2015 Friends of the Library Short Story Contest Winners

Students from Olean Intermediate Middle School and Hinsdale Central School took top prizes in the 2015 short story contest sponsored by the Friends of the Olean Public Library. Prizes were awarded to students in grades six and seven. The contest was also open to grades eight and nine, but no awards were given in those grades this year.

First prize winners were Rylie Gumtow of Olean, grade six, and Jackson Howell of Hinsdale, grade seven. Rylie told the story of Juliana, who dreams of joining the graceful ice skaters outside the library where she is working, Jackson’s story traces the impact one butterfly can have over history.

Each first prize winner will receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.

Second place winners were Chrissy Martin and Jazlynn Knapp, both Olean, grade six, and Aarika Mattys, Hinsdale, grade seven. They will each receive a gift certificate to Seasons in the Olean Center Mall. Sarah Scott of Hinsdale received an honorable mention in grade seven.

Entries must feature at least two of four items set in the contest rules. The stories may be no longer than 350 words.

This year’s contest drew 55 entries. Rules for the 2016 competition will become available early next year. Teachers or students who are interested in taking part should contact Carole McNall at cmcnall511@gmail.com or via the library at 134 North 2nd Street, Olean.

Top Ten Lists for 2014

What did you check out from the Olean Public Library in 2014?  See how your borrowing habits aligned with the rest of the library community.  Below are the top 10 items checked out in each category.  Did you miss anything?

Adult DVD

  1. 2 Guns
  2. Taken 2
  3. Men in Black 3
  4. World War Z
  5. After Earth
  6. Disconnect
  7. Iron Man 3
  8. Jack Reacher
  9. Pain & Gain
  10. A Good Day to Die Hard

Adult Fiction Books

  1. The Gods of Guilt – Michael Connelly
  2. King and Maxwell – David Baldacci
  3. Takedown Twenty – Janet Evanovich
  4. The Husband List – Janet Evanovich
  5. Sycamore Row – John Grisham
  6. Bones of the Lost – Kathy Reichs
  7. Dust – Patricia Cornwell
  8. NYPD Red 2 – James Patterson
  9. Robert B. Parker’s Bull River – Robert Knott
  10. Standup Guy – Stuart Woods

Large Print

  1. The Longest Ride – Nicholas Sparks
  2. Moving Target – J.A. Jance
  3. NYPD Red 2 – James Patterson
  4. The Best of Me – Nicholas Sparks
  5. W is for Wasted – Sue Grafton
  6. River Road – Jayne Ann Krentz
  7. Dust – Patricia Cornwell
  8. A Tap on the Window – Lindwood Barclay
  9. Cider Brook – Carla Neggers
  10. Escape – Barbara Delinsky

Audio Books

  1. Guilty Wives – James Patterson
  2. White Fire – Douglas Preston
  3. Now You See Her – James Patterson
  4. A Week in Winter – Maeve Binchy
  5. 4th of July – James Patterson
  6. Alex Cross, Run – James Patterson
  7. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
  8. Cross My Heart – James Patterson
  9. Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
  10. Identical – Scott Turow

Adult Nonfiction

  1. Writing Is My Drink – Theo Nestor
  2. Mastering Digital SLR Photography – David Busch
  3. The Citizen’s Constitution: An Annotated Guide – Seth Lipsky
  4. Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing – Nina Sankovitch
  5. The Rooftop Beekeeper: A Scrappy Guide to Keeping Urban Honey – Megan Paska
  6. The Improbability Principle – D.J. Hand
  7. Moosewood Restaurant Favorites – Moosewood Collective
  8. Digital SLR Handbook – John Freeman
  9. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man – Steve Harvey
  10. An Anthology of American Poetry: Lyric America 1630-1930 – Alfred Kreymborg

Video Games

  1. Wii Lego Batman: DC Superheroes
  2. Wii Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
  3. Wii The Smurfs 2
  4. Xbox Minecraft
  5. Wii Godzilla Unleashed
  6. Wii Pac-Man Party
  7. Xbox Battleship
  8. Wii Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
  9. Xbox Plants Vs. Zombies
  10. Xbox Farming Simulator


  1. Greatest Hits – LeAnn Rimes
  2. Wide Open Spaces – Dixie Chicks
  3. The Supremes V. 3 – The Supremes
  4. 2012 Grammy Nominees
  5. Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin, Volume 1 – Led Zeppelin
  6. The Supremes V. 2 – The Supremes
  7. Waking Up Laughing – Martina McBride
  8. My Beautiful Dark & Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
  9. 2013 Grammy Nominees
  10. Duets – Reba McEntire

New Video Games Winter 2014


ATV Offroad Fury 4

Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy X-2

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Jak 3

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando

Soulcalibur III

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection


Bit. Trip Complete

De Blob 2

Fishing Resort

Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident

Pandora’s Tower

Rhythm Heaven Fever

The Last Story

Xbox 360

Duck Dynasty

Madden 15

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventure 2

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Friends of the Olean Library Poetry Contest

This year’s contest will be for students in grades 9-12. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best poem at each grade level at each participating school. Poems that receive honorable mention will receive a gift at the awards ceremony. If your school is not participating in the contest, you can still drop off your poem at the library. Make sure you include contact information.

The rules are simple:

  • Students must be in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.
  • Each entry must be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font and include the author’s full name, grade, English teacher and school at the bottom right of each page.  If you don’t have access to a computer, please come to the library and use one of the public access computers.
  • The work must be original.  Please do not submit another’s work.  Such entries will be disqualified.

All entries must be received at the Olean Public Library by Friday, November 21st.  Drop them off marked to the attention of the Friends Poetry Contest at the Reference Desk at the OPL or mail to Friends Poetry Contest, Olean Public Library, 134 N 2nd St., Olean, NY 14760.

Results will be announced before the end of the year and awards will be presented at a ceremony held at the library on December 30th.  Even if you don’t win, you’re invited to the ceremony to read your work as there will be an open reading and refreshments to follow the presentations.

Some tips for writing your poem:

  • Don’t let nonsensical rhyme dictate the flow of the poem.
  • Make your work interesting by using imagery and sensory details.
  • Write about what you know.

Heritage Scrapbooking Workshop Saturday June 14th with Dawn Westfall


On Saturday, June 14 from 1-4pm, Dawn Westfall, a local genealogist and family historian, will present a Heritage Scrapbooking workshop at the Olean Public Library.   In this workshop, Ms. Westfall combines her love of old photos, scrapbooking, and family history and will share how-to techniques with you.  This is a make-and-take project.  Bring 3-4 old photos or copies to use to make your very own heritage scrapbook page.

Ms. Westfall is an avid and experienced family historian with over twenty years of experience.  Florida-born and raised, she has called Western New York her home for over ten years.

Space is limited; please call (716)372-0200 to reserve your spot.  There will be a $4 materials fee due on the day of the event.  The Olean Public Library is located at 134 N. 2nd St, Olean, NY.  

Join Us for a War of 1812 Presentation on Wednesday May 28th

Join Allegany County Historian and Olean Public Library favorite Craig Braack for a presentation on the War of 1812 in our area on Wednesday May 28th at 6:30pm.

The nation is now celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the “Second War for American Independence.” Come learn about WNY’s role in the war. Mr. Braack will also cover the final burial of 28 soldiers from the war of 1812 which we uncovered by accident in Niagara Falls, ON in 1987. In June 1988, they were re-interred in the National Cemetery at the Bath, NY Veterans Administration Hospital.

Mr. Braack has held the position of Allegany County Historian and County Records Management Officer since 1985. He served in the United States Navy and is a graduate of the State University of New York in Geneseo.

The program is free and open to the public.

The Olean Public Library is located at 134 North Second Street, Olean, NY.   For more information please call the Reference Desk at (716) 372-0200 or visit the website at http://www.oleanlibrary.org/


Olean Public Library Volunteers Honored

OLEAN, NY – On Tuesday May 13th the Olean Public Library held their annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner at the Bartlett Country Club. The total hours volunteered in 2013 was 1,602, 112 of which were performed by 8 teen volunteers. Using the estimated value of volunteer time in NY State ($26.54 per hour as reported by Independent Sector) this was a value of $42,372.90 for the library.

New to this year’s recognition program was the President’s Volunteer Service Award. This award was established in 2003 by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to “recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and encourage more people to serve.” (More information may be found at http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov) The library had several levels of recipients. The bronze level award goes to volunteers with 100-249 hours over a 12 month period. These awards were given out to Donna Costanza, Bernie Eisenhart, Rita Kowalik, Suzanne Marcus, Robert Taylor, and Cathy Walters. The silver level award goes to volunteers with 250-499 hours over a 12 month period. These awards were handed out to Carol Bess and John Mansour.

John Mansour also received the President’s Call to Service Award for volunteering more than 4,000 hours over his lifetime to the library. John has been a library volunteer for the past 27 years and has decided to retire from service. John also was recognized as performing the most volunteer hours in 2013 with a total of 300 ½ hours. Lance Chaffee, library director, also presented John with a plaque in hour of his 27 years of dedicated service to the library. Mr. Mansour received a standing ovation from members of the library staff, Board of Directors, and Friends of the Library.

Throughout his 27 years, John Mansour has worked at the Circulation Desk checking out books and providing book recommendations, serving on the Friends of the Library Board, and as chairman of the tree planting committee. Mr. Mansour is a retired teacher and a veteran of World War II. He will be missed by both the patrons and the staff of the Olean Public Library.

Lance Chaffee, director, presents John Mansour with a Plaque for his 27 Years of Dedicated Service

Lance Chaffee, director, presents John Mansour with a Plaque for his 27 Years of Dedicated Service


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