Join Us This Week at the Olean Public Library!

Wednesday and Thursday, July 24th and 25th, will be fun filled days at the Olean Public Library!

Teens and Adults Can Make Their Own Seascape Wednesday at 4pm. The ArtMobile from St. Bonaventure will be here with actual seascape  paintings from the art collection at St. Bonaventure University. After being inspired by these paintings, participants will experiment and create their own 3 dimensional seascape. Call to reserve your spot.

Does Windows 8 have you flummoxed? Join us Wednesday at 6:30pm for an Intro to Windows 8. JCC instructor and patron favorite Christina Lopez will be here to help you navigate the new Windows 8 interface. Bring your Windows 8 device (phone, tablet, laptop) and discover how to find your files and programs. Call the Reference Desk to sign up.

Teens Can Come Hang Out in the YA Area for a Teen Coffeehouse on Thursday at 6:30pm. Come and relax, read, or participate in a planned activity while enjoying a selection of coffeehouse refreshments. Anyone participating in the summer reading program can “check in” and collect their prize.

Looking for something different to do? Join us Thursday at 7pm for “Not Your Usual Brass”. From the collection of 200 horns of Robert Fairbanks of Portville, NY, a selection of unusual instruments will be displayed and their historical applications discussed. Most of the horns are at least 100 years old. The audience will be encouraged to “touch the horns,” ask questions, and even try to play some of them. This is an informational program, not a concert.

Mr. Fairbanks has played the cornet for 60 years in a variety of venues, including bands, military ceremonies, weddings, funerals, and church programs. He sees this as an opportunity to share some of his collection.

For more information on these or any future events please visit the library website at or call us at (716) 372- 0200.

Robert Lax, Mentor & Peacemaker by Dr. Steven Georgiou



The Olean Public Library has partnered with St. Bonaventure University’s School of Arts and Sciences, Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, and Friedsam Library to present a program entitled “Robert Lax, Mentor & Peacemaker” by noted Lax scholar Dr. Steven Georgiou.

This presentation is part of a a week-long series of lectures, performances, and discussions in the Olean area from March 4th-8th.

Robert Lax, who spent a significant part of his life in Olean, remains a well-known poet, artist, spiritual thinker, mentor and friend to many, including Thomas Merton.

Highlights of the week include three lectures by noted Lax scholar Dr. Steven Georgiou of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, an archive exhibit mounted by Paul Spaeth, performance of an original composition by Gwyneth Walker inspired by poetry of Lax, classroom discussions, and informal events.

St. Bonaventure University’s School of Arts and Sciences, Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, and Friedsam Library have partnered together with the Olean Public Library, Olean High School, and members of the Olean community in planning this week of celebration and commemoration of the legacy, work, and enduring significance of Robert Lax.

Low Bridge, Everybody Down…The Story of the Genesee Valley Canal

Saturday  October 20, 2012 @ 2:00 pm—Olean Public Library



Allegany County Historian Mr. Craig Braack will present Low Bridge, Everybody Down…The Story of the Genesee Valley Canal Saturday October 20th at 2pm at the Olean Public Library.

The Erie Canal opened across NYS in 1825.  Its success was immediate and led New York State to becoming “The Empire State.”  The need for lateral canals in parts of the rest of the state stirred local interests into creating the Genesee Valley Canal starting about 1830.  This canal ran from Rochester south to Belfast next to the Genesee River and turned southwest heading to Cuba, Olean, Portville and ended just into Pennsylvania.  Cuba Lake and dam were constructed to provide water for the canal.

Unfortunately, the popularity and growth of railroads ultimately put the Genesee valley canal out of business in 1877.  Several railroads soon built track on the canal’s tow path in the next few decades and the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Rochester Division was the last line to use it, closing about 1963.  Now almost all of the canal’s towpath is the Genesee valley Greenway hiking trail.  Mr. Braack’s program illustrates this history.

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.

This 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

Star Wars Reads Day comes to the Olean Public Library


Olean Public Library is pleased to announce their participation in the first ever Star Wars Reads Day on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 1:00-3:30pm.  Patrons of all ages are invited to try a 5-fold origami Yoda, enter trivia contests, view Star Wars displays, and enjoy “galactically” cool refreshments.  Star Wars related memento for all attendees!  Kids are welcome to come in costume for an extra treat!

Star Wars Reads Day is a national event that celebrates reading and Star Wars. It was created by Lucasfilm and its publishing partners–Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, DK Publishing, Random House Audio, Scholastic, Titan Magazines and Workman.  There are over 1,000 Star Wars Reads events scheduled at libraries and bookstores on October 6th throughout the United States.

For more information please call the Olean Public Library, 716-372-0200 or visit our website at This program is sponsored by the Olean Public Library and is free and open to the public.

Olean Library To Host Breast Cancer Program

OLEAN – Breast cancer survivors and representatives of the Susan G. Komen Western New York Affiliate will present a program titled “Are You at Risk for Breast Cancer?” from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Olean Public Library.

Light refreshments will be served, and door prizes will be distributed. For information on the event, which  is free and open to the public, call 372-0200. The library is located at 134 North Second Street, Olean.

“The two most common risk factors associated with breast cancer are being a woman and getting older,” according to Komen Grants Administrator Natalie Weil. Speakers Lesley Hoag and Patricia Stewart will address additional risk factors, the importance of early detection by proper screening, knowing what is “normal” for an individual, and ways to reduce risk.

One speaker, Lesley Hoag, has been involved with Race for the Cure runs for more than 10 years. Each year, her team, Senecas Fighting for a Cure, grows in numbers with those supporting the cause. Lesley has many family members who have battled some form of cancer, and her mother, Debra, is a five-year breast cancer survivor. As a co-survivor, Lesley is passionate about promoting the messages of early detection, taking care of oneself and living every day to the fullest.  She hopes one day to see the world cancer free.

The other speaker, Patricia “Trish” Stewart, is a board member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Western New York Affiliate.  She is responsible for training Komen volunteer speakers to educate local communities about breast health, and she facilitates a cancer support ministry at her church.  As a breast cancer survivor, Trish has an understanding of cancer as a patient. As a mother of two cancer survivors, she also understands the effect of the disease on caregivers and families.  She and her husband Tom have been married for 39 years. They have five grown children and are enjoying their “empty nest” as well as the arrival of grandchildren.

Their presentations in Olean are supported by funding awarded to the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System  by the  Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Western New York Affiliate, for a project called “Empowered by Information: Libraries help Cattaraugus County Address Breast Cancer.”

Another   presentation will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, at the King Memorial Library, 9538 Route 16, in Machias, with speakers June Brennan and Amy Benjamin. For information, call 353-9915.

In addition to supporting programs, the Komen Western New York Affiliate enabled each Cattaraugus County library to add a collection of books and DVDs about breast cancer and provided free breast cancer education information to all members of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System for useduring Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

According to Patricia Johnson, outreach coordinator for the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, library displays will increase the information people have available to them about breast cancer, and the programs will enable attendees to receive inspiration and support in person from a trained Komen ambassador.

“Mikado’s Secret: Path to the Purple Moon” Author to Visit Library on Tuesday

The Olean Public Library is proud to welcome Sacynda S.D. Shields, author of “Mikado’s Secret:  Path to the Purple Moon”, to speak about her book, her experience with writing and publishing, and to autograph books.  No sign up is required to attend this free event on Tuesday, August 7 at 7:00pm in the library’s Art Gallery.

S.D. Shields is an energetic 16 year old high school sophomore.  She has a vast imagination and creative art ability.  The book is entirely hers from the words on the page to the illustrations and cover art.  She deals with dyslexia and ADD, but never let that stop her from pursuing her dream of publishing.  “I’d like to encourage other kids not to let anything stand in their way either,”  she says.  “Follow your dreams.  You have to believe in yourself.”  She loves animals and loves to ride horses, especially dressage.  She wrote her book when she was 15 years old and lives with her mom, 3 dogs, and 2 cats in Randolph, New York.  She has a second book in the works and hopes to send it to the publisher soon.

For more information please call the Olean Public Library, 716-372-0200.  This program is sponsored by the Olean Public Library and is free to the public.

Olean Public Library is one stop on ArtMobile Route

Room is still available!  Call the Circulation Desk to sign up!


The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University has again drawn itself into summer reading programs at public libraries across the Twin Tiers.  And taking a cue from this year’s program theme, “Dream Big,” the Quick Center has nearly doubled the number of library stops scheduled by the ArtMobile and its driver/educator Miranda Earley, museum educator at The Quick Center.

The Olean Public Library will host four ArtMobile sessions, two for children and two for teens/adults. Session I (Teens/Adults) will be held on Wednesday, July 25 at 6pm and Session I (Children) will be held on Thursday, July 26 at 10am.  Session II (Teens/Adults) will be Wednesday, August 1 at 6pm and Session II (Children) will be held on Thursday, August 2 at 10am.  Sign up for the separate sessions at the library or call 716-372-0200.

This is the fourth year that The Quick Center has been invited by local libraries to inject a dose of art into the unified, themed summer reading program held by public libraries across the country.

Earley will load up the ArtMobile with supplies and make two trips to each of the 17 participating libraries. Each hour-long visit will present a lesson and activity aligned with the “Dream Big” theme of the summer reading program.

In Session I, participants will view prints of artwork created by the late Marc Chagall, a Russian artist known for his dreamlike paintings that reflect his favorite childhood memories. Participants will then use a variety of materials to create their own dreamlike mobiles.

In Session II, participants will view photos from The Quick Center’s Native American collection and explore the history of the dream catcher, an object consisting of a web woven around a circular or tear-shaped frame. Hung over the bed of sleeping children, it is said to “catch” bad dreams while letting good dreams through. Participants will build their own dream catcher from materials found in the home.

Earley will be assisted by two students: Patrick Alfonso from Tampa, Fla., a senior at St. Bonaventure majoring in finance and philosophy; and Brooke Skroback, who will be a senior next year at Portville Central School. A budding photographer, Skroback will keep a visual journal of the summer sessions.

There is no cost to participants, thanks to support from The Ink Well, an art supply, design, instruction and framing center in Allegany.

“We know that the Arts stimulate creative thinking skills and that Libraries are places of “Life Long Learning”.  The ArtMobile Library partnership is such a smart idea.  What a great resource for our Library and Community” said Lance Chaffee, Director of the Olean Public Library.

Evelyn Sabina, curator of education at The Quick Center, said she looks forward each year to expanding the reach of St. Bonaventure’s arts center. “Not everybody can get to this incredible resource, so this allows us to bring The Quick Center to them,” she said. “We’re excited that so many libraries in our area appreciate the connections between literature and art. And we’re also grateful to The Ink Well for sponsoring this summer’s program.”

Participating libraries in New York include those in Alfred, Allegany, Belfast, Canaseraga, Cuba, Ellicottville, Franklinville, Jamestown, Olean, Portville, Randolph, Salamanca, Scio and Whitesville. Participating Pennsylvania libraries include those in Coudersport, Duke Center and Port Allegany.

St. Bonaventure’s Artmobile was purchased and equipped with a $50,000 grant secured in 2009 with the assistance of Sen. Catharine Young of Olean.