Trailblazer Winter 2003

The Newsletter of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System
Winter 2003, Volume 5, Issue 1
In This issue:

  Show Your Support for Libraries on March 18!
  It's Almost Time for Summer Reading
  CEF Board of Trustees News
  New Year's Resolutions to Keep Your Computer Running
  Technology Briefs
  NYSLAA's 25th Annual Conference Comes to Town
  Feature Library: a Visit to the Mooers Free Library
  What's Hot to Read this Winter: Our Favorites
  A New Familiar Face
  Food for Thought
  Did You Know: CEF Videos Online
  Growing Great Librarians Conference Set for April
  Keene Area Readers Team Up to Build a Library in Nepal
  Mystery Men Quiz Solved
  New and Noteworthy
  Grab Your Snowshoes and Beat Cabin Fever
  2003 Newbery/Caldecott Winners Announced
  Readers' Advisory Sites: Making the Perfect Match Online
  Evaluation Resources Now Available
  Malone Checks Out Just Fine
  Space Age Bookmobile

Show Your Support for LIbraries on March 18

This year more than ever we need the support of member library directors, trustees, patrons and friends of libraries to make our presence known to our legislators in Albany. The state deficit is predicted to be at record levels, resulting in large cuts in funding for all kinds of programs across the state. Every agency affected will be looking to the legislature to reverse the cuts, so it is important that libraries not be silent. Let your voice and those from your community be heard!

A CEF contingent will be traveling to Albany on Tuesday, March 18 to participate in the New York State Library Association’s Library Legislation Day and we hope that as many of you as possible will join us. The day is fun and interesting, starting with a briefing by NYLA staff, meetings with local legislators in their offices, and lunch. Participants get to experience how government functions up close (a great opportunity for students, if any can come along) and to see our beautiful Capitol and legislative buildings. You could even work in a little time to visit the State Museum nearby or do some shopping – all while helping to ensure funding for your library! As in the past, C-E-F will help to coordinate travel so that anyone wishing to go will have the opportunity to travel with others.

New This Year: The New York Library Association is planning to hold a rally on the Capitol steps at noon on March 18. We are hoping that a huge turnout will attract the attention of the legislators, the Governor, and the media alike.

If you can’t come to Albany with us on March 18, please make an effort to meet with your local legislator here at home and encourage trustees and patrons to write, visit or call local representatives as well. Our legislators need to know that there is a vocal group of supporters out there urging them to see that library funding does not get cut. For ride share plans and information about CEF’s legislative appointments, please contact Kathie LaBombard (563-5190 x 21; or Mary Brown (563-5190 x 11;
It's Almost Time for Summer Reading! Summer Reading Program Workshop Monday, March 10, 2003, Plattsburgh Public Library Auditorium

The thermometer may say that it’s below freezing, but it’s time to start planning for those hot, summer days and this year’s Summer Reading Program! Our theme this year is “Picture This … Imagine That … Read!” There’s lots of room for creativity and fun in this program, created by the Ramapo– Catskill Library System and the Mid-Hudson Library System.

To get you started, CEF will be offering a free workshop full of ideas and crafts on Monday, March 10 in the Auditorium at Plattsburgh Public Library. Please plan to join us at 9:00 a.m. for registration and coffee before the workshop starting time of 9:30. I promise we’ll be done by noon, leaving you time to go out with some of your colleagues for lunch or a quick trip to the mall.

We are expecting the Summer Reading Program manuals to arrive any day now, so by the time you get your Trailblazer, you should have received a shrink-wrapped package from the System that contains this wonderful resource. You can also get the manual on-line at Take a look before the workshop so you will have some questions, comments, or ideas to share.

Please call Penny Cowan at 563-5190 ext. 10 to sign up! --Kathie LaBombard, Youth Services Librarian consultant. Stay tuned for more details coming soon! 

CEF Board of Trustees News

On Monday, January 13, the CEF Board of Trustees met at CEF Headquarters in the newly renovated conference room. Pictured left to right: Penny Cowan, President Fred Smith, and CEF Director Mary Brown

Newly appointed Trustee Lynn Bezio (left) tours CEF headquarters with Director Mary Brown. Mrs. Bezio represents Essex County and resides in Keeseville.

Outgoing Trustee Mary McCormick (Essex County) receives a plaque from President Fred Smith in honor of her seven years of service on the CEF Board.

New Year's Resolutions to Keep Your Computer Running

1. Keep your virus protection up to date
2. Periodically delete temporary Internet files
3. Back up documents and data on floppy disks or writeable CD
4. Periodically defragment your hard drive
5. Consider updating your Internet browser, and check the Microsoft Windows Update web site FAQ page ( ) and Microsoft Office Product Updates website ( for “critical updates” to make your computer more secure.

--Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian
Feature Library: A Visit to the Mooers Free Library

  The Mooers Free Library began on January 12, 1917 with a meeting in the Presbyterian Vestry at which the Mooers Free Library Association was formed. Each of the Mooers churches was represented. The Presbyterian minister, Rev. John Neil Robertson, seems to have been the instigator. He was duly elected to the board and became the first librarian. A provisional charter was granted to the Mooers Free Library on March 1, 1917. Money was contributed by the Grange, soldiers, and other friends of the project. Twenty residents donated books for the library’s first collection.

Early locations of the library’s holdings included the Presbyterian Vestry, the shirt factory, and rooms over Fitch’s store. In 1930, Mrs. A.K. Bidwell willed the library association a building site on the town’s main street, $4,000 for construction of a library, and $1,000 to equip it. Although the name Bidwell Memorial Library is featured prominently on the front of the building, the name has never officially been changed from Mooers Free Library.

For some years, the library trustees took turns serving as librarian. Among these early librarians were Rev. Robertson, Mrs. Seward Brooks, Mrs. Charles Mulvey, Mrs. Bernice Sneden, and Mrs. Fred (Clara) Fillmore, who held the post from 1932 to 1946. She was replaced from 1946 to 1948 by Mrs. Raymond Brooks and Charles Knapp. Mrs. Paul (Elizabeth) Vogan was elected in 1948 and held the position for 40 years. Upon her retirement in 1988, she was replaced by Marilyn Bobka who served an 11 year term that ended with her untimely death in 1999. Since then, the library has been directed by Mrs. Edie Morelock.

Edie reports “Our current activities are scare right now. The below zero temperatures keep most Mooers folks indoors. However, we do plan to hold a story hour in honor of Valentine's Day. We are very excited about the fact that Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County is active in the library. The affiliate has initiated a satellite office that is regularly used for tutor training and adult learner/tutor meetings. On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., homework help is offered to middle school students. This activity has met with great success and many children really appreciate the extra help. Computer classes for adults are a popular and ongoing activity. Use of our two public access computer work stations has tripled during the past year, and our efforts to increase circulation of all types of library materials have shown very rewarding results. The Mooers Free Library is a busy and inviting place for readers and learners of all ages come snow or shine. Stop by and pay us a visit!"

 Sources: Historical Review of the Town of Mooers by Carol Nedeau, Town Historian


Librarian Edie Morelock fields a reference question.

The childrens’ area is an inviting place to read.

Technology Briefs

A wise woman once asked me a rhetorical question: “How do you spell LIFE?” The answer: “C-H-A-N-G-E.” If she was right, we’re really going to live in 2003. Here are some of the new things happening in technology for CEF and area libraries.

Through the generosity of a grant sponsored by Senator Stafford, CEF has some exciting new training equipment. In our newly renovated building, the conference room now features a ceiling mounted projector and a “smart board.” The smart board is a whiteboard that is touch-sensitive, so that presenters and trainees can interact with it. For example, if a presenter is demonstrating a web page, a trainee can touch the screen to click on a link. We can also draw on the screen with electronic markers, and save the results to a computer. We also were able to purchase 10 laptop computers with wireless Internet access to use in the conference room or take on the road. The computers will be available to member libraries to borrow for public or staff training sessions. They made their debut at the Sherman Library in Port Henry in January, where we presented a class for the public on “Emailing Your Grandchildren.” If you are interested in having the laptop lab visit your library, please contact Betsy Brooks at extension 35, or email

Libraries that received computers from the Gates Library Foundation are being offered the chance to upgrade those computers to the Windows 2000 operating system. You have probably already received information in the mail detailing this offer. Be prepared to spend some time and also some money if you take advantage of the offer. The pros: a more up-to-date and secure computer, with new versions of the encyclopedia and other reference programs. The cons: you’ll need to buy new copies of Norton Antivirus and you’ll lose quite a few of the children’s programs. Some libraries may choose to upgrade only one or two of the Gates Foundation computers, and some may choose not to upgrade at all. If you’d like to discuss your options, feel free to give me a call.

In another fit of generosity, the Gates Foundation has granted us funds for further training of library employees. The purpose is to encourage libraries to offer computer training to their patrons. This grant will allow us to develop local technology mentors and to bring the training out to you. Watch for regionally distributed training sessions in the spring.

CEF’s automated system will be upgraded this year. After about a year of deliberation by a committee of member library directors and CEF staff, we’re getting very close to making a decision between two library software companies. One of the many enhancements we expect in our new system will be a much improved web catalog for patrons, which will give them the ability to check online to see what books they have out, and place requests. The most noticeable difference for staff using the new system will be a change from an older, text-based interface to a modern Windows look and the flexibility that comes with it.

--Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian

NYSLAA's 25th Annual Conference Comes to Town

The New York State Library Assistants’ Association (NYSLAA) 25th Annual Conference will be held June 12-13, 2003, at the Inn at Smithfield in Plattsburgh and will be hosted by CEF. Public Speaking, Access and Digital Scanning are just a few of the topics that will be covered in this year’s workshops. A dinner and dancing cruise aboard the Spirit of Plattsburgh has also been planned. Early arrivals will be taking a trip to Montreal to experience the French culture and cuisine, and, hopefully, get in a little shopping. Getting together with fellow library assistants from all over the state always proves to be a very rewarding experience. For more information on NYSLAA check out our web site at or feel free to contact me at 563-5190 x 15 ( I hope to see many of you at our conference this year.

--Tracey LaBarge, Conference Chair

What's Hot to Read this Winter: Our Favorites

There seems to be a general consensus here that if we keep our eyes firmly fixed on the printed page, we won’t be tempted to peek out the window and focus on the thermometer. Readers from around the CEF area have found this coping strategy successful and recommend taking these books along to your favorite hibernation hideaway.

I just read Hart's War by John Katzenbach. I don't ordinarily read war stories, but this novel, set in a prisoner of war camp somewhere in Germany during World War II, was very good. It centers around the only black airman in the camp who has been accused of a racially motivated murder and the young white navigator who has been assigned to represent him at a court martial heavily influenced by their German captors. The suspense kept me turning page after page!
-- Kathie LaBombard, CEF

I did curl up with a book this winter but I’m sad to say I was disappointed. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold was written well but I found it so sad and I didn't like the ending at all. I am all for good writing but I really need a happy ending and this book left me cold. Does anyone else feel that way? ? It is a best seller and most people rave about it, but I felt depressed after reading it!
-- Edie Morelock, Mooers Free Library

Nicholas Sparks’ Nights In Rodanthe is very touching relationship story. It made me cry, but I’m glad I read it!
-- Eileen Clar, Chateaugay Memorial Library

Quentin's by Maeve Binchy is a warm novel with a frisson of tension and romance. It brings together figures from previous Binchy novels like Tara Road and is a perfect winter read. I also recommend Woodsong by Gary Paulsen. This is supposed to be a children's book about dog sled racing and the Iditerod but it deals with life themes in a winter wilderness setting. Paulsen is a fine writer with a keen appreciation of beauty and a great sense of humor. If the dogsled races held at Meacham Lake piqued your curiosity, or that of a child you know, this is your book -- and it would be a wonderful read-aloud, too.
--Mary Brown, CEF

I just finished reading the new Jeffrey Archer book, Sons of Fortune. I really enjoyed it very much. It was a fast paced book dealing with the lives of twin brothers who were each raised by a different family due to an odd event at their birth. Both families were quite politically inclined though one was Democratic and one was Republican. This created many parallel situations for the brothers through the years and largely prevented them from meeting. I could hardly put the book down and found the ending very enjoyable.
-- Cindy Pytlak, Dodge Library, West Chazy

I am reading, but have not yet finished, Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl. It was recommended by my mom, and Francie Fairchild has also enjoyed it. It takes a look at growing up and features Ruth's very funny observations on food and how people appreciate or disdain it. There are some great recipes also!
-- Tina Trombly, Chazy Public Library

I just read The Grave Maurice by Martha Grimes. This book is supposedly a mystery and there is a murder in it, but I wouldn't say that is the main focus of this book. Grimes weaves her story around the people in the book, one of whom is named Maurice. He only appears to play only a small part, but his actions bring about the conclusion of this book. I liked this book because Grimes tells very funny stories about the characters.
-- Jackie Vistenz,
Sherman Free Library, Port Henry

I was interested in and entertained by the insights into life on the Louisiana bayou in John Biguenet’s Oyster, and felt his style complimented the region. The story is of two feuding families struggling to earn a living from the sea. There are just enough references to the routines of fishing, just enough description of the beauty of the geography, and the plot has plenty of twists and turns to keep you wondering where you’ll end up next.

It’s hard to classify Stephen L. Carter’s The Emperor of Ocean Park. It’s a complicated story, with a plot that’s full of characters who keep doing the unexpected. The story begins with the strange death of The Judge, the family patriarch, and the unexplained circumstances surrounding his failed nomination to the Supreme Court many years prior. His son devotes the remainder of the book to solving the mystery, in what becomes a fascinating but dangerous undertaking. You’ll never be able to solve the puzzle, right up until the final chapter, but you’ll definitely enjoy the maze that leads you to the solution.
-- Elizabeth Rogers, CEF

Huddled by a wood stove in a remote cabin in Maine, and wearing a battery-operated headlamp, I recently finished The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. In the novel, a young Manhattan nanny describes the frustrations and indignities of working for a wealthy couple. Part soap opera, part expose and cautionary tale, the book has a fresh, young style.
-- Betsy Brooks, CEF


In Clinton County:

AuSable Forks Free Library

Change is the word for our library this year as we are currently in the middle of a renovation project. Highlights include a new front entrance and a handicapped accessible bathroom which has been added next to my resized office. Our children's area has been moved into the old reference room.

On December 14 and 15 we had a nice big group of volunteers come in to help move all the reference, biography, and Adirondack books downstairs, the children’s books and shelves into the old reference room, and move the adult fiction shelves and books to the front of the library.

About 20 to 25 volunteers showed up and we were able to move everything in just two days. Despite the dust and noise our patrons have stayed loyal and don't mind the inconvenience of it all. They love to come in and see how much has been done day to day. Hopefully this project will be completed by the end of January.

-- Carole Osborne, Director

Dodge Library, West Chazy

The Dodge Library in West Chazy has had a busy fall/winter. Everyone enjoyed our first annual open house in October so much that we have decided to make it a bi-annual event with another one planned for late April. November brought another evening pajama party! The children arrived in their pajamas, carrying their favorite stuffed toy and bedtime story. We shared some wonderful stories and enjoyed some refreshments. Dodge Library thanked its patrons for their loyal support by hosting a Christmas Tea on December 21. With our little tree glowing in the corner and the scent of mulled cider filling our nostrils, we all enjoyed the morning chatting with our friends and neighbors.

During the Christmas break, a Boy Scout from Troop 46 in Beekmantown finished his Eagle project at our library. Ken Zidell has been a patron of this library for many years, and we truly appreciate his hard work on this project. He built two bookshelf units in our children's room that match the existing ones and also made a rolling cart decorated with Garfield, Clifford, Curious George, and the Cat in the Hat. Ken also built a sturdy fence and gate outside the library. It is all a job well done, and our grateful thanks go to Ken Zidell.

Staying warm and cheery at the Dodge Library in West Chazy, NY

-- Cindy Pytlak (It's easy to be cheery
when you're holed up in a room full of books, right?)

Chazy Public Library

Library Director Francie Fairchild fell and broke her hip while visiting family in Denver. She is doing well and healing. Due to her injury, library hours have been reduced to Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 6:00, Wednesday, 1:00 to 5:00, and Saturday, 9:00 to 12:00. We are fortunate to have volunteers to help us keep the library open. Francine Wells and Anne Dodds are continuing to offer a monthly story hour. The December session was held at the Alice T. Miner Museum and was a great success. Santa even appeared – he loves a good story. The January 25th story hour focused on a snow and winter theme. The February 8th story hour will feature Valentine’s Day.

The Library’s annual open house, which was held on December 28, netted over $300.00 for the library. The Friends of the Library hosted a concert featuring Eugene Tunarui on December 15th. Mr. Tunarui was wonderful and we made a small profit.

There are no big plans for early 2003. We hope that Francie heals quickly and is back at the library soon.

-- Tina Trombly, Acting Librarian

In Essex County:

Paine Memorial Library, Willsboro

The Paine Library featured a Holiday Craft Show & Sale at the Library from December 2nd through December 16th. Several local artisans displayed their crafts and a percentage of each sale benefited the library’s programs. We also featured Christmas stories for adults. Two afternoons were filled with heartwarming stories read around the fireplace by our November Feature Volunteer, Gretchen Boardman. It was a delightful event filled with fellowship. Another attraction during the month of December was a visit to our Friday Story Hour by Santa Claus. The Jolly Old Fellow sure surprised the children. He talked with everyone and passed gifts to each child. It made the day special for the children.

Mr. Greer, our volunteer piano instructor, has 16 students going strong on our balcony Steinway. He says there is still space available for free piano lessons at the library. Contact him at 873-9285 and he will be glad to schedule you in. Come on in and fulfill that lifelong dream of playing the piano!

-- Cheryl Blanchard, Director

Wadhams Free Library

We've had a busy last quarter of 2002 which was highlighted by a great fall lecture series. Jigs and JoAnn Gardner told us about their "Gardens of Use and Delight," and Shirley Richter took us on a long fascinating 1949 journey across the Sahara with "Two Tickets to Timbuctoo." We were visited by animal communication specialist David Louis, went "Adventuring in New Zealand" with Gary Randorf, and traveled to South Africa with Angie DeGroff. The lecture series will resume on January 29th, when Sharp Swan will tell us about the history of lumbering in the High Peaks.

In November we celebrated our 105th birthday with a party and readings from our new set of Library of America books given to us by the Millennium Project for Public Libraries. Caroline Ivy made us a birthday cake and decorated it with the legend "105 years of perpetual bliss!” We had so much fun at the party that we're planning to have what we're thinking of as "story hour for adults" starting in February. We'll read to each other from some of our favorite books.

Story hour on Thursday afternoons continues to be a lot of fun. We have new Wednesday evening hours from 6:00 to 9:00, thanks to Trustee Ray Matteau. The Library is open Monday evenings for a scrap booking workshop led by Tracey Sayre. On Sundays we host a book discussion group and a drumming group.

-- Liz Rapalee, Director

Sherman Free Library, Port Henry

The Sherman Free Library participated in Port Henry’s “Midnight Madness” on December 5. On this night, the merchants were open late and featured special promotions to customers. The library gave away a book to anyone who signed up for a library card that night. Current library patrons signed up to win a decorated wreath. Eight children and one adult signed up for new cards, and twelve people participated in the wreath raffle.

In January, Betsy Brooks came to the library and presented a program called “E-Mail Your Grandchildren”. This program helped senior citizens get more comfortable with their computers.

On Saturday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m., Bob and Holly Bearor will present a Cabin Fever edition of their “Battle on Snowshoes” program. This family program is made possible by Coordinated Outreach funds from CEF.

-- Jackie Viestenz, Director

In Franklin County:

Akwesasne Library

Akwesasne Library will participate in the First Nations Public Library week, February 10-15, 2003. This year’s theme is "Experience First Nation Uniqueness @ Your Library." The celebration will feature great “giveaways,” games, and stories.

Carol White, director of Akwesasne Library will speak at the Ontario Library Association on January 30, 2003. She will be part of “First Nations Librarians across Ontario," a panel discussion of topics such as collections development, survey reporting, and Internet networking.

-- Carol White, Director

Chateaugay Public Library

The Chateaugay Library has changed to winter hours. We will be open on Monday and Wednesday from 10-7, Tuesday 9-1 and Saturday 9-12 through May. Story Hour is held weekly on Tuesday mornings at 11:45 a.m. A “Chat and Nibble” is held at the library on the first Wednesday of the month from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. This is our community’s first book discussion group.

-- Eileen Clar, Director

Wead Library, Malone

As of Wednesday, Jan 22nd, circulation functions at the Wead Library became automated. That doesn’t mean the 19th C. chess player “Automaton” sits at the circulation desk. It does indicate that 90+ percent of the library’s circulating collection’s records are in the Library System’s database, and that the library’s staff members are reasonably knowledgeable about the circulation system’s workings. Will there be occasional confusion? Undoubtedly. Was there occasional confusion in the past? Certainly. Whatever system is used, every effort will be made to keep things as simple as possible for the patron. As a tool, this computerized system ought to assist in this aim.

Statistics from 2002 are in, and are quite impressive. During the past year, 4,926 reference questions were recorded. A preliminary count indicated an annual total of sixty-four thousand ninety-one items circulated. The average daily circulation was 221. This library initiated 762 Inter-Library Loan requests in 2002. Five hundred sixty-eight (or 75%) of these were filled. Three hundred fifty items from this collection were lent on a point-to-point basis. One hundred and five volumes were sent to the CEF Library System for their use. All these numbers exceed previous figures. Nine audios and 9 videos were borrowed from System for local use, while 191 videos were lent from this collection, as were 11 art prints, and 1,532 audio cassettes were circulated from the local collection.

-- from Director David Minnich’s January 27, 2003 report

Saranac Lake Free Library

Lynn and Jim Zuliani of Saranac Lake have created the charming sign attached to the left side of the library. It features a child reaching toward the $700,000 goal. The sign has indicators to let everyone know how the “We’re Growing!” Capital Campaign is progressing. Another book shelf is added after each $25,000 is raised.

Lynn explained that Jim constructed the sign and she designed and painted it. “It was a challenge to figure out how to make the book indicators,” she said. “Jim came up with the solution, and after that the project went pretty fast. We had a lot of fun working on the sign, moving from the concept to the finished product.”

The sign is a suitable symbol for the campaign because part of the expansion plan is the addition of a new children’s room. On January 7, the indicators were raised to $325,000.

 Reaching for the Goal! Library Board Member Merle Smith (left)
and Board President Joy Harvey with the Capital Campaign sign.

-- Pat Wiley

A New Familiar Face

We are happy to welcome Kim Fletcher, the newest member of the CEF staff, to the Reference/Acquisitions Department. Kim is originally from Morrisonville and is a graduate of Saranac Central High School. She and her husband Dan settled in Bristol, Connecticut, but when their son Nathaniel was born they decided that the North Country was the best place to raise a family and returned home. Nathaniel is now three and they’ve settled in Schuyler Falls with their two dogs and are happy to be back in the area with the rest of Kim’s family.

We’re very pleased to have Kim working with us, although we were sorry that her first weeks were spent unpacking and shelving more than one hundred cartons of books that we brought back from Plattsburgh Public Library when we moved in December. She’s still cheerful, and is working on every project in the department -- interlibrary loan, database management, circulation, book processing, shelving -- you name it, she does it!

-- Elizabeth Rogers,
Head of Technical Services & ILL

Food for Thought

There are more public libraries than McDonald’s – a total of 16,220, including branches.

Americans spend more than three times as much on salty snacks as they do on public libraries.

-- From: Quotable Facts About America’s Libraries 2002. For these and other advocacy tidbits, visit the ALA web site at

Did You Know? CEF Videos Online

The complete CEF Audiovisual Catalog is now browsable online? Log onto our web site at, click on the Library Catalogs tab and follow the directions. You’ll get descriptive access to over 7,000 videos in our collection. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required (a free copy can be down-loaded from our site!)
Growing Great Librarians Conference Set for April
The New York Library Association’s Youth Services Section will hold its 28th Spring Conference on Friday, April 4 in Hauppauge, Long Island. Programs include Becoming a Book Reviewer, The Invisible Web, Sir Up Some Fun: Cooking Programs With Kids, and many other information packed sessions. CEF Scholarship help is available. Contact Kathie LaBombard at CEF (563-5190 x 21) for more information.

Keene Area Readers Team Up to Build a Library in Nepal

Keene Central School and Keene Valley Library have teamed up to build a library through "Room to Read." This organization, whose motto is "World Change Starts With Educated Children", builds schools and libraries to provide under-privileged children with an opportunity to gain the lifelong gift of education. Kate Owen, School Media Educator at Keene Central, is organizing a reading marathon as part of a local fund raising effort. The goal is to raise $5,000, which is the amount of money needed to build a library in a Nepalese village.

Students will register sponsors who will make a donation for each book read. Keene Valley Public Library patrons can pledge money to support a class of readers. The readathon and program will end on April 1. Results will be presented on April 11, during National Library Week.

“ Room to Read” enlists third world community involvement by requiring the receiving village to pledge money and labor to their local library construction project. Since 2000, “Room to Read” has had a major impact on the lives of over 40,000 children. The organization has coordinated construction of 15 schools, and more than 200 libraries, while providing over 100,000 books. Keene students and friends of reading of all ages in Keene and Keene Valley are very enthusiastic about contributing to this worthwhile effort.

Anyone interested in holding a community “readathon” to support “Room to Read” may contact Karen Glass at Keene Valley Library (576-4335) or Kate Owen at Keene Central School (576-4555) for more information. More details about “Room to Read” may also be found on the group’s web site at

-- Karen Glass Director,
Keene Valley Library Assoc.


Mystery Men Quiz Solved

We won’t keep you in suspense much longer! Here are the answers to the quiz that was prepared by Ann Garcia and her Keeseville Free Library Puzzlers for our last issue.

The Clue: Each of the following leading men is featured in at least two books.

The Task: Name the author!

Leading Man Author
Alex Cross 
Alex Delaware 
Barnaby Skye 
Ben Kincaid 
Bernard Sampson 
Butch Karp 
Cliff Janeway 
Dave Robicheaux 
David Small 
Dirk Pitt
Dismas Hardy 
Greg Monarch 
Harry Bosch 
Inspector Morse 
Jack Aubrey
Jack Reacher 
Jack Ryan
Jim Chee 
Joe Gunther 
Joe Pickett 
John Corey
Lincoln Rhyme 
Lou Boldt 
Lucas Davenport 
Par Ohmsford 
Paul Brenner 
Paul Madriani 
Rayford Steel 
Richard Bolitho
Patrick McLanahan 
James Patterson
Jonathan Kellerman
Richard S. Wheeler
William Bernhart
Len Deighton
Robert Tanenbaum
John Dunning
James Lee Burke
Harry Kemelman
Clive Cussler
John Lescroart
Barry Siegel
John Connelly
Colin Dexter
Patrick O'Brian
Lee Child
Tom Clancy
Tony Hillerman
Archer Mayor
C. J. Box
Nelson DeMille
John Camp
Jeffrey Deaver
Ridley Pearson
John Sanford
Terry C. Brooks
Nelson DeMille
Steve Martini
LaHaye & Jenkins
Alexander Kent
Dale Brown

Congratulations to our winner, David Minnich, Director of the Wead Library. We have solved the mystery of what happened to Mr. Minnich’s prize and will be sending it along shortly!
New and Noteworthy

Sonia Long has been appointed Director of the Plattsburgh Public Library. Sonia brings to this position a wide range of public library experience in both rural and suburban settings. She most recently was director of the East Fishkill Community Library in Hopewell Junction, NY. Welcome, Sonia!

Susan Travis has replaced Sheila Babbie as Director of the Champlain Memorial Library. Susan received her MLS from the University of Rhode Island. The library’s new e-mail address is
Welcome, Susan.

The Elizabethtown Library Association has a new e-mail address. It is now

Francie Fairchild, Director of Chazy Public Library, has recovered from a broken hip. Rumor has it that Francie is back at the library and hard at work on her Annual Report! Welcome back, Francie!

                                                                                                                                                                                  The Fort Covington Reading Center is open for business after taking a brief hiatus. Director Patricia Manchester has been busy refurbishing the reading center’s collection of adult and juvenile books and has also purchased some inviting furniture and book cases. We look forward to featuring Ft. Covington and its fellow reading centers in an upcoming issue of The Trailblazer.

Grab Your Snowshoes and Beat Cabin Fever!

Fight the winter blahs and take a trip back in time with Heritage Books author Bob Bearor and his wife Holly. The Bearors are available to present an encore of their entertaining slide show about the French and Indian War’s famous “Battle on Snowshoes” for adult and/or children’s audiences. For several years, library and school audiences have been captivated by Bob’s non-intimidating interpretation of the historical events described in his books. We are very pleased to make this program available once again to member library audiences through Coordinated Outreach funds.

Long time reenactors, Bob and Holly dress in French Canadian military uniforms and civilian clothing for these talks. They describe everyday life in the 1700’s, and demonstrate early wilderness skills such as snowshoeing and musketry, followed by housekeeping tips from early America. Audiences will also find out why Holly always is the first to start a fire with just flint and steel. Bob is always glad to meet and chat with people while signing books after each presentation.

All three of Bob’s Heritage Books have been best sellers. They include: The Battle On Snowshoes (1997); French and Indian War Battlesites: A Controversy (2000); and Leading By Example: Partisan Fighters and Leaders of New France, 1660-1760, Volume One (2002).

The Bearor’s are scheduled to appear at the Sherman Free Library, Port Henry on March 1. For more information about hosting a program, please contact Julie Wever at CEF by phone (563-5190 x 18) or e-mail (wever

2003 Newbery/Caldecott Winners Announced

The American Library Association has announced the 2003 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals. Avi, author of Crispin: The Cross of Lead, received the prestigious Newbery award. The Caldecott medal was presented to Eric Rohmann, illustrator and author of My Friend Rabbit.

Crispin: The Cross of Lead, is a riveting story set in 14th century England. The Newbery Award Committee cited Crispin as “a fascinating coming-of-age novel that invites readers to consider how life hundreds of years ago echoes our contemporary search for freedom.”

The 2003 Caldecott Medal for Illustration was awarded to EricRohmann for My Friend Rabbit. In the book, Mouse shares his brand-new toy airplane with his friend Rabbit, with hilarious results. The award committee praised Rohmann’s hand-colored relief prints that express a “vibrant energy through solid black outlines, lightly textured backgrounds, and a robust use of color”.

Five Newbery Honor Books were also named. They are: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer; Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff; Hoot by Carl Hiaasen; A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin; and Surviving The Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan.

Three Caldecott Honor Books were named and include: The Spider and the Fly, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, written by Mary Howitt; Hondo & Fabian, illustrated and written by Peter McCarty; and Noah’s Ark, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney.

CEF Children’s Librarian Kathie LaBombard plans to purchase any of these winning titles that are not already features of our collection – watch for them, or add them to your library collection soon!
Readers' Advisory Sites: Making the Perfect Match Online

One of the more challenging services we provide has always been helping people find “just the right book” to read. Reader’s advisory work is a great joy for some, and a great challenge or just plain strain on others. It’s no surprise that librarians have turned to the Internet for help in linking books with readers. There are hundreds of sites out there, hundreds of databases accessed and at least a hundred libraries that provide access to sites, all of which contribute to the standard information overload that we’ve grown used to when dealing with the Internet. Here are a few sites I’ve found especially useful in helping select the perfect books for readers: This handy and fun commercial site offers free searching of “the world’s largest genre fiction database,” and claims to provide bibliographies of 20,000 authors and 90,000 titles. Included are reviews, pseudonyms, series information, authors’ websites and advance publishing information. You can purchase books from this site as well. This site features annotated lists of nonfiction, fiction and mystery titles, themed booklists and hot lists of American fiction. Also included are Reader’s Advisory resources and a listing of more sites. This is a straightforward site, easy to use and full of great information. The Mid-Continent Public Library offers quite a bit of Reader’s Advisory help on this web site. Award wining titles, book lists, book clubs, web links are all included, but what makes this site particularly useful is the “Based on the Book” section. Included are 800 books, short stories and plays, which have been made into motion pictures since 1980. The database is searchable by movie title, book title and author. This is a great feature. The Hennepin County Library offers “Find a Good Book”, which lets you search the “If You Like” data base. The database includes fiction titles and is searchable by keyword, subject, author, and title. This means you can search by main character, which is a very useful feature when you’re searching for the latest Jim Qwilleran cat mystery. It’s a comprehensive database and is very useful. If you have someone in your community interested in starting a reading group or if you already have a reading group you might try introducing them to this site. It includes recommendations of titles that might be appropriate for discussion. It’s a commercial site, so much of what is included is a sales pitch, but there is some useful free information as well.

-- Elizabeth Rogers, Head of Reference & ILL

Evaluation Resources Now Available

We are pleased to announce that a series of three titles by Edward R. Tufte is now available from the CEF Interlibrary Loan Department. These classic books were so vigorously recommended by our Planning to Plan project consultant Dr. Lee Frost-Kumpf that we ran right out and purchased them. CEF now owns Visual Explanations, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd Edition, and Envisioning Information. Despite the titles, each volume is completely reader friendly and is not to be missed by anyone planning to display and relate statistical information effectively. Our recommended reading list also includes Digital Diagrams: How to Design and Present Statistical Information Effectively by Trevor Bounford and Alastair Campbell. This accessible manual shows how to present statistics that carry the right message in a “clear, visually entertaining way.” Plan to check these titles out today!

Malone Checks Out Just Fine

Congratulations to the Wead Library in Malone! They’ve gone online with our MultiLIS automated system and are now circulating materials and performing other automated functions with the system. Members of the Wead staff and the CEF staff deserve a round of applause for this great achievement. This was a big project that involved a large collection of materials. Everyone involved put in some great teamwork. Their efforts were reward when January rolled around and history was made with the first automated circulation. Kudos to David Minnich and his able staff!

Space Age Bookmobile

CEF’s bookmobile is about to be launched into orbit with the addition of a satellite dish for Internet access.
Visitors to the bookmobile will soon be able to search the Internet and the library web catalog right on the vehicle,
and staff will be able to use the automated system online.

We’re told that the satellite dish will automatically point toward its satellite at each stop, and we’ll be excited to see this in action. Watch for the new addition to the bookmobile’s roof sometime in March!