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LIBRARIES: North Chatham, Roe Jan webinars and oral history project, Chatham


Retirement, wit, topics in North Chatham

N. CHATHAM—The North Chatham Free Library plans Zoom programs in June on retirement and satire.

Nancy Collamer. Photo contributed

Tuesday, June 2 at 7 p.m., Nancy Collamer, a recognized expert on career change and the writer of a monthly blog for the PBS site and, will lead an interactive Zoom program on planning a “second career” in retirement.

This session is the first in the library’s new series, Creating a Vibrant Retirement, funded in part by the Fund for Columbia  County, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Foundation.

Subsequent retirement sessions to be held in the fall (most likely also on Zoom) are  “Rewire When You Retire,” “Be Your Own Health Care Advocate”  and two  separate sessions on the home in retirement: “Leaving or Staying in Your Home When You Retire:  Options  to Consider” and “Re-creating Your Home for a Vibrant Retirement.”

For information on joining these Zoom meetings, leave a message for call back at 518 766-3211 or email

Victor Juhasz. Image credit: Victor Juhasz

Sunday, June 7 at 3 p.m., via Zoom, the library presents Victor Juhasz, known nationally for his humorous caricatures and illustrations. In “It’s Not Funny Anymore: Satirical Illustration in an Age of Hostile Absurdity,” Mr. Juhasz will describe the process, as well as the challenges and limitations, of creating images of political satire and caricature in contemporary U.S. culture.

Ms. Juhasz is an award-winning illustrator and cartoonist, whose work is published regularly in Time, Rolling Stone, The Nation and The American Prospect, among others.

Advance registration is required for Zoom meetings: leave a message for call back at 518 766-3211or email


Roe Jan bustles with webinars galore
COPAKE—The Roeliff Jansen Community Library is bustling online.

The library winds up May with three webinars, “Adopting a Zero-Waste Lifestyle on Thursday, May 28 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; “Guarding the Garden from Deer and Other Wildlife on Saturday, May 30 from 10 to 11 a.m.; and a Community Playwriting Workshop, also on Saturday, May 30 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Advance registration is required for all webinars. For more information visit

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which made it illegal to deny suffrage on the basis of sex, the library is hosting a reading and discussion program this summer, beginning Tuesday, June 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. Other meetings will be on June 23, July 14, July 28, August 11 and August 25.

Led by library director and women’s historian Tammy Gaskell, participants will read six books from June through August that focus on what women’s suffrage has meant for the United States and democracy.

The reading list includes “A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot” by Mary Walton, “Votes for Women: The Struggle for Suffrage Revisited” by Jean H. Baker, “African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920” by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, “Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York” by Marge Piercy, “Elizabeth Cady Stanton: An American Life by Lori D. Ginzburg” and “Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement” by Sally McMillen.

Meetings will take place by Zoom or in person, depending on the conditions. Space is limited and sign-up urged, by emailing Ms. Gaskell at The goal is to have books for everyone. This program is made possible with a grant from Humanities New York.

The library’s annual Party in the Park gala, schedule for June 13, has been cancelled. Donations are welcome; for more information visit

Roe Jan Library initiates oral history project

COPAKE—Peter Cipkowski of Hillsdale came up with the idea—to take the time while so many are on “pause” to collect oral histories of local residents.

Mr. Cipkowski, who grew up in Copake Falls at the Taconic Wayside Inn, served for some time as the president of the Roe Jan Historical Society and is especially interested in local history. He presented his idea to Tamara Gaskell, director of the Roeliff Jansen Community Library. She was delighted with the prospect of collecting personal stories of local residents and now the project is in full swing.

To date, 13 residents have been interviewed, including community leaders, town government participants and business people from Copake, Hillsdale and Ancram. The Copake residents

and business owners who have been interviewed so far include Janet Mackin, Edgar Masters, Jeanne Mettler, Brian Peacock, Seung Suh, Rev. John Thompson and Betty White.

To see the interviews go to:

Monday Book Group takes on ‘Bonk’ 

CHATHAM—“Bonk,” by Mary Roach, is the discussion subject for the Chatham Library’s online monthly Monday Book Group Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m.

“The study of sexual physiology—what happens, and why, and how to make it happen better—has been going on for centuries, behind the closed doors of laboratories, brothels, Alfred Kinsey’s attic, and, more recently, MRI centers, pig farms and sex-toy R&D labs,” Ms. Roach said in a press release.

“I spent two years wheedling and conniving my way behind those doors to bring you the answers to the questions Dr. Ruth never asked,” she said.

The book is available to borrow online through Overdrive.

To register for this free program, visit or


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