Join us on Book Day!
Writers, story tellers, poets will read their work, talk about their work with you and have copies of their work to sell on Saturday, September 14th at Mower’s Meadow Saturday Flea Market on Maple Lane.
You’ll be able to get a card reading, buy the book and card deck, and ask questions from the creator of this system! How cool is that!
Writers will be discussing their books: mystery plots, memories of growing up in a Rosendale bar, overcoming drug addiction.
Three children’s book writers will be reading their stories and talking about their work. So, if you want to bring a young friend or relative, this should be fun.
Join us at 10:00 in the writer’s space on the 14th.
Don’t want to wait until the 14th to see the books? They’re on display on Saturdays and Wednesdays between now and Book Day.
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I look forward to seeing you at the Book Day Fair on September 14th.
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Come! Bring books to sign – work to read!
Join area writers at the upcoming FREE Book Day on Saturday, September 14th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at Mower’s Saturday Flea Market on Maple Lane in Woodstock, New York.
Book Day is an opportunity to showcase your work!
Reserve your space today. Call me at 845-399-3967 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to hear from you soon!
See you there!
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I walked over to the CVS today and got the latest copy of the “Woodstock Times”. It’s a sellout publication in Woodstock. How could it not be? It’s got the latest obituaries,
stories about community events (more fun than a soap opera)
a full color picture on page 1 (always)
and, a Letters to the Editor section.
I mean, what more can we all ask for? An edition once offered a full color photo of a statue of Buddha perched atop a bright blue sign saying:
WELCOME TO WOODSTOCK
We are all here because we are not all there.
I mean, how can I not buy a copy of the Woodstock Times this every week? It’s better than any tabloid anywhere. Donald Trump doesn’t even have a chance with this one.
If you live in Woodstock or visit Woodstock, you can buy a souvenir bumper sticker at Houst with the Buddha post on it. Buddha won’t be on the bumper sticker. But, that’s not the important part of the message anyway.
Then, when you return home to wherever in the world that may be, you can display this wonderful sign which reads: We are all Here Because We are Not all There. Personally, I can’t think of a better souvenir of Woodstock than that.
But, back to the Woodstock Times:
Because of the propensity of cotton tops in the area, obituaries are always popular. A couple of winters ago we were dropping at the rate of 1 per week. Every week Stuart Klein and I visited in Bread Alone for a few minutes and chatted about who died the week before.
Both Stuart and I were grateful to see spring arrive that year. First, we were grateful to see a few forsythia blooms just to see something besides winter. And, second, we were grateful to be alive and mentally together enough to know we were looking at forsythia blooms.
The weekly Letters section usually begins about page 14 or so with a letter from Howard Harris. Howie has been sending letters to the editor for years, decades maybe. For years, he wrote them in haiku.
Howie’s letter is traditionally the first one to go on the page. Howie taught me many years ago (when I first began writing letters about the pantry) that the letters are more or less sorted by when they come in. “Email your letter over on Friday, Thurman. That way you’ll have a good chance of reading it in the Woodstock Times.” Howie’s advice worked every week for years.
Brian quit printing my letters years ago but Howie still plugs along with his weekly letter. A couple of years ago or so, he dropped the haiku and now uses a straight 2-4 paragraph letter denouncing any local activities involving the local Zoning Board of Appeals and whatever else he’s thinking about. His letters have great interest and are probably read by 95% of the people buying the Woodstock Times weekly. Personally, I miss the haiku.
Standard letters written by Woodstockers include:
comments on the Arab Israeli conflict,
opinion pieces on all sides of whatever local fight is in progress,
thank you letters offering recognition about a job well or poorly done.
During election season, the Letter section is filled to capacity with letters for and against the various candidates and the issues they represent.
But, no matter what’s happening, I look forward to Sparrow’s message.
One thing the Woodstock Times does not have is a list of breakins, brawls, speeding tickets. If we want to read about that stuff, we have to buy the Daily Freeman. While it’s nice that the Woodstock Times doesn’t waste space on sleaze, it gives the reader the feeling that nothing ever goes wrong around here. This is definitely not the case. We have as many vandals around here as any other town but we just don’t mention them.
An important part of the paper is the weekly listing of meetings which usually appears at the top of page 3. These meetings are important. Whenever a decision is brewing, interested parties and protestors need to know exactly where and when the meeting will be held. It will never do to show up at the wrong time or place (which I did once).
Town Board Meetings are big sellers with a list of commenters who sign up a few minutes before the meeting so they can have a 2-minute “say” about anything they want in the “Public be Heard” segment of the meeting. Always popular in this segment is comment about any project that is just beginning, is ongoing, or is finished.
The Woodstock Times is delivered to Woodstock stores every Thursday afternoon after 2:00. Apart from the first section featuring news, letters, meetings, obituaries, the second section is a real seller. That’s the Almanac. Everything that’s happening around here, both large and small, appears in the Almanac.
My favorite section in the whole Woodstock Times is the cartoon by Swami Salami. Swami Salami’s cartoon is displayed, usually, in the upper left hand corner of page 15. My week is just not complete without seeing Michael Esposito’s message.
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Woodstock, New York
Dear Ms. Harrop – I enjoyed reading your article in the Friday, June 19, 2015, Daily Freeman Newspaper entitled “Why we still need public libraries.” Thank you for writing about such a important subject. I periodically blog about this issue in one of my blogs. In fact, I discussed this subject just a month ago on a May 20, 2015 post of this blog.
Woodstock, NY, has been debating if/how to modernize our library since about 2007.
Your arguments in favor of public libraries are all relevant as far as they go. However, I feel that you omitted arguments touching on the heart of the most pressing need for continuing their existence.
Libraries are lifelines for the new Struggling Class – a growing group of people experiencing poverty to such an extent that a local library is essential in ways we never before imagined.
For starters, libraries offer clean restrooms. In our community of approximately 10,000 residents (if you count both the full time residents and the weekenders), there are very few public restrooms.
We have a public restroom just up the street from our village green which closes each year on November 30th and does not reopen until April 15th.
Our recently renovated Town Hall has public restrooms.
Family of Woodstock has a public restroom.
And, the Woodstock Free Library has one.
That’s it. The homeless and the struggling poor don’t have the funds to duck into a local cafe and buy a cup of coffee in order to get access to a restroom. They rely on the services offered in their communities. This always includes the restroom at the library.
Libraries offer a place to get in out of the cold, the heat, the wet. They offer an opportunity to sit in a chair and read a newspaper or a magazine. This is important to the many categories of poverty ridden:
terminally ill poor,
The Woodstock Library has computers. When I visit the library they are always being used.
For those without a computer, the library is a lifeline to the world. Nowadays, computers are needed to:
apply for a job
make a medical appointment
apply for benefits such as social security, SNAP, unemployment compensation
find a food pantry
find a soup kitchen
find a bus schedule
This is just the basic list. I’m sure the people using a library computer can give several more reasons.
Many struggling poor and homeless people have smart phones. They often sacrifice much to keep a smart phone but it is an invaluable tool for survival in the 21st century.
Other struggling poor have working computers but can’t afford wifi. Libraries offer wifi for people who don’t have the price of a cup of coffee needed to get the service in a cafe. On any evening in Woodstock, it’s common to see people sitting on the grounds of the library, under the light of the moon, using the public wifi services offered by our Woodstock Library.
However, not all struggling poor people can afford smart phones or computers. For them, the library is their only option.
And, we haven’t even gotten to the books yet. One of the reasons our community has been wrangling over the expansion/update of our library all these years is that we simply don’t have space for the needed books.
And, we haven’t even gotten to the children, either. Our library offers story telling hours throughout the week for the many children in the area whose families use our library. Our children’s room is very popular. It’s every bit as important as the computer area.
We have a public speaking space with a waiting list several months long.
What would we do without our library?
On behalf of the poor, the hungry, and the downtrodden, I thank you for supporting the continuing existence of libraries, Froma Harrop. In my blog, that makes you a Hero for Hunger.
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The 1st thing that happens when I think of the Woodstock Public Library is the aroma of the books.
Paper, print, paste all combine to create the most welcoming, nurturing smell on the planet. Every library I’ve ever visited has this smell:
the San Antonio Public Library,
the St. Mary’s University Library,
the Fairfax County Public Library
the San Francisco Library
the tower at the University of Texas,
and on and on. Even the library in my father’s office had this smell.
Once I walked into the Department of Commerce building in Washington, DC and this aroma about knocked me over. It was so beautiful!
When I attended massage school, I learned from my teacher, Kerrith McKechnie that the sense of smell is most important. The sense of smell goes back in time very far…into past lives if you have that belief.
So, whenever I visit the Woodstock Library, that welcoming aroma embraces me as soon as I open the door. Then, immediately, I’m greeted by the people crowded in the place. 6 computers placed right at the entrance are always filled. 2 more computers are off to the left. These are filled also.
If I walk past the 2 computers on the left, I walk into the children’s area.
Beyond the children’s area is a very important part of the library which nobody seems to ever mention: the public restroom. The Woodstock Library has one bathroom.
This is important. Libraries are havens for the homeless, the cold, the tired, the hungry. They visit the library to read newspapers, get computer time, get inside someplace, use the public bathroom.
Woodstock is a wonderful place but the public bathrooms are few unless there’s $$$ for a meal in a restaurant. Family has a bathroom. There’s one in a concrete block building outside of the Family building. This one has a men’s room and a women’s room and is open from April 15th to November 30th each year.
Sunflower has one for its customers. That’s it, really.
There’s something else nice about the Woodstock Library. People can take their pets. That’s a nice touch.
The hub of the whole library is the 8 computers at the front of the building. Unless you’re without a computer, you can never know how important these machines are. None of us realizes, I don’t think, how dependent we are on them.
I pass out cards to the hungry in the line at the Reservoir Food Pantry telling people to go to www.myBenefits.ny.gov. This website is a wonderful resource…if you have access to a computer.
The homeless are really isolated without a computer.
It’s almost impossible to get a job, get housing, find a food pantry, learn about a bus route without a computer.
The library is the lifeline for a whole category of people who fit into a number of classes:
hard working poor
mentally ill poor
Our economy is flying right now. The rich are paying fewer taxes. The poor are getting less and less. Everyone, actually, has a lobbyist in Washington but the poor. The only thing the poor have left, it seems, is the food pantry and the library.
As a fundraising project, the Friends of the Library offer ongoing used book sales. This is really a Woodstock tradition. The books are reasonably priced which makes them a real “find” when it’s time to get a gift for someone.
For 30 years, the library has been offering the Library Forum – the longest-running cultural and public affairs series in the Hudson Valley. Anyone can walk into the library and book a vacant slot and make a presentation at the library. And, anyone can attend because the Library Forum is free.
Woodstock has been discussing an upgrade of our library for many years…. at least since 2007. It surely began earlier but I wasn’t aware of it.
My awareness of the expansion saga began when the Library Board asked for $$$ for repairs and upgrades. It was as if they had lobbed one over the bow.
The town returned the lob when residents voted it down…big time.
Word on the street was that residents weren’t going to give not even 1 cent to the library renovation until the librarian who had been working at the Woodstock Free Library for what seemed like her entire adult life retired.
She must’ve heard the gossip because it wasn’t long until she retired. Just like that. She did the ladylike thing and put in her papers.
Amy Raff, the beloved assistant librarian was promoted to fill the vacancy.
So, that left the town holding an empty bag. There were no more excuses. It was time to fix the library. Except that now it’s 2015 and we still don’t have an updated library.
If we’d done what we should have back then and voted for the $$$, we’d have an updated, expanded library in place and be happily using it.
But, that’s not how things went.
The hub of the library, any library, is the Librarian. We’ve been very fortunate over the years to enjoy the talents and generosity of our librarians.
Amy Raff was a special gift for this community. She knows her subject (library management) very well and also knows how to treat people…whether they’re homeless or are billionaires.
People visiting the Woodstock Library are special. She offers respect, honor. She approaches her job as a religious calling.
Amy is a class act. She did a very ladylike thing recently. She resigned.
This whole saga has not been a walk in the park. It is more akin to a barefoot walk on a rocky beach.
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Good luck to us all.
Photograph provided by Jennette Nearhood