Trailblazer Winter 2000

The Newsletter of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System
Winter 2000, Volume 2, Issue 4
In This issue:

  CEF Board Endorses New Initiatives for Libraries
  Did You Know? - Fun Facts About Libraries
  Weather Wise on the Web
  Great Reads on Video
  Get NetWise for the Holidays
  Headline News 2000
  Feature Library: Sarah A. Munsil Library, Ellenburg
  Member Library News
  Bookmobile Survey Says…
  Typing Tutorial For the Visually Impaired 
  New Audio Book Bonanza!
  Continuing Education Opportunities
  Sights of the Season
  Try Downloading a Free E-Book
  Where are we Going?
  Web Explosion
  The World Almanac’s The Winner!
  Hibernate With These Adirondack Books 

CEF Board Endorses New Initiatives for Libraries: Regents Recommendations Deserve Support
Every Trustee has received a letter from Richard Mills, the Commissioner of Education for New York State. He urges Trustee support for the Recommendations of the Regents Commission on Library Service, and encloses a summary of those recommendations. 

At its December 12th meeting, the CEF Board authorized President Ann Choate, to send a letter to Governor Pataki and our legislators urging their support for the recommendations and funding to start implementing them. Ann points out in her letter, “the Recommendations will support communities throughout the Adirondacks as they work to maintain and improve local library service.” 

The CEF Board also urges every library board to notify the Governor and our legislators that the recommendations should be funded. Many communities are hard pressed to find the funding to support needed library services. Proposals currently under consideration in Albany will support libraries in communities where that is the case, so we all can do the best possible job for our citizens. Funding also would be made available for projects and activities that achieve excellence of service. 

Our libraries do a good job and deserve this extra level of support. Let the Governor hear from you now about your library and its needs. -- Mary A. Brown, Director

Did You Know? - Fun Facts About Libraries
There are more public libraries than McDonald’s – a total of 15,994, including branches. American spend more on potato chips and snack foods than on public libraries ($5.2 billion). 

Americans check out an average of six books a year. 

They spend about $21 a year in taxes for the public library – less than the cost of one bestseller. 

Public Libraries are the number one point of online access for people without Internet connections at home, school or work. 

74% of public libraries now offer access to the Internet. 

A 1998 poll conducted by Gallup for the American Library Association found that nearly all respondents expect libraries to be needed in the future, despite the increased availability of information via computer. 

These “ Quotable Facts About America’s Libraries” can be found in printable format on the ALA’s web site – This site is a good place to visit when preparing a public relations campaign to local funders.

Weather Wise on the Web
It’s the time of year once again when we hardy north country souls wonder just how hardy we are going to have to be. The weather related sites below are good resources to add to your “eye on the sky” weather arsenal. For local forecast comparison purposes, I typed in the zip code for Keeseville (the center of my world) and compared the relative accuracy of the extended forecast at each site.
- this easy to navigate site is more commercial than other sites on the list. It seems to branch out into “other products” and I didn’t check out what kind of special weather information was worth 11c per day. It did pull up a free and accurate five day forecast for Keeseville in plain language (“cloudy with nothing more than a chance of showers”). The “real feel” temperature given for each day is a good argument winner for those like me who always insist that it is colder than the thermometer says it is.
- this site went to Plattsburgh to get the local five day forecast which was accurate and well presented. Special features include marine forecasts, ski reports, “personal weather stations”, northeast maps that give the usual temperature, visibility, wind, heat and chill indexes, and international weather. You can sign up to have special and severe weather statements emailed to you, and can view the current 1km satellite imagery for the U.S. Unlike the previous site, this one features an “About Us” section with professional credentials and pictures of the staff forecasters (happy looking, bearded men who work in a basement).
- this site brought me to Plattsburgh for an accurate, no frills four day forecast. According to the site overview, which is very helpful to those of us who like to know where we are getting our information from, targets an “active audience that participates in sports, outdoor activities, and travel.” Local weather forecasts and maps are given, along with worldwide and specialty recreation weather (in the form of skicasts, sailcasts, golfcasts, national and state park forecasts, and kitecasts). Weather Services International is the leading provider of weather to broadcast, aviation, utility, and government agencies.
- the Weather Channel on-line easily and accurately predicted a “wintry mix” for Keeseville and environs, and gave an equally laconic seven day forecast. Various storm maps show current severe weather watches and the northeast travel forecast as well as the top weather stories and forecasts from around the country.
- the National Weather Service’s Internet data source is available in three versions that are billed as “a user friendly interface to the weather” and can accommodate all speeds of Internet connections. I checked out the local forecast on the “animated graphics version” which was fast and easy to use. You can select Plattsburgh from the NY State map under “local weather” to obtain zone forecasts for Vermont and northern New York. These are updated twice daily, and any watches, warnings and advisories that have been issued are reflected. This is the “horse’s mouth” of weather sources and is a good page to bookmark.
- this comprehensive site is great for both weather fanatics and those who just want to cut to the chase. It is the creation of Mark Brooks, who is a meteorology student at North Carolina State University. Mark has compiled images and information from various weather sites to make it easier to access and view weather images and data without “flip flopping” between several different sites. Visitors can check what time it is and retrieve sunrise/sunset data from the US Naval Observatory, view weather cams, obtain U.S. weather data by state, look at seismic activity and surf information, and obtain an accurate extended forecast by state. This site did not zero in on Keeseville, but did provide the local National Weather Service forecast for Vermont and Northern New York.

Bottom Line: Look these up, bundle up and take a shovel! -- Julie Wever

Great Reads on Video
Read the book, see the video, or see the video, read the book. It’s your choice! Whatever sequence you prefer, there’s lots to choose from in the CEF video collection. From the classics to more modern favorites and from children to adults, we have videos based on books for all tastes and ages. 

Some great sweeping epics really come to life on screen. Try Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago, Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, and Hugo’s Les Miserables for lush scenery and fast action. What could be more frightening than a good horror novel by Stephen King? Included in his titles are Christine, The Green Mile, and The Shawshank Redemption. Mystery lovers will find many Agatha Christie favorites such as A Caribbean Mystery, Murder on the Orient Express, The Four-Fifty From Paddington, and The Sleeping Murder. Other masters of modern mystery include books to video by Dick Francis, John Grisham, and Robert B. Parker. Relive your classic favorites with Call of the Wild by Jack London, Edith Holden’s Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, just to name a few. 

For the younger set, there’s Blueberries for Sal and Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad are Friends, and the classic favorite by Dr. Seuss, Cat in the Hat. E. B. White books include Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. For a hauntingly good tale, watch Natalie Babbitt’s The Eyes of the Amaryllis or R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps: Stay Out of the Basement. We have Anna Stewart’s Black Beauty and Walter Farley’s Black Stallion for the horse lovers in the crowd as well as David Macaulay’s Cathedral and Castle for the future engineers among us. 

There are so many good books to see this winter so let it snow and curl up on the couch with a good video!

Get NetWise for the Holidays
GetNetWise is currently coordinating a public awareness campaign to encourage parents and their children to go online together during the holiday season. “Families Online Week” will take place the week of December 26 through January 3. Families Online Week activities will use the theme of New Year resolutions to highlight the message of parents and children going online together to find safe, enriching activities. 

Parents and caregivers can guide children on the Internet and use the occasion to make “New Year Online Resolutions.” A set of resolutions that pertain to online safety for parents and kids is available at Libraries are encouraged to participate in this public awareness campaign. --from the ALA Ethics Committee Be sure to check out the link to GetNetWise on the Kids’ and Parents’ pages of the CEF web site (

Headline News 2000
Can you guess what the top news stories of 2000 were? The top story, according to users of the search engine Lycos, was the 2000 Summer Olympics. Next was the 2000 election, followed by the Firestone Tire Recall. Elian Gonzalez rated fourth, and fifth was one we’ve all heard enough about: the Florida Recount.


Feature Library: Sarah A. Munsil Library, Ellenburg

Received Charter: November, 1995

Director: Michele Phillips

Library Schedule: Thursday and Friday 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Board Members: Colleen Sheehan, Chairperson, Julie Finley, Secretary, 
Cynthia Rowe, Treasurer, Bill Scott, Jane Fritz, Fran Shutts, and Jean Noel.

What an exciting time we’ve had since June when I began as director of the Sarah A. Munsil Library. We moved books and furniture from our old, dark and small upstairs room to our ground level, renovated library. It’s light, bright and open with new shelves, counter, rug, flooring, and bathroom. Our new space is inviting and accessible. We celebrate our new facility with up-to-date tools: a computer with Internet access, scanner, and fax, plus a photocopier and reading tables for both adults and children. Our children’s nook is cozy with book bins and bean bags.

We are in the process of recruiting new customers and are encouraging patrons whom we have not seen for awhile to check out our new facilities. Some readers got out of the library habit during the construction period. Bookmarks with information on our new hours, address, and services available are posted in stores and the post office. I also give them out to as many people as possible.

Future plans include story hours, book sales, reading programs, preparing for two Gates computers, as well as many special programs such as concerts, lectures, and space for literacy tutoring. We’re pleased with our new library and we are looking forward to working with the people in our community. Come and visit us!

-- Michele Phillips, Director

Board Chairperson Colleen Sheehan, Library Director Michele Phillips, Clinton County Legislator Sam Trombley and Mary Jane Chilton display a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol Building. The flag was presented at the library’s open house on Sunday, October 15, 2000.

Some new books on display during the October 15 open house.


In Clinton County:

Mooers Free Library

During the month of December, the Mooers Free Library is featuring a display of nativities from around the world. Mexico, Poland, Venezuela, Spain, and Armenia are represented. Our annual tree lighting ceremony took place on Monday, December 11. Thank you to our local Girl Scouts who provided the carols that were enjoyed by all.

Story hours continue on Saturday morning from 10:00 to 11:00. Our weeding project is complete and new titles are added every day. We hope there are some books for everyone’s interest. 

--Edie Morelock, Director

Keeseville Free Library

The Keeseville Free Library was closed for several weeks in late November and early December after it was hit by a small disaster. Furnace problems resulted in a flooded basement and main floor. The library’s carpet on both floors was completely ruined – when we dropped by in early December, the carpet had been removed to reveal the sub floor, which was mercifully dry. Director Ann Garcia reports that she is still waiting for a full damage estimate. Meanwhile, she is busy repainting the peeling baseboard on the main floor. 

Ann Garcia rescues an important local history book that was damaged 
by radiator water. Wet carpet is visible in the foreground of this picture.

Chazy Public Library  

More than 200 people attended the Chazy Public Library’s Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 3. Guests voted for their favorites among 11 innovative gingerbread houses. Winning creations were a lighthouse made by the Mesick family of Chazy, and “Candyland” which was made by the Racette children from Redford. Linda Brubaker and Barbara Mulligan treated children to Christmas stories. Raffle winners were Mary Riley, who won an elegant Father Christmas, and Cindy and Roger Bodine, who will enjoy an overnight stay at the Point au Roche Bed and Breakfast.

Happy Holidays from the Chazy Public Library!

- Frances Fairchild, Director

Peru Free Library

The Peru Free Library has had a busy and successful season. 370 children ages 3-9 enjoyed our summer program. Our Book Chats and signings have continued. Gary Douglas, author of Wild Flowers in Clay, provided an enjoyable discussion of the Erie Canal. Frank Stefanik, author of Inside the Auction Game, presented an entertaining view of life behind the auctioneer’s gavel. Mr. Stefanik dedicated his book to the Peru Library.

Our Orientation Series for Peru Central students has continued. The five second grade classes that participated in the program this fall enjoyed a story, video and refreshments. We enjoyed their appreciative “thank you” letters.

The Art Show Series continues to be very popular. The Peru Calico Quilters presented their biennial quilt display and sale in October. This show draws quilt enthusiasts from all over the north country. The Visual Artists display of paintings and photography closes another successful year of bringing the arts to the local community. On December 16th from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., the second annual gingerbread house decorating contest will cap our activities for the year 2000. 

Quilts on display at the Peru Library.

-- Mary Kay Rilahan, Director

In Essex County:

Paine Memorial Library, Willsboro

This summer the Friends of the Library organized an exhibit of beautiful hand quilted items which were displayed in the setting of an old Adirondack camp. After viewing the items visitors were invited to relax and enjoy a cup of tea. This event was made possible thanks to the Peter Paine Jr. & Friskie Irwin families who granted us the use of the Paine camp at Willsboro Point on a beautiful Saturday in September. This unique old style Adirondack Cottage features numerous bedrooms, which allowed us to display the quilts in a more realistic setting. We are also very appreciative of the many local quilters who shared their treasured handwork with us. 

Every Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., we are fortunate to have area children attend our story hour. This year, we have added some special events. Dale Lashway brought his fiddle on a recent visit and played lively tunes that the children loved to sing and dance to. Ralph Marcotte got us in the Halloween spirit by reading a story about a child who went trick-or-treating on the wrong day and received some different treats! Peggy Hunn joins us each month to work with our group on movement education. This activity increases body image awareness through fun activities with beanbags, yarn balls and hula-hoops. We would also like to thank Tierra Reynolds, Angie St. Dennis, and Colleen Blanchard who volunteer their time to help with story hour.

Leftover books from our summer book sale were sent to Dare Weaver who is working as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Northern Province of South Africa. Five schools will share the books that the Paine Memorial Library donated.

-- Cheryl Blanchard, Director

Westport Library Association

The Westport Library held its annual wine-tasting benefit in our holiday decorated library. This is one of two benefits that the Board of Trustees sponsors in order to raise money for the library.

For January, we don’t have anything planned except to keep our fireplace burning to warm up our patrons!

-- Marilyn Trienens, Director

Hammond Library, Crown Point

Mrs. Huntington’s third grade class visited the Hammond Library to learn about their community. The children were given a tour and told about the history and origin of the library. They received bookmarks with a copy of Mr. Hammond’s picture that were specially made for the occasion. On their second visit, the complete works of Beatrix Potter were introduced. A live bunny, which resembled the one Miss Potter would have had, was especially popular. Story time is offered at the library each Saturday at 10:00 a.m. 

Wells Memorial Library, Upper Jay

On October 25, the library hosted a reception in honor of the artists who contributed to our October exhibit, “Art by the River:Preserving the View.” About 40 artists and patrons attended. Our current exhibit features quilting. Old and new, traditional and modern, quilted pillows, wall hangings and bed covers are on display. From January 2 to February 15, paintings by Doris Quinn will be exhibited.

A large audience of 20 adults and children enjoyed the “Skydancer” program presented by Mike Brennen and his red-tail hawk from the Paul Smith’s Visitors’ Center.

Our Libri Foundation books have arrived and we are planning to hold a “processing party” so we can display these new books and have an open house.
-- Ellen Metcalf

In Franklin County:

Saranac Lake Free Library

Fordham University professor and nationally known author Mark Caldwell is pictured below with local photographer Barbara Parnass at the Fourth Annual Literary Dinner. This event was coordinated by Mrs. Parnass to benefit the Saranac Lake Free Library. 

Caldwell is the author of The Last Crusade: The War on Consumption 1862-1954, Saranac Lake: A Pioneer Health Resort and A Short History of Rudeness: Manners, Morals, and Misbehavior in Modern America, which was published in 1999. Over 65 people came to the Hotel Saranac on November 11 to chat with Mr. Caldwell and to enjoy his remarks which followed the dinner. Among the attendees were Mary Brown and Kathie LaBombard from the CEF Library System.

-- photograph by Pat Wiley, 
Saranac Lake Free Library

Bookmobile Survey Says…
A recent survey of 327 CEF bookmobile patrons reveals that over one half of the respondents (176) own a computer and 138 of them are connected to the Internet.
123 customers in adult, child/YA, and senior user categories said that they “might” use a public access internet station on the bookmobile. Bookmobile staff are continuously promoting the CEF Web site as a quick and easy way to search the holdings of area libraries.
Typing Tutorial For the Visually Impaired 
There are a number of “talking tutorials” on the market for visually impaired people who want to learn to type. Typing For Everyone is a free 26-lesson audiocassette course designed especially for people with visual impairments. To register, contact the Hadley School for the Blind, 700 Elm St., Winnetka, IL 60093-0299 by telephone at 800-323-4238. You can also find out more about this program on the web at

--from Disability Resources Monthly, December 2000
New Audio Book Bonanza!
We recently cashed in on year-end sales offered by several audio book publishers. The titles listed below are just a sample of the new arrivals that will be appearing in our rotating audio book collections during the new year. They are also available through inter library loan.

Echoes by Maeve Binchy
Shattered Silk by Barbara Michaels
Masquerade by Janet Dailey
Voices in Summer by Rosamund Pilcher
Hong Kong by Stephen Coonts
Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley
Tough Cookie by Diane Mott Davidson
The Sky is Falling by Sidney Sheldon
Easy Prey by John Sandford
A Widow for One Year by John Irving
High Stakes by Dick Francis
Wish You Well by David Baldacci
Once Upon a Summer by Jannette Oke

If you would like to receive an audio collection for your CEF member library, please call Julie Wever at 563-5190 x 18. 
Continuing Education Opportunities
CEF member librarians and trustees might want to resolve to attend one or more of these continuing education programs early in the new year. We recommend that each director and staff member plan to attend at least two continuing ed workshops during the year. Scholarship help is available from CEF in addition to our usual support of substitute stipends and mileage for attendance at system meetings. For more information about the CEF scholarship program, please contact Kathie LaBombard by phone at 563-5190 x 21 or e-mail Kathie at

January 2001

1/17 Grammar and Usage by Fred Pryor Seminars, Burlington, VT. Cost: $125

1/23 Microsoft Office training by CareerTrack, Burlington, VT. “Go from user to “super user” in a single day.” Cost: $59

February 2001

2/2 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Strategies for Success by CareerTrack, Burlington, VT. Cost: $79

2/6 – 2/7 Numbers Tell the Story, Part I: Writing Your Library’s Story:
Evaluate Your Library’s Role in Your community by the Upper Hudson Library System et al. in Albany. Call Kathie @ CEF for registration details. Cost: $80
Sights of the Season

Delectable gingerbread entries at the Chazy Public Library

Saranac Free Library bulletin board and Hannukah display

The bookmobile encounters a flock of snowy sheep en route to Churubusco


Try Downloading a Free E-Book
While I don’t claim to know the future of E-Books, and how they will impact libraries, I believe it’s a good thing if we get some experience with them. E-Books come in many formats. Some can only be read on special devices, and some can be read on a PC or a Palm Pilot device. However, you don’t need to spend $200 for an E-Book reader, subscribe to netLibrary or buy e-books from an Internet bookstore. There are many free titles you can download and read right now on your Internet-connected Windows 95 or later PC. Here’s one method:

1. Find Out if You Have Adobe Acrobat Reader
If you have a recent version of Adobe Acrobat on your PC, skip to step 3. If you’re not sure, click on Start in the lower left hand corner of your desktop. Choose Find. Choose Files or Folders. Type Acrobat in the first blank. Choose C: for your hard drive in the third blank. Click on Find Now over to the right. If you have Adobe Acrobat, it should appear in the blank space below. You’ll probably have a number of shortcuts to the program that appear also. Acrobat Reader 4.0 is the current version and is sometimes required, so if you have an older version you might want to update it by going to step 2. You can close this window once you have verified that you either do or don’t have the program. If you have the current version, go to step 3, otherwise go to step 2.

2. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader
To get Adobe Acrobat, download it from the Internet. It’s free, and available at On this page, if you scroll down, you’ll see the words “ Get Acrobat Reader Free.” Click there, and follow directions. You will need to choose your language (English), your platform (Win95 or Win98, probably), give your name and e-mail address, and click download. The download time will vary depending on your Internet connection speed, but will normally take 10 minutes or more, so don’t worry if it takes a long time. At the end of this time, a dialog box will ask you where you want to save the file you have downloaded. You can save it to your desktop if you wish, or anywhere as long as you notice where it is going. It’s always good to save downloaded files to a temporary folder, so if you have a folder on the C: drive called temp, put it there. Now double click on the file you downloaded. This file is an installation file and will install the program. Again, you need to follow the instructions. When you have successfully installed the program, you’re ready to get your first free E-Book! Acrobat will also come in handy for many other things such as filing your tax return.

3. Download a Free E-Book
Now that you have a current version of Adobe Acrobat, go to the website to download a free e-book. You’ll need to register first, but the process is quick and painless. You can choose from lots of books. These are mostly public domain books, not illustrated, and some are rather short. Best sellers are listed with the promise that you’ll be notified if the one you want becomes available for download! After the download, Acrobat opens in the browser window. You can read the book, print it, or save it to your hard drive. If you save it and open it later, you’ll also have the ability to, zoom in or out, scribble on it, annotate it (a possible book club activity?), edit or highlight it. 

I downloaded several free books from Abika. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and 49 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth (really a pamphlet) were both unencrypted and could be printed if desired. An illustrated copy of Through the Looking Glass was encrypted, and the print and save options on Acrobat were therefore greyed out. The most interesting book I found was A Feast Day Cookbook, by Katherine Burton and Helmut Rippergur. It provides recipes for each of the traditional feast days including recipes for the “Wigilia,” the traditional Christmas Eve supper of Poland. 

I also downloaded some free books from Adobe’s own Web site: These books are current and more attractive, but they are all encrypted, and can only be read on the screen of the computer that downloaded them. They also contain advertisements. One colorful and attractive book was The Internet for Busy People. 

Well, what do you think? If you like e-books, the choices are growing every day. To pay for e-books, you can shop at among other places. There are many other formats - I’ve only touched on the Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format). Congratulations if you made it this far – now you know more than most people about e-books, and you’re in a better position to decide when they make sense for your library.

--Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian
Where are we going?
The most often visited Web site, as of August 2000, is everyone’s favorite Where else do people go for information? The second most frequently visited site is Other popular sites include, and the site we’ve all visited at one time or another, There really is something for everyone on the Web.
Web Explosion
We’ve all become used to the World Wide Web now, and have watched it grow and grow. There are now 2.1 billion unique Web pages available to the public and experts predict that there will be about 4 billion by next year. It’s estimated that there are 7.3 million pages added every day. Of all the Web sites in the world, 84% originate in the U.S.
The World Almanac’s The Winner!
Everyone has a favorite reference book, the single source they like to turn to first with confidence that the answer will be found there. For me that’s The World Almanac. An annual publication, called a “gold mine of timely information,” this almanac contains incredibly diverse and useful information. Everything from a perpetual calendar (what day will December 12, 2007 be on? Wednesday) to sports trivia (where was the biggest coho salmon caught? Pulaski, NY, weighing in at 33 lbs. 4oz.), the Consumer Price Index (8.2 for energy for the first half of 2000), zip codes, Oscar winners, information on nations of the world (size of Liechtenstein: 60 square miles, length of railroad there: 12 miles) U.S. history, college tuition ($3957 for PSUC, $31,790 for Middlebury College), notable books (winner of Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 2000: Jhumpa Lahirir, Interpreter of Maladies), tax laws (traffic tickets: not deductible; income from garage sales: not taxable; cost of summer camp for children of working parents: possibly deductible as child care cost), and the list goes on. It’s been said that “If you have no other book in your reference collection, have this one.”

Other general almanacs are similar, different yet the same, but usually regarded as poorer relatives to The World Almanac. The New York Times Almanac and The Time Almanac contain similar information and are respectable choices. The Information Please Almanac is always my second choice and is a good complementary almanac when used with The World Almanac. Plus, it’s now available online for free, which makes it even more appealing.

There is now a new category of almanacs among the “” books. Many sites are listed as almanacs, referring to the gathering of bits of information in a single place. Many offer daily information only, or a snapshot of the day’s events. One of the best of these is CNN’s daily almanac at, offering up-to-date information and news. These sites are great not only because they’re free but also because they offer a new, faster dimension to reference work. Everyone is familiar with The Farmer’s Almanac ( Presented in true Farmer’s Almanac style, it includes daily audio reports and plenty of information about the weather, folk (and true) lore. Although much of what’s free online is only excerpts from the print version, you can find out what time the sun will rise and set, find things like recipes and cooking tips, the heat value of different hardwoods and the truth about wooly bear caterpillars. This is also a great source for odds and ends of other weather information. For an agricultural almanac check out -- a site devoted to gardening and farming interests. There are great links to other sites, including a satellite photo to help you track national weather trends. As mentioned earlier, The Information Please Almanac is online at This is a super site.
--Elizabeth Rogers, Head of Reference & ILL
Hibernate With These Adirondack Books 

Interested in relaxing with a book about the Adirondacks during the long winter evenings? Looking for a guidebook to help you with your adventures? Here are a few “good reads” for the winter months.

Just About Everything in the Adirondacks by William Chapman White contains a collection of essays by this New York Times columnist. In Adirondack Ghosts, Lynda Lee Macken tells stories of haunted resorts, restaurants and museums “where the departed continue making their presence known.” Unplugged in the Adirondacks, by Susan Dean, is the memoir of a family that lived in an Adirondack cabin without phone or electricity. It’s hard to imagine that they lived that way on purpose! In Woodswoman II: Beyond Black Bear Lake Anne LaBastille gives an account of her pursuit of solitude deep in the woods. Adirondack Camps, by Craig Gilborn, looks at the history of a wide variety of camps, from shacks to great camps. Mystery lovers will enjoy twelve baffling Adirondack puzzlers in After the Summer People Leave by William Lowe. Adirondack Odysseys, by Elizabeth Folwell, is a great guide to museums and historic places in the Park. 

Outdoor types should check out Barbara McMartin’s series of four-season guides entitled Discover the Adirondacks. McMartin’s 50 Hikes in the Adirondacks includes maps, sidebars about history and lore as well as information on plants and wildlife. Hikes range from a little more than a mile to 18 miles. The trails listed are suitable for hikers of all ages and ability levels. James Fazio’s Adirondack High Peaks Diary includes the author’s description of climbs, information about the peaks, a map and great information about rules and ethics of climbing.

-- Elizabeth Rogers