Learn it at the library

Libraries are the new cupcakes

Author: Anita Manley
Posted: Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where can you learn how to knit or do origami; how to cook or do beading; how to use a computer or a digital camera; watch a foreign film or learn scrap-booking; get some job hunting advice or join a book discussion group; trace your ancestry; watch a concert; join an art workshop; borrow a book, a DVD, a magazine, a book on tape or a large print book; all for FREE????? At your local library, of course!

This writer recently had the opportunity to tour the Newburgh Free Library and the Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie and was amazed by all they had to offer. Visitors will find that now more than ever, area libraries are sharing resources and gearing themselves towards this region’s aging population. Each branch library is a member of a large library system. If you can’t find the book or DVD you want at your local library, just ask. Your branch librarians will search through the collections at other branches. Within days, the item you’re seeking can be located and shipped to your branch for you to pick up.

The Adriance Memorial Library is part of the Mid-Hudson Library System, which encompasses 66 libraries in Dutchess, Putnam, Greene and part of Ulster. The Newburgh Library is part of the Ramapo Catskill Library System, which includes 47 libraries in Orange, Southern Ulster and Sullivan Counties. The main advantages of these large systems are cost and resource sharing, which are important factors in these tough economic times.

The Newburgh Library

According to Joanne Lugo, Outreach Services Librarian in Newburgh, patrons who are visually impaired may apply for books on tape and CD players for their own use thanks to an affiliation with the New York State Library for the Blind. Applications are available at the library. Want to tackle your own car repairs? Newburgh has an auto repair reference center with books and online resources. A national newspaper index is also available. In addition, Newburgh Library cardholders can access the library catalog from home, reserve a book or e-mail the library with a question.

Numerous programs are planned for all ages at the main libraries as well as all library branches. People who feel technologically challenged might be especially interested in learning computer basics. Newburgh has a café located inside the library lobby. Library patron Suyunbiike Vassell of Newburgh says moving to the United States from Russia was a major adjustment, but having the resources of the Newburgh Library helped her to assimilate into the American way of life. The former biology teacher says thanks to the library she is “keeping up with the times. Everything is on the computer now.” For more information on programs, call the Newburgh Library at 845-563-3600 or your local library branch or check the website at newburghlibrary.org. You can also subscribe to the library’s event e-mailing nflprogram@rcls.org. Facebook users can also “friend” the Newburgh Free Library for notifications of upcoming events.

The Adriance and Arlington Libraries in Poughkeepsie

The Adriance Library recently finished a huge renovation and restoration project and the new digs are spacious and modern. Development Officer Gareth Davies says computer classes are popular with baby boomers. Like the Newburgh library, Adriance offers computer classes for beginners and the more experienced. They also offer a cooking class taught by a Culinary Institute of America instructor; book discussion clubs and symposiums on varied subjects such as American history, music, energy efficiency and financial information. There’s an open bridge group held on Wednesdays from 1:30pm-4pm, and a board game group (bring your friends and play scrabble, chess, checkers or cards) on Mondays from 1:30pm-4pm in the Arlington Library located at 504 Haight Ave. The Arlington branch also has a collection of books for caregivers on how to provide support and assistance for the aging. The collection was started by the Dutchess County Office for the Aging. Poughkeepsie residents who are disabled and unable to travel might be interested in the library’s book delivery service. All materials including books, books on tape, periodicals, DVD’s, videos and CD’s can be delivered free of charge. To apply for this service, contact the library at 845-485-3445, Ext. 3307. Applicants must have a physician’s letter to certify age or physical disability. Check with Adriance online for a program schedule at poklib.org for more information. The phone number for the Adriance and the Arlington libraries is 845-485-3445.

Howland Library in Beacon

Smaller city libraries also offer classes and events for the entire family. Alison Herrero, Adult Services Librarian at the Howland Library in Beacon says weekly programs for seniors include brain games, Wii Bowling, book discussions, a knitting class, foreign films and one-on-one computer tutoring. Herrero says the knitting group has contributed hats, scarves and mittens to the local Salvation Army and to the Santa Train, a train that runs from Kentucky to Tennessee distributing gifts to under privileged families during the holiday season. For more information on programs at the Howland Library, call 845-831-1134.

The Kingston Library

The Kingston Library provides large print and audio, books and numerous ongoing programs. According to Director Margie Menard, current programs include a bridge club that meets on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm; stress reduction through meditation on Thursday mornings at 10:30am; a knitting club that meets on the third Saturday of the month at 2pm; and an origami club that meets on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. For more information call 845-331-0507 or check their web site at kingstonlibrary.org.

Up Next:

Informative and Free

If you haven’t been to your local library lately, you’re missing out on one of your area’s greatest resources! The Newburgh Library will be holding the following special events this month:

  • Sunday, Jan.16th at 3pm: Jazz Concert
  • Thursday, Jan. 27th at 7pm : Estate Planning and Elder Care Workshop

Libraries: Keeping up with technology

Thanks to a $250,000 grant from the State Education Department, the Adriance Library was able to obtain 20 new computers for their newly designed computer lab.Development Officer Gareth Davies says the library eventually hopes to have web conferencing available. That technology would make it possible for patrons to to participate in the library’s courses from their home computers. Newburgh’s Outreach Services Librarian Chuck Thomas says there are plans to have a download station in the library where you can download audio books to your IPod or MP3 player. These can be done from the home now. Patrons can also expect more computer classes in the spring and more e-mail classes. The library will also be adding more public access computers.

Library events

Hyde Park Free Library

  • Saturday, Jan.15th at 8pm Acoustic Folk Concert
  • Every Friday at 7:15pm Arthur Penn Film Series:
  • Bonnie & Clyde, The Left Handed Gun, The Miracle
  • Worker, Night Moves

East Fiskill Library

  • Jan. 4th Resume Writing & Interviewing 3pm-5pm
  • Jan. 6th Weight Control with Self Hypnosis 7pm-8:30pm
  • Jan. 18th Tax Tips & Changes 10:30am-11:30am
  • Jan. 19th Tax Tips & Changes 4pm-5:30pm
  • Jan. 20th Meet the Author 7:30pm-8:30pm
  • Debbie Brown, Borders & Beyond: Machine and Longarm Quilting Designs to Frame Your Quilt
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