September is Library Card Sign Up Month



September is National Library Card Sign-up Month! Why not celebrate by stopping in and getting a library card? There are so many doors opened to you when you have a library card in your wallet. You can check out eBooks and download audiobooks from our website, you have access to Mango Languages and can choose from over 70 languages to learn, and you will have access to POWERLibrary databases. All of these things can be done from the comfort of your own home! Your card will also enable you to borrow books, DVDs and books on CD at the library. If we don’t have the book that you are looking for, we can request it from another library. All you need is a photo I.D. to get started!

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Families are invited to join the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program at Oswayo Valley Memorial Library. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a nationwide challenge that encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children. By reading just one book a night, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in three years and provide their children essential early literacy skills.

Research shows that the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood. Reading to children from an early age can help close the vocabulary gap and prepare children to enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. Most importantly, sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is available to all families with children between the ages of birth and five years. Registration is open. For more information, call the library at 814-697-6691, or visit our website, This program is free of charge.

*1000 Books Before Kindergarten name and logo are used with permission from the 1000 Books Foundation.

Book Review of The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

The Robber Bride, by Margaret Atwood is a new twist on an old, almost forgotten Grimm tale. Not so new, as it was published in 1993. I read it when it first came out, then re-read it a couple of times, read the Grimm version and  Eudora Welty’s take and also saw the musical which was based on Welty’s novel. Now I’ve just read Atwood’s book again and enjoyed it just as much as the first time—she is that good a writer.

The original tale was set in Germany, and was called “The Robber Bridegroom”. The plot is simple, but creepy: a young man sweet-talks his betrothed into visiting his house in the woods, where he and his cronies plan to kill and eat her. The tale features a pet raven who tries to warn the woman, crying “Turn back, turn back!” She escapes, but another young woman’s murder is discovered when her ring is found on a severed finger. (I told you it was creepy.)

Eudora Welty chose this tale for her first novel, published in 1942. She embellished it by setting it on the Natchez Trace and adding real life characters like Mike Fink, a legendary brawler and river boatman, as well as Little Harp, who was a Mississippi bandit. In this version, the bridegroom is an outlaw, but the real villain is Little Harp. The 1978 musical takes Welty’s version and turns it into a dark comedy with rollicking tunes.

Margaret Atwood borrows the theme of the folk tale, but makes the vampiric villain a woman who devours her victims in a metaphoric, rather than literal, sense. As Roz says, “She’ll just take one bite out of him and throw him away.” The novel is riddled with fairy tale references: the witch who cannot enter your house without your invitation, rituals that keep ghosts in their place. Atwood is a gifted writer who creates word pictures to capture the essence of her characters. Tony sneaks along behind her sleep-walking friend “like a butterfly collector.” Charis is “slippery and translucent…like the prehensile tentacles of sea anemones.” Zenia, dressed in white, “glows like the moon.”

Margaret Atwood is a prolific award-winning poet, novelist, essayist and literary critic. The Robber Bride is a pleasure to read.

Learn a New Language!

Say hello to Oswayo Valley Memorial Library’s newest language-learning resource: Mango Premiere™.  The newest addition to the popular Mango Languages database, Mango Premiere™ is the first and only language-learning resource to teach through film.

Turning the entertainment experience into a learning experience, Mango Premiere™ exposes students to four key areas of language learning – vocabulary, phrases, culture and grammar – all while enjoying the fun and excitement of a movie.

Users are able to customize their learning experience by choosing how they want to watch a film.  In “Movie Mode”, you can watch the entire movie with your choice of subtitles (English subtitles, subtitles in the language you’re learning, or both).  Or you can select “Engage Mode” to learn each scene’s dialogue, part-by-part.

Along the way, you’ll see all the same features that Mango users have come to know and love: semantic color mapping, phonetic pop-ups, quizzes, Grammar Notes, Culture Notes, and more.

Ask a librarian how to get started or visit to get started.

Appalachian Trail Adventure for Kids!

Come visit with “Blissful” who has hiked the famous Appalachian Trail twice and in each direction! Lauralee will be visting with us on Thursday, August 10th, at 10:30 a.m.

From bears to snakes, plants, trees, cool views, and funny hiking pictures, we will explore the trail from Georgia to Maine! Find out how Blissful cooked on the trail using a tiny stove and pot. Snuggle in a mummy bag in the woods. Create your own “trail name” through drawing and words to earn a carabiner to hook on your day pack or belt loop!

Stop by the library or call us at 814-697-6691 to register. This program is free to all elementary-age students.