out. We may not sing on key, but at least we’ll know the words.

What’s your plan?

Where do you start planning for the waning days of your life? A brutal question, but one we all must face up to. Get some insight into the answer by attending Advance Care Planning: Your Decisions, Your Choices on Thursday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m., at GPL.

You’ll gain an understanding of the process of designating a health care agent, an individual you select to represent you in the event you are unable to speak for yourself. Patricia Spreitzer, Community Nurse Liaison for The Community Hospice, will present this important education program, designed to provide information and resources to assist you in having the conversation with your loved ones about your wishes. You’ll also learn about the appropriate Advance Directive documents you’ll want to complete to help ensure that your desires are met. To register, call 456-2400, ext. 2 or register online.

Have a good visit

Erica Salamida, program manager for the Capital Region North chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York, presents How to Have a Good Visit, on Monday, June 16, at 3 p.m., to give you helpful tips about visiting a loved one in a long-term care facility.

You’ll learn about forming realistic expectations, planning what to do during visits, and making your visits enjoyable for all. If you visit elders in residential facilities, this program is highly recommended. Please call 456-2400, ext. 2 to register.

Go coast-to-coast

You could literally go coast-to-coast on Western Avenue, US 20, actually,  and that’s the fascinating topic of Through the Heartland on US 20 being presented at GPL on Wednesday, June 18, at 7 p.m.

Route 20 is longest federal highway in the United States, and Bill and Mary Lewis, co-authors of Through the Heartland on U.S. 20, will present pictures, stories, and fun historical facts about the communities lining the road. 

You’ll hear the history of Route 20 as it relates to our area and how it traverses some of the most beautiful expanses of our country. After the Lewis’ presentation, you may leave with a desire to get off the Interstate and enjoy a picturesque road less traveled.  Please call 456-2400, ext. 2 and let us know you’re coming.

Library info

 The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Ave. in Guilderland. Visit the library's website at Check out the unofficial library updates at and follow the library on Twitter (@GuilderlandLib).