Tidbits, Tips, & Tidings

About the Blog

Tidbits, Tips & Tidings is a blog from Library Director, Beth Carpenter. Tidbits will share info about library services, helpful tools & websites, answers to patron suggestions, tips & tricks on how to use different library resources, and more.

Suggestion Box: Book Sale Items

The library has a suggestion box at each location, which we check often and implement or respond to ideas when appropriate. I'll be posting suggestions here this year with my own comments. If you'd like to add your thoughts, please add a comment below.

Today's entry to the suggestion box was this:

"It would be nice to see more educational books in the book sale section. Science books, etc..."

Unfortunately, we can't always guarantee what will appear in the ongoing book sale at either location. The book sale is stocked through donations to the library, as well as  materials that have been withdrawn from the library collections due to low circulation, date of publication, and a variety of other factors. When we withdraw educational books from the library collections, it is often due to the content of the materials being sorely out of date. Keeping a timely collection, especially in educational areas such as science, is very important. Likewise, we wouldn't want those items to go in the book sale if the information is outdated and obsolete. And if someone donated educational books in good condition that were current, we would likely add them to the library collection before the book sale shelves. 

So, while we may not be able to supply the book sale with materials you are seeking, we hope you'll utilize the library's circulating collection for your information needs. We have been weeding out old materials pretty heavily in the last year or two, so if there's an area of interest you feel needs developing please don't hesitate to let us know. We'll look for current materials to flesh out the collection as a whole.

Every Book Its Reader

One of the 5 laws of library science is "Every book its reader," which suggests  that each item in a library has an individual or individuals who would find that item useful. That's why we do our best to build a varied collection that represents a wide variety of interests and questions, so there will be something of use and interest to anyone who walks through our door.

Here's a great example! Have you ever had a problem with squirrels robbing your birdfeeder? This couple did, and here's how they solved the problem:

Or maybe you'd like some other options for your squirrel challenges. The library can help! Check out this book:

Outwitting squirrels : 101 cunning stratagems to reduce dramatically the egregious misappropriation of seed from your birdfeeder by squirrels by Bill Adler Jr. If "101 cunning stratagems" can't help you, I think you might have to admit to losing the battle!

This is just one example of the wide variety of topics represented in the library collection. Check the New Materials page and stop by the library to explore what we have for you!

What Should I Read Next?

At the library, we like to think that our staff is the best resource for finding that next great book. We all read a lot and have varying interests, so we do a pretty fabulous job of connecting patrons with wonderful reads. But sometimes, even the best librarian needs a little help. That's when online tools can really come in handy. There are many out there that you can use for free, but I'd like to tell you about just one to get you started.

What Should I Read Next is a very simple site that will provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next. Just enter a book or author of a book you like, and it will analyse their database of real readers' favorite books to provide you a list of possibilities. 

I entered one of my favorite titles, Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner and received an extensive list of books to try, many of which I haven't read already.

 

Give this tool a try and see how it does for you. And remember, library staff LOVE to talk about books - give us a try sometime, too!

Big Library Read

Wisconsin's Digital Library is once again offering a Big Library Read from October 13 to 28, 2014. What's a Big Library Read? A chance for everyone to read or listen to the same book and then share and discuss the title. During this period the eBook and eAudiobook of the title is always available, so rather than the 1 checkout per person at one time model, multiple people can check out the same title at the same time. Simultaneous use means no holds!

The October Big Library Read title is Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes.  

In this Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower tale, narrator Anika Dragomir is the third most popular girl at Pound High School. But inside, she knows she's a freak; she can't stop thinking about former loner Logan McDonough, who showed up on the first day of tenth grade hotter, bolder, and more mysterious than ever. Logan is fascinating, troubled and off-limits. The Pound High queen bee will make Anika's life hell if she's seen with him. So Anika must choose--ignore her feelings and keep her social status? Or follow her heart and risk becoming a pariah. Which will she pick? And what will she think of her choice when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, changing her forever? An absolutely original new voice in YA in a story that will start important conversations--and tear at your heart. 

You can connect with the author during the Big Library Read at the following sites:

Give this Big Library Read a try and let us know what you think.

How to Avoid Library Fines

People lead busy lives these days, there's no doubt! It can be challenging in the midst of school, sporting events, work, play, and other obligations to keep track of what your family has checked out from the library, let alone return everything on time. So I thought in this post I would offer you some ideas for how you can avoid library fines.

  1. If you haven't already, ask library staff to add your email address to your library account. When we have an email address for you, the library system will send messages to tell you when materials arrive for you to pick up, as well as a message the day before your materials are due. Remember to add us to your acceptable contacts, though, or your spam or junk mail filter may prevent our messages from coming through. 
     
  2. Keep the receipt we give you at the time you check out materials. Use a magnet to stick it on your fridge, so you can be reminded of the titles you checked out and when they are due.
     
  3. Check your account in InfoSoup. It will show what you have checked out, due dates, and gives you the ability to renew items online.
     
  4. Add reminders for due dates on your online or written calendar and/or reminders on your smart phone. If due dates are integrated into your life schedule, they'll become a regular task like other scheduled events.
     
  5. Sign up for ShoutBomb, our text messaging service, which will alert you when items are due and allow you to renew materials right from your phone.
     
  6. Keep all materials in the same place in your home. Create a shelf or a basket or table where everyone can keep library materials and return them there when they're done. It will save you hustling around the house later when items are due.
     
  7. When returning materials in your vehicle, put them in a bag or container that won't tip. You wouldn't believe how many library items end up under the seats of cars where they're out of sight out of mind.
     
  8. Visit the library regularly. Visiting more often will increase the chance of materials being returned on time.

Give some of these ideas a try. If you still have difficulty returning materials on time, just remember that it happens to everybody at one time or another. The good news is that library fines are kept with the library and are used to support operating costs throughout the year.