Here’s what’s happening at the library!

What will the New Year bring?
     This past year brought increased checked out items with both movies as well as books.  The number of card holders increased.  An increased number of patrons coming into the library was seen.  The “passive” summer program went well.   New computers, new bathroom remodel, and numerous new titles in movies as well as books, helped bring patrons in.  Twenty-five community members were thought about monthly and on their birthdays.
     2018.  Think of the possibilities.  What will you try?  Maybe a new genre of books, a new author.  Maybe your interests lies in starting a new hobby. The library has books to help you on your way to that new pastime like cooking, painting, knitting, or crocheting.  Think of the possibilities!  Never miss the opportunity to exercise the mind.
     As was said in the last library article, repeat patrons become members of an extended family that you get to know and care about as in a church community, co-workers, or close neighbors.  You get to know what they are interested in and the chances that come to them.
     As for me, the chance to teach for the next five months was one I could not pass up.  The teacher bug got into my blood 34 years ago at a parochial school in Hanover, KS and for the next five months I will be back where I started 34 years ago.  I am excited to “go at it” again and take advantage of this given fortuity.
     What will the 2018 year bring?  Who knows?  But if given any happenstance of your liking, take it, because,
     Knock, knock.
     Who’s there?
     Opportunity.
     Don’t be silly-opportunity doesn’t knock twice!
So, don’t let those opportunities/resolutions go in one “year” and out the other!
Happy Reading in 2018!

Dear Waterville Library Family,

I hope this Christmas letter finds you all happy, healthy, and reading well.  We ask ours”elves” every year, “Where has the time gone?”  Our newly purchased books too quickly become historical fiction.
     The year has been busy with Nick, Clint, and Chuck updating the patron restroom.  They did a very nice job.  Clint also came back to install a Smart TV for the public viewing of BVTV billboard channels and computer programming to watch.  Both services have kept us informed of the goings on in surrounding towns.  Alex continues to keep the library clean and inviting.
      Throughout the year, patrons of the library graciously sent messages in birthday and holiday cards to 25 community members.  A few of those members came in to tell how much they appreciated the gesture. About 27 “hand” made cards were sent to Washington, D.C. for the veterans on the Kansas Honor Flight on Veterans Day.
     Thirty-three Preschoolers were read to once a month this past year.  In November, the 33 students and their teachers came to the library for Kansas Reads to Preschoolers month. Short activities within the book’s theme tested the 4 years olds on name writing, listening, and coloring/drawing skills.
     Speaking of November, the library had 436 patrons check out and return the many new titles of books and movies.  Those 436 visits were divided up by 158 different patrons.  The last 3 months have brought over 400 visitors into the library in the 17-19 open days.
     Facebook, the library website, and articles in the Telegraph and Free Press have kept the library “out there”.  Visitors from the Weaver Hotel are always surprised at this “gem” the town has.
     The library still tries to keep in force the “shush” factor for optimum reading, searching, and listening pleasure.
      Friends of the Library book sales continue to be an excellent source of gifts for yourself or Christmas stocking stuffers.
     A little boy sits on Santa’s lap and says “I want books, computers, and the ability to travel through time and space.”  “OK,” Santa replies, “Here’s a library card.”
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Gladys.
Gladys who?
Gladys Christmas, aren’t you?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Irish.
Irish who?
Irish you a Merry Christmas!
Seasons Readings!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!
     The holidays bring families closer together literally and figuratively.  Many Christmas programs that have aired recently have shown an older member of the family reading any number of classic Christmas stories to attentive children.
     Thirty-one such children came to the library in November for Kansas Reads to Preschoolers month.  There they sat listening to a story called “The Napping House” by Audrey Wood.  They listened as a snoring granny, dreaming child, dozing dog, snoozing cat, and slumbering mouse napped in a bed.  A tiny uninvited pesky visitor wakes them all up and no one in the house is napping any more.  Simple story?  Yes, but it honed into their “prior knowledge”.
     My Grandma Nanny read to me the Little Golden Books and Mother Goose rhymes.  Was it the story or having Nanny close that sparks the memory?  I can’t remember all of the stories, but I know how it felt sitting beside her.
     Young mothers bring their children to story time, and that is wonderful, but having mom, grandmom, babysitter hold them and read, brings an important element to the story.
     Advertisers can say all they want about their computer programs improving reading skills, but after teaching struggling readers for years, nothing compares to a warm sincere teacher sitting beside a child with non-threatening corrections and a pat on the back for doing well.
     Back to the topic of family.  Church groups, clubs, teams, small towns, or even repeat patrons to the library get to feeling like members of your extended family.  You get to know their likes, dislikes, opinions, and tastes in books and movies.
     They say that families that read together, stay together.  Try it this holiday season.
     “The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo” will be the next preschool read.  I’ll try my hand at making gingerbread samples for them to taste as they listen, which reminds me of part of the Jim Carrey movie “Bruce Almighty” in which Carrey’s TV reporter character says:  “Does this cookie represent the pride of (Waterville)?  Its dedicated and hard-working citizens the key ingredient…..with a few nuts thrown in.  And finally, the love of our families, which provides the rich chewy center making our (Waterville) the sweetest place to live. And that’s how the cookie crumbles.”
     Happy Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Has Elf on the Shelf made it to your house this first week of December?  Or will he appear closer to Christmas to watch your good doings……or the naughty ones?
     Elf on the Shelf is one of those simple Christmas ideas that started in 2005 with a book of the same name written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell.  The story?  A little elf is sent from the North Pole to watch the behavior of children.  At night, he would report his findings back to Santa and then return to the child’s house and sit with a different eye view to continue watching their conduct.
     The library had purchased the Elf on the Shelf book some years back, and hidden in the boxes of Christmas decorations was that 12 inch tall, red felt dressed elf.
     The book had been put on the children’s book shelf along with many other seasonal stories for Mrs. Claus’s storytime on Saturday.  The Elf made his position inside the book with arms over the cover to watch the listeners.
     Two school aged students came into the library and wondered if I had noticed Elf perched on the bookcase.  They both left the library quietly and respectfully.  Both said they were waiting on Elf’s arrival at their houses.  December brings a lot of pressure to behave without an Elf reporter to stir things up.
     The great niece and nephew found their Elf tangled in yarn decorations, hanging upside down amongst the cattle ear tag ornaments they had found in Daddy’s stash.  They had decorated the lower third of the tree for Mommy.  The Elf had to be pleased with their actions.
     Elf will have a warm and secure place to stay this month of December, no matter where he decides to lurk.  Be looking for him.
     Come on in and check out a Christmas selection to warm your hearts and get yourself into the spirit of the season.
     By the way, do you know what Elf’s favorite book is?  Stuart “Little”.  His favorite song is Blue Christmas by “Elfis”.  Elf will be here only a “short” time.  In the summer, Elf is a “short” order cook.  He’s got to make some Jingle Bills somehow!
     Season’s Readings!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

There have always been places where forms of quiet or silence is a given, like church, a sleeping baby’s room, a hospital, or during the national anthem out of respect for the faithful, the very young, the sick, or our country.
     There are also those places where quiet is necessary for positive outcomes like a classroom, a quiet room for autistic individuals, or even at a Lighted Horse Parade (like in Barnes this past Saturday).  Too much noise can cause stress on certain people or animals.
     One more quiet space, of course, is the library.  Reading a book, getting on-line, or listening with earphones to an audiobook all require a certain amount of outside soundlessness.
     This need for quietude in our libraries have given librarians this stereotype of being unattractive with angry faces and a shush finger to their pursed lips.  So unfair, but I, too, have developed that librarian tick.  It is an occupational job hazard that I did not look into before accepting this position.
     A second grade student, not necessarily known for her quietness, asked if I could silence the kids just outside the library that were skateboarding on the sidewalk so she could concentrate on the computer.  Young people come in and are very mindful of the quiet rule.  Older patrons just know.
     Many people say they can multitask and can listen to music and read or search on line simultaneously.  Maybe they can.  As for me and this library, “Shh!”
     New books and movies have quietly made their way into the library.
     Mrs. Claus will be giving gift books to her story time listeners on Dec. 5.
     Many newly donated books have come into our “book sale” room.  Come early and often for the best selection to give as gifts or as a present to yourself.
     Newer edition magazines have also been donated and are free to those needing holiday ideas for health, travel, or decorating.
     Two men drove past a construction site and one said, “Rumor has it, it’s going to be a library….of course, it’s all been very hush, hush.”
     Happy reading

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

There was a big push to put the word Christ back in Christmas, using Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, and realizing the real reason for the season.  Christmas is a month away. Let’s talk Thanksgiving.
     Two young boys came into the library wanting to play on the X-Box.  The game was not as exciting a game as they had at their house.  They asked politely if they could borrow a controller with a promise to return it before the library closed.  We “pinky swore” on the return. Part of me was hesitant to let go of a “non-checkoutable” item.  Another part of me gave these young men the benefit of the doubt – after all, we pinky-swore.
     Soon they were back with controller in hand.  I thanked them and they returned a thank you for even letting them borrow it.  Thanks for Giving.
     Same day.  Two slightly older boys.  I am in the back room talking to a patron.  Each had ran off a colored copy of importance to them.  They walked towards the back room with quarters in hand to pay for their pages instead of skipping out on the debt.  Thanks for Giving.
     A young woman, whom I trusted to bring back more than the allotted 4 movies per card limit, turned them into the drop box after many months for others to enjoy.  Thanks for Giving back.
     A shy, quiet man of the community came to say thank you to the library and patrons for the Halloween card he received.  He wanted to say…..Thanks for Giving.
     Thanksgiving cards were sent out to members of the community again.  It has been over a year since this jester began.  Patrons send cards and messages to community members with no hesitation to do so, knowing the individual or not.  Thanks for Giving.
     This time of year it is very difficult to order murder mysteries, crime novels, science fiction, but instead, titles of inspiration, family, friendship, and love.
     Don’t worry thriller readers, I said difficult, not impossible.  How about these special holiday titles?
     Fifty Shades of Gravy
     War and Peas
     Pie and Prejudice
     To Roast a Mockingbird
     Catcher in the Rye Bread
Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Fake news. It has been around for years. Up until the 1890’s, it was called “false news” and sometimes punishable if the journalist was found to be spreading false stories. In 1890, the “fake news” term was used, but the meaning was still the same; false, often shocking information, spread under the form of news reporting.
A person gets to wondering exactly how much of what you hear or read on television, radio, newspapers, or the internet is real, or do people really care that much as long as the story “hooks” them, as in a good work of fiction.
Remember the game Rumor or Telephone in which the first person would whisper a sentence into the next person’s ear, for example, “dogs dig holes for big bones”, or “twelve people pulled ripe turnips”? By the time the message had gotten to the last person in line, it had taken on a whole new meaning.
People like to hear the juicy stuff, read the juicy stuff, believe the juicy stuff. But there has to be room for the truth, too, ergo our non-fiction section of the library which hosts only about a third of our books.
There are ways to protect yourself from fake news by, knowing the source of the information, reading more than just the headlines, checking the dates of the story, or knowing that just because a story agrees with your ideals, it does not make it true.
Personally, I’d rather let the professionals at CNN or our national networks do the investigating for me. I want the whole story, the details, the colorful words that make up great fake news.
I want all of that aforementioned stuff that a good book of crime/detective fiction, fantasy fiction, historical fiction, horror, mystery, and science fiction, short fictional stories, westerns, realistic fiction, fairy tales, picture books, junior and young adult fiction, and many more “fictions” can bring to my need of fake news.
Fake news you want? Come on in. There are new “reports” that arrive at our door every month.
Happy Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Have you ever driven by a place and wonder what it’s like inside? Whether the inside is as awesome as the outside? Oh, you know you have.
You can’t judge a book by its cover, nor can you judge this library by its sometimes “cornea” windows. This library, like many others like it, are not just for books anymore, for better or worse. Although, 19 new titles have been ordered for your reading pleasure.
Inside this little library, many small things are happening with big impacts on our community members. Computers are helping to find jobs, finish homework, or ordering parts. Paper/pencil activities are there for people of all ages to expand the mind, relax the body, and boost their creativity. Cards are there to be sent to people that need a little note from a stranger to let them know they are thought of. A few weeks ago 27 postcards with Thank You messages were sent to 3 of Waterville’s Vietnam veterans. These cards were there when the 3 veterans got to Washington D.C. and then read with “moist” eyes. We made an impact.
Patrons new and old are what is keeping these small, but important gestures of kindness going. There is a small element of surprise when they come into this library as to what’s new, and hopefully, they pay those small surprises forward by writing and sending a kind surprise to those that need it at home and…. make an impact.
This library is one of Waterville’s best kept secrets.
No, I am not going to advertise the goings on in here. That’s a lot of pressure to have to live up to with all that advertised hype!
Happy Reading, Viewing, Sending!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

A worldly traveler, I am not, but this past week took me to St. Louis and Wichita, a day’s trip each. Both places were visited for totally different, but important reasons.
I began to wonder what these two cities had in common besides being big, loud, and busy. I did some Goggling and found out their populations were fairly similar with the number being within 70,000 people and Wichita is the larger of the two. The male to female ratio is equal. The median age of 34 years is alike. The water area is the same even with St. Louis having the Mississippi River with its border. Wichita has the Arkansas River and numerous lakes.
They both have interesting sites to see like the Gateway Arch, the St. Louis Zoo, and the Anheuser Busch Brewery to name a few. Wichita has Old Cowtown Museum, the Chisholm Trail Cattle Pen and trail markers, and the Original Pizza Hut.
The reasons for visiting these two similar cities?
St. Louis is the site of the Children’s Shriner’s Hospital in which I had the highest privilege of being asked to go with my great niece and her mother for her biweekly checkup. She was born with a very rare, 1 in 40,000 birth defect. She had a hemimelia of the lower limb which required surgery in July and a Taylor Spatial Frame was placed on her lower leg. She goes for x-rays to see how the bone is growing, physical therapy, and exercises to be done at home every day.
Wichita hosted the annual Kansas Library Association Conference. They reiterated how important our public libraries are to our communities large and small. They also stated that libraries anymore are more than books, but also technology and employment opportunities on the web. The chance to talk to fellow directors is always a bonus.
For both trips, books were taken to fill the travel time lulls. I am happy to report that the art of conversation is not dead. The niece prepared for the trip by bringing 2 pages of 40 conversation starters. We got through 3 questions before going off on our own topics. She may need it next time with her uncle, or just to be safe, maybe take along a book!
Happy Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

K…..S…..U…..Wildcats! Wabash Cannonball! Willie the Wildcat! 52,000 purple clad fans. Nose bleed section. Above it all. Perfectly in sync marching band. The purple and orange fall sunset behind the stadium entrance. Did I mention FREE tickets?
Oh, the memories. My daughter said, “I miss college.” It has been only four and a half months for her. For me, a few more, but, oh the memories!
As I looked over those young students and young alumni, I hope I got my students off to a good start those 32 years by teaching reading strategies to the ones that found reading difficult. They won’t remember and neither will their parents…..but I do.
Reading is the foundation of all these students’ studies. I am so glad I had a part in helping those children “tackle” that skill and feel S-U-C-C-E-S-S!
“2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate?” Those parents and grandparents that bring their children and grandchildren into our well stocked movie section to get the latest feature and make the rule of checking out a book or two, also. Rah, Rah, Rah for them!
College days fun? You bet. Go back to those days? No way. I’ll stick with the memories, those stories get better every year.
Speaking of going back, there are a few patrons that come in and say, “I read this book a long time ago, but I want to read it again.” I’m not knocking that practice, after all, I go back to the Young Adult and Junior Fiction books that I grew to love teaching to those middle school students. No matter the genre, no matter the author, no matter length of book or article, no matter the age category of text……”What do we want? READERS! When do we want’em? NOW!
So, “Hey, Hey,
What do you say?
Send ALL those readers my way!”
Get Fired Up and Read! Go, Team, Go!