@ Your Library 10.15.19

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@ Your Library

by Beverly Ewart



Sometimes autumn stops us in our tracks with glorious displays of fiery foliage.  The diversity of color has been the theme of countless musical compositions, poems, and paintings.  

But when Columbus Day arrives with autumnal pomp, we are reminded that diversity of color has also been known to stop us in our tracks when it comes to human rights.  We have experienced the chaos of derailments when we’ve hit roadblocks of ignorance, oppression, and greed, rather than the peace of being able to appreciate and celebrate the scenic overview of an ethnically diverse population.

CFL has a growing collection of materials that celebrate the beauty of ethnic diversity, as well as delineate our derailments over the course of history.  Pull over and check some of them out - you just might be stopped in your tracks!


  • These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore.  Award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers an account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore's groundbreaking investigation places truth itself--a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence--at the center of the nation's history. The American experiment rests on three ideas--'these truths,' Jefferson called them--political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise? 

  • The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants out of America by Daniel Okrent.  Eugenicist arguments ranking the presumed genetic virtue of various ethnic groups helped keep hundreds of thousands of Jews, Italians, and other unwanted groups out of the United States for more than forty years. By 1921 Vice President Calvin Coolidge declared that 'biological laws' had proven the inferiority of southern and eastern Europeans; the restrictive law that remained U.S. policy until 1965 was enacted three years later. Okrent connects the work of the American eugenicists to Nazi racial policies and shows how their beliefs found fertile soil in the minds of citizens and leaders both here and abroad. 

  • Children of the River by Linda Crew.  Having fled Cambodia four years earlier to escape the Khmer Rouge army, seventeen-year-old Sundara is torn between remaining faithful to her own people and enjoying life in her Oregon high school as a "regular" American.

  • The Nickel Boys: A novel by Colson Whitehead.   As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."

  • A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord.  When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily's grandfather--but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.

  • Heart of a Samurai: Based on the True Story of Manjiro Nakahama by Margi Preus. In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.

  • Refugee by Alan Gratz.  Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy livng in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.


Children’s  Programs: 

Baby Storytime for 0-18 months and a caregiver, no registration needed. Tuesday mornings 10:00-10:45am. Books, bounce rhymes, songs, finger plays, and social/play time.

Toddler Storytime for 18-35 months and a caregiver. No registration. Monday mornings 10:30-11:00am. Involves books, flannel board stories, finger plays, music, and a craft activity.

Preschool Storytime for 3-5 year olds and a caregiver. No registration is needed. Meets Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:15am. Involves books, flannel board stories, songs, fingerplays, movement, and crafts.

Junior Writers Group for ages 8-12 meets the second and last Thursday from 3:30-4:50. No registration is needed. Children brainstorm on a given theme, write and perhaps illustrate a short story, and share it with the group if they wish.

Books and Beyond for Kindergarten-2nd grade meets one Tuesday a month from 3-4pm and features books, games, and arts and crafts. Registration is required by the Friday before the program. Email vwhite@ncls.org NOTE: No October program.

Tween Time for grades 3-6 also meets one Tuesday a month from 3-4pm and features books, games, and art. Registration is required by the Friday before the program. Email vwhite@ncls.org


Teen Programs: 

Anime Club: Join us on Friday evenings from 5-7 to experience anime both old school and contemporary. Currently watching Mob Psycho 100 II. 

Chess Club: meets on Mondays from 5-7. All skill levels welcome.

Game Club now runs on Mondays from 3-5pm. Stop in at the library and try your hand at any of our multitude of games! 

Adult Programs: 

The Canton Free Library will continue to offer opportunities this fall to participate in vehicular mayhem through play of the game Gaslands! We will be hosting Gaslands! sessions on the main floor of the library on the 2nd and last Wednesday of each month from 5pm-8pm, with fall dates scheduled for October 23, November 13, November 27, and December 11.

New Group! The Stitchuationists: On Wednesday, October 23, from 6pm-8pm, we will start offering a knitting and stitchery club that we are calling The Stitchuationists.  All are welcome.  Mini-lessons & beginners help will be available.

Oil Painting with Wilson Bickford | October 29th/November 5, 2019 | 5:30-9:00PM. Wilson Bickford will guide participants of all skill levels through the creation of a beautiful landscape oil painting. Participants in this class at the Canton Free Library will be painting "Punkin Truck". REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. A $40 supply fee, payable upon arrival, covers the cost of all supplies, just bring your creative self! To register please call Wilson at: 315-287-4514 

*Our October 29th session with Wilson Bickford is completely full! We are offering a second session on November 5th to accommodate those interested in attending. 


Hours: Canton Free Library (phone: 315 386 3712) is open Monday 9:30am - 8pm, Tuesday 9:30am - 5pm, Wednesday 9:30am - 8pm, Thursday 9:30am -5pm, Friday 9:30am -5pm, and Saturday 10am-3pm. Please note that the book drop remains open 24/7 for returns. Rensselaer Falls Branch Library (phone: 315 344 7406) is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3pm -6pm. Morley Branch Library (phone: 315 379 0066) is open Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1pm - 4pm and Wednesdays from 3pm-6pm.  

For more CFL news, “like” the library page on Facebook.  Find new additions to our collection on our website: cantonfreelibrary.org. To renew your current checkouts, login to ncls.org; you may also renew via email at canlib@ncls.org, or by calling (315) 386-3712.

Celebrate diversity @ your library!