And I'm a librarian, so of course I believe this to be true! :)
I'm writing this post during National Library Week 2015 (April 12-18) and am feeling grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the community, serving the needs of residents, and inspiring & supporting lifelong learning and the love of reading.
We are fortunate to be a part of the Fox Cities where many "bookish opportunities" are available throughout the year. April is always particularly thrilling as we welcome the celebration of the Fox Cities Book Festival and Fox Cities Reads. Both events bring high caliber authors to our neck of the woods and provide the chance for us to mingle with writers, to read and discuss, and to learn from those around us.
The 2015 Fox Cities Reads author, Christina Baker Kline, will also visit the Fox Cities during the Book Festival. The author of Orphan Train will be making several presentations during her visit. All programs are free and open to the public and are listed on the Reads website.
I hope you'll join in the fun and help us celebrate the love of the written word and those special people who bring us to worlds both real and imagined.
It's that time again! Time for a Big Library Read on Wisconsin's Digital Library. A Big Library Read means that unlimited copies of a specific e-book are made available for a period of time, so unlimited numbers of people can read the same book, discuss it, learn and grow.
The title available this time around is Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates. Here's the synopsis:
"Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before - supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars. Thus begins the most unlikely of friendships, one bonded by Shakespeare and lasting years - a friendship that, in the end, would save more than one life."
The e-book will be available for check-out March 17-31, 2015. Download a copy, tell your friends, and get together to discuss this remarkable book.
The library is happy to support the Help for the Homeless Hygiene Drive February 23-March 14, 2015. This is our 6th year supporting this fabulous cause. What's it all about?
Help for the Homeless collects NEW hygiene and cleaning items for local homeless and crisis programs through 91.9/91/5 The Family's annual drive. All donations go to local shelters and will help them direct their limited funds to providing qualified staff, counseling, food and shelter to those they serve. Most urgently needed items are laundry soap, garbage bags, dental and hair care, diapers, tissue, and feminine care. You can bring your donations to many local agencies and businesses, including the drop box at the library.
Financial donations are also accepted. Make checks out to "The Family" and include "Help for the Homeless" on the memo line. Gift cards will be purchased for the agencies and the people they serve, and funds stay in the community where the check comes from.
Here are some notes about how Help for the Homeless has affected lives in the Fox Cities:
“Growing up in extreme poverty, I was picked on for the way I smelled, and for my ratty hair. When my 5th grade teacher gave me a bag containing shampoo, conditioner and a stick of deodorant, I had to ask what the deodorant was for - I'd never seen any before. The pride and joy I felt after that, at being able to raise my arms without smelling anything, was a tremendous boost to my confidence! (I still love keeping a variety of deodorants to choose from!)”
Elizabeth S., Social Work Grad. Student, Green Bay
“People come to us when they have nowhere else to turn for help. They’re often at the lowest point in their lives, and report feeling scared, depressed, embarrassed and inadequate. They have been reduced to tears when presented with shampoo, diapers, deodorant or other items that we so often take for granted. The generous response to the Help for the Homeless campaign shows our community’s capacity to care and share.”
Mary Parsons, Exec. Director LEAVEN
Here is a thank you from COTS, one of the Fox Cities agencies that will be helped by the drive.
To encourage you further, the library is offering a Fines Amnesty period during the hygiene drive. For each item donated, you will receive $1 off your library fines. This will only apply to fines, not bills for damaged or lost materials.
Please consider donating generously and help those in need in your community!
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.
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:
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!
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
Check your account in InfoSoup. It will show what you have checked out, due dates, and gives you the ability to renew items online.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The parking lot and sidewalks in front of the Little Chute Library are being torn up and reconstructed during the next few weeks with completion coming by Kermis (September 20). Please use street parking or the lot behind Seth's and enter the library through the back entrance on the north side of the building. There won't be access to the outside book drop during this time, so please return items during open hours inside the library or bring them to the Kimberly Library drop after hours. We apologize for the inconvenience, but look forward to the completion of the new lot and hope you will, too.
This map will help you find parking areas (yellow) and the path to our back entrance (green).
The Little Chute Library will remain open during the construction, but remember that one of the benefits of being a joint library is that you always have another library available to you! Try the Kimberly Library if you prefer to avoid the construction areas and keep in mind that you have the option of picking up your holds at the Kimberly Library during the project. Any current holds already available for you will remain in Little Chute, but you can designate your future pickup location when you place your holds in InfoSoup or ask staff to assist you at the library.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call!
Kimberly Library 788-7515
Little Chute Library 788-7825
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we look forward to the completion of this wonderful project!
Our library has the pleasure of being part of a statewide consortium of public libraries who pool resources in order to provide Wisconsin's Digital Library. The Digital Library provides free ebooks, downloadable audiobooks, and streaming videos to WI residents holding a local public library card.
The Digital Library is currently hosting another Big Library Read. The Big Read is a worldwide digital version of a local book club. OverDrive provides a single title allowing always available access, so readers can download the same book at the same time and discuss it. The current Big Library Read title is A Pedigree to Die For by Melanie Travis, a cozy mystery hailed as "fascinating," and "a sleek and unusual book," as well as "a special treat."
Here's more about the book:
"The apparent heart attack that killed kennel owner Max Turnbull has left seven pups in mourning, and his wife Peg suspecting foul play. But the only evidence is their missing prize pooch—a pedigreed poodle named Beau. Enter Melanie Travis. With her young son happily ensconced in day damp, the thirty-something teacher and single mother is talked into investigating her uncle's death—unofficially, of course. Posing as a poodle breeder in search of the perfect stud, Melanie hounds Connecticut's elite canine competitions, and finds an ally in fellow breeder Sam Driver. But her affection cools when she's put on the scent of Sam's questionable past...and hot on the trail of a poodle-hating neighbor and one elusive murderer who isn't ready to come to heel. For, as Melanie soon discovers, in a championship dog-eat-dog world, the instinct for survival, and winning, can prove fatal."
If you need a fun book to get your summer started right, give this book a try. No waiting for a long holds list - it's always available between June 3 - June 18! Download your copy today and encourage friends to give it a whirl, too. Enjoy!
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. If you have topics you'd like to see covered or questions Ms. Beth could answer in her blog posts, please send them to bcarpent [at] mail [dot] owls [dot] lib [dot] wi [dot] us (subject: Question%20from%20Tidbits%20Blog) . We hope you'll add your comments to the posts here, so the library can better respond to your needs and interests.