National Library Week

This year, National Library Week will fall on the week of April 3rd through April 9th.

This week of appreciation for both libraries and their workers began back in 1958, when it was first sponsored and held by the American Library Association (ALA).

Every year, the ALA has a new theme to go along with National Library Week; this year’s theme is “Connect with your Library”. The pandemic may have been a catalyst for some people to begin using more digitized services to communicate with us, but there are indeed a lot of different ways you can participate and enjoy your library (or libraries), both online and in person. Whether you prefer coming in and enjoying our weekly story times upstairs in the Children’s Room, browsing in person and finding a book that speaks to you, looking around on the NCLS catalog online to find that one book that alludes you, or watching online programs that are hosted or promoted by us – there are always plenty of ways to reach us and enjoy your local library.

This year the ALA was excited to announce that their honorary chairperson is actress and comedian Molly Shannon! You can keep up with all of their information about National Library Week by checking out their website, which you can find here:

Here is all their information as well on National Library Week for 2022 thus far: ALA Press Kit for 2022.

You can celebrate National Library Week in whatever way you would like! Find new titles and authors online and check out what works by them NCLS has, come in and participate in a new activity or event we have going on, or just come and see us for the first time! Everyone is welcome, and we hope that we will see all of you here for this wonderful week-long celebration.


Ukraine & Russia

The eyes of the world are all watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s leaving a number of us yearning to know more about the conflict, the history and politics involved, and the lives caught in the middle.

Each of the titles are linked to our catalog so that you can easily place holds from wherever you are. Simply click on the cover image to jump directly to our library’s catalog.

History of Ukraine

“As Ukraine is embroiled in an ongoing struggle with Russia to preserve its territorial integrity and political independence, celebrated historian Serhii Plokhy explains that today’s crisis is a case of history repeating itself: the Ukrainian conflict is only the latest in a long history of turmoil over Ukraine’s sovereignty. Situated between Central Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, Ukraine has been shaped by empires that exploited the nation as a strategic gateway between East and West – from the Romans and Ottomans to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. In The Gates of Europe, Plokhy examines Ukraine’s search for its identity through the lives of major Ukrainian historical figures, from its heroes to its conquerors.

This revised edition includes new material that brings this definitive history up to the present. As Ukraine once again finds itself at the center of global attention, Plokhy brings its history to vivid life as he connects the nation’s past with its present and future.”

-From Go to Goodreads

“In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization – in effect a second Russian revolution – which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil.

Applebaum’s compulsively readable narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first.”

-From Go to Goodreads

Download a copy of Ukraine: a Book of Essays by Intellectuals in English by visiting This title was recommended in the Book Riot post linked above and features a “collection of texts by contemporary Ukrainian intellectuals: writers, historians, philosophers, political analysts, opinion leaders. The texts have been written for an international audience. The collection combines reflections on Ukraine’s history (or histories, in plural), and analysis of the present, conceptual ideas and life stories. The book presents a multi-faceted image of Ukrainian memory and reality: from the Holodomor to Maidan, from Russian aggression to cultural diversity, from the depth of the past to the complexity of the present.

It contains 16 texts: essays and interviews. The authors of the collection are Serhii Plokhy, Andriy Kurkov, Ola Hnatiuk, Irena Karpa, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Yuri Andrukovych, Larysa Denysenko, Vakhtang Kebuladze, Andriy Portnov, Haska Shyyan, Hanna Shelest, Volodymyr Rafeenko, Volodymyr Yermolenko, Alim Aliev, Leonid Finberg, Andrij Bondar.

It is edited by Volodymyr Yermolenko, a Ukrainian philosopher and writer, UkraineWorld’s editor in chief and director for analytics at Internews Ukraine.”


Please note – the version available within the System is not the most up-to-date edition of this title.

“As in many postcommunist states, politices in Ukraine revolves around the issue of national identity. Ukrainian nationalists see themselves as one of the world’s oldest and most civilized peoples, as ‘older brothers’ to the younger Russian culture. Yet Ukraine became independent only in 1991, and Ukrainians often feel like a minority in their own county, where Russian is still the main language heard on the streets of the capital, Kiev. This book is a comprehensive guide to modern Ukraine and to the versions of its past propagated by both Russians and Ukrainians. Andrew Wilson provides the most acute, informed … account available of the Ukrainians and their country

Concentrating on the complex relation between Ukraine and Russia, the book begins with the myth of common origin in the early medieval era, then looks closely at the Ukrainian experience under the tsars and Soviets, the experience of minorities in the country, and the path to independence in 1991. Wilson also considers the history of Ukraine since 1991 and the continuing disputes over identity, culture, and religion. He examines the economic collapse under the first president, Leonid Kravchuk, and the attempts at recovery under his successor, Leonid Kuchma. Wilson explores the conflicts in Ukrainian society between the country’s Eurasian roots and its Western aspirations, as well as the significance of the presidential election of November 1999.”

-From Go to Goodreads

“On the morning of April 26, 1986, Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine. Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill.

In Chernobyl, Serhii Plokhy draws on new sources to tell the dramatic stories of the firefighters, scientists, and soldiers who heroically extinguished the nuclear inferno. He lays bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of the Communist party rule, the regime’s control over scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else.”

-From Go to Goodreads

“April 25, 1986, in Chernobyl, was a turning point in world history. The disaster not only changed the world’s perception of nuclear power and the science that spawned it, but also our understanding of the planet’s delicate ecology. With the images of the abandoned homes and playgrounds beyond the barbed wire of the 30-kilometer Exclusion Zone, the rusting graveyards of contaminated trucks and helicopters, the farmland lashed with black rain, the event fixed for all time the notion of radiation as an invisible killer.

Chernobyl was also a key event in the destruction of the Soviet Union, and, with it, the United States’ victory in the Cold War. For Moscow, it was a political and financial catastrophe as much as an environmental and scientific one. With a total cost of 18 billion rubles—at the time equivalent to $18 billion—Chernobyl bankrupted an already teetering economy and revealed to its population a state built upon a pillar of lies.

The full story of the events that started that night in the control room of Reactor No.4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant has never been told—until now. Through two decades of reporting, new archival information, and firsthand interviews with witnesses, journalist Adam Higginbotham tells the full dramatic story, including Alexander Akimov and Anatoli Dyatlov, who represented the best and worst of Soviet life; denizens of a vanished world of secret policemen, internal passports, food lines, and heroic self-sacrifice for the Motherland. Midnight in Chernobyl, award-worthy nonfiction that reads like sci-fi, shows not only the final epic struggle of a dying empire but also the story of individual heroism and desperate, ingenious technical improvisation joining forces against a new kind of enemy.”

-From for all of the above titles plus those on the history of Russia.


Online Health Magazine

Check out the most recent issue of MedlinePlus online every season. Below are the covers of past issues.


Curbside Delivery Available

We are pleased to announce that we are adding curbside pickup of holds back to our services!

Pickup Blu-rays, DVDs, magazines, hotspots, Chromebooks, books, and audiobooks without leaving your car. Call 315-341-5867 ahead of time or place a hold on the items you want at We are happy to suggest movies and novels based on your favorites or to get lists of series, in order. If the book or movie is brand new, we will order it and contact you when it has been added to our collection.

Holds are available for seven days after their arrival. Items are available from all the public libraries in Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, & St. Lawrence Counties. There are also thousands of ebooks and audiobooks available entirely online through


Booktalking Sweet on You

Coffee shops, Christmas, romance… sign me up! The new romance series by Filipino writer Carla de Guzman continues her exploration of her favorite tropes, places, and food. A war is on when the cute baker next door begins offering cheap coffee and continues with pranks and cheap tactics. Will Sari be able to top him and keep everyone in her cafe or will Gabriel win out, but lose his heart?

Nick on Goodreads said Sweet on You “excels at exploring all the family relationships. Sari and her sisters have a lovely bond and their love for each other shines through. Gabriel’s relationship with his family is a little more complicated as there are lies involved, but the nuances were tackled very well. Then, there’s the setting. This isn’t my first book set in the Philippines, but it still felt like such a fresh look into the part of the country. I love how the community was a living and breathing part of Sweet on You. I did feel like the book lost a bit of steam towards the end, but I wouldn’t say it took away from my enjoyment. All in all, Sweet on You was fun, fluffy, and romantic – what more can I ask of a Christmas romance?”


Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Ryland Grace wakes up in a spaceship light years from Earth. The problem is he doesn’t remember who he is or what he’s supposed to do. But whatever it is, it must be important, or he wouldn’t have been sent on this mission with two other astronauts. Unfortunately, neither of them survived the journey, so he is all alone. And he is Earth’s last hope for survival. — Yun on Goodreads

This is a very readable science fiction book and a wonderful introduction, similar to his hit The Martian, for people new to the genre. The science is extremely believable; the time period is only a little in the future; and the interest and conflicts are continuous. It is intriguing while also being easy to grasp. You can stop any time you like having enjoyed a great read… or you can continue to the end with new challenges and hurdles Grace must overcome never more than a chapter away!

Get outside of yourself and into the universe!


Booktalking “The Killer’s Shadow” by John E. Douglas & Mark Olshaker

A new breed of predator… white supremacist serial killers.

Up until now, John E. Douglas, veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Behavioral Science Unit (BSU), has encountered serial killers who kill to indulge their unusual and antisocial psychological fantasies. Unless you count genocide such as from the Nazi regime of Germany, the Chinese treatment of Uyghurs, or the Rwandan genocide. Racial hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan kill and terrorize communities, but they do so in groups. Joseph Paul Franklin acted on a solo basis to rid the world of people that he considered to be undesirable. A frightening new category of serial killer was entering the FBI’s lexicon.

Franklin’s sisters reported that Joseph started showing more interest in racist groups when he was a teenager, and that he subscribed to white supremacist magazines. He grew impatient with racist groups because he perceived them as engaging in too much talk and too little action. His former wife, Anita, reported to police that his racist diatribes were frequent and lengthy. She did not appreciate how he treated her, and Franklin told her that he did not want the responsibility of caring for their baby daughter. 

Joseph Paul Franklin was a sniper, and he set off on his goal to kill as many black people as possible. It particularly irked him to see interracial couples, which he targeted frequently. The man also committed bank robberies in order to finance his killing escapades and his family’s living expenses. He would often return home to Anita with large sums of cash that could not be easily explained. This villain needed to be stopped in his tracks. 

FBI psychological profiler John E. Douglas set to work. 

Douglas was both shocked and pleased that the brass of the FBI was beginning to take behavioral science seriously. He and his unit had grown slowly over the decades because the bureaucracy was reluctant to consider a new method of solving crime. BSU typically analyzes crime scenes and evidence to create a profile to help search for persons of interest. However, in this case, they already had a suspect, and they wanted Douglas to help build the case. Douglas set to work in reverse to help take this dangerous person off of the streets so that he could not hurt another individual.

The Killer’s Shadow: the FBI’s Hunt For a White Supremacist Serial Killer by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, 2020

This is a fascinating work, as always. John E. Douglas is an amazing crime fighter and a brilliant psychologist.

John E. Douglas’ web site

Books about hate crime
Books about serial killers


Internet Hotspots available for Check-Out

We have several hotspots available for check out here in our library! You can find more information on this on the flyer below.


Summer Nonfiction Reads

Light or quick reads for your enjoyment and enlightenment: Let It Bang, How to Do Nothing, A Knock at Midnight, The Gifts of Imperfection, & Bad Blood.

Let It Bang: a Young Black Man’s Reluctant Odyssey into Guns by RJ Young

                What to do when your white, rancher father-in-law only has eyes for guns? You accept his offer to buy you a Glock, of course. You may even join the NRA, but only to get discounts on their classes and work to be a certified instructor. Guns may help get RJ close to those around him, but where will the radicalized fear from our institutional forces end?

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

                Our values used to show by where we placed our time and effort. Today, with more entertainment and education options than ever before, our values show through where we focus our attention. Those trying to save anything – wilderness, culture, historic buildings – invariably experience “sadness, fascination, and above all a wish to attend to the past in the name of the future.” Online or off there is more to see than we can ever accomplish in a lifetime. Spend a day recharging and wander regularly.

A Knock at Midnight: a Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom by Brittany Barnett

                Many of the victims in the war on drugs were African Americans trying to better their lives. In Sharanda Jones’ case, Brittany saw many connections to her own mother’s incarceration. Fighting for justice in Sharanda’s case led her away from corporate law and into social justice. Brittany had a brief, successful career in corporate law and went on to found many nonprofits that are dedicated to overturning life sentences for non-violent federal drug offenses. Hear the stories of Sharanda, Mike, Genice, Donel, Corey, Alice, Robert, and Chris as they serve time throughout the United States of America; rolled over by a justice system focused on easing the fears of white citizens instead of serving “we the people.”

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown audio & ebook available

                One of the original wholehearted, mindful, living in the present books, there is good advice in this thin title for anyone. Even New Yorker Franklin Roosevelt’s famous the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself” quote would feel at home. Embrace living an authentic life of life of honest beauty – a perfectly imperfect life.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou large print, audio, & ebook available

                Theranos had a gifted female founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who was focused on being a billionaire from a young age. She created novel ways to approach blood testing and recruited PhDs and Apple employees to attempt creating the iPod of healthcare. She was also single-minded in her pursuit of money and willing to do anything to make Theranos prototypes appear perfect. Truth was simply another obstacle to be overcome. Those who disagreed were quickly fired and she ruled over Theranos with an iron fist. Step inside but think twice before investing.


Booktalking “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba

William was a boy born into poverty in Malawi. He watched his entire family grow thinner during the winter. He has many sisters, and his seven-year-old sister got into the habit of greedily grabbing chunks of food. His other siblings objected to this, of course. They were just as hungry as she was. William found it very difficult to concentrate at home or at school, due to the constant hunger pains. Some kids left school at recess in search of food, and they did not return. Then, a school official informed the students who had not paid their school fees that the money was due the next day. If they did not pay, they were not welcome to continue their schooling. The youngster asked his father for the money, but the impoverished family had no money to spare. That was the end of formalized learning for William, for the moment.
But William’s curiosity would not die.

He ended up tinkering with electricity and electrical wires, and it emerged that he may be a budding electrical engineer. William started off by wiring a home, and he graduated to working with a colleague to create a windmill. This remarkable accomplishment rightly generated some media attention. Shortly thereafter, William was able to attend a secondary school in another town, then a school in South Africa, then eventually Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

William is very interested in science, and he refuses to give up on his dream of science. Despite his many years of lack of educational access, the poverty, his rural place of residence and the many other obstacles that he faced throughout his journey, William’s positive attitude, energy and intellectual verve is an inspiration to us all.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, 2015

This was a very interesting story about Malawi culture and electrical engineering.

Books about electrical engineering


Booktalking “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles

Gene is a super-star student who excels in the classroom. He likes order, he likes to plan, be safe, and conduct himself in accordance with school rules.

Phineas’s middle name is trouble. A daredevil whose wit and charm manage to always talk him out of any deleterious consequences for his lackadaisical behavior.

Devon School brought them together. They room together at school, and they both stay there during the summer months. The boys form a secret club which holds meetings every evening. Boys will be boys, but diving into the water from a high tree branch reeks of tragedy… both for Finny and Gene. Gene hears the talk at school: those boys who hint subtly and not-so-subtly that he knew ahead of time about the incident or that he caused it to happen. Meanwhile, Phineas recovers at home. The two have discussed the situation, but resolution seems far afield.

WWII permeates all aspects of the boys, lives. The rising high school juniors are relieved that they are not yet old enough for the draft. Indulging in luxury is frowned upon, and materials are rationed. The talk of the town includes speculation about the presidents, actions. The boys banter about the tragedy, and everyone wishes that the war would end. Somehow, though, there has to be some fun amid the chaos.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles, 1959

This book illuminated why people compare Covid 19 to a wartime scenario. I have not lived through a war that drastically altered my daily life, but the corona virus definitely has impacted my life, along with everyone else’s.

Books about WWII


“You Too? 25 Voices Share Their #metoo Stories” edited by Janet Gurtler

Incest that occurs in your family that you are too ashamed to speak of.

A friend’s father who touches you in his van.

A boy who keeps talking about your private parts while you are wearing a swimsuit.

Accompanying a friend to her attacker’s rape trial.

Turning down a boy for a date, then being harassed mercilessly at school because of it.

These are a few of the stories of people who have been sexually mistreated by others. Work, school, home and public areas should not be places where people are open fodder for the egregious sexual gratification of predators. At least sufferers are speaking out openly and in large numbers so that the hurt and betrayal can finally stop.

Teachers talking suggestively to teen students, then touching them.

Waiters reaching down the front of your shirt, then observing your mother tip them.

Having a boyfriend’s roommate make advances to you and watching your lover enjoy that.

A high school coach walking into a girl’s changing room, only to make lewd comments about their bodies.

None of these things should happen. The first step is telling the world that it is not okay.

You Too? 25 Voices Share Their #metoo Stories, Ed. Janet Gurtler, 2020

I am not generally a fan of short stories, but I loved the variety of perspectives in this book.

Books about sexual assault


Booktalking “Path To the Stars: My Journey From Girl Scout To Rocket Scientist” by Sylvia Acevedo

Sylvia loved growing up in Las Cruces, NM with her siblings, Mario and Laura, her Tia Angelica, Mami and Papi. In good weather, the kids would go outside and play with whatever other kids were around. Everything was peachy keen until Laura contracted meningitis. After many tense and lonely days when Mami and Laura were in the hospital, the two finally returned home. But it was a hollow victory, since the toddler’s sight and ability to learn had been diminished. Still, the young girl was thrilled to see her sibling once again.

The kids spoke Spanish with their mother at home, who did not speak much English. However, her mother grew more proficient with the language over time. Hermana Diaz helped Mario and Sylvia acquire language skills in English by tutoring them at home before they embarked in the land of public education. Sylvia was also fortunate enough to get an opportunity to attend a Head Start program during the summer prior to first grade. She loved the colorful toys. In first grade, she was an advanced reader.

However, the girl was not excited when she learned that her family was again moving into a new house. Sylvia had to leave her friends, and she felt out of place in the new school. Then a girl who shared her name invited her to a brownies meeting. Sylvia did not want to go, but her mother approved the outing. The young girl was pleasantly surprised though. She loved the order and conscientiousness of the brownie troop. It also gave her a sense of belonging and appealed to her tomboyish nature. She loved the outdoors adventures, and she was so proud to wear her brownie uniform to school and to meetings. She obtained a copy of the Girl Scout handbook and devoured every word. Sylvia loved the values of helping others and being productive.

Path to the stars: my journey from Girl Scout to rocket scientist by Sylvia Acevedo, 2018

Sylvia Acevedo is definitely a force to be reckoned with; I loved this memoir.

Books on rocket science

Sylvia Acevedo’s web site


Booktalking “The Perfect Place” by Teresa Harris

Treasure, aka Jeanie, and her sister, Tiffany, lose their father first. Then, their mother dumps the girls with their Great Aunt Grace. The two girls cling to each other, bracing for what might come. Grace certainly does not waste time filling their days with activities. They are assigned to wash clothes, clean dishes and work in the store.

Jeanie does not take to working in the store like her sister does. Tiffany enjoys operating the cash register. Jeanie loathes cleaning shelves. Terrance works there as well, and he makes a point of talking incessantly to Jeanie, which is annoying. It is difficult to determine what is most important to avoid: working in the site, Terrance, Great Aunt Grace, or the four-hour church services that Jeanie is required to endure.

The girl goes to her mother for help.

Unfortunately, her mother does not see the urgency of the situation. She laughs and tells Jeanie that she endured many summers with the dreaded Grace, and she lived to tell the tale. The mother is busy looking for the girls’ father, and she cannot come to retrieve them for at least a week.

Grace’s notorious lack of interpersonal skills are apparent in many arenas, not just in dealing with the sibling pair. She rubs the neighbors and the local sheriff the wrong way, for instance. She is accused of stealing other people’s belongings. Worst of all, she seems indifferent to the treatment that Jeanie is subjected to by mean girl, Jaguar. This visit to Great Aunt Grace seems to last an eternity from the very beginning.

The Perfect Place by Teresa Harris, 2014

The Perfect Place by Teresa Harris, 2014

This book is both whimsical and fun.


Booktalking “From the Desk of Zoe Washington” by Janae Marks

There is nothing Zoe Washington likes better than to bake. She is so excited about the Kids Bake Challenge for the Food Network. Low and behold, her entry wins her an internship at Ari’s cakes. She shows up all ready to bake, only to realize that she is relegated to the role of observer. Chef Victor does not allow her to participate in the cake creations until annoying Trevor buts his ideas into the mix. Suddenly, Arianna is telling the girl how to fill the cupcake cups halfway with batter from an ice cream scoop so that the mix has space to rise in the oven. What fun! Zoe is on her way to becoming a cupcake connoisseur! 

On the home front, the 12-year-old has mixed feelings about the letters that she begins to receive from her incarcerated father, Marcus Johnson. Her grandmother encourages contact between the two, but her mother forbids it. Her dad seems so nice; her calls her “my little tomato.” The relationship progresses, and her grandmother facilitates a phone conversation between them. The youngster is nervous at first, but the man’s voice is gentle and convivial, and they have a congenial talk. She is delighted that he seems so caring, but his conviction eats at her, and she struggles to find the words to question him about it. 

Marcus Johnson was convicted of murder.

Johnson did know the victim, but he had an alibi of a vendor from a garage sale that he was present at when the killing occurred. A destitute man of color, he was stuck with an uninterested public defender who did not adequately investigate the case or the man’s alibi. Instead, he urged Johnson to take a plea deal. When Zoe discovers this, she asks her father for the name of the alibi, which he does not provide. Then, in the local library, Zoe takes a look in the legal section. She discovers the existence of The Innocence Project. Zoe is desperate to help vindicate her dad, and she will do whatever she can to assist.  

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks, 2020

This book was interesting, yet disturbing in the light of recent murders of people of color by police officers.

Janae Marks’ web site