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Reference Newsletter

August 16, 2010

Copies of our Reference Department's newsletter ("RE:fresh!") are available both in print at the library and online at this link. Print copies can be found both at Reference and Circulation.

We really hope you get a chance to catch up on some of the many exciting developments and services we have been working on for the past several months.

With a new school year fast approaching, we would like to encourage local area students (and their parents) to make use of our Reference Department and all the resources freely available through Thrall.

Our free online Reference service is just one click away from our home page, as are many informative research databases, encyclopedias, and convenient guides to information online and in the library.

If you do not have a library card yet, please contact our Circulation Department to find out if you qualify for a free card. That one card grants you access to nearly fifty libraries within the Ramapo Catskill Library System, and many of those libraries' materials can be interlibrary-loaned and delivered to Thrall once you have your card!

Whether you would like to get a head start on school, do some research, browse our many collections, find a good book to read, learn new things, or discover upcoming events and concerts at the Thrall, we look forward to seeing you very soon!

Library Newsletter

February 12, 2010

We have been working non-stop in all areas of our services to make Middletown Thrall Library your best first option for information, research, and recreational reading.

A sampling of our efforts are reflected in our newest newsletter:

Please click here to select and begin reading Thrall's latest newsletter.

Enhanced color copies of our newsletter are available in print at the library.

A new issue of RE:fresh, our Reference services newsletter is also in the works (check for it in our Reference blog).

Our patrons have been and will always be our topmost priority. It is an honor and a pleasure to serve you!

From the Library Director:
Board Meeting Date Moved

Posted on February 9, 2010

The Board Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, 2010, at 7PM has been rescheduled to Thursday, February 11 (same time) in anticipation of the upcoming snow storm.

From the Library Director:
Library Budget & Trustee Vote Results

Posted on October 6, 2009

The vote on the proposed 2010 Thrall Public Library District budget was held on Tuesday, October 6th.

It passed by a margin of 171-38.

The budget approval was for an operating budget of $2,907,395.

There was also a vote for two four-year terms on the Board of Trustees. The winners of the two seats were Tonia A. Crown, who received 174 votes, and Richard C. Bell, who received 142 votes. Joan C. Hutchinson finished third with 140 votes.

The new terms for the trustee seats will commence on January 1, 2010.

The Thrall Public Library District operates the Middletown Thrall Library, Orange County's busiest public library.

For more information, please contact Kevin J. Gallagher, Director at (845)341-5485 or

From the Library Director:
Proposed 2010 Library Budget

Posted on July 27, 2009

The Board of Trustees is proposing an operating budget for 2010 of $2,907,395. This represents an increase of $65,063 over this year's actual budget, or 2.3%.

If approved, the 2010 budget would mark the second year in a row with an increase of less than 2.5%. With this proposed budget, the library tax levy would increase 2.98%.

Some notable points concerning the budget proposal: The public hearing on the budget will be held on: Wednesday, September 9, 2009, at 7:00 PM at Middletown Thrall Library in the Board Room.

If you have any questions about the proposed budget, please contact Kevin J. Gallagher, Director, at (845) 341-5485, or via e-mail at

From the Library Director:
Two Trustee Seats Up for Election

July 20, 2009

There will be two seats on the Board of Trustees up for election this October. Each seat carries a four-year term, beginning Jan. 1, 2010.

The incumbents, Richard C. Bell, and Joan C. Hutchinson, are expected to seek another term.

Seats will be voted on as part of the budget vote on Tuesday, October 6, 2009.

Individuals interested in running for the Board of Trustees can learn more about the duties by contacting Kevin J. Gallagher, Director, at 341-5485, or via e-mail at

Petitions for candidates can be picked up in the Director's office beginning on Monday, August 17th.

There is no remuneration for serving as a library district trustee.

From the Library Director:
New Shelving, a New Computer, and Jazz CDs

July 20, 2009

...all thanks to the Friends of Thrall!

There is new shelving on the first floor that houses the video cassette collection, including the Robert Cunningham Collection. All of that new shelving was purchased by Friends of Middletown Thrall Library. The installation of the new shelves has permitted the expansion of our book collection and gives us a bit of breathing room for the future.

There is also a new computer located just outside of the Government Documents office that was purchased by the Friends. This is a dedicated workstation for people doing job searches, creating resumes, submitting online applications, and more. Please click here for more details.

Finally, jazz fans should check out the latest additions to the library's extensive holdings. Thanks to the Friends' funding of the Mattie Gaines Jazz Collection, Middletown Thrall Library has perhaps the most extensive collection of jazz recordings of any public library in the area.

New Job Search Computer Available

June 25, 2009

Thanks to the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library, Inc. for providing the funds to purchase a computer, Thrall is able to offer a public workstation dedicated to job searching, career development resources, and unemployment benefits access.

This computer is located outside of the Government Information office. It has its own printer (located to the left of the desk).

Some usage details for this workstation:

This computer includes not one but three word processors:

The computer does not have a floppy drive but does support USB flash drives, which we now sell at Reference.

We created informational materials addressing nearly all aspects of job search and career development. These are freely available by this workstation. Topics include: Cover Letters, Resumes, Computer Terminology, Completing Job Forms, and more.

Electronic editions of all of these documents are also available in the Free Publications section of our InterJob Search web guide, which you can access anywhere, including at home.

On the computer there is also a simple, interactive "Sample Job Application" we created to help users familiarize themselves with how job application forms look and work on the Internet.

Our goal was to create a complete environment of easily accessible set of services so that anyone relatively new to computers could have all the tools needed to conduct self-directed job searches as successfully as possible.

As always, we hope these efforts can help make some positive difference in some lives!

For more details, please stop by Reference or call (845) 341-5461.

Music Wellness and Therapy Collection

April 24, 2009

Thanks to the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library, Inc., our library will soon have a circulating Music Wellness and Therapy Collection for our patrons.

Critially-acclaimed titles in this collection, from such composers as Steven Halpern, provide a variety of soothing instrumental music often perfect for relaxing, reading, or focusing on tasks.

This new collection will circulate and will be maintained near our Classical and Jazz CD collections.

From the Library Director:
Big Changes on the First Floor

February 9, 2009

The Union News stand, one of the links to the original Erie Railroad train station, was moved from its previous location in the middle of the main floor to a new position against the wall of the original building.

At the same time as that move, a piece of the Circulation Desk (which formerly served as the registration area for new library card applications) was relocated to become part of the Reference area. This resulted in a much more attractive and uniform look for the entire Reference service area.

The move was made to gain additional space for shelving for DVDs, which will be added within the Union News stand.

Thanks to your support and support from the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library, the DVD collection has grown significantly in recent years.

We also plan to purchase additional, medium height shelving for the area where the Union News formerly stood. That shelving will be used to allow for additional growth in other areas of the collection.

From the Library Director:
2008 Was a Busy Year!

February 9, 2009

2008 saw significant gains in every element of library use. Borrowing totals for all kinds of materials, both adult and children's, was up. Reference use was up. We recorded a new high for the number of hits on the library's website with more than 1,464,000 being registered. In-house use of materials was also up. Middletown Thrall Library has been Orange County's busiest public library for many years.

From the Library Director:
NYS Library Aid Likely to Decrease This Year

February 9, 2009

From all indications, it appears very likely that state aid to public libraries will decline in 2009. Our state aid is actually a very small portion of the operating budget, less than one-half of one percent, based up the current aid formula of .31 per capita for the chartered population of the library district.

The bigger impact of a cut in state aid will be felt by New York's numerous library systems, which are almost entirely funded by state aid. The Governor's proposed budget cuts aid by 18%, which is a much deeper cut than other segments of the budget are facing.

If that cut is approved by the Legislature, it would leave state library aid at approximately the same level as seen in 1993. It is highly likely that local library systems, like the Ramapo Catskill Library System, will look to impose fees for their services upon public library members to make up the difference. Such fees, if implemented, could lead to increases in local library taxes.

From the Library Director:
More Support from the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library

November 25, 2008

The Board of the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library approved several requests for support from the library staff at their meeting held on November 20th.

Listed below are the most recent items that have received approval from the Friends Board:

All of these purchases were made possible by the community's support of the Friends of MTL Used Bookstore.

The proceeds from the store sales are used in support of library programs; purchase of new furniture and equipment; and new materials for the borrowing collection and reference.

Our thanks to the all-volunteer Friends of Middletown Thrall Library for their efforts in supporting the ongoing development of the library collection.

From the Library Director:
Friends of Libraries Week

October 17, 2008

The week of October 19-25, 2008, has been declared the second Friends of Libraries Week by Governor David A. Paterson and the NYS Legislature.

This declaration recognizes the outstanding work done by these all-volunteer groups on behalf of public libraries.

Middletown Thrall Library's Board of Trustees and staff want to extend thanks to the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library group during this time.

The Friends of Middletown Thrall Library has been recognized for their work as a recipient of the Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award, which honors the top Friends of Libraries group in New York each year.

The Friends of MTL provide additional support for new materials, equipment and furniture, and programs every year through the sales at their used book store, located just outside the entrance to the library.

Some of the examples of their support include funding for programs associated with the national touring exhibition on the life of Benjamin Franklin, which the library hosted earlier this year; colorful new computer tables for the Children's Department; purchase of a large collection of DVDs featuring classic television shows and stand-up comedians; and a wide variety of new reference titles.

Please look for bookplates and signs throughout the building, all of which note purchases made through the efforts of the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library.

From the Library Director:
2009 Library District Budget Passes

October 8, 2008

A Big Thank You to Our Supporters!

The proposed 2009 budget for the Thrall Public Library District of Middletown and Wallkill passed by a margin of 145-33 in the public vote held on Tuesday, October 7th.

In the race for trustee seats, Barbara A. Kay and Lois D. Ruckert won four-year terms. Richard C. Bell won a one-year term.

The Board of Trustees and staff wish to express their thanks to our supporters.

We have seen significant increases in use of the library this year: borrowing of DVDs is up by more than 40% over last year; September's total borrowing was up more than 20%.

Your support will enable us to keep meeting those needs for library materials and services.

Once again, our thanks.

Kevin J. Gallagher,
Director of Middletown Thrall Library
(845) 341-5485

From the Library Director:
Assemblywomen Gunther and Rabbitt Come Through Again!

September 24, 2008

The Thrall Public Library District of Middletown and Wallkill has recently received two grants in support of the summer reading program and children's services through the efforts of Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther and Assemblywoman Annie G. Rabbitt. These grants helped to provide some of the programs that were offered to children, and families, during this past summer. The funding also has enabled the library district to purchase additional new materials for borrowing by local residents.

Both Assemblywomen have been outstanding advocates for public libraries in Albany during their service in the Legislature. These recent grants are greatly appreciated by the staff and trustees of the Thrall Public Library District.

2009 Proposed Library Budget

Vote date: Tuesday, October 7, 8 AM to 8 PM

(Information posted online at July 27, 2008)
The Board of Trustees has reviewed this proposal in full consideration of the difficult economic times facing all of our taxpayers. It has also been prepared noting that due to difficult economic times, overall library use is up this year over 2007. As one example of the increased use, borrowing of DVDs is up by more than 25% over last year's totals.

The 2009 proposal includes only one new position: a 20 hour per week part-time security guard. If the budget is approved, this new position would be utilized during daytime hours. The rest of the budget reflects increased costs for utilities, maintenance, and other operating expenses. The overall budget increase is only 1.7%, resulting in a tax increase of 2.5%. The proposed tax increase is the lowest in many years.

The public hearing on the budget will be held on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at 7:00 pm in the Board Room.

The budget vote, and election for three trustee seats, will be held on Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at the library.

All registered voters who live within the chartered service area of the Thrall Public Library District of Middletown and Wallkill are eligible to vote. If you need an absentee ballot, it must be filed by mail no later than September 30th. (An application for an absentee ballot is available online at An absentee ballot may be delivered in person up through 5:00pm on Monday, October 6th.

Print copies of the budget are available at the library. Our budget is also available at our website for your review (click here to see it).

If you have any questions about the proposed budget, please call Kevin J. Gallagher, Director, at 341-5485 or send e-mail to:


July 10, 2008

Welcome to Middletown Thrall Library's Library Announcement Blog.

Here you'll find announcements from the Library Director as well as other informational items concerning the library.

Older posts will now be archived so you can always catch up on what's happening at your library.

For news about upcoming programs, book discussions, music concerts, and other events, please check out our Library Programs blog.

From the Library Director:
Home Delivery Service

(archived post)

Middletown Thrall Library offers a free home delivery service to individuals who live within the library district, but are unable to come to the library to borrow materials.

The service is intended for people who do not have the ability to get to the library, and do not have a friend or family member who can borrow items for them.

Deliveries are made once every four weeks. Anything that can be borrowed on site is available for home delivery: books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, videocassettes.

If interested, please call me at 341-5485.

From the Library Director:
New Trustee Joins Library Board

(archived post)

Lois Ruckert has been appointed by the Thrall Public Library District Board of Trustees to fill a vacancy created by a resignation in December, 2007.

Ms. Ruckert officially joined the Board at their March meeting, held on March 12th. She is Literacy Specialist in the Academic Intervention Services program for the Pine Bush Central School District.

Ms. Ruckert was also very active in the community efforts to expand the library district's service area to include the Town of Wallkill. Her term will run through the end of this year.

She is eligible to run for a full term in this fall's elections, which will be held on October 7th.

From the Library Director:
Support from Senator John J. Bonacic

(archived post)

The Thrall Public Library District has just received a NYS aid check through the efforts of Senator Bonacic. The financial support, through the state's Bullet Aid program, will be used to help with capital projects on the Middletown Thrall Library building later this year. Some of the projects that are planned include replacement of a rooftop airconditioning compressor, interior work to create more shelving and storage space, and the replacement of lights in the front parking lot. This state support will supplement the regular operating budget funds for some of these repairs.

Many thanks to Senator Bonacic for his long-standing support in Albany for public libraries!

From the Library Director:
Summer Reading Program Funds Secured by Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt

(archived post)

The library district was pleased to be the recipient of a check to help support the 2008 summer reading program activities thanks to Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt. Every summer the library sees heavy use of the Children's Room collection, as well as strong attendance at programs, by children, parents, guardians, and grandparents. The funds secured by Assemblywoman Rabbitt will be used in conjunction with support from the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library and the regular budget to help meet the community's summer reading demands.

The Board of Trustees and staff extend their thanks to Assemblywoman Rabbitt for her work on behalf of the public libraries in her district.

From the Library Director:
Senator Bonacic Helps Out Thrall

(archived post)

The Thrall Public Library District of Middletown & Wallkill has received notice from Senator John J. Bonacic that he has secured a $2500.00 Bullet Aid grant for 2008. This funding can only be used for equipment or capital expenses. It is hoped that the funding will arrive later this spring.

The library district will be undertaking a number of building repairs and mechanical system upgrades during the year, so this unexpected funding will be put to very good use.

From the Library Director:
New Officers Elected

(archived post)

The Board of Trustees of the Thrall Public Library District of Middletown and Wallkill elected new officers at their annual meeting, held on January 9, 2008.

The new officers are as follows:

From the Library Director:
Need a Laugh?

(archived post)

Thanks to a generous contribution from the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library, we are now offering a new collection of standup comedy and comedians in DVD format.

The collection covers more than seventy years of comedy, from early vaudeville and movie teams to the top comedians of today. Pioneers of comedy, like Laurel & Hardy, and the Marx Brothers, from the early days of movies are represented. Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Sid Caesar, Milton Berle and others who moved comedy to television are also featured. Classic comedians like George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Rodney Dangerfield, George Kirby, Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Bill Cosby and early performances on The Tonight Show are available for your viewing. Younger comedy fans may want to borrow DVDs of Dave Chappelle, Ralphie May, Wanda Sykes, Lewis Black, Larry the Cable Guy, Eddie Izzard, Sandra Bernhard, Maria Bamford, or Kathy Griffin.

Please check the DVD area for a complete list of comedians featured in this new collection.

DVDs can be borrowed for a seven-day period.

From the Library Director:
Heating and Cooling Repairs Upcoming in 2008

(archived post)

We anticipate undertaking a number of heating and cooling system repairs during this year, following the receipt of an energy efficiency report funded, in part, by a grant from the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority.

An analysis of the entire building's heating, cooling, and ventilation systems was done in 2007 and reviewed by NYSERDA. A number of energy-saving measures and repairs were recommended in the final report.

Some of the repairs will be paid for through a grant obtained by Sen. John J. Bonacic.

From the Library Director:
Thrall Government Information Librarian Awarded

(archived post)

We have received confirmation from the New York Library Association (NYLA) that our very own Government Information Librarian, Karen Heil, has been selected as this year's recipient of the prestigious Mildred Lowe Award.

Please click here to read the complete press release in our Government information blog.

From the Library Director:
Approvals from the Friends

(archived post)

The Board of the Friends of Middletown Thrall Library recently approved funds for the purchase of The Dictionary of Medical Biography, a new five-volume set that will be added to the Adult Reference collection.

They also provided funds for some additional free public programs for children and young adults for this fall.

Please watch the library's website and check in the library for announcements about upcoming programs.

From the Library Director:
Library Hosts Visits by Lt. Governor Paterson and Assemblywoman Gunther

(archived post)

The library was pleased to host a visit by Lt. Governor David A. Paterson and Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther on Friday, September 21st.

This was the Lt. Governor's first visit to the library. Both officials have long been strong advocates for New York's public libraries.

He and the Assemblywoman met with local health care officials, as well as with constituents and local media. This visit helped to reaffirm the library's role as a resource center not only for the library district but also for a wider region in Orange and Sullivan Counties.

From the Library Director:
2008 Library Budget and Trustee Vote; Results of the October 2, 2007 Vote

(archived post)

The budget has passed 108 - 30. We thank you for your support of the library, and we look forward to continue serving the needs of our community.

The votes for the library trustees were as follows:
More information about the library budget can be found at our website.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact the Library Director at 341-5485 or

From the Library Director:
A Big Thanks to Gertrude Mokotoff

(archived post)

You will be more comfortable when you attend book discussions, film series, or other public programs thanks to the purchase of 40 new cushioned chairs for the Meeting Room.

This purchase was made possible thanks to a very generous donation from former Middletown Mayor, and library district trustee, Gertrude Mokotoff.

"Pre-Overdue" Notices

(archived post)

If you are a member of Middletown Thrall Library and are currently registered to receive e-mail notifications, a new service is now automatically being provided to you for free!

This new service automatically sends you e-mail reminders when one or more items are due to be returned soon to the library.

This service can help you avoid costly overdue fines. Another benefit is that materials returned on time can be made available to other patrons more promptly.

An example of the "pre-overdue notice" appears below:

To: Anderson, Tom
Subject: Checked out material coming due at a RCLS member library

Anderson, Tom

This is a courtesy reminder from the library that the following item(s) will be due on : Thursday, July 5, 2007:

     The Matrix (DVD)
     Barcode: 32820101010101
     Call# Video #101

If you would like to renew you may do so online at:
*****You will need your library barcode and pin to renew*****
[Note: some items may not allow renewal.] Thank you

These notices come from the same e-mail address as regular overdue/reserve e-mail.

If you have Internet access but are not already signed up for our free e-mail notification service, you can go to our library catalog page and click the "register for e-mail notices" button.

You can also come to the Reference Department and we'll be happy to show you how or to register you for e-mail notices.

Once registered, you will no longer receive postcards or be charged $ .35 for each item you request to be reserved for you.

If you have any questions, you can always speak with a librarian at Reference or use our free "Ask a Librarian" service on the web.

Thrall Blogs

(archived post)

As part of our ongoing mission to make new and notable information in all its forms easily available to you, we have created a blog section at our library's website.

What's a blog? The word "blog" is short for "web log," a place where information, arranged usually around a specific theme, is posted at a website. Each post contains information, and posts are usually listed in chronological order, often with the most recent item displayed first.

Some blogs on the web are casually conducted by their creators, especially those preferring to entertain their readers. Other blogs are used to air strong opinions and perspectives on any number of issues.

Some blogs can be biased, misleading, or misguided. As is true of websites, anyone can create a blog and talk about anything that comes to mind.

Thrall's own blogs span a variety of topics we believe you might find interesting and information. Subjects covered include technology, the environment, government, health, and of course reading and research! Our blogs highlight freely available information available both in the library and on the Internet.

Whenever appropriate we will provide direct links to items in the library catalog so you may check their availability and even request an item to be held for you. Our librarians are always on the lookout for new information, and our blogs are updated regularly.

To explore this new service, please click the "blogs" link on the "News" line on our home page or select "Blogs" from the drop-down menu also on that page. You can also click here to jump to our Blogs.

This blog is updated periodically, so check back from time to time.

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