The North Country Jazz Messengers

The Potsdam Public Library is proud to present The North Country Jazz Messengers, a trio made up of bassist Dan Gagliardi, his son, trombonist Eric Gagliardi, and guitarist Paul Meyers.
Both from Canton, Dan has worked as a professional bassist, having performed at numerous venues (both public and private) in the north country for over 20 years, while Eric has since graduated from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in 2022. During his time there, he studied with brass legends Jon Faddis and John Mosca, and has played in venues all over NYC and the north country.

New York City-based guitarist Paul Meyers has been a busy freelancer, sideman and bandleader in and around The City since 1980. He has performed and/or recorded with a list of jazz greats such as Geri Allen, Harry Allen, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Ray Drummond, Eliane Elias, Clare Fischer, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Gomez, Annie Ross, Wynton Marsalis, Bill Mays, Rufus Reid and Steve Wilson.
He has been touted as “one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists since Kenny Burrell” by James Gavin of the New York Times, and has been called “. . . [A] guitarist’s guitarist. [A] brilliant soloist and accompanist and excels in contemporary jazz.” by solo jazz guitar master Gene Bertoncini.

“Theatre for Social Change” with Rivka Eckert

Possibilities in Poetry & Prose at PPL welcomes author and playwright Rivka Eckert, who will share with us from her new book “Into Abolitionist Theatre: A Guidebook for Liberatory Theatre-making” and selections from her performance work.

An educator, mother/artist, scholar activist, and abolitionist theatre-maker, Rivka’s Into Abolitionist Theatre: A Guidebook for Liberatory Theatre-making, explores theatre-making as disruption to capitalism and highlights theatre projects/programs in prisons, higher education, secondary education, and with marginalized youth.

Rivka received her M.F.A in Theatre for Youth and Communities from Arizona State University and her B.A. in Theatre Education and Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College. Eckert has taught Theatre and English in prisons, high schools, and middle schools and worked with the Peace Corps in Samoa and Liberia. From 2016-2024, Rivka taught in SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Theatre, Dance, and Arts Management.

Possibilities in Poetry & Prose is a monthly reading series that explores the power of language to help us understand ourselves, our behavior, and the world around us. Literary arts impact our perception, help us express our differences, bring people together, and create community. Each event offers a reading and presentation, an open Q&A, and a book signing and opportunity to meet the author. These events are created to engage all of our north country community, not only those that have an interest in the literary arts, and will help us explore local and relevant issues of our time.

Possibilities in Poetry & Prose is curated by Karyn Crispo, MFA, poet and Creatives Rebuild New York grant recipient, in partnership with the Potsdam Public Library.  This event is free and open to the public.

 

Meet the Author w/ Pendra J. King

If you missed Pendra the last time she was here, it was a riot of a good time . . . We planned on asking her back, we enjoyed ourselves so much, and don’t you know, she went and wrote a second book to promote for this second visit!
Pendra J. King was PPL’s second local author to appear in our North Country Section as a part of our Meet the Author Series. Last time she brought cookies (which happened to be from the recipe in her first book, Brain Scraps . . . get it and make them, you will be glad you did!).
Now, Pendra returns with more hysterical antics and touching stories about her life in the north country.
A resident of Brasher, Pendra will talk about her thoughtful, funny, and sometimes salacious life stories and misadventures, many of which feature members of her family (oh, the stories about her mother will shock you!), as well as how she compiled them into both of her books. Her last visit was more of a conversation with sprinkles of storytelling . . . We wonder what she will bring this time! We are looking forward to finding out.

Possibilities in Poetry & Prose, featuring Karyn Crispo

Join the Potsdam Public Library on Tuesday, June 25 at 6pm for our new monthly literary series: Possibilities in Poetry & Prose. Poet Karyn Crispo will share with us from her new manuscript “Tree Songs: The Healing Power of Trees.”

Poet, author, and teacher, Karyn Crispo holds an MFA from Emerson College in Boston and has taught writing at St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, and Bunker Hill Community College. Her collection of poems, Building a Second Home, was nominated for the Massachusetts Book Award and the Pen New England Literary Award, and her work has appeared in several journals. She is currently at work on two poetry manuscripts: Tree Songs and Scars Barely Visible. Crispo leads writing workshops for those incarcerated at her local county jail and is an advocate for restorative justice. She is a recipient of a Creatives Rebuild New York Artist Award and organizes the North Country’s Possibilities in Poetry and Prose monthly reading series. A lover of nature and the Adirondacks, Crispo lives in the North Country with her family.

Possibilities in Poetry & Prose is a monthly reading series that explores the power of language to help us understand ourselves, our behavior, and the world around us. Literary arts impact our perception, help us express our differences, bring people together, and create community. Each event offers a reading and presentation, an open Q&A, and a book signing and opportunity to meet the author. These events are created to engage all of our North Country community, not only those that have an interest in the literary arts, and will help us explore local and relevant issues of our time.

Possibilities in Poetry & Prose is organized by Karyn Crispo, MFA, poet and Creatives Rebuild New York grant recipient, in partnership with the Potsdam Public Library. This event is free and open to the public.

Energy Workshop Series: Phantoms in Your House!

Really. There are energy phantoms in your house. They’re things that draw energy even when they aren’t in use. Come learn about where they are lurking and how much you could save by eliminating them.

Financial Wellness w/ Matt @ PPL

Join Key Bank Personal Banker Matt Fozard as he continues his Key Bank at Work Presentation with a discussion on credit solutions, how to build credit, and the importance of your credit score.

PPL to Hold Budget Hearing and Vote, Trustee Election

On June 26 Potsdam Public Library will be holding its annual budget vote and trustee elections.

A public hearing for the presentation of PPL’s budget will be held in the library’s upstairs classroom on Wednesday, June 12 at 6PM, and election will be held in the library basement (2 Park Street) on Wednesday, June 26, from noon to 8:00 p.m.

A few things that the public should know about the upcoming budget:

The tax cap is 2.33%, which is less than the current inflation rate. The total increase would be $14,113. The current tax rate is $1.0704 per $1000 of assessed property value and the new rate would be $1.0953. For a $100,000 home, the increase would be $2 for the year.

“We did skip a year during Covid and that set us back, so at this point we’re just trying to keep steady,” PPL Director Annie Davey said. “We realize inflation is still having a huge impact on everyone. Our costs are increasing dramatically in many areas, and we have 19 computers that are too old for security updates. That alone is going to cost over $16,000. We will keep working to find grant funding to bridge the gap.” (Check out the library’s 24-25 Budget here.)

In addition to the budget vote, Trustee Abigail A. DeCastro is running for re-election, and there are a total of three empty seats which are write-in positions on the ballot. One of these seats has two years remaining in the term, and the other two are full three-year seats.

Lastly, let’s address some myths surrounding library usage and declining reading trends that we have noticed in the local media lately.

Does anybody even read books anymore? Yes we do! According to the latest Gallup survey, only 17% of respondents did not read a book in the last year. This rate has remained about the same since they first posed the question in 1990 (16% at that time).

How many books did you read last year? And what are your favorite genres? According to a recent Gallup survey, mystery and history are the top favorites. In 1990, the average American read 15.3 books per year.

Library patrons save money by using library services! Of course, we have books, and are happy to order whatever is on your wish list. We also have movie streaming and DVDs. We have eBooks and audiobooks. You can borrow musical instruments. We have the fastest wifi in town. We have Ancestry, and lots of other e-resources. And so much free entertainment in the form of programs and events. Share with your friends! Signing up for a card is easy. Just stop in at the circulation desk.

Our renovated space has opened up all kinds of new possibilities for programs that you love! Concerts, theater, art shows, yoga, and so much more! Where else can you attend so many different kinds of fun events without any expectation of spending money?

Your vote is important! We are so proud and grateful to live in a community that values its library. Thanks to everyone who has voted in the past. Please come and cast your vote on June 26th! 

Meet your incumbent PPL Library Abigail (Abby) DeCastro, who is seeking re-election:

Abby is a native of the Finger Lakes Region and has been living in Potsdam since 2016 with her husband, Miles, and their three cats. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, has held the position of Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Clarkson University, and currently works as a Financial Aid Advisor at SUNY Potsdam. Abby plays the clarinet and is an active member of Northern Symphonic Winds, Potsdam Community Band, and also performs with several high school musical pit orchestras throughout the region. As a life-long lover of books and an avid reader, Abby is eager to continue her involvement within the community while advocating for the beautifully renovated Potsdam Public Library, which is an essential public resource she remains passionate about. A former resident of several different states and still a relative newcomer to Potsdam, Abby is excited to continue to represent the library and promote the access of its invaluable services across a broader cross-section of our area.

PPL’s Evening Book Club

For June, the club is reading ‘The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez and will discuss the book at the June 18 meeting.

Energy Workshop Series: What’s an Audit?

Never fear! This is not that kind of audit. This is an Energy Audit that takes a complete look at your home, your energy use, and costs. The result is a comprehensive report of what you can do to improve heating and cooling of your house, save money, and be more comfortable.

If you missed the first workshop, please feel free to bring your energy bills and someone will help you to understand it better and save!

Financial Wellness w/ Matt @ PPL

Join Key Bank Personal Banker Matt Fozard as he continues his Key Bank at Work Presentation with a discussion on the importance of savings, budgeting, and how to create positive habits to help build your savings account. We will be available for questions and individual concerns both in group and private settings.