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Summer Reading Fun this Week

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

APL’s Summer Reading Program keeps rolling along with some great activities for kids and teens this week. Read on for details.

Here are just a few of this week’s SRP activities. Check our online calendar for a full listing of upcoming programs.


July 29 (Tues)

Mirror Magic at 2 pm — Main Library Children’s Room: Make a kaleidoscope and learn about mirrors, light, and reflection with the Scotia-Glenville Traveling Museum. For ages 6-17. Please register online or by calling 427-4310.

+ Storytelling Campfire at 2 pm — Pine Hills Branch: Sing songs, listen to stories, and roast marshmallows using a solar-powered oven. For ages 5-17.


July 30 (Wed)

+ Power of Vibration at 2 pm — Bach Branch: Explore sound stations, build your own telephone, and play a wave game with Cornell Partners for 4-H Programming. For grades 1-6. Please register by calling 482-2154.

+ Off the Grid Teen XBox Tournament at 4:30 pm — Howe Branch: Join our XBox tourney for teens while the little ones enjoy the Wii system. Please register for a game time at 472-9485.

+ Scatterball and Skittle Art at 6:30 pm — Main Library Large Auditorium: Play this fun variant on dodge ball and make pixel art with Skittles. For ages 11-17.


July 31 (Thurs)

+ Music Production Workshop at 2 pm — Pine Hills Branch: Join us in creating a song with other teen musicians.  For ages 11-17. Register at 482-7911 x223.

+ Mirror Magic at 3 pm — Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch: Make a kaleidoscope and learn about mirrors, light, and reflection with the Scotia-Glenville Traveling Museum. For ages 6-17.

+ Berry, Berry Good at 3:30 pm — Delaware Branch: Learn about berries, read about berries, and eat berries with our friends from Honest Weight Food Co-op. Register at 463-0254. For ages 3-8.

+ Exploring Art at 4 pm — Howe Branch: The Tang Museum brings a fun art project to us. For ages 5-17.


Aug. 1 (Fri)

+ Maker Camp Virtual Field Trip at 2 pm — Main Library Children’s Room: Join us for a special sneak peek into cool people, places and things. Past virtual field trips included Disney and Cartoon Network. For ages 11-17. For more information on this week’s virtual destination, please call 427-4310.





APL Accepting Donations of Albany Yearbooks

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

The Main Library of Albany Public Library is now accepting donations of yearbooks from current and former schools in the city of Albany. Yearbooks should be in good condition, but can have signatures and messages written in them. Yearbook donations can be dropped off at the Main Library, during normal hours, at the first floor circulation desk, the basement reception desk, or the reference desk.


APL’s collection of Albany yearbooks is housed within the Pruyn Collection of Albany History, which is located in the Albany History Room on the second floor of the Main Library.


“We are hoping to expand our yearbook collection to better assist Albany Public Library patrons who frequently seek out high school, college, elementary school, and parochial school yearbooks,” said Jim Davies, APL’s local history librarian. “These books can serve as the perfect resource for reunion organizers, genealogists, alumni, education historians, business researchers seeking out advertisements, and those simply looking to stroll down memory lane.”


A recently donated 1932 Albany High School yearbook has been digitized by APL and can be viewed for free through New York Heritage Digital Collections, an online portal designed for researchers and history buffs. To view the yearbook, visit the Albany Public Library collection on


Although the library cannot assess the value of donated yearbooks, donors can receive a form indicating how many yearbooks were donated to APL.


For more information, please call Albany Public Library’s Reference Department at 427-4303 or email


First Garage Bands Concert of the Summer is Friday

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Kick off your Friday night in style with the library’s Garage Bands in the Garage concert featuring Party Boat, Pony in the Pancake, and Linear North! This free all-ages show runs from 6 to 8 pm in the garage at the Main Library’s back entrance (off Elk St.).

We’ll also have a sale of gently used CDs for just $1 each.

Come out and support some awesome local bands at the library!


Awesome Activities for Kids at the Library

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Our special Summer Reading Program activities for kids and teens continues with some great programs in the next couple of weeks your libraries. Read more about these free programs and make plans to bring the kids!


JULY 15 (Tues)

+ Sidewalk Science at 2 pm — Howe Branch — We conduct fun science experiments outside (as long as the weather cooperates). Join us for the fun. Ages 5-12.

+ Maker Camp at 2:30 pm — Main Library Children’s Room –  Come make stomp rockets, paper circuits, scribbling robots, homemade musical instruments, and more as part of our Make Magazine Maker Camp! Ages 11-17.


JULY 16 (Wed)

+ Fizz: Power of Lightning at 2 pm — Bach Branch — Build a lightning generator and static electricity detector with the help of Partners for 4-H Programming. Register at 482-2154. Grades 1-6.

+ Sidewalk Science at 2 pm — Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch — Join us to do a fun science experiment outside on the sidewalk. Ages 5-12.

+ “Wall-E” at 3 pm — Madison Theater — Join the Pine Hills Branch at the Madison Theater for a free showing of this Pixar film about a loveable robot from the future. All ages.

+ Fencing and Finger Food at 6:30 pm — Main Library Large Auditorium — Try out the sport of fencing under the supervision of a trained instructor and enjoy snacks too. Ages 11-17.


JULY 17 (Thurs)

+ Maker Camp at 2:30 pm — Main Library Children’s Room –  Come make stomp rockets, paper circuits, scribbling robots, homemade musical instruments, and more as part of our Make Magazine Maker Camp! Ages 11-17.

+ You Can Build it Thursday at 3 pm — Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch — Learn how to use some simple hand tools and build a wooden picture pack. Please register at 694-0596 option 2. Ages 8-17.

+ Atomic Ice at 3:30 pm — Delaware Branch — Make your own ice cream and learn about the science of this frosty treat. Ages 5-17.

+ Egg Drop Challenge at 4 pm — Howe Branch — Design a container to protect an egg from a high fall with the help of science educator George Steele. Ages 5-17.

+ Creative Movement at 4:30 pm — Bach Branch — Dancer Beth Jacobs leads kids in this fun hour of contemporary ballet and creative movement. Please register at 482-2154. Ages 6-17.


JULY 22 (Tues)

+ Marshmallow Building Challenge at 2 pm — Main Library Children’s Room — Work with a team to build a structure using spaghetti sticks, tape, string, and marshmallows. Marshmallow treats for all and prizes for the winners. Please register at 427-4310. Ages 6-15.

+ Maker Camp at 2:30 pm — Main Library Children’s Room –  Come make stomp rockets, paper circuits, scribbling robots, homemade musical instruments, and more as part of our Make Magazine Maker Camp! Ages 11-17.

+ Balance This! at 2 pm — Pine Hills Branch — Make a colorful, whimsical sculpture while you learn about balance and center of gravity from the Tang Teaching Museum. Register at 482-7911 x223. Ages 5-17.

+ Sidewalk Science at 2 pm — Howe Branch — Join us to do a fun science experiment outside on the sidewalk. Ages 5-12.


JULY 23 (Wed)

+ What’s in a Nest at 2 pm — Bach Branch — See a collection of bird nests and some of the surprising materials used to build them. The Scotia-Glenville Traveling Museum helps us build nests to take home too. Please register at 482-2154. Grades K-5.

+ Family Wii and LEGOs at 3 pm — Pine Hills Branch — Bring the family and have fun playing Wii games and building with LEGOs. All ages.

+ Glowing Bouncy Balls at 4 pm — North Albany Branch — Make your own glowing bouncy ball to take home and enjoy. Ages 5-17.


JULY 24 (Thurs)

+ Dyken Pond Owls at 2 pm — Pine Hills Branch — Learn about these fascinating birds. Space is limited and registration is required by calling 482-7911 x223. Ages 11-17.

+ Maker Camp at 2:30 pm — Main Library Children’s Room –  Come make stomp rockets, paper circuits, scribbling robots, homemade musical instruments, and more as part of our Make Magazine Maker Camp! Ages 11-17.

+ Build a Density Tower at 3:30 pm — Delaware Branch — Learn about density as you weigh and pour various liquids into a glass tower and see how they “magically” separate. Ages 8-17.

+ Paper Wasps and Paper Making at 4 pm — Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch — Learn about paper wasps, the first living creature to make paper, and create your own recycled paper. Our friends at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center lead the program. Please register at 694-0596 option 2. Ages 6-17.

+ Life Inside a Beehive at 4 pm — Howe Branch — Beekeeper Richard Ronconi tells us about the life cycles and daily habits of honey bees. See a real hive in action too! Ages 5-17.

+ Creative Movement at 4:30 pm — Bach Branch — Dancer Beth Jacobs leads kids in this fun hour of contemporary ballet and creative movement. Please register at 482-2154. Ages 6-17.


JULY 26 (Sat)

+ Raptors! at 2 pm — Delaware Branch — See owls, hawks, and falcons from the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center. All ages.





Garage Bands Concerts Start July 18 at Main

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The award-winning Garage Bands in the Garage concert series returns to Albany Public Library this summer with three special shows from July through September. The all-ages, after-hours concerts feature live music by great local bands playing in the garage of the Main Library (at the rear parking lot entrance off Elk St.).


All shows run on select Friday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. and also feature a CD garage sale with $1 items. The shows are co-sponsored by Exit 97.7 WEXT. For more information about the concert series, call 427-4349.


This year’s Albany Public Library Garage Bands concert lineup is:


JULY 18: Party Boat – Pony in the Pancake – Linear North


6-8 p.m., Main Library, 161 Washington Ave. (rear parking lot, off Elk St.)

The Garage Bands concert series kicks off with three hard-driving local bands. Party Boat has a signature beach punk sound and is based in Saratoga Springs. Pony in the Pancake is a four-piece psychedelic surf rock band with songs that revolve around the innocence of love and heartache. Linear North twists the blues into psychedelic slabs of sound that will leave you feeling like you’re free-falling inside a locomotive through the center of the earth.


AUG. 15: Big Frank and the Bargain Bingers – Blackcat Elliot


6-8 p.m., Main Library, 161 Washington Ave. (rear parking lot, off Elk St.)

Big Frank and the Bargain Bingers is a broiling gumbo of amped up country, surf twang, and classic R&B. Blackcat Elliot is a trio that writes garage rock songs for the blue collar folk, the broken hearted, the walked on, the unlucky, and the unsung heroes.


SEPT. 19: Hammer Hawk – Hill Haints


6-8 p.m., Main Library, 161 Washington Ave. (rear parking lot, off Elk St.)

Hammer Hawk is a “post-hamburger” rock trio that enjoys “pro-wrestling, hockey, and long walks on the beach.” Hill Haints is a three-piece primal garage punk band that brings a sonic assault to every show.


SummerFest is July 12th at Delaware

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Enjoy fun in the sun with Albany Public Library at the fifth annual SummerFest outdoor family party on Saturday, July 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Delaware Branch (331 Delaware Avenue).  This free outdoor party features bounce houses, activities, games and prizes, live music, roving magic, and refreshments.


SummerFest is the major event in the library’s Summer Reading Program, which encourages literacy by rewarding kids for reading. The party gives children a chance to sign up for the Summer Reading Program and sample the activities and books available at the library.


The library’s July 12 SummerFest activities include:

  • A giant bounce activity center and a kiddie bounce house
  • Live music by local band Off the Record
  • Roving magic show by Mr. Magicman
  • Games and prizes
  • Snow cones and popcorn
  • Summer snacks provided by Price Chopper


The SummerFest party is so big that the library is closing all branches—except for Delaware and the Main Library—on July 12. The Delaware Avenue neighborhood is also participating in the festivities with a street fair, special sales at many businesses, food and activity booths, and a garage sale.


The Albany Public Library Summer Reading Program runs through August 16. Kids and teens register and record their reading at the library. For every week they read, participants are eligible for prizes. More than 200 special events and activities are planned at the library’s seven locations during the seven-week program. The full activity guide details the summer reading activities. This year’s Summer Reading Program is sponsored by Price Chopper, Friends of Albany Public Library, and Stewart’s Shops.


Meet APL’s New Executive Director at July 8 Open House

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Library patrons, friends, and neighbors are encouraged to attend an open house on Tuesday, July 8, where they can meet our new Executive Director Scott Jarzombek from 4 to 5:30 pm at the Howe Branch.

Jarzombek, who started his career at APL, is thrilled to be back in Albany and is eager to get reacquainted with the community. Please stop by and say hi!


APL Announces New Children’s Library Card & Summer Reading Program

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Local officials from Albany Public Library, the City of Albany, and the City School District of Albany joined together at City Hall June 13 to announce literacy initiatives aimed at increasing children’s access to the library and emphasizing the importance of reading to our youngest citizens.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan shared her experiences as a young girl participating in her hometown library’s Summer Reading Program, which sparked her love of biographies of famous women and started her down the path to public service. Beginning with Friday’s event, free children’s and young adult books will be available in the City Hall Rotunda while supplies last. This press event and free book initiative is part of the City of Albany’s monthly series of community programs presented at the Rotunda.

Albany City School District Superintendent Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard discussed the importance of youngsters reading during the summer months so they don’t lose the academic strides they made during the school year.

Summer Reading Program

Albany Public Library Assistant Director Melanie Metzger shared details of the annual Summer Reading Program, which is designed to encourage children and teens to continue to read, and engage in other educational pursuits, during those long, leisurely weeks between June and September. The library’s Summer Reading Program, which runs from June 28 through Aug. 16, rewards young people for their reading and participation in mind-enriching activities. During the Summer Reading Program, the city’s seven libraries are hosting close to 100 special events and fun activities, including science experiments, dance parties, food tastings, arts and crafts, game challenges, and more. All programs are free.

MyCard Children’s Library Card

Metzger also announced a new library card for children—dubbed MyCard—that allows city children to get a card on their own and use it to borrow up to three items at a time, with no late fees. MyCard also gives users access to the library’s free public computers and to digital materials, like eBooks and eMagazines, which are available for free from the library’s website. MyCard is only available to city of Albany youth under the age of 18, and can only be used at APL’s seven locations in the city of Albany.

“The benefit of MyCard is that youngsters can come into the library on their own and get a card that lets them borrow up to three items at a time, and have the freedom to take as long as they need to read those books without racking up late fees,” Metzger said. “Once done with a book, a MyCard user can return it to the library and borrow another one. This new card gives children and teens an opportunity to explore the library, and the world of reading, on their own.”

As part of the MyCard rollout, which begins on June 27, Albany Public Library is waiving late fees on all current children’s cards. This one-time waiver will put current children’s cardholders on the same level playing field as new MyCard cardholders.

Twenty-one fifth grade students from the Arbor Hill Elementary School participated in the press conference and were issued the first APL MyCards, which feature a brightly-colored owl designed for APL by Albany artist Phil Pascuzzo.

Children and teens will have the option of getting the new MyCard, or getting a traditional youth library card. The regular card requires a parent/guardian signature and proof of address. The traditional youth card allows up to 200 checkouts at a time, but also accrues late fees. The regular youth card can be used at all libraries in the Upper Hudson Library System (Albany and Rensselaer counties).




Library Board Appoints New Executive Director

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Albany Public Library Board of Trustees appointed Scott C. Jarzombek as the organization’s executive director at its regular meeting June 10.

Jarzombek, who currently serves as director of the North Castle Public Library in Armonk, NY, will start at Albany Public Library on June 23. He replaces Carol Nersinger, who retires later this month after five years of service at APL.

“The board and I are very excited to have Scott join us,” said APL Board of Trustees President Holly McKenna. “He has many new ideas to elevate APL’s status in the community and bring more and more people through our doors. He has great vision for our future and wants to improve the lives of our city’s, and our region’s, residents.”

Jarzombek is not new to the city of Albany or Albany Public Library. He started his professional career at APL and served as a branch librarian, primarily at the Howe Branch in the city’s South End, from 2000 to 2009. During his tenure at Howe, “Mr. Scott” was a fixture in the community, created an award-winning summer technology camp for teenagers, and helped plan the complete overhaul of that historic branch library. Jarzombek has owned and maintained a house in Albany for close to a decade.

“I am very excited to return to Albany,” Jarzombek said. “While I have enjoyed my time with other organizations, my heart has always been with APL.”

Jarzombek has held two library directorship positions in the past several years. During his time at North Castle Public Library, he expanded that library’s public space and access, created a leadership team, and developed a marketing plan. He also directed the Pawling Free Library where he established the library as a digital “shelter” during major weather events, expanded programming and public space, and created a mobile computer lab for digital literacy instruction.

He believes in the concept of modern public libraries where everyone has access to information and resources to better their lives.

“There are so many great things about modern libraries, especially when you think about them as the third place. I love the fact that you can visit any of our branches and see how we have become the community’s meeting place,” Jarzombek said. “As the world becomes digitized, the library’s role in our democracy becomes even more important. We bridge the divide for so many members of our community.”

Jarzombek earned a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from the University of Hartford (CT) and a master’s degree in library science from the University at Albany. He is a member of the New York Library Association.

Fun Library Activities This Week

Monday, June 9th, 2014

We’ve got some fun activities planned at APL this week. Join us! And for a complete listing of all APL programs, visit our online calendar.


JUNE 9 (Mon)

+ Get help downloading free books, audiobooks, and magazines to your smartphone or tablet at the Bach Branch from 6:30 to 7:30 pm


JUNE 10 (Tues)

+ Enjoy live music by Marty McDermott and Tom Holland at 4:30 pm at the Delaware Branch

+ Youngsters can experiment with gadgets, gizmos, and goo at the Howe Branch from 3:30 to 4:30 pm


JUNE 11 (Wed)

+ Youngsters ages 5-17 can make a gift for that special father in their lives at the Bach Branch starting at 4 pm

+ Use our sewing machines to repair your clothes or make new ones at the Howe Branch between 6 and 7:30 pm


JUNE 12 (Thurs)

+ Toddlers and their caregivers enjoy story time at the North Albany Branch at 10:30 to 11:30 am

+ Teens have fun after school with games, craft projects and more at the Pine Hills Branch from 4 to 5 pm


JUNE 13 (Fri)

+ Bring your teenagers to the Main Library for Wii gaming fun from 4 to 5 pm


JUNE 14 (Sat)

+ Be part of the audience as WEXT 97.7 tapes “The Peanut Butter Jam” children’s music show from 11 am to 1 pm in the Children’s Room at the Main Library

+ Explore our collection of local history in this open house on the second floor of the Main Library from 11 am to 5 pm

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