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Findley Lake Library receives grant for children books
March 18, 2017

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FINDLEY LAKE - The forecast was "Cloudy With Meatballs" but "Paddington Bear" still decided to go out to visit "The Little House."

If you recognize any of these classic book titles, you may wish to bring your little ones to Findley Lake Library where an unexpected grant has resulted in an influx of children's books.

The Brownstone Book Fund chose the Findley Lake library to receive a donation of 100 books for readers of young age. Most of these are classics, said library director Melissa Froah, and many have won the Caldecott Award.

The fund was founded in 1997 by Clyde R. Brownstone and his wife Diane. Brownstone is the sole owner of the Gift Box Corporation of America and a resident of New York City. Each year the foundation chooses libraries around the country to receive a gift of 100 children's books.

The gift was set up through Diane Brownstone. According to Froah, the intent of the gift is to foster the love reading in children, encourage parents and children to read together and to provide books for rural libraries.

The donation came as a surprise, Froah said. "We didn't put in for it. We just got an e-mail and a phone call."

The last library in Chautauqua County to receive this donation was Ashville library in 2015, library assistant Joanne Malecki. "They just picked us," she said. "We were happy to be one of the chosen few."

While Findley Lake has always promoted reading by children, the books were a welcome addition. "There were very few titles that we already had," Malecki said.

The books are mostly children's classics that many parents will remember from their young days, Froah added. Along with many Dr. Suess books and those mentioned above, one can find such titles as Goodnight Moon, If Kids Ran the World, Make Way for Ducklings, The Snowy Day and Good Night Gorilla. "There are just a few new titles that I had never heard of before," she said. Some of the books come with a CD so the child can follow along.

Froah, Malecki and other library staff have been busy getting all of the new books entered into the system. This process includes putting stickers on the books, taping the covers and recording them in the physical and electronic logs. "You can only do so many in a day," Malecki said.

Froah said she hopes to promote the books with children and their parents. However, there are no immediate plans for new programs, she said. Rather, she plans to wait until the end of the school year, when children will not only have more time, but there will be more children in the area whose families come to Findley Lake for the summer. Froah said they will soon be creating a display to feature the Brownstone Books.

Although many of the books still need to be processed, some have already been checked out, Froah said. Several times, parents have remembered a certain book and have borrowed it for their children to read, she said.

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