Trailblazer Fall 2001

The Newsletter of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System
Fall 2001, Volume 3, Issue 3
In This issue:

  Fifth Annual Trustees' Council to Be Held in Saranac Lake on October 25
  WebMed Grant Offers 12 CE Credits
  Promote Family Literacy Year-Round
  CEF Libraries and Their Patrons Have a New Public Catalog on the Web!
  Feature Library: Hammond Library, Crown Point
  Access For All
  Member Library News
  ACB Radio Gives Listeners a World View
  PR Corner
  Recommended Halloween Videos From the CEF Collection
  Check Out These New Additions to Our Professional Collection
  Swap Box
  Curdle up with a Halloween Thriller!
  Another Record Round of Outreach Mini-Grants Awarded!
  Scenes from the National Bookmobile Conference, Columbus Ohio October 5-7
  Current Events On the Web
  Central Library News
  New on the CEF Website

Fifth Annual Trustees' Council to Be Held in Saranac Lake on October 25

“Community - Library Advocacy: How To Do It and How It Can Help Your Library” is the topic of the Fifth Annual Trustees’ Council which will be held at the Saranac Lake Free Library on Saturday,

October 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. In the five years since its inception, the Trustees’ Council has developed into “hands on” opportunity to address the issues affecting libraries on the local level, and to learn more about broader issues for the library community. It’s also a chance for library directors, staff, board members and friends to network with each other and guest experts.

This year, we are pleased to welcome Patricia Owens, former Director of Library Development at the Connecticut State Library, as our featured speaker. A long-time advocate for improved library services, Ms. Owens was instrumental in forming partnerships between libraries, government, and private organizations that resulted in increased library funding and new program initiatives. She is now a consultant who advises local library boards, staff, and friends on marketing and advocacy issues. Patricia will be joined by Sara Kelly Johns, a former member of the Regents Commission on Library Services. Sara is currently a library media specialist at the Lake Placid Middle and Senior High School and is President of the Board of Trustees of the Saranac Lake Free Library.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the CEF Library System and Libraries for the Future, a national non-profit organization that champions the role of libraries in American life and strengthens the capacity of libraries to serve their local communities.

Workshop activities will get underway with a continental breakfast at 9:30 a.m., followed by a two hour morning program. After a complimentary lunch, the program will resume from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Please RSVP to Penny Cowan at CEF headquarters by Wednesday, October 24 if you plan to attend so we can plan to feed you! Each driver will receive reimbursement for round-trip mileage and each library will receive reimbursement for its director’s attendance in accordance with CEF’s usual meeting procedure. For more information about the program, contact CEF Director Mary Brown at 563-5190 x 11; or e-mail Mary at


WebMed Grant Offers 12 CE Credits

Yes, you read that correctly. CEF has received LSTA funding to offer training to member librarians and staff in consumer health on-line reference sources. Recent studies suggest that approximately 69% of all people who use the Internet look for health care information. Over 70% of these users report that the information they find influences a decision about treatment. However, research also suggests that coverage of key information on a wide variety of web sites is “poor and inconsistent,” although the accuracy of the information provided is generally good.

Jo-Ann Benedetti, Head of Health Information Services at the Crandall Public Library (Glens Falls) will guide us through the maze of consumer information that is available online. The project will also support a dedicated listserv through which participants can get Jo-Ann’s expert help with hard to answer consumer health questions throughout the project year. And, (we were saving the best news for last), the Medical Librarians’ Association has approved this 4 part training series for 12 Continuing Education credits!Watch your van delivery for more information – we anticipate that training for librarians in the CEF area will begin before snow flies in November.

Promote Family Literacy Year-Round

The American Library Association web site ( features a calendar of promotional events for libraries and literacy. Included on the list of Fall 2001 events is Family Literacy Day, which is celebrated on November 1. More information about Family Literacy Day may be obtained from the National Center for Family Literacy web site at The site includes numerous family literacy activities plus about 60 pages of current facts and figures about children and families that I printed out by mistake!

One local example of successful family literacy programming is the “Family Read-Along” that CEF offers to local state correctional facilities through our Public Library Resources for State Correctional Facilities state aid program. For several years, recreational therapist Beth Grafals has brought inmates and their families together with books during facility sponsored visiting days. This informal program brings the joy of reading to dads (regardless of literacy level) and their children. At the end of the program, each participating child receives a book to keep with a book plate that says “I Read This Book With my Dad on (date)”. As Beth says, in many cases, this is the first time that some families have actually had the opportunity to sit down and share a story and it is a very rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Other opportunities for libraries to celebrate literacy this fall include National Young Reader’s Day (November 18) American Education Week (November 11-17), and Children’s Book Week (November 12-18). Check out the ALA web site for more information.

-- Julie Wever, Outreach Coordinator

CEF Libraries and Their Patrons Have a New Public Catalog on the Web!

We are pleased and proud to announce the debut of our web-based catalog. Designed for both libraries and the public, this is a new way to search for materials in all of the Clinton, Essex and Franklin County public libraries. It complements the regional Icepac catalog, so we are offering a run down of their similarities and differences.

The CEF Library Catalog (CEFCat for short) contains only the holdings of the public libraries in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties, while Icepac covers all library types and the larger area of northern New York.

CEFCat is updated constantly, and immediately reflects new additions, deletions and shelf availability for Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake and CEF, with more libraries automating soon. CEFCat shows items that are checked out at those libraries, and when they are due back. Icepac is updated quarterly and doesn’t show shelf availability.

CEFCat can’t be used to do ILL requests, while Icepac can. However, staff members can check the CEF Library Catalog, then request the items through the Hobo ILL system.

CEFCat can be used as an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) in each library. It is designed to have a user friendly interface for the public, and each library can have its own individualized “welcome page.” Icepac can also be used by the public, but is oriented more toward staff.

CEFCat is limited in its ability to “scope.” It will always search all CEF libraries, but it can highlight the holdings of a specific library. Icepac excels at scoping, or searching only in a specific library or group of libraries.

CEFCat has many searching options and features, such as limiting by date or material type, sorting, and downloading bibliographies. Icepac is more limited in search options and features.

Both the new CEFCat and Icepac are extremely useful tools for libraries. We will be holding training sessions on the fine points of CEFCat use in the near future, and we will also offer to create a “welcome page” for your library so that you can use CEFCat as your OPAC. However, we don’t want you to wait – it’s available now on the CEF Website ( We have the ability to change and improve this tool, and we expect it to gain new capabilities in the future, so we’re looking for your input!

-- Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian, CEF



A visit to lets you check out some fun “favorite things” in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History by using the newest alternative to conventional online searching. The site contains hundreds of “clickable” grids that provide access to one of the 450 items in this virtual exhibition, including the scarecrow’s costume from “The Wizard of Oz” and the original Howdy Doody. One click on a rectangle gives a thumbnail picture of the item and then takes you to a Web page with a photograph of the object, a curator’s description, links to relevant articles, and, in some cases, a Smithsonian Folkways audio clip. The site has been set up to “help people find things they didn’t know they were looking for,” according to Judith Gradwohl, director of the museum’s Web program.

“History Wired: A Few of Our Favorite Things” is just one of several sites that feature similar “glass engine” landscapes recently developed by I.B.M., and more are on the way. Could this “seren-dipitious” search approach have implications for libraries? It seems to me like a natural fit.

-- Julie Wever

Based on an article by Matthew Mirapaul on the New York Times Web site, Technology Section,

Feature Library: Hammond Library, Crown Point

In 1811, fifty men got together in the Town of Crown Point to organize a Library. The minutes of that meeting, held the 23rd day of October AD 1811, begin:

"We are the subscribers whose names are under written hereby unite and form ourselves into a Society by the name of The Crown Point Social Library Society. And we hereby severally promise and engage to pay the sum of two dollars to Lyman Clark, Elisha Rhodes and David Cross Esquires as a committee to be by them laid out and expended in purchasing books, for said Society."

At the time, the Town of Crown Point was one of the biggest towns (in area) in the young United States of America, spreading far beyond its present boundaries and encompassing much of what is now Essex County. Since little actual cash money was available, a member might pay his dues instead by donating books to the library. The library had a total of 74 books to put in their book case, which was a remarkable achievement at the time.

From this small beginning the Crown Point Library grew and was opened to the public. In 1894 a Provisional Charter was granted to the library and it was given the name "Crown Point Chapel Library". For many years the library was quartered in the upstairs of the Hammond home, and it was because of this support that the name was changed in 1899 to "The Hammond Library". In 1929 The Hammond Library moved and was housed in the Crown Point Central School, where it remained until 1990 when it moved into its present home.

Today the library offers a variety of programs and services to the community. In addition to our Summer/Winter reading programs, we offer theme programs such as The Family Juggler in July, an Adirondack Ghost Storyteller in October, and our popular "American Girl Series" craft program which is coming this fall. The library opens its facilities for regular use by organizations such as Career Opportunity Center, ARC, and Social Services. In an effort to improve employment options for seniors, we will be hosting a "Basics in Computer Use" workshop, where we will work alongside our local chapter of Green Thumb and the Senior Centers in the area. Along with our new Gateway computers we are adding a shelf of up-to-date computer books, thanks to a generous donation by a patron. We are devoted to promoting literacy, always growing, and our guiding theme first and foremost is "How can we better serve?"

-- Barbara Wright, Director


Access For All

The U.S. Justice Department has announced the availability of its new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Technical Assistance CD-ROM. The new CD-Rom is designed to make searching documents and identifying appropriate ADA information easier and more efficient. The free CD-ROM contains a complete collection of the Department’s technical assistance publications, including:

* The new electronic version of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design

* The ADA Guide for Small Businesses

* Common Errors and Omissions in New Construction and Alterations

* The ADA Guide for Small Towns

     * A series of commonly asked question and answer publications.

These documents, and many others, are provided in a variety of formats, including HTML, WordPerfect, and Acrobat PDF.

To order this great free resource for your community, call the Justice Department’s ADA information line at 800-514-0301. The information contained on the CD-ROM is also available online at the Department’s ADA website at:



In Clinton County:

Champlain Memorial Library 

Our summer reading program was a huge success. Our last session was highlighted by a visit from tall-tale-teller Bill Smith on August 15.

Story hour has started and is held on Thursdays from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Since there is no age limit for participants, we are finding that moms who feel that reading should be introduced as soon as possible are bringing small babies to hear our stories. On September 20, the story hour group took a trip to Rulf’s Orchard where we visited a pumpkin patch. We have some very nice decorated apples on display for everyone to see.

-- Sheila Babbie, Director

Mooers Free Library

The library netted about $300 as a result of our annual book sale. The proceeds will go a long way to help purchase new books and materials.

The summer reading program went smoothly but we noted attendance was less than usual, due in large part to the beautiful weekend weather. Story hours are very popular and we have had many requests to continue them.

Our Gates computers are very popular as are the computer classes that the library is hosting. Local adults are so excited about using a computer that they often stop in to practice. One patron is going back to school and makes good use of our work station to type papers and do research on the Internet. It’s a nice feeling to be able to help her out!

-- Edie Morelock, Director


In Essex County:

Hammond Library, Crown Point  

The Hammond Library is currently hosting a workshop titled “Computers Simplified-a Basics Workshop for Seniors with NO Computer Experience”. This workshop targets senior citizens and is teaching them computer skills right from the beginning – turning the thing on and off, introduction to e-mail, word processing and the Internet, etc. The workshop filled up almost immediately, and within a couple of days we had enough people call to register for and fill a second workshop which will be held sometime in October. We’re also looking to offer continuing computer education workshops so that these individuals can continue to build on their computer skills. The response has been overwhelming, and very encouraging.

The first weekend in October will see the Hammond Library re-open our “Story Hour” on Saturday mornings between 10 and 11am. This program is geared for kids aged 4-8. On October 19th at 5:00 pm, the Hammond Library will welcome David Pitkin, author of “Saratoga County Ghosts” and “Spiritual Numerology” for an evening reading of scary ghost stories, scary kids in costume, and scary cupcakes! All ages are welcome, so stop by and get scared!

The Hammond Library Board of Trustees and Staff would like to send their heartfelt condolences to the individuals and families so deeply affected by the horrible tragedies of September 11, 2001. That is a date we will never forget. Pray for peace.

--Barbara Wright, Director

Schroon Lake Library

This summer was a very busy one for our library. We actually had more patrons than we could handle – at one point they were sitting on the floor and in the halls because there was no room for them! Our summer reading program had a lot to do with this as we had over 100 children sign up this year. We held weekly story hours, weekly craft classes, and two special programs that featured Penelope the Clown

and Marvelous Mackey – Canine Magician. The kids loved both of these inexpensive programs. Marvelous Mackey was especially good and I would recommend “him” to any of our libraries. Please call me if you want information on either of these performers.

Our Gates computer was installed this spring and it was in use this summer from the time we open to the time we close. This is the only Internet access for the public in town. We could use another computer and actually had one donated to us, but we have no room for it. It’s time to expand!

On Friday, October 12, we will be hosting Voces Intimae, a musical evening for all ages featuring Oliver Brookes and Clive Henery. Our monthly quilting group will be starting up again this fall. The group meets on the last Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m. We are very fortunate to have a professional quilter volunteer her time to teach those who wish to learn. We plan to hold a monthly book discussion group beginning in October on a day and time not yet set.

-- Jane Bouchard, Director

Westport Library Association

The Westport Library Association has been offering computer and Internet lectures since late August. Over 75 people have attended, representing a wide sampling of the community. We are using one of our new computers on the DSL line, so people are amazed at the speed of the Internet connection.

We had a very busy summer. Circulation was up from last year, and the Internet workstations were booked all day. Things have quieted down now, and we are looking forward to our first fire in the fireplace.

-- Anne de la Chapelle, Director

In Franklin County:

Wead Library, Malone

The Wead Library was a busy place, as usual, this summer. Three hundred, eighty two people took part in our summer reading program and we were pleased to host a special education class on six occasions. Our average daily circulation from June through August was 248, and 323 reference questions were recorded.

Story time with Sue Wool began the week of October 1. Programs are offered on Tuesday or Thursday from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. or Wednesday morning from 10:00 to 10:30. Each story time features reading, songs, and activities for children three to four years old.

We received a Coordinated Outreach Mini-Grant from CEF which will be used to expand the childrens’ audio book collection. Our statistics show that audios for children and adults continue to be very popular with patrons.

-- from Director David Minnich’s September Report

Saranac Lake Free Library

The Saranac Lake Free Library will hold its annual literary dinner on Saturday, November 10. This year’ speaker will be noted author and National Public Radio commentator Tim Brookes. Mr. Brookes’ latest book is entitled A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow. For more information on registering to attend this program, please call the library.

Story hour for preschool children, which was on hiatus for the summer, has resumed. It is held each Thursday at 10:15 a.m.

The Cantwell Community Room will feature three art shows during Fall 2001. A community show entitled “The Blues” will showcase art in all mediums that feature the color blue. It will hang from September 17 through October 18. A “Cover Art and Landscape” show by the Arts Council of the Northern Adirondacks will hang from October 22 through November 29. The “Paint and Pallette Winter Show” which includes art by well known local artists will hang December 3 through January 3.

-- Jeanette Tooker, Interlibrary Loan Clerk


Volunteers for the Saranac Lake Lake Free
Library’s 46th annual “Come to the Fair”

-- Pat Wiley, Photographs

ACB Radio Gives Listeners a World View

The American Council for the Blind currently offers four Internet radio stations that visually impaired adults can receive through a variety of free and popular Internet audio players. Many of the programs are live, interactive, international in scope and broadcast around the clock. One station features blind radio personalities hosting music shows from around the world. When we checked out the site for this issue, it featured transcripts from a wide selection of up to the minute news events. Take a look at this super site for yourself at


Recommended Halloween Videos From the CEF Collection

For Children:

Arthur’s Scary Stories

Bugs Bunny’s Halloween Hijinks

By the Light of the Halloween Moon

Favorite Halloween Stories


Sing Along Songs: Happy Haunting

For Adults:

Arsenic and Old Lace


Halloween Make-up

Haunted History of Halloween

Holiday Crafts

Men in Black

The Mummy

Secrets of the Unknown (series)

-- Kathie LaBombard, Audio-Visual Librarian

-- Kathie LaBombard

Check Out These New Additions to Our Professional Collection

Countdown to a New Library: Managing the Building Project, by Jeannette Woodward

Library Construction From a Staff Perspective, by the staff of the Williamsburg Regional Library

Where to Find What: a Handbook to Reference Service, 4th ed., by James M. Hillard

Basic Library Skills, 4th ed., by Carolyn Wolf

Book Discussions for Adults: a Leader’s Guide, by Ted Balcom

Administration of the Small Public Library, by Darlene E. Weingand

Teaching the Internet in Libraries, by Rachel Singer Gordon

Learn Dewey Decimal Classification, by Mary Mortimer

If you are interested in borrowing any of these titles, please contact the CEF Inter-library loan department.

-- Elizabeth Rogers

Swap Box

Two desks with shelves available, one unit has adjustable shelves. For details, contact the Keene Valley Library Association at 576-4693.

Curdle up with a Halloween Thriller!

Find out if you look good in goose bumps and get yourself set for Halloween with these hair-raising books: 

Fury, by Salman Rushdie. This black comedy has been described as an inquiry into the “darkest side of human nature.” It features a serial killer who uses a block of concrete as a weapon, a doll maker and a green-eyed blonde in New York. 

Saintly Murders, by C.L. Grace. The plot involves an infestation of rats in Canterbury England in 1472—who needs more than that to be terrified? 

Hostage, by Robert Crais. The obligatory psychopath involves an ex-con in his rampage and hostage-taking. Little do they know that their hostages are connected to L.A.’s most volatile crime lord. 

The Red Room, by Nicci French. A psychiatrist becomes the object of a psychopath’s obsession. This is what’s called a “psycho-thriller.” 

Dead Sleep, by Greg Iles. A photojournalist becomes involved in the darker side of the art world by stumbling on paintings of women who are not asleep, as first assumed, but are dead. Find the artist before the artist finds you. 

Black House, by Stephen King and Peter Straub. They’ve done it again—and what Halloween would be complete without something from the masters. Stephen King proves you can’t keep a good storyteller down. He and Straub have pooled their imaginations and talent to weave the tale of life in a parallel universe and (of course) gruesome murders. It’s set in Wisconsin but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary. 

The Last Vampire, by Whitley Strieber: A vampire story NOT written by Anne Rice. Thank goodness these vampires live in Europe so it’s Interpol who must find and destroy them. 

The Surgeon, by Tess Gerritsen. Even though we might not really want to know about the darkest possibilities in the field of medicine, medical thrillers are always fun to read. This time we’re tracking a serial killer who uses surgical skill to murder women. I won’t be reading this one. 

-- Elizabeth Rogers


Another Record Round of Outreach Mini-Grants Awarded!

Our pockets are hanging a little looser since distributing over $11,300 in Coordinated Outreach state aid funds to recipients of this year’s mini-grant cash awards. Eighteen member libraries and eight state correctional facilities received up to $500 in mini-grant funds to undertake special services to eight “targeted” local populations. This year’s projects range from Camp Gabriels’ purchase of popular fiction and self-improvement books in Spanish, to computer classes for seniors at Hammond Library, Crown Point and the Lake Placid Public Library.

The pictures below were taken by CEF Automation Librarian Betsy Brooks who presented two computer workshops for seniors at the Hammond Library, Crown Point in September. CEF donated Betsy’s time and mini-grant funds furnished special easy to hold “mice” and computer books for the workshop. The programs were so popular that everyone is clamoring for more. Our motto that “a little bit goes a long way” was well fullfilled once again!

Scenes from the National Bookmobile Conference, Columbus Ohio October 5-7

Mary Brown, Julie Wever, Debbie Crossley and Betsy Finnegan-LaMere pose at the head of a line-up of bookmobiles on display .

Colorful graphics and an awning were just two options on the Ashland Public Library’s bookmobile that Debbie and Betsy admired.

Interior options on modern bookmobiles include customized shelving for all formats, space for public access Internet work stations, and mini refrigerators and microwaves!

Current Events On the Web

We have all been touched in some way by the events of September 11. As a librarian I try to find an explanation for things, an answer to the questions raised. When we need fast, timely information the Web is often a good place to go first. There are a number of good Web sites dealing with various aspects of the tragedies, some to help us deal with our feelings, some that might help us understand why such a thing could happen.

One of the most revealing pieces of information I found is an interview with Osama bin Laden, published by Esquire magazine in 1999. Most of us are trying to understand why someone has feelings about our country strong enough to drive such a horrific action. This interview, even though it’s 2 years old and hasn’t been updated, offers answers to questions we’ve been asking. The article, “Greetings, America. My name is Osama bin Laden,” can be read at Similarly, the BBC offers an opportunity to listen to journalists explain bin Laden’s motivation, as well as offering print information at The BBC site includes audio clips of eyewitnesses to the Trade Center tragedy as well. It’s chilling to listen and look at the images posted on this site.

Some have been curious about the connection between the prophesies of Nostradamus and the attacks. For information on who Nostradamus was and what he did, along with exploration of the controversy surrounding him and his supposed prediction of September 11, try the site Answers to questions about the events of September 11, including “What happened when?” and “Why were these explosions so powerful?” can also be found here.

There are some good informational sites about Afghanistan as well. At there is information about the country and Islamic religion. This is a neutral presentation, not a political statement, and includes images of the country which can be helpful in grasping the situation.

The American Library Association offers general information at, and the Association for Library Service to Children has a list of books and resources for children and their parents to consult at The U.S. government offers government resources in several categories, including assistance, leads and clues and what you can do at

Sometimes having access to all this information is a good way of helping to cope with the magnitude of the situation, but sometimes it’s just very difficult to see the images and hear the sounds.

-- Elizabeth Rogers, Head of Reference & ILL

Central Library News

An OPAC/wireless network for the Plattsburgh Public Library is on the way! For some time, the library has sought to establish a wireless computer network, but wiring for the project proved to be problematic. Westelcom is in the process of upgrading the existing cabling and installing a wireless computer network. We expect the project to be completed by the end of October.

Thanks to the generosity of the Gates Grant, PPL has four new public access Internet workstations. This brings our total number of workstations to five, and they are hardly ever free. To date, we have received over $32,000 worth of hardware, software and training courtesy of the Gates Grant.

This year’s summer reading program ran from July 11 through August 17 and it was a huge success. Activities were topped off by a party with singer/songwriter Roy Hurd, which was sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Children of all ages enjoyed Roy’s performance tremendously. Programming for children will continue through December 21 and will feature such excitements as “Leapin’ Lizards Toddler Time”, Jabberwocky Jam After School Break for grades K-2, and “Reading Rocks After School Break” for the older set.

The CEF Library System sponsored a performance of the Storycrafters in the Children’s Room on September 27. This event was lively, interactive, and inspirational, and the staff of PPL thanks CEF for arranging and presenting this event. In anticipation of the premier of the movie “Lord of the Rings”, the library will hold a perpetual read-aloud of the entire J.R.R. Tolkien book during Teen Read (October 14-20).

-- Anne Minter O’Donnell, Director

New on the CEF Website

Visit the CEF Website at to check out the new features we’ve added recently:

New Books – Our Acquisitions Department has been busy ordering, and you’ll find the concise summaries of these new titles useful when recommending books to your patrons! Some libraries print this page to hand out at the circulation desk. (

Halloween Books – There’s always a run on seasonal books, so supplement your collection by requesting some of these great new books for the younger crowd. (

Video Catalog – The popular printed catalog of CEF Videos is updated and available online in Adobe Acrobat format for your printing and viewing pleasure. (

Resources for Dealing with Terrorism – Check the Parents and Fun Sites sections of the Kids page for some resources you can use with children to help them understand and deal with the tragic events of Sept. 11.

Things to Do - Visit the Happenings section of the Teen Page and the Local Information section of the Kids Page for some fall outing ideas.
( and

-- Betsy Brooks

Just one of the wonderful, wild, and warm quilts on display at the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library’s biennial quilt show (August 2001, Tupper Lake)