The Book of Patrons Project

            Stories are the foundations of our world, and many of them go untold to the masses. Small bits of wondrous knowledge, unique ideas of inspiration, and experiences that are lost to time. This project is an attempt to preserve those individual experiences and creative imaginations.

I am going to be creating a book for our library’s local history section to preserve and share the stories of the people who come to the library. Be creative and submit anything you envision wanting to share.


  1. Family legends/stories
  2. Personal accounts of events
  3. Memories of historical events
  4. Creative fiction/fantasy writings
  5. Poetry
  6. Bits of knowledge and skills you have learned
  7. Philosophy and life advice
  8. Humor and satire
  9. And everything in between!

You can submit your works with your name or anonymously. I will do the editing, compiling, printing, and binding of the work for our collection. You can email your writings to me at:

Or, you can submit a hard copy at the library directly to me at: 2 Willets Avenue, Belmont Free Library, Belmont, NY 14813. This event is open to all ages and all peoples.

Help us preserve our unique life experiences and views of our beautiful world. No work is too small, no idea is invalid, let your creativity shine bright! Let us create a story of us, the people of the library, The Book of Patrons.


                                 Curtis Decker, Director of the Belmont Free Library

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Something Wicked (Cool) This Way Comes

(Image of the comet ZTF’s trail in the night sky with dates from

For the first time in 50,000 years, a comet will be passing by our little planet. A comet is a ball of ice and rock that is caught in our Sun’s gravitational pull. Some, like Halley’s Comet, can be seen regularly every 75 to 79 years. Others have orbits centuries long. As the comet gets closer to our star, the energy from our star starts melting part of the comet. The comet’s “tail” is a debris trail that points away from our star as it is melted off of the comet. These cosmic events have been witnessed by humans since our kind first looked at the stars and wondered.

Called “Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)” by scientist, it is a once in a life time experience to see something that has not come our way since the age of mammoths and Ice Age humans.

It will be brightest on the morning February 1st just before dawn. You can see it with the naked eye and find it located in the north-western sky. You can get more information in the link below to the Star Walk 2 website. Don’t miss this cosmic spectacle!

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Library hours:

Monday: 1-5 pm

Tuesday: 1-7 pm

Thursday: 9 am-3 pm

Friday: 1-5 pm


A great way to tell a story is through maps! To show the world of imagination through pictures. Map making makes your world feel real and physical, like it is a destination you can travel to. It helps ground your readers in your world and can lead you to more creative writing as you try to fill out the blank edges of the map.

This project will be a creative art project where all you need to bring is your imagination! I will be hosting the events on Monday evenings 3pm to 5pm, Tuesday nights at the library from 5pm to 7pm, and Friday evenings from 3pm to 5pm. All ages are welcome!

(Free clip art image of a map from SeekPNG)
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Map Drawing and World Building in Stories

A common part of fantasy novels is to include a map of the world where the story will take place before the chapters begin. This is a great way to help immerse your readers into the reality of the world you are making. A map makes the world feel alive, like you can chart a course and sail there. It adds a sense of physicality to your story and also can help readers understand the scale and shape of your story’s world.

Creating maps for a story is also a good way to generate ideas for a story. As you make a map, you may find blank spaces that you want to fill up or add to, and as you add to them your story develops a need to see these added locations to your map. It is a good idea to plan on visiting most of the key locations of your map in your story to make sure they justify being marked on the map in the first place. However, maybe you cannot visit all the maps locations in your first story. Do not despair, this is a great way to leave your world open to further exploration in another book in the same world. Some stories will advance their plot by the discovery of a new map that leads to somewhere previously undiscovered in the world. Have fun and try making your own maps of your worlds!

Below is a video on how to get started drawing your map. This is just an introductory video to help you get started. Use it as a stepping stone to launch yourself forward on your creative journey in map making and world building!

(YouTube video of map making for books by JP Coovert)
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Obscure Music

One of my favorite past times is finding unheard of music. Music is a form of story telling that can take the listener on a journey just as much as a well written book. My taste in music covers a wide spectrum of styles and sounds.

I want to share with you on of my particularly strange and enchanting favorites, the band called “Oh Hellos.” They have a folk style, indie type sound that is what I would imagine traveling bards in medieval times dreamed of creating. Enjoy.

(The Oh Hellos – Dear Wormwood (Full Album) posted on YouTube by Salty Mittens)
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Hard World Building vs. Soft World Building

There is a lot of factors in writing a fiction/fantasy novel that keeps the reader immersed in the world the writer creates. The two main ways that these are expressed in a story is through Hard World Building and Soft World Building.

Hard World Building: essentially, this method of story telling tries to fill the written world with as much logic as possible so that you as the reader is enveloped by the world. These books tend to have heavy handed descriptions of language, rules, and grounding facts.

Soft World Building: creating a world that is more up to the imagination of the reader where the themes/philosophy/visual depth that makes you imagine more than what is written. There is much more reader imagination involvement and a lack of defined lines to let the world envelop the reader in wonder.

Note: Neither of these is a “better” way of writing, they simply are two different methods with different priorities of story telling.

The video below is from the YouTuber Hello Future Me giving a great description and examples of Hard World Building and Soft Worldbuilding. Enjoy this and see how many books/movies you can find examples of these world building methods.

(“Hard Worldbuilding vs. Soft Worldbuilding | A Study of Studio Ghibli” by Hello Future Me)

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We are making room on our shelves in the non-fiction department to make room for newer books. The books in the sale range in topic from Natural Sciences, Geology, Education, Sign Language, True Crime, and other books. Please stop by and see if we have anything that suits your fancy. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Curtis Decker, Director of the Belmont Library

(Note: The money will be spend on buying new non-fiction books to update the collection. Thank you for your contributions and patronage.)

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My Octopus Teacher

(Image of the title screen of “My Octopus Teacher” on Netflix)

A fascinating documentary of the nature photographer Craig Foster and his incredible journey in the shallow kelp forests in the Atlantic Ocean by South Africa. A stunning story of scientific and self discovery through the eyes of an unlikely teacher, an octopus. This documentary can be found on Netflix and DVD.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Snow Day

Due to the weather that is coming our way, the library will be closed Friday Dec. 23. We will also be closed Monday Dec. 26 in celebration of the winter holidays. Have a safe and joyful time. Blessings to you all.


Curtis Decker, Director of the Belmont Library

(Free clipart image from
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Allegany County Area Foundation

Thank you, STLS, for delivering the annual report of the Allegany County Area Foundation to the Allegany County libraries. May it be a reminder that the foundation has awarded numerous grants to our county’s libraries, and looks forward to doing so in 2023, the year of the foundation’s 40th anniversary. Check the website for the application process. Below is a link to their homepage.

(Allegany County Area Foundation webpage)

Also, please remind any high school seniors anticipating college, and any students currently attending college, that the deadline for scholarship application is February 5th, 2023. Over $290,000 was awarded to Allegany County college students this past year. The application process is online at their website.

Anyone who has questions may call the foundation director, Bruce Campbell, at (585)-296-5616.

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