Thursday, December 30, 2010

Library #23 Elma Library

We arrived at the Elma Library after a few hours of sledding at Elma Meadows County Park. This was a blast! The hills were separated into 5 and under, 5 to 8 year olds, and then larger hills for everyone else. There was also a special hill for snowboarders. There were plastic toboggans and snowtubes flying everywhere! The girls had a great time. When we needed to warm up, we went inside the lodge and sipped hot chocolate by the huge fireplace.
The library was great. The staff librarians were friendly and proud of their library. We saw a new community room, still fresh with the smell of paint and almost ready for programing to begin in there in a few weeks. The end of the library featured a very old tree living inside a tall skylight type window. We found lots of books to keep us busy over the rest of the holiday vacation and long car rides coming up.

Library #22 Marilla Free Library

On a cold winter's day we visited two libraries: Marilla and Elma (described in our next post). Just down Transit Road to Bullis, Marilla has the feel of a rural community, only minutes from our city. We were happy to arrive at this cozy library, with built in furniture and warm paneling on such a cold day. The friendly staff pointed out that the library began by a couple that had a book club requiring members to purchase a book that would later be lent out, thus beginning the library concept for Marilla over 100 years ago. The library has a placque commemorating its being built during the Depression Era, by the Emergency Relief Agency in 1936.

After our library visit we walked down to the four corners to the very quaint Marilla Country Store. It felt a lot like Viddler's in East Aurora- they had a little bit of everything. There was a small museum upstairs with different antiques from the town.

Then we went sledding at Elma Meadows and visited the Elma Library.

(sorry for the lack of photos, we currently cannot find our camera after this trip!)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Library #21 Lackawanna

The Lacakawanna Public Library is a great library! Opened in 1922, it is the last Carnegie Library approved by Carnegie himself. Inside this beautiful building are several rooms all spread around the second floor. The rooms felt so homey because they each had a fireplace! One room even had a cafe- to enjoy your book with a coffee or hot chocolate! In the basement of the library is the Steel Museum where we found Mike, whose knowledge and enthusiasm for Buffalo's steel history is catchy. He gave us a tour of the small museum and answered all of our quesitons. He told us that the Steel Museum and the Rail Society will combine soon to open a large museum in South Buffalo, possibly as early as this Spring. We learned a lot here!
After the library visit, we headed to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens to see the pointsettia show. It did not disappoint! It is a great place to ease the chill of a cold snowy day in Buffalo. We strolled through a Panamanian Rain Forrest, the Florida Everglades, hundreds of pointsettias, and beautiful photographs of flowers.
We made Mass at Our Lady of Victory Basillica where MaryGrace likes to (try to) count all the angels. We toured the new Father Baker Museum in the basement of this beautiful structure. The museum details the life of this extraordinary Buffalonian.
Finally we stopped at Daises, a great family restaruant kitty corner to the Bascillica. A great meal and great service. We went home tired and happy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Library #20 Aurora Public Library

We braved the Black Friday crowds at an East Aurora landmark- Vidlers 5 & 10! This is a family tradition. We love it because the girls can do almost all of their Christmas shopping with their allowances! After a little shopping and eating ten-cent popcorn, it was time to relax at the Aurora Library. This cozy library sits right on Main Street in the village. We enjoyed the peace and quiet of the library, sitting in the children's section for a while before selecting a pile of DVDs from the very well organized video section. We had a nice chat with one of the librarians who recommended eating at the Riley Street Station, which we did, and we enjoyed it (it sits right next to the outdoor ice skating rink originally used for the Ice Bowl game). We enjoyed viewing the work of local artists on display in the library meeting room-many different subjects and mediums to see in the collection. It was a wintery day, and lots of fun.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Author Visit to Monkey See, Monkey Do... Children's Bookstore

We were recently invited to Monkey See, Monkey Do... Children's Bookstore on Main Street in Clarence by store proprietor, Kim Krug. She had read our story in The Buffalo News, contacted us, and invited the girls to meet an author visiting her store. Ms. Julie Berry, originally from Medina, now residing in New England, was in town to sign books and meet with any patrons interested in her craft and titles. Anna and MaryGrace were thrilled. They were able to ask many questions. Ms. Berry and Ms. Krug were gracious, and even presented the girls with a signed copy of The Amaranth Enchantment , one of Ms. Berry's works. What a great book store, and what a great time!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Library #19 Boston Free Library

The Boston Public Library is a really tiny and cute two story brick building that used to be the schoolhouse. We arrived just before it closed. We had a few minutes to check out some books, and then Marilyn was nice enough to stay late and show us around. She recognized us and was very excited to see us! She and the rest of the staff are very proud of their neat and homey library, and the fact that because they are small they have the time to know their patrons so well. She told us stories about some of them and their dogs, who are also welcome in the library! Lucky for Sookie, who was in the car! She had fun zipping around the stacks. Marilyn told us about a special resident of the library. They believe it is the ghost of Mr. Foley, who was the caretaker of the school. He gets upset when the library is messy and sends books flying off the shelves! When the library is decorated and tidy, he is relaxed and just a warm presence in the room. It is a very cool building with lots of neat details because it is so old .
On the way home we drove to Chestnut Ridge Park to see the Eternal Flame. It is really cool! We hiked down the ridge path off Seufert Road. The trail leads to a beautiful waterfall. Behind some of the rocks, in a little carved out spot, is a natural gas leak that burns a bright flame! It is neat to see fire and water together, and it gave a us a peaceful feeling. It was a tough hike, but with Sookie pulling us it wasn't so bad! And the day was perfect for hiking- sunny and cool and the leaves were colorful. What a great fall day!

The Buffalo News!

Charity Vogel came to our house to interview us in early October. It was fun! A really nice article was published today's edition of The Buffalo News. We are very excited. Here is a link to the article on line:

Above is a picutre of Ms. Vogel and our family.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Library #18 Niagara Branch

The Niagara Branch is located on Porter Avenue near D'Youville College. We were greeted by Mr. Hoth, the branch manager, who loves his library. He gave us a tour of the library and told us about the many ways the library serves the community. There are many titles in Spanish, and ESL materials, too. The library hosts lots of tutoring, student groups, early childhood activities and fun community events.
We stopped here after going to Mayor Brown's Reading Challenge Celebration in the morning. Kids who read books and wrote reports on them over the summer are invited to the Convention Center to have breakfast with the Mayor! He gives away tons of really big prizes like bikes and laptop computers, and kids get to have their picture taken with him on stage. This year the girls won gift cards to Kohl's and WalMart. Yay! After a quick lunch at Elmwood Taco and Subs we were on our way home.

Library #17 Newstead Branch in Akron

On Wednesday we visited the Newstead Branch Library in the cute town of Akron. What a cool, contemporary building! We loved the wooden beams on the ceiling, the very high windows (the place was full of natural light), and it even had a walk out veranda with benches for reading in nice weather. The children's section had clouds suspended from the ceiling along with butterflies. This library had many small touches that gave it a community feel: a coupon exchange box, a puzzle and game table, with a puzzle of the United States partially assembled and some paintings displayed from local high school art students. We met the librarians, they were very nice and very proud of their library. We checked out some books on pumpkin carving, and some more fiction for the girls.
We also went to nearby Akron Falls Park, an Erie County Park--we hiked the slow moving stream with giant boulders, it was amazing! We took Sookie, our dog, and she loved it! At the end of the hike is the falls; worth the effort. What a great park, just on the outskirts of the Village of Akron. Great day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Library #16 Frank E. Merriweather Branch

On Thursday we visited the Merriweather Branch of the library system, located near the Buffalo Museum of Science. What a beautiful library. Only a few years old, this branch is named for Frank E. Merriweather, the editor and publisher of The Criterion newspaper, the oldest minority newspaper in upstate New York. This library has a dome with different colored glass panes that really impressed us when we arrived in the library. This library is uniique in that it has circular rooms with the circulation desk at the center of the library.

This library also has a very impressive research library called the William A. Miles Center for African and African-American Studies,the largest research facilty of its kind in our area. It has display cases, many books, even microfilm and old reel to reel films on various subjects. This reasearch library is named after Mr. Miles, a Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System official for many years.

After checking out a bunch of books and getting a nice tour from the director, we headed to City Hall to drop off completed book reports for Mayor Brown's Summer Reading Program. A little ice cream at Anderson's on the way home capped off this adventure in a great way.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Library #15 Williamsville Village Branch

Today, we went in our backyard to the Williamsville Branch on Main Street in the village of Williamsville. We pick up a fruit and vegetable share from a local farm at the train depot on Long Street during the summer months and have driven by this branch a lot of times. We finally were able to stop and check it out! This is another of the Amherst Library branches, so there were bikes on top of the book cases for the summer raffle. We liked the rocking chair and the mural on the walls of the local architecture, including the Old Red Mill, in the village. Next door is the Village Hall, and a statue made from the October Storm trees of Frank Lloyd Wright--since it was the week that residents voted on village disolution, he was holding an "I love Williamsville" sign. We checked out our books and then wandered behind the library to Island Park--what a great spot to sit and read or just play. We then went across Main Street to see one of our favorite places; Glenn Park and its beaufiful waterfall. A late afternoon well spent!

Library #14 Hamburg Branch

Wendnesday morning was our trip to the Erie County Fair,and the nearby Hamburg Library Branch. We drove through the nice neighborhoods on the tree lined streets past Union Pleasant Elementary School around the corner to the small, but busy village library. We liked the old signs in the lobby showing that this was an Andrew Carnegie library at one time. The staff was very friendly and helpful and we found a pile of books to read. Mom also found the first dvd of the Little House on the Prairie series she watched when she was little. At the fair we had fun seeing the animals, winning goldfish and stuffed animals and of course, eating! What a great day!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Library #13 North Park Branch (city of Buffalo)

This branch was great--while located in an unassuming part of a strip plaza next to K Mart on Hertel Avenue, this library was beautiful inside and reminded us of a Barnes and Noble book store! It had a nice hardwood floor, labels for each section of books, a room of computers and a neighborhood atmosphere. We saw Cindy, a librarian whom we met at the Crane Branch on Elmwood last month--all the people working here were very helpful and accomodating to all the library patrons. We found out this library is in search of a permanent home, and that they have a nice summer reading time on Friday evenings for kids.
After this visit we went to see Macbeth in Delaware Park; Shakespeare in the Park! We parked by the Albright Knox, walked past the statue of Young Abraham Lincoln, past Hoyt Lake and through the beautiful Rose Garden to Shakespeare Hill. What a great show, and what a great setting. We loved sitting there, seeing all the women act the parts on the neat stage, all while eating and drinking! The season is over soon, but next summer we will be there again--our city has the second largest outdoor Shakespeare theatre program in the country--very cool!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Library #12 Alden (Ewell Free Library )

On Thursday, we took a nice ride out to Alden to see our first two story library--this beautiful building (almost 100 years old!) houses the children's library downstairs and the regular library upstairs. The main room upstairs contains the circulation desk, as well as separate rooms for computers and a teenager themed room. Throughout the library are wooden sculptures carved by a retired math teacher from the town--a scene of carved statues entitled "Let the Wild Rumpus
Begin", from Where the Wild Things Are was especially impressive! We arrived just in time to see a touch tank presentation by the Aquarium of Niagara ( saw and touched sea stars, crabs and other sea creatures--we loved this. Great library with friendly people.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Library #11 Angola Branch

We had never been to this neat little town right on Lake Erie. This library was very small, but very beautiful from the outside. The library had a lot of activity for a Monday afternoon, and had a great community feel. The librarians were very welcoming and suggested that we go down to the lake and get a hot dog at Connors, a famous lake front restaurant. We did, and it was fun and yummy!

Library # 10 Lake Shore

On our way to the Southern Tier we came to the Lake Shore Branch of the library. This interesting building has a squiggly roof that represents the waves of the lake, complete with blue bricks. This small library had a lot of of people in it and a very youth oriented staff. We found out they have a ton of neat activites for kids. One of the libraians, Lori, told us about special nights when kids can come dressed up as princesses and pirates. They have movies, and many other fun things to do. What a great library. We checked out some joke books and were on our way to the Angola Branch a few miles away.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Library #9 Clarence

We can't believe it, but it took 9 libraries to get to our wonderful home town library, Clarence. Our library is large, beautiful and full of helpful and talented librarians and volunteers. We are usually here once a week, if not more, picking up reserves, dvds, checking out books, and reading. There is a beautiful hand carved wood sculpture above the circulation desk, always nice displays in the lobby, and a magazine exchange you can participate in. This great library is in a park setting with a pond and walking trail around it, we like the founders walkway outside the door too. We love our library!
After this trip, we had dinner and then went to the Transit Drive-In Theatre ( a great family experience! The drive-in was packed--we had lots of snacks, saw two movies and found out next time we can even bring the dog!