National Library Week!

Yes, it’s that time when we celebrate libraries and all they do. Here’s a celebratory little jingle. Enjoy! Library song by Cursor Miner

It’s also a great time to get a library card, if you don’t have one already. Libraries are terrific for kids and families, of course! But there are also things adults will love, including our free museum passes for all adult North Castle Patrons in good standing, our new seed library, our programs for adults, and streaming movies, TV, and music. We’ve got free e-books and audiobooks, too, as well as lots of databases from local history to career prep.

Here’s a link where you can apply for a library card!

And every resident of New York state can apply for a card from the New York Public Library, too. Get yours here!


Do two swallows make a spring?

Did those swallows come back to San Juan Campistrano, the way they’re supposed to every March 19? It seems they did! It may be pretty cold still, but it’s true–the birds are coming back, even to the Northeast. Here are a few books and videos about these remarkable creatures. We’ll start  with one you may have seen, but it’s worth seeing twice!

winged migration

This classic follows birds on the wing as they migrate, in some cases thousands of miles, from their summer breeding grounds to their winter homes and back again. Amazing photography!

Continue reading “Do two swallows make a spring?”

Queens of Mystery!

We’re celebrating women, and it’s a good time of year to cuddle up with a cozy mystery. Did you know some of the greatest authors of Britain’s Golden Age of Mystery were women? Everyone’s heard of Agatha Christie, of course, but she’s well worth reading, or rereading, for all us fans of cozy mysteries.

Murder at the Vicarage

“Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,”declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, “would be doing the world at large a favor!”

It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later—when the Colonel is found shot dead in the clergyman’s study. But as Miss Marple soon discovers, the whole village seems to have had a motive to kill Colonel Protheroe. (from This is Miss Marple’s first case, and the world’s introduction to a most unusual detective.


light thickens

New Zealand-born Marsh herself directed the infamous “Scottish Play” twice, and her description here of a production haunted by nastiness–and finally by murder–is gripping. And a murderer’s son is in the cast–

strong poison

A clever and beautifully-written mystery that’s also the beginning of a love story. Lord Peter Wimsey, detective-about-town in 1930s London, is attending the trial of a young woman accused of poisoning her lover. It seems an open-and-shut case, but Lord Peter becomes convinced Harriet is innocent. When there is a mistrial, he has only one month to find the real murderer and save Harriet’s life. We have the DVD, too, and it’s great!

Franchise Affair

In a small town in 1950’s England, soliciter Robert Blair receives a plea for help. Marion Sharpe, who lives alone with her mother in a house called the Franchise, has been accused of kidnapping and abusing a teenage girl. Marion insists the girl has never even entered the house, and Blair believes her. But things look very black when the teenager, Betty Kane, gives an exact description of their house and the room she was held in, down to the luggage in their boxroom. Can Marion and her mother really be innocent?

These are just a few of the classic mysteries you can find in the library! Do you have any favorite cozy mysteries or golden age classics you’d like to recommend?

African American Directors!

Yes, awards season is upon us, as my colleague Karen mentioned below. So is African-American history month. So, to celebrate, I’d like to share some films in our collection: not just the famous ones like Selma (directed by Ava DuVernay) and 12 Years a Slave (directed by Steve McQueen) or Do the Right Thing (directed by Spike Lee). Here are a few more! You may know some of these movies already. If not, why not come in and borrow one or two?

Malcolm D. Lee directed this comedy about a group of friends who have to do damage control; the best man has written a tell-all book that tells some things that shouldn’t be told.

best man

Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust is a family story set among the Gullah people of the Sea Islands of the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. Now the family must leave their home. Remarkable script and cinematography; a truly ground-breaking film by an African-American woman.


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Hoopla for travel!

Today, I got asked a really smart question. “I know I can watch streaming movies from the library,” a patron said. “But can I download a movie to my phone or iPad so I can watch it on the plane?”

Yes, you can! Here’s how:


If you don’t already have it, just go to your app store and download hoopla for your device. It looks like this. Once it’s downloaded, open it.

At this point, you can sign up with your library card and PIN and choose your own username and password.

Once you’re in, you can start looking for movies and TV shows.

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Happy Birthday, Madeleine!

This American author was born 100 years ago today. She is, of course, most famous for this,

wrinkle book


Though modern audiences may be more familiar with this version of the story.

wrinkle movie

Whether you prefer the classic text or the updated movie, we have both in the library! Madeleine L’Engle famously struggled to get this challenging book before readers. It blends astrophysics, family story, and theology with a thrilling coming-of-age tale. And its young heroine was one of the first female protagonists in a science fiction novel.

A Wrinkle in Time was initially published for young adults 12 and up, and L’Engle is most famous for her works for children and teens. But she also wrote for adults. Here are a couple of books from her nonfiction “Crosswicks” series.

two-part invention

In Two-Part Invention: the Story of a Marriage, L’Engle details her life with actor Hugh Franklin, including their running a general store in a rural village in Connecticut and his struggle with cancer.

great grandmother

The Summer of the Great-Grandmother movingly depicts L’Engle’s mother’s battle with dementia. Here is the first paragraph:

This is the summer of the great-grandmother, more her summer than any other summer. This is the summer after her ninetieth birthday, the summer of the swift descent. (page 3, paperback edition)

L’Engle also wrote poetry, novels for adults, and essays. If you enjoy her work, you’ll find plenty to explore in the library system. Enjoy!

November Celebrations!

Okay, have another poll for the beginning of a new month

And the answer is–

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