Skyhunters in Flight wow a full house
Brian Bradley wowed our audience with his fascinating look into the world of raptors. Over 100 people of all ages gathered in the Community Room to learn about the important role these birds play at the top of the food chain in our environment, and their adaptations for survival in the wild. There were oohs and aahs from the crowd as Brian brought out each magnificent bird. After a quick demonstration inside, the large group moved outside to the Library lawn to watch Razor the Hawk swoop down off the roof during a hunting demonstration. 

Check out our Facebook page to watch videos of the raptors in flight.
Ancestry, Universal Class among online offerings
Library databases are often overlooked by users who associate them with pedantic, stodgy reference guides that come in handy for the researcher but are too dull to interest anyone else.

The truth is, your library card gives you access to not only encyclopedias and scholarly articles, but movie-streaming sites, genealogy information, online magazines and picture books, and much more! Wallkill Public Library members can learn a new hobby via Universal Class , find out more about their ancestors with Ancestry or HeritageQuest , access military records (including personal photos and stories) through Fold3 , stream a movie or documentary through Kanopy, and much more! These are services you would normally shell out beaucoup bucks for if you were purchasing them on your own. Kanopy, in fact, was dropped by New York City’s three public library systems last year because of its high cost.

But it’s yours for free, along with many other valuable offerings. The Ulster County InfoPortal, which is funded by the Ulster County government, is a major source of these databases, so we thank the county for its support! You can find Wallkill’s online resources at http://guides.rcls.org/wakdatabases/ .
New Adult Fiction
by James Patterson
by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
by C. J. Box
by Louise Erdrich
by Susan Mallery
by Steve Berry
by Jenny Offill
by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Additional feedback on American Dirt
Another anonymous reader responded to the question posed in a recent newsletter re: the controversy surrounding the book American Dirt .

Jeanine Cummins’ novel is shifting between spots 1 and 2 on most bestseller lists, but its focus on a Mexican mother and son’s treacherous journey to seek refuge in the United States continues to generate criticism.

The person who responded to the blast article had this to say:

As a publishing professional and Latina author, I have been following the American Dirt controversy.

With American Dirt, Jeanine Cummins said she wanted to humanize “the faceless brown mass.” Now that “the faceless brown mass” is speaking up for itself, some people don’t want to hear what it has to say.

What has been frustrating is to see this controversy framed again and again as an attack on free speech.

This has never been an attack on free speech. The leading critics of American Dirt never called for a banning of the book. They never told Cummins that she can’t write anymore. It’s not even about the fact that she is white, although they have noted (and it is worth noting) that she only recently began identifying as Latina, coinciding with the publication of American Dirt. They have said that her race or ethnicity is not the issue. You can write about characters outside of your race or ethnicity. Do your research. Do your homework.

What they are criticizing is the depiction of Mexico and Mexicans in the novel. These authors and activists have been writing about Mexico for years. They are deeply invested in Mexican and Mexican-American communities. They know them. They have pointed out numerous examples of what Cummins gets wrong about Mexican culture and the actual migrant experience. It should also be understood that the uproar is not about just this one book. There is a larger issue here, the issue being that the publishing industry has so few Latinos working in it, and how that then translates into what is being published and how it is being published.

The publisher Flatiron Books has publicly acknowledged “deep inadequacies” and “serious mistakes in how we rolled out this book.” #DignidadLiteraria, the group formed by the critics I mention above to “combat the invisibility of Latinx authors, editors and executives in the U.S. publishing industry,” met with executives from Macmillan in New York. During the meeting, Macmillan committed to increasing its number of Latino employees, titles, and authors. Again, Macmillan acknowledges it has much work to do.

When people scream censorship and attack on free speech in reference to American Dirt, what they are really saying is that white people can write whatever they want about brown people and brown people must keep silent about it, no matter how inaccurate or flawed the depiction, no matter how harmful the stereotypes. The critics of American Dirt have free speech too. It is a right they are exercising. They are doing so through the avenues available to them, social media and a grassroots movement. They are doing so peacefully. They are asking for a publishing industry that better reflects our society and which is better equipped to publish books about Latinos.

Let’s take stock of American Dirt. It is #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for Combined Print and Ebook Fiction. It was and still is an Oprah’s Book Club pick, despite the fact that many authors (and not just Latinos) have asked Oprah to reconsider her choice. The book is currently featured on the first page of Amazon, BN.com, and IndieBound. I’ve read comments from people saying they would buy the book because of the criticism. All publicity is good publicity, as they say. The publisher did cancel Cummins’ book tour, citing safety concerns. But in their meeting with #DignidadLiteraria, Macmillan confirmed that Cummins did not in fact receive any death threats. On the other hand, at least one member of #DignidadLiteraria has received death threats and has made these public. So, I ask, who is really being silenced in this situation? Who is being censored?

There are so many facets to this, but I would like to wrap up with the mention of another library, The McAllen Public Library in South Texas. This library was selected to be given promotional copies of American Dirt by Oprah’s Book Club. The Director declined to participate. She did so out of respect for the people in her community, people she “represents.” The book is still available for people to borrow; the library is simply not promoting the book as expected to by Oprah’s Book Club. There is a difference between banning a book and not promoting it. An important difference.

I appreciate that the demographics of Wallkill are very different from that of South Texas, but may I make a suggestion? If you have patrons who wish to be entertained by the suffering of migrants and don’t much care whether the story and characters are realistic or authentic, American Dirt may fit the bill. However, if you have patrons who are genuinely interested in learning about the plight of migrants, they would be better served by reading Luis Alberto Urrea, Reyna Grande, Valeria Luiselli, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, and Graciela Limón, to name just a few.

Cummins herself said, “Not everyone has to love my book.” Well, not everyone does! It’s called opinion, dialogue, conversation. And once we lose that, we are living in a country where the only ones who have free speech are the majority.

If you would like to share your opinion of American Dirt and the controversy surrounding it, you can email lpalmer@rcls.org or message the Wallkill Public Library on our Facebook page.
New DVDs
Ford v Ferrari
Judy
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Midway
Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood
Parasite
Yes, there is a way you can track your checkouts!
Nothing is more frustrating than getting a book for a long weekend, taking it home, and realizing once you open it that you’ve already read it.

You can avoid that aggravation by adjusting the settings in your account in our online catalog, which is accessible through our website. All you have to do is sign in to your account, click on Preferences, and check the “Record my checkout history” box as well as the one below it, which will read, “Show my checkout history.” Please note the disclaimer that states that your stored history is subject to a subpoena by law enforcement.

Once you do this, you’ll be able to access a running list of what you’ve checked out, including the dates you borrowed the items.

If you have any questions or are having trouble finding this feature in the catalog, don’t hesitate to ask at the circulation desk!
RCLS Gateway app, your mobile library card and more
Never remember to bring your library card with you? Hate having to rummage through your stuff to find your library card? Download the free RCLS Gateway app, set it up with your library card info once, and never be without your card again! Just tap the “My Barcode” icon on the bottom of the screen to access your card number.

Access the Ramapo Catskill Library System from your phone or tablet. Manage your account, search the catalog, renew and reserve books, find a nearby library, download and read eBooks and listen to eAudiobooks, and scan ISBN codes at the bookstore to see if the items are in the library! The free RCLS Gateway app is available through Google Play or the App Store.
Mini Maker Space: Wet Felting
A day off of school means a mini maker space! On President’s Day, this group worked on wet felted trivets. They placed their roving in thin layers, sealed it in a plastic bag with warm, soapy water and agitated it until the fibers meshed together.
Adult Fiction Club Meets in March
The library’s book club will meet on Tuesday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa.

A haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance, from the acclaimed author of The Housekeeper and The Professor .

On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses—until things become much more serious. Most of the island's inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten.

When a young woman who is struggling to maintain her career as a novelist discovers that her editor is in danger from the Memory Police, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards. As fear and loss close in around them, they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.

A surreal, provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss, The Memory Police is a stunning new work from one of the most exciting contemporary authors writing in any language.
-- from Goodreads
Storytimes celebrate Dental Health Month
February is Children’s Dental Health month, and Miss Tara’s storytime groups shared books about visiting the dentist and discussed ways to keep our teeth healthy and clean. Afterward, it was on to the craft table to paint with toothbrushes and make crocodiles complete with marshmallow teeth.

Join us next week to celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday!
Storytimes with Miss Tara
  • Family Storytime Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., for ages 8 and under (with a caregiver)
  • Little Explorers S.T.E.M. and Sensory Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m., for ages 3-5 (with a caregiver)
  • Storybook Art Club 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., for ages 8 and under (with a caregiver)
  • Baby and Me Storytime and Playgroup Thursdays at 10 a.m., for ages 0-24 months (with a caregiver)
Club Kid – Ostrander & Leptondale
Miss Tara and Miss Christine visited both aftercare programs this month. In attempt to beat the winter blues, they planned some fun activities including tabletop ping-pong, skittles shuffleboard, and homemade bookmark crafts. 
Baby and Me Storytime and Playgroup
Miss Tara’s baby group is booming! We love seeing our old friends and so many new faces. 
Read to Zoe
Zoe had quite a few visitors this month, and loved all of the attention.

Come Read to Zoe on March 12th at 4 PM, and stay to paint a rainbow for St. Patrick’s Day.
New Food Magazines
Tired of answering the age-old question of “what’s for dinner?” with the same tired answers each week?

Expand your culinary repertoire with recipes from two new food magazines available at the library! Both Cook's Country and Cuisine at Home offer delicious make-it-at-home options that don’t require a degree from a culinary institute or a lot of specialized equipment and hard-to-find ingredients. These mags offer tips to make your prep work in the kitchen a little easier, reviews on kitchen hardware and ingredients, mouth-watering photography of every dish, and... no ads! Check one out today!

New Young Adult titles
by Holly Black
by Jennifer Longo
by Adalyn Grace
by Adam Silvera
VOW meets second Tuesday of each month
VOW’s next scheduled meetings will be on March 12 and April 9. Those interested in joining the group will have the opportunity to help with such initiatives as the annual Town-Wide Yard Sale, summer concert series, Weekend of Wallkill, fundraising activities, and more.

The group meets at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall. For more information, contact Donna Myer at 851-8105.
Use Novelist to find your next great read
Click on any of the underlined book titles in this newsletter to link to a description of the book from Novelist. In addition to plot summaries, you can find "read-alikes", other titles by the same author, and check the library's catalog to put a copy on hold for yourself!

Novelist is always available on the library website home page. Have your library card and PIN handy to sign in to find your next great read!
Easy online registration!
Register for any of our programs through the Calendar of Events on our website by clicking here .