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Come celebrate Somers Library birthday


To celebrate the 30-year birthday of Somers Library being in Reis Park,  library leaders are planning a whole day of family activities on Saturday, April 14th.


And, as they note quite wisely, it is also National Library Week and there will be special events throughout the week in Somers Library.


But on Saturday, the big day, there will be a whole line-up of events from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. These  include clowns, face painting, chamber music concert, raffles and even fine amnesty day. Of note, the librarians are asking residents to share a personal story of 1982.


Says Director Patricia Miller: “Thanks for supporting your library and for making it the intellectual and cultural hub of the town.”


Here is the blurb on the library’s newsletter that sets out the history and reason for the birthday celebration:

Where were you in ‘82? If you were anywhere near Somers, you may have noticed contractors putting finishing touches on the new Somers Library in Reis Park. After evolving from a chicken coop in the 1880’s and a small house at the intersection of 116 and 202 (still standing), the Library finally had a place of its own in a real library building. To celebrate the 30-year birthday of this event, we are planning a whole day of family activities on Saturday, April 14th. As this is also National Library week, we’ve lined up exciting events the week before. See details below, on the website, and in the press. We hope to see you here and if you want to share your personal story of what you were doing in ‘82, we’d love to hear that too!


Check out all the details on the library’s website. 




Posted by Barbara Nackman on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 at 12:55 pm
Category: Somers
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Briarcliff Scouts collect used books


Girl Scouts from Briarcliff Troop #77150 are collecting new or gently used, recently published books as part of a “Twice Loved Books” program.

Girl Scout Caroline Pennacchio is collecting the following types of books to benefit the Briarcliff Manor Public Library as part of her Girl Scout Silver Award Project:

  • Adult books published from 2009-2012

  • Teen books published from 2002-2012

  • Children’s books published from 2002-2012


Collection boxes have been placed in the lobby of the Library, the Recreation Department office and at various school locations. The book drive will continue through June and all books collected will either be added to the library’s collection or sold at a future date to benefit the Friends of the Briarcliff Manor Public Library.


Posted by Barbara Nackman on Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 1:55 pm
Category: Briarcliff Manor, Caroline Pennacchio
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Somers Library gets new furniture


The Friends of the Somers Library is getting lots of praise for buying new chairs for the library in Reis Park. The group held a fundraiser in September with the help of the League of Women Voters.

Shown above admiring the new blue chairs from left to right are Meta Walter, Vice President Friends of the Somers Library;  Carol Sturtz, League of Women Voters;  and Pat Miller, Director of the Somers Library.

With the public’s  support through the purchase of baked goods, raffle tickets, and books on Library Day, co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters in September, the Friends were able to purchase 13 navy chairs, four navy/gold club chairs, and a loveseat.

“The style is smart and comfortable and the furniture is made in the United States. They look terrific and are a welcome change to the 30-year old sagging chairs that used to occupy that space,” reads a press release announcing the new decor. “So come on in, have a seat and do a puzzle, browse through a magazine, meet up with a friend, utilize the free WiFi, or curl up with a good book! We welcome you!”

(Photo courtesy of Somers Library)

Posted by Barbara Nackman on Monday, February 6th, 2012 at 1:48 pm
Category: Somers
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Cool off Friday with a Mockingbird Book Party


Mary McDonagh Murphy will take center stage tomorrow at a book party to celebrate the paperback release of her book “Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’”.

Published by HarperCollins in hardcover in 2010, the New York Times bestselling book  commemorates the 50th anniversary of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Nelle Harper Lee.

Murphy, an Ossining resident who is a writer and filmmaker, looked at why the story has been so popular and tells the backstory with “rare cooperation from Harper Lee’s family and friends, and (includes) never-before-seen documents and photos,” according to her website.

Here’s  a book description  from the publisher:

Murphy has interviewed prominent figures—including Oprah, Anna Quindlen, and Tom Brokaw—on how the book has impacted their lives.

The party will be at The Village Bookstore, 10 Washington Ave., in Pleasantville from 6:30 to 8 p.m. tomorrow. Books will be available for sale and Murphy will be on hand to autograph copies.

Posted by Barbara Nackman on Thursday, July 21st, 2011 at 5:47 pm
Category: Ossining, Pleasantville
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Briarcliff to hold Walk-Run for library


BRIARCLIFF — The Fourth Annual Briarcliff Has Heart Memorial Day Walk-Run will be held on Monday.

This year more than 500 participants are expected to turn out for this annual family-friendly event that has become a local tradition. Proceeds benefit the Briarcliff Manor Public Library.

The event features an official chip-timed 5K (3.1 mile) run and 2-mile walk. Starting time is 8:30 a.m. with registration beginning at 7:20 a.m. at Law Park Pavilion, adjacent to the Briarcliff Library.  The route is through the streets of Briarcliff Village.

Runners and walkers from all over are welcome to participate. Post-race refreshments and awards for all age groups will cap off the event.

In addition to the efforts of many volunteers and the Village of Briarcliff Manor, the 4th Annual Briarcliff Has Heart Run/Walk would not be possible without the generous support of the community sponsors that really help to make things happen, says the organizers.

“This has been the most successful year so far in terms of sponsorship, both from businesses and families,” said Diane Kahn. The Platinum/Title sponsor for this year is Dr. Renuka Rao Bijoor, DDS, of Briarcliff Pediatric Dentistry.

The Gold sponsors are Wilson & Son Jewelers and Jake Chatzky of the Chatzky Family Foundation. Other 2011 sponsors include: Thalle Industries, Houlihan Lawrence (Briarcliff Manor Brokerage), Leg Resource, Eric T. Lebenson Real Estate, Club Fit, Robison Oil, Camp Nabby, Guard Hill Realty (Rivertowns), Goldie’s Table Matters and Better Homes and Gardens/Rand Realty (Briarcliff Office).

Those eager to donate, but unable to participate on race day, can go online and take part in the “Virtual Run” program.

Posted by Barbara Nackman on Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 5:07 pm
Category: Briarcliff Manor
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Janet Wong inspires poets in Briarcliff


Briarcliff students got a first-hand opportunity last week to meet a well-published author and talk with her about her work and get tips on how they could find their own inspiration. They even got a chance to write their own poems.

Janet Wong, whose books of poems for children include “Twist: Yoga Poems” and “A Suitcase of Seaweed,”  shared with the students at Todd Elementary School,  the many ways she gets her inspiration. It turns out she carries things like stuff animals, a horseshoe and even a lemon, to help her along.

Read more of this entry »

Posted by Barbara Nackman on Monday, March 14th, 2011 at 6:39 pm
Category: Briarcliff Manor, Briarcliff Manor School District
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Chappaqua author holds book signing in Mohegan Lake March 5


Corruption. Yachts. What’s not to like:

Author Dennis Sheehan Book Signing Event

WHEN: 3-5-11

TIME: 1-3 p.m.

WHERE: Barnes and Noble, 3089 E. Main St., Mohegan Lake, NY 10547

WHAT: Sheehan, a resident of Chappaqua, NY, will be available to sign copies of his Suspense novel, Purchased Power.

John Moore is a successful and brilliant yacht designer living the good life outside of San Francisco. Life seems perfect, when without warning he discovers his wife is being unfaithful and plotting to take over his business. He quickly devises a plan to save his business and leave her for good. He soon finds himself in a world he did not know existed—a world of global political corruption and intrigue. Purchased Power is a story of human weakness, greed, and good people whose errors in judgment put their lives on perilous paths. Follow John Moore on an epic journey to some of the most exotic countries in the world as he tries desperately to save a good woman from the clutches of the corrupt.

Posted by Elizabeth Ganga on Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 4:01 pm
Category: Chappaqua, Mohegan Lake
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Hen Hud celebrates new teen room


The Hendrick Hudson Free Library in Montrose  opened its new teen reading room last week and has shared news of the big day.

It “was a  great event, had about 75 people attend. Teen Room is open for business,” writes Library Director Jill Davis.

Above are district children who participate in the Teen Reading Group with Teen Librarian Elise Landesburg on the left ready to cut the ribbon.

The event featured two groups from the Blue Mountain Middle School —  the Advanced Clarinet Ensemble directed by Mrs. Richter with

Drew Abatemarco, Nicholas Anapol, Alex Covone, Joe Gallo, Marissa Gonsalves, Jasmin Murray, Phillip Solomon and Ella Rasmussen and also the   Advanced Low Brass Ensemble directed by Mr. Stamboni, featuring Jodi Scharf and Tara Danahy,Peter McGowan,  Scott Simon and Josh Alter.

From the Hendrick Hudson High school  the all-boys chorus, “The Accafellas” performed.

Davis urges teen nearby to check out the new space.

Posted by Barbara Nackman on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 at 3:48 pm
Category: Hedrick Hudson Free Library
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UK celebrates public libraries


Tomorrow British readers will rally to show support for their public libraries and denounce cuts in library budgets that threaten collections, materials and library programs.

The day is called Save Our Libraries Day of Action.

I caught this information on a favorite book-ish Web blog Galley Cat. Go there to read about the closure of more than 350 library branches.

The Guardian posts a map with notes on which libraries will be hosting protests and from that site there is a video.

And the whole effort is chronicled as well on Voices for the Library. It seems that the day-long event will include demonstrations, read-ins and a slew of activities inside many libraries.

Now there is an idea……

Posted by Barbara Nackman on Friday, February 4th, 2011 at 5:19 pm
Category: Uncategorized
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Snow, ice won’t derail White Plains poetry SLAM


“Our 1st Wednesday Poetry SLAM and Open Mic will take place tonight,” boasts White Plains librarian Miriam Varian.

It will  be Feb. 2 “as planned,” she said.

And really, after so many days stuck inside and/or shoveling snow wouldn’t this be a nice literary evening?

The program is at 7 p.m. and will feature Adam Falkner, an award-winning New York City-based poet and a seasoned veteran of the National Poetry Slam, will be our feature.  Jaylee Alde, who was scheduled to be our guest, will not be able to make it.

Please register at 6:30 if you’d like to slam or take part in our open mic, Varian suggests.

The Poetry SLAM is a project of the White Plains Library Foundation and is co-hosted by our favorite slammaster, Eric ZORK Alan.

The White Plains Public Library is at 100 Martine Ave.

Posted by Barbara Nackman on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 5:43 pm
Category: poetry slam, White Plains, White Plains Public Library
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About this blog
Four longtime Journal News reporters share their insights about fiction, non-fiction, poetry and short stories by bringing books discussions online and exploring the local literati scene. Lots of people say they are booklovers, but Elizabeth Ganga, Barbara Livingston Nackman, Ken Valenti and Randi Weiner really are!

What they blog about
Book Notes: An ongoing chat about events, authors and news items about books, libraries, authors and everything literary from metro news reporters Barbara Livingston Nackman and Elizabeth Ganga. Barbara has been a reporter for The Journal News since 1997. She covers municipalities in Putnam County and keeps track of book events everywhere - and began her career writing about books and libraries. Lisa has been a reporter for The Journal News since 2000, after working at several newspapers in Connecticut. She has covered cities and town in sourthern and northern Westchester and is a big Jane Austen fan (though she reads everything from history to mysteries). Both reporters work out of the Mount Kisco bureau and frequently trade tidbits about books and events.

Novel Pursuits: Ken Valenti sheds light on his ongoing experiences as a novelist and poet. He talks about his trials and tribulations including musings about projects, readings, successes, and even insights into what he is reading and finds interesting. A reporter for The Journal News and its forerunners for more than 20 years, Ken now covers transportation. His first love has been writing fiction, but he's only begun pursuing that dream in recent years. He has been a reader and fiction editor for the journal Inkwell, and has published one short story in another fiction journal.

Seasoned Works: Randi Weiner dishes up an ongoing discussion about all books - old and savory. Though Randi keeps readers abreast of school issues most days and reads lots of children's and young adult books, current science fiction and murder mysteries, her overriding passion is older works generally written before 1940. She chats online about favorites and newly discovered treasures as well as book exhibits and talks related to the dusty, the musty and the marvelous illustrators of the past. She has been a reporter since 1976, with Gannett since 1989. And for the record, she says she has a personal library of more than 4,000 volumes.

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