Black History – Sankofa

Sankofa: A word from the Akan language of West Africa meaning, to go back and get it, to reclaim.  From the proverb: “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” meaning, “It’s not wrong to go back for what you’ve forgotten.” (from the Spirituals Project at the University of Denver)

In 2005, construction workers discovered thirteen sets of human remains near the Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park in Menands.    Along with another skeleton discovered in 1998, a total of fourteen individuals were discovered in the burial ground.  Among them were several enslaved people of African descent who were probably owned by the Schuyler family.  The Schuyler name is well known, but the individuals who built their empire by hand, who filled in the physical facts to match the name on the map, who built, maintained, and cleaned the mansion, cared for their children, maintained their fields and gardens, washed their clothes, and emptied their chamber pots, are mostly forgotten.  If this region owes the Schuylers anything, we owe their slaves even more.  When we honor them, we allow a tiny sliver of that which has been forgotten to be reclaimed.

This June 18th, the Schuyler Flatts remains will be re-interred in donated plots in the St. Agnes Cemetery.  An organization called the Schuyler Flatts Burial Ground Project is organizing the burial, and they welcome your support.

Get ready for spring with the Village Gardener March 9th!


Have you seen the lady in the truck going around watering the beautiful flowers along Broadway?  That’s Dianne MacFarland, our Village Gardener!  She helps keep our little pocket of the Capital District beautiful.

I ran into her while she was walking her dogs the other day and hassled her until she agreed to come in and do a program.  On Wednesday March 9th, Dianne will be here to help kids and their parents plant some flower seeds in containers that will live here in the library until they get established.  Once the danger of frost has passed, maybe we can plant them outside!  We’ll talk about Spring and the equinox, too.

Wednesday, March 9th at 6:00 pm!


Toy Lab! February 3rd

Introducing Menands Public Library Toy Lab! This Wednesday, Feb 3 at 4 pm I’ll be leading a program for kids 8+ where you come the the library empty-handed, and leave with a cool toy that you made yourself! Our first build will be Spinning Rainbow Tops! Learn hands-on about color mixing, persistence of vision, and conservation of angular momentum, AND walk away with something fun to show your friends!

Free eBooks for Kids!


Did you know that you can get free eBooks for kids using your library card?  Try out BookFlix or TumbleBooks, which are made available through the Upper Hudson Library System.  The link I’ve provided will automatically log you in to TumbleBooks (until June, when UHLS’s subscription expires ): )  For BookFlix, you need to enter your library card number and PIN (which, if you haven’t changed it, will be the last four digits of you phone number.)  You’ll be able to access interactive storytelling for your kids!


Another great option is the Oxford Owl, which is available to you whether or not you have a UHLS library card.

Enjoy and share!