Wallkill Public Library
Will Gatsby ever be great?

 The Great Gatsby is being released today! Huzzah!

 What's that you say? You don't care?

Well, although you're probably not alone, you might very well be the world's smallest minority.

In anticipation of the thousandth remake of the film, book club members across America have dusted off their copies of the Fitzgerald classic, eager to rediscover how much they disliked it the first time. Of course they assure themselves that their taste has matured enough that all the classics that bored them to tears the first time around have now magically transformed into the masterpieces they were always told they were. 

 What's frustrating about the recent Gatsby frenzy is that actually, it was a good book (though no one seemed to realize that until a couple of decades after poor Francis Scott's young death, which happened during a period when no one was reading his books anymore and he was struggling for some screenplay work of his own).

What's more, it was never a good movie. Fitzgerald's brilliant writing, it seems, does not translate to the screen. At all. (He's kind of like Stephen King that way.) But that hasn't stopped studio after studio from giving innumerable Gatsbies the go-ahead.

Those old enough to recall the 1974 rendition of Gatsby have vowed, in many cases, not to see this latest endeavor, their rationale being that boyish, sandy-haired Leonardo DiCaprio is the polar opposite of boyish, sandy-haired Robert Redford and could therefore never make a good Gatsby, forget about a great one. For some, Leonardo will forever be that poor artist guy from Titanic whose chivalry cost him his life. Or that developmentally disabled guy from What's Eating Gilbert Grape who kept climbing tall objects, who knows.

It will be interesting to see, though. Not the movie itself, probably, but the process of trying to turn what was once deemed a so-so book and is now a classic into the great film it's never been.


Coming up at the Wallkill Public Library
Tomorrow: Another Book Sale Blowout will be held at the Friends' Used Book Shop between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. See below for details.
Monday: The Mini Art Club meets at 10:30.
Tuesday: Book Buddies meet at 10:30 a.m. Gnome and Gardening Family Story Time takes place at 4 p.m. The community room of Town Hall is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for Textile Tuesdays - bring a project and whatever equipment you need and come and go as you please!
Wednesday: Mommy and Me meets at 10 a.m., followed by Toddler Story Time at 11 a.m. The Art Club meets at 4 p.m. Adult Computer Class is held at 7 p.m.
Thursday: The Knit and Crochet Club meets at 6:30 p.m. upstairs. Guitar Lessons for ages 11 and up are held at 6:30 p.m. downstairs.
Friday: All ages are welcome for Fun on the Lawn at 4 p.m. Join Miss Christine for some natural stress reduction: fresh air, vitamin D, and playtime!    
Sale was so nice, they're doing it twice! 
 The Friends' Used Book Shop's Book Sale Blowout last Saturday was such a success, they're doing it again!
Last week's sale raised a total of about $300 (counting the collectibles sold by Adrienne and Jim Perine) in just four hours.
Since the book shop's shelves still overfloweth, the sale will continue tomorrow!
Stop by the Friends' Used Book Shop between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. tomorrow and you can pick up a plastic shopping bag full of books for just $3, or a paper grocery bag for $5! Inside the store a buy one/get one free sale will be going on, as well.
Like all used book shops, one of the appeals of looking for material there (aside from the great prices!) is the eclectic collection, including out-of-print items that you won't find at Barnes and Noble (or even the library, sometimes). For just a few dollars, you can line your own shelves with your favorite authors, bestsellers, and tough-to-find gems that may have once been blockbusters but have long since been forgotten. Stop by the shop and see for yourself!
 Books Alive! crew planning trip to show 

This season's Books Alive! cast will be enjoying the stage from a different vantage point next month.

The actors will be attending a matinee performance of The Sound of Music at the Westchester Broadway Dinner Theatre in Elmsford on Friday, June 28. Not only will attendees get center seating, but they'll enjoy a Q and A with the actors after the show!

You, too, can be part of the excitement. Eight tickets are left, and are available at the library for $56.69 each, which includes lunch and gratuity. They'll be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so those interested should act fast! Payment is due by May 28 - checks should be made out to the Wallkill Public Library. 

Books Alive! actors attend at no cost.

Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m., where attendees will choose from among a selection of six to eight entrees. The show starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Participants are responsible for their own transportation. Carpooling may be an option for those who want or need a ride - contact the library for more information. Parking at the theatre is free.

For more information, contact library director Mary Lou Carolan at 895-3707. The Westchester Broadway Theatre can be reached at (914) 592-2222.

   Plants sought for new butterfly garden   
Do you have a plethora of perennials? A humongous amount of herbs? Want to scale back a bit?
The Wallkill Public Library is currently accepting perennial plant donations, which will be used to start our new butterfly garden.
Plants being sought are common "butterfly host plants," such as sunflowers, snapdragons, black-eyed susans, and others.
Contact Christine for details at 895-3707.
Register soon for summer LEGO Camp!   
Spaces are going fast for this summer's LEGO Camp!
Play-Well TEKnologies is back hosting the program that turned out to be such a hit last summer.
This year, registration is online through Play-Well's website. Camp starts July 15 and runs through July 19. Grades K-2 will meet from 9 a.m. to noon during that week; grades 3-5 will attend a 1-4 p.m. session.
Attendees will learn how to design and build motorized machines, catapults, pyramids, and more, implementing principles of engineering and physics (so they're learning without really knowing it!).
Class size is limited. The fee for the week is $130.
Questions? Call the library at 895-3707.
Book picks sure to get kids to dig reading
This year's Summer Reading Program Book Club for grades 2-6 kicks off June 26 with a Meet and Greet to discuss the club.
Each week thereafter, participants will get to pick from a list of books which one they want to read for that meeting's theme or topic. For instance, the Titanic is the topic slated for discussion the week of July 1. Those coming to that meeting have a choice of reading Polar the Titanic Bear, by Daisy Corning, Tonight on the Titanic, by Mary Pope Osborne, Voices from the Disaster, by Deborah Hopkins, or a couple of other selections. That way if readers don't have the time to finish a 200-page book that week, or don't like a particular book, they have options.
Attendance to all the meetings is not required to take part in the Book Club! Readers can choose which topics interest them and sign up for those sessions individually.
Crafts will follow the discussions each week.
You can get a preview of the scheduled topics and book list here.   
Library looking for landscape artist 

Do you have a green thumb?  Are you looking for a few extra dollars? 

We would like to talk with you about helping to beautify the gardens around the library park.  We will supply the flowers and plants, we need you to plant them and make them pretty! 

Please call Mary Lou by May 17 if interested.  895-3707. 


                                                                    Mary Lou Carolan


Local businesses welcome to wish big    
Intuit is sponsoring a Love Our Local Business Spring Wish Program, which aims to support small businesses by granting 15 wishes to help entrepreneurs "spring forward."
        All you have to do to participate is visit the program's website  and follow the simple instructions provided (basically make a wish and start gathering votes for it). Winners will be granted their wish (providing it's valued at $5,000 or less).
Deadline for entry is May 12.  We wish you luck!
  Wumbers provides clever fun 4 little 1s
What do you get when you combine a word and a number? A wumber! Paying tribute to William Steig's CDB! (and texters everywhere), best-selling book, cre8ors Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have wri10 and illustr8ed this s2pendous book that is 1derful 4 readers in kindergar10 and up. If we've confused you, just take a look at the book - 4tun8ly it has helpful pictures. We are sure you will get it ins10tly!
Wumbers is available at the Wallkill Public Library.
 Kids need stress relief, too - let us help!

I just woke from the most restful sleep.  You know the kind where you feel like you are a little lost, almost weightless, your limbs melted into the bed, you wake up disoriented in your own room?  Yes, it was wonderful.  I now feel energized and alert and grounded.  I should do that more often! Fact is, true relaxation happens so infrequently these days that it is much more obvious when it occurs now than perhaps years before. Overstimulation plays a big role.  This smartphone chirping and vibrating beside me on the table is one of the culprits.  Four e-mail accounts, full-time work running the most wonderful library in the Hudson Valley, finishing my final two classes of grad school, managing a household on my own and attempting to manage a 14-year-old daughter - all factor into what would serve as a good case for exhaustion. The need for rest and sleep is primarily motivated by stress and not often very peaceful. One thing I know for sure is that I don't want to ride on this train much longer.  It takes its toll.
I read the other day that forgetfulness is really just inattention.  Thank goodness it may not be early onset Alzheimer's, but could it be too much on our minds and too many things to do that's doing many of us in?  What lessons are we sending from how we live our hectic lives to our children?  Are we giving them those "wistful days of childhood" memories many of us have?  As summer arrives, have we scheduled in "nothing" several days a week so our kids can relax or are they already registered for soccer, football, basketball, art, music and science camp that will take them right through Labor Day?    
Recently several parents of elementary school-aged children were lamenting in a group discussion about how stressed their kids are around taking the standardized tests.  They weren't sleeping; they were nauseous, crying, totally freaked out about doing well on these tests!  Is this insane? How dare we allow this to happen to our children?  Who is giving them these messages? When did testing children go from a diagnostic assessment to the dominant exercise in education? Skills assessment is not learning.  Because one can do well on an exam does not indicate much more than the fact that one can do well on a test.  Are the kids really learning?  Are they excited about learning?  Are they curious and want to know more?  Of course not - they feel responsible, they feel stressed, they are having wonder and curiosity systematically removed from their thought processes and, dare I say, the simple joys of childhood.
Our library just invested in a varied collection of books and music CDs for our children's collection on mindfulness, relaxation, being curious, taking the time to learn, yoga, meditation and boredom.  Many great minds will tell you that boredom is what kick-started their great ideas or inventions. A mind must rest and empty now and then for new ideas to be born. It allows time for wonder to creep back in. Wonder makes you think about things and ask "Why?" Those questions lead to other questions that make one curious to learn more. This is where true learning and understanding takes place.  At the library we won't test you. We will help build your curiosity, give you time to relax and ponder, rest and think, share ideas with others.  So come visit, bring your boredom, your curiosity, your questions. We have long summer days ahead and plenty for you to learn and experience, or just come sit and rest on our front lawn in one of our new lawn chairs, pick at the grass, look up at the clouds, listen to the birds.  Be.


Mary Lou Carolan

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