Posted on January 29th, 2014 No comments
Library Journal has announced the winner of the Best Small Library in America 2014 award — it’s the Pine River Library in Bayfield (CO), which has a service population of 8,749.
Here are some of the services, programs, and collaborations that made PRL a winner. Do any of them look like something your library could try?
- Living in a rural community, many residents have poor Internet service (some still have dial-up), and many have little experience with technology, if any. In 2007, the library launched a technology-lending program so patrons could experiment with the newest devices. In six years, the program has grown from the original two laptops to 50 gadgets on loan and an annual circulation of more than 1,000.
- … the library began partnering with the Bayfield School District to provide outreach events. The district had just implemented monthly late-start days in the schools for staff training time. During the late-start mornings, the library hosts story time activities for students in grades K-5. Our adult librarian and our children’s specialist go out to the middle school and elementary school on those late-start mornings and do story hours while teachers get in-service training. Librarians take over for that hour or more,” says Dodson proudly.
- In March, the library began partnering with the local parks and recreation department to offer yoga classes at the library. A library board member started weekly Pilates classes, and currently there are six exercise classes every week.
- The library partners with the American Red Cross each year to offer a free babysitter training course for local teens.
- Because there are only a few businesses and a small population in Bayfield, there are very few options for entertainment, especially for teens. In early 2012, a group of concerned parents worked with PRL to develop a monthly teen activity called “2nd Saturday” teen nights. Like a big party, the nights feature music, games, and activities geared toward youth in grades six to 12. They are held at the library and supported by library staff and a small budget. Dozens of teens attend. “Teens and tweens are dropped off at PRL around 5:30, and the event goes until nine. After they drop the kids, parents can have a date night of their own,” says Dodson.
- Dodson seized the opportunity to reorganize. “We moved everything around and then went Deweyless, using an arrangement for the collections based mostly on BISAC [Book Industry Standards and Communications]. The Deweyless concept was new to me; I was really skeptical. Now I love it, and our patrons love it,” says Dodson.
Read the whole article to get all the details at Best Small Library in America 2014: Pine River Library, CO.
The annual Best Small Library in America Award, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was created in 2005 to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of libraries serving populations under 25,000. The winning library receives a $20,000 cash prize from the Gates Foundation, conference costs for two library representatives to attend the Public Library Association (PLA) biannual conference in 2014 in Indianapolis, and a gala reception at PLA.
• Best Small Library in America 2014: Pine River Library, CO, Library Journal, 29 Jan 2014
• Pine River Library website
Posted on December 2nd, 2013 No comments
If not, get inspired by looking at these great examples!
- On Pinterest, Kenton County (KY) Public Library created a New Year’s Resolution Help board full of “books and DVDs to help one get started or keep on track with New Year’s resolutions”, including pins that link to the library’s books on budgeting, getting fit, and changing habits
- Richland (SC) Library promoted their Zinio e-magazine service, with links to help “eat more salad, find the love of your life, make new friends, spend more time with family, or be more creative.”
- The Santa Clara County (CA) Library District showcased their books on New Year’s Resolutions for Kids, and provided links to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Kids and PBS Parents’ Making New Year’s Resolutions with Your Child
- Jefferson County (CO) Public Library promoted their online databases to help those who resolve to get a better job or start a new career
- For those who’ve resolved to de-clutter, do like they did at Troy (MI) Public Library and mention that your library’s Friends Group can relieve one of an over-abundance of books and DVDs
Image source: created by me at Piccsy
Posted on October 1st, 2013 No comments
If you like to dress up for Halloween or are planning a Halloween costume-themed program at your library, take a look at Jackie Reeve’s 21 Children’s Book Characters Born To Be Halloween Costumes at BuzzFeed.
Each character has a link to DIY (Do It Yourself) instructions for making your own handmade costume, including characters from these books:
- Harold And The Purple Crayon
- The Paper Bag Princess
- If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
- The Hobbit
- Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!
- Pete The Cat
Find all the rest at 21 Children’s Book Characters Born To Be Halloween Costumes.
Posted on September 30th, 2013 No comments
If you weren’t able to attend the conference, you can use the conference session handouts and slides to get great ideas on these topics:
- Dazzling Displays on a Dime
- Fundraising to Build and Sustain the Best Small Library in America
- Establish a Seed Saving Library
- Excel at Rearranging your Library (includes free downloadable Shelf Shuffler template)
- Reader’s Advisory On the Run
- Makers, Mentors and More
- No-Cost Staff Recognition
- Teen Programs That Pack a Punch
Find them all at 2013 Program and Handouts.
Posted on July 31st, 2013 No comments
Campbellsport Public Library and Ripon Public Library added a twist to regular book clubs. Campbellsport calls it The Roaming Readers Walking Club and Ripon calls theirs Roaming Readers – The Walking, Book-Talking Club — consider starting one at your library too!
Here’s how Campbellsport describes their program:
Walkers of all ages and abilities are invited to meet at the Library every Friday morning at 8am to go on a 30 minute walk around the village. The American Heart Association confirms that regularly walking briskly for 30 minutes has unlimited health benefits. They claim if you walk with others it can keep you motivated, improve your accountability and help you meet new people with similar goals. See their website at http://www.heart.org for a full list of advantages of walking with others.
Participants of this program will be asked to sign a waver of liability.
This program will begin Friday, April 5th. It is a free drop-in program.
The Campbellsport Public Library’s walking club meets at the public library at 8:30 am.
We walk for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Join us for a walk and conversation. We have a great time!
Consider joining us. This is a free drop in program.
If the rain does not stop in time for the walking club meeting tomorrow, walkers are still invited to the the library to walk the stairs!
What awful weather for our inaugural event for Roaming Readers this morning! What is Roaming Readers you ask?
It’s a new walking club that meets on Friday mornings at 8:30 A.M.
Walk & talk with others about your past, present & future reads during a brisk morning walk on the Northwestern trail. Trailhead originates in the library parking lot.
Come rain or shine! Indoor walking available for rain days.
We hope to see you next week!!
Photo credit: Carsten ten Brink via Flickr
Posted on July 31st, 2013 No comments
Andy Woodworth posted over at the ALA Think Tank, “A library member brought this to me this morning. She told me she needed this book ‘under doctor’s orders.”
Andy followed up with “Also, here’s an idea to steal: the library makes up its own mock prescription pads for writing down call numbers or handing out as part of reader’s advisory.” What a great idea!
Others chimed into the thread with more ideas:
- Patrick Sweeney: We actually have an arrangement with the local children’s hospital to write prescriptions for reading for new mothers.
- Heather Dalal: We didn’t have a mock Rx pad but we did have sheets printed with all of our names on it and I would often circle the same of the subject specialist so the student knew who to contact and drew a smiley next to my name so they knew who they talked to in case they prefer to contact a friendly face instead of a new person.
- Jessamyn West: I have a mock prescription pad like that “From the desk of the librarian…”
- Jamie Peacock: The National Library of Medicine has had Information RX materials for doctors for quite a while. I’m looking at a InfoRX sticky pad right now: http://informationrx.org/ The materials are free, btw.
- David Wright: We found a pad of these – “The Librarian Prescribes” from the Seattle U.S. Naval Hospital library back in the ’40s – when cleaning out the sub-basement of the last Central Library before it was demolished, and I had a bunch of new ones made, & still use them from time to time. Much more room on them than those ubiquitous little slips we have sitting around, since I’ll usually scrawl down several titles.
- Rochelle Hartman: We had a pediatrician who would recommend books for my daughters on her script pad.
- Meg Schiebel: In Wisconsin there are some hospitals that give “prescriptions to books” at early pediatrician visits!
- Carolyn Caywood: Take two and stay up all night
Andy Woodworth’s post A library member brought this to me this morning. She told me she needed this book “under doctor’s orders” at the ALA Think Tank Facebook group
Posted on July 30th, 2013 No comments
The Campbellsport Public Library is sponsoring an artistic painted chair silent auction fundraiser, and they’re calling it Sit ‘N Style. Other Winnefox libraries (Markesan PL, Mill Pond Library in Kingston and Carter Memorial in Omro among others) have had success with this kind of fundraiser, so maybe it’s a good fit for your library too!
Here are the details:
To start off, we are asking community members & patrons to donate any old, unwanted wooden chairs. They may be dropped off at the Library between now and June 1st. Small tables and benches could also be used.
Beginning June 1st, anyone interested in participating may stop in and choose a chair to take home and paint any way you like.
We ask you return the finished chair to the Library by Sept. 1st, where they will remain on display for two weeks so people have a chance to look at them and place a bid in a silent auction. The money earned will be used to purchase audio books for the Library.
Here are some auction entries received so far:
Posted on May 31st, 2013 No comments
Reading out loud improves reading skills, and reading to a dog gives kids a chance to read to a non-judgmental listener. For many children, it allows a rare chance to experience stress-free reading.
Considering starting a “Read to a Dog” program at your library?
Over at the WisPubLib discussion list, Arin C. Wilken (Mondovi PL) asked,
Any of the smaller libraries out there ever run a “Read to a Dog Program”? How do you run your program and what kinds of legal and administrative things need to be considered before undertaking something like this?
You can read all the tips and advice he got, to help you set up one of your own.
Or already have one, but want to re-brand it with a new name?
Over at the ALA Think Tank Facebook group, Marge Loch-Wouters (La Crosse PL, and Menasha PL alumnus) asked,
Hey, libraries that have a ‘read to a dog’ program with kids…what do you call your program? We feel meh about our “Read-to-Rover” title and want something more fun.
Here are the ideas she got, that you might consider “borrowing” for your library as well:
- ARF (Animal Reading Friends)
- Bow Wow Reading
- Dog Tale Time
- Doggy Tales
- Outside of a Dog: A Well-Lit Place for Kids to Read
- Paw Pals
- Paws for Reading
- Paws for Tales
- Paws to Read: Love on a Leash
- Pawsitive Reading Partners
- Puppy Dog Tales
- Puppy Tales
- R.E.A.D (Reading Education Assistance Dogs)
- Read With the Welcome Waggers
- Reading Buddies
- Reading with Rover
- Ruff Readers
- Ruff Ruff Read
- Sit, Stay, Read
- Tail Waggin’ Tutors
- Tale Waggers: Read to a Dog
- Tales to Tails
- Wags & Tales: Read to a Dog
• LOLcat Builder
Posted on February 28th, 2013 No comments
Update: The Hillsdale (NJ) Free Public Library has asked me to edit this post because…
Unfortunately, the official C*nstruction organization wants us to either pay $250 and register officially with them, or we must remove references to “c*nstruction” as that is their registered trademark. [all asterisks added by me]
Note: if you want to replicate their idea of creating a sculpture with food-for-fines donations, do not use the c*nstruction registered trademark, unless you are willing to pay $250 and register officially with them.
Hillsdale Free Public Library has removed their previous web page, and has reposted it as We Need Your Cans, where you can still get information on their “food for fines” project that will turn into a sculpture that will show how successful the campaign will be:
The Hillsdale Library seeks donated unexpired canned goods during the month of March.
Staff and volunteers will create a large sculpture with the cans to be displayed in the Library during National Library Week, April 14-20.
All of the cans will then be donated to the Helping Hand Food Pantry at the Hillsdale United Methodist Church. The Helping Hand Food Pantry serves over 500 people in and around the community every month.
All cans will be accepted, but the desired size is the standard 4 3/8” high variety.
Care to try this in your library too? Not only would your library & patrons be helping your local food pantry, but a photo of the sculpture would be great to share on your library’s website & Facebook page, and could generate a local newspaper article too!
Posted on February 28th, 2013 No comments
Have you seen a Redbox — to rent or return DVDs and games — in your local drugstore or grocery store? They’re popping up all over Wisconsin, so here’s a display idea you could borrow from the Main Library of the St. Johns County Public Library System (St. Augustine, FL) to use at your library — create a Readbox!