Thursday, June 23, 2011

Library #37 Central Library; Mission Accomplished!

On Tuesday, June 21, we visited the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library in downtown Buffalo, thus completing our goal of visiting all 37 branches within a year of our start date of June 25, 2010. It was a great visit! We were met by several library officials including Joy Testa, the PR person, and Maureen McLaughlin and her team of librarians. It was great to be so graciously welcomed. Within a few minutes of our arrival, newly appointed Library System Director, Mary Jean Jakubowski, temporarily left her meeting to greet us at the door. The staff was gracious and welcoming with children's librarians, Kerri Allessi and Kathy Goodrich, taking us on a tour of this beautiful, giant library (holding 2.5 million books!). On this tour we saw the Mark Twain Room, marking the time he lived in Buffalo and displaying some of the pages of the original manuscript of Huckleberry Finn owned by the library. It was a neat room and also contained a chair belonging to Mr. Clemmens and the original fireplace mantle from the home he occupied while in Buffalo. We also found a card catalog and of course, we had to learn how books used to be found before computerized card catalogs.
The highlight for us was entering the "Staff Only" freight elevator to descend into the closed stacks; a vast collection of non-circulatining books held off the main floor. We completed our tour in the children's section of the library where the girls saw nearly every book they have ever wanted to read!!!
Following our tour and our million questions, we left for a great dinner at the Washinton Street Market. The staff was polite and welcoming, providing us with a great meal and some extra chocolate chip cookies too!

We plan to enter a few more blog entries citing our lessons learned from Operation Reading Road Trip as soon as we can. We have been invited back to the Central Library next week for some final thoughts and comments.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Library #36 City of Tonawanda Branch

What a great cozy library with a pleasant staff. There were lots of people here on a Thursday evening. Mom and the girls relaxed and read, while Dad and Sookie waited outside. The shape of the library with a giant skylight dome in the center let in lots of natural light. There were lots of carousel decorations to reflect the history of the area.

Afterward we went down to the River and Niawanda Park where Grandma and Grandpa met us for ice cream at Old Man River. The Niagara River was flowing by in the background. There was a zydeco band playing cool music while we ate. What a nice spot on a beautiful early summer evening.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

LIbrary #35 Kenilworth

Wow, would we love to live here! This library is right in the middle of a cute, quiet neighborhood- there were houses right next door! It is small but very well stocked and organized. We were relaxed and read for an hour or so. Before we knew it it was 8:00 and they were closing!

Paula's Donuts was our next stop. It was National Donut Day, so what better place to go and celebrate? MaryGrace chose the Donut of the Day which was a Glazed Red Velvet (yum!) Anna had a Classic Glazed, and mom and dad split an Angel Cream. Delish!

Great way to spend a family evening.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Library #34 West Seneca

Today we dropped down to West Seneca to visit their cool library and check out the Charles Burchfield Nature Preserve. The long library had interior brick walls which made it feel very cozy. It also had a lot of natural light from the big windows at the end. There were a lot of fun places to sit and read.

We all (even Sookie!) had a fun time hiking around the Burchfield Nature Preserve. What a beautiful and peaceful spot! We hiked several trails and admired the flowers starting to bloom. And it didn't even rain- woo hoo! We skipped a few stones across creek and then played a bit on playground. Another great day!

Library #33 Grand Island

Last Saturday we trekked across the big blue bridge to Grand Island. What a nice trip. The library was clean and cozy. Even after all these libraries the girls always manage to find something new the shelves! Anna found the 8th book in the Sisters Grimm series she has been looking and waiting for and was excited.

After the library we stopped at Kelly's Country Store for some penny candy. There were LOTS to choose from! The rest of the store reminded us of Viddler's- there was a little bit of everything.

Finally, a roast beef sandwich outside at Adrienne's topped off a great library adventure.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Library #32 Eggertsville Branch (Amherst)

The Eggertsville branch is the first library the girls ever went to! We used to live in this neighborhood. When the girls were toddlers we would walk to this library, park the stroller in the hallway and sit and read --it was very fun to be back!

This library was busy on a Saturday morning. We especially liked the Bill Nye DVD set on the children's shelf. We sat and read for an hour even though our plan was to get to the Tonawanda branch as well. The librarian was very helpful and the people were friendly. Great spot!

On the way home we stopped at DiCamillo's Bakery on Main St. for a rye and cross bread for Easter. Then we were off to church to get our basket of Easter foods blessed.

Only 5 more to go!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Libraries # 29, 30 and 31; Eden, Concord and North Collins

In honor of the Sabres quest for the Stanley Cup we performed our second library hat trick!
First we went to the Kazoo Factory in Eden. What a great spot- Karen and her granddaughter were enthusiastic tour guides! They showed us a cool map of the USA with hundreds of pins in all of the 50 states to show where visitors have come from. There were also dozens of notes from people who have come from all around the world! Anna and MaryGrace make their own
Kazoos using a machine that was almost 100 years old. The factory runs several days a week with help from disabled employees from SASI.
The Eden library has abeautiful curved, wooden ceiling. It is cozy and very well organized. The girls loved the way the children's series books were sorted in plastic bins. Al knew the librarian, Joyce, who used to be the librarian at the Orchard Park branch. She told us that the Eden Library was built largely with community support.
Then we were off to North Collins. This library had a neat kids section with some stadium seating for special readings. It was quiet and very relaxing.
The Concord library was small and very busy with lots of homey touches. There was an aquarium that was recently donated by a friend of the library, a stuffed owl for Harry Potter fans and lots of paintings done by local artists. We were told that every Wednesday there is a big flea market with a livestock auction- we'll have to come back for that!

Library #28 Dudley Branch, City of Buffalo

Since our family is half Polish, part of our Easter tradition is to visit the Broadway Market. We arrived early to beat the crowds and get our palczek, chrusciki, pussywillows, painted eggs, and some chocolote covered Peeps! It was a fun time and a great Buffalo tradition. After the market, we drove to the Dudley Branch in South Buffalo. This small library was very busy this Monday just before lunch time. We liked the community room, section of books about Buffalo history, and the DVDs organized with a non fiction section. Nice stop and nice day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Library #27 Kenmore Branch

The Kenmore Branch on Delaware Road is in a nice neighborhood of beautiful old houses and Kenmore West High School. This place was very busy on the Saturday afternoon we visited. The girls scoured the shelves for fantasy books and Dan Gutman stories, and we ran into an old friend and her son while there! Nice library visit on a cold March afternoon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Library #26 Audubon

The Audubon Library Branch is one of the Amherst Branches. We had lots of schoolwork to do, so we ended up working and reading here for three hours on Saturday! The girls had no problem staying busy while Mom and Dad worked. It is a spacious building that has the feel of a college library. There is a nice lounge area in the back with a big bank of windows to look out while working on your laptop or reading a book. There is a good selection of dvds and a loaded children's section. Helpful staff helped us use a laptop. We had a great time at this library. It is a perfect place to get some work done!

Florida Library!

While on vacation, why not visit a library? On our vacation in Fort Pierce, Florida we visited the downtown Fort Pierce Library branch. What a friendly staff and fun library! This library had a nice collection of books by local authors and a great children's section. Our favorite was the upstairs reading area with a view of the ocean! Great visit. If we get back to Fort Pierce next year, we will return.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Library #24 and #25 The Reinsteins, Anna and Julia

It ended up being a very snowy day when we visited these two Cheektowaga branches. Both have the name of Reinstien, Anna and Julia. We visited the Anna Reinstein Library first. Right on Harlem Road next to Cheektowaga Town Park, this library was very busy. The library had a great children's section, and excellent dvd selection. It also had a nice extra room for quiet reading that housed the magazines and newspapers.
We then went to Steglemeir Park to feed the nuthatches and squirrels. When Anna was little, we used to live near the park and would take lots of long nature walks there. If you are patient and still, the nuthatches will hop down and eat peanuts right out of your hand! But the snow was coming down so hard that there were no nuthatches to be seen. We were the only ones in the park to enjoy the big, fluffy snowflakes. It was quiet and cold.
The Julia Reinstein Library was a cool octagonal shaped library. It was also busy on this snowy afternoon. We read and searched around for almost an hour. This library is an easy place to relax and lose track of time. It was comfortable. On the way home, we stopped at Duff's and had some great wings. We saw the newspapers clippings and photos from when President Obama came to visit last fall. Another great adventure!