Be Thankful, Day 3

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Today is all about being thankful for your local library. Many smaller towns and even big cities are losing their libraries due to lack of funding. Libraries are such important places these days, for so many reasons, and we should do all we can to keep them in our communities.

No longer is the library “just” a place to get a book. Libraries are now information hubs for the community, convenient meeting spots, afterschool tutoring locations, maker spaces, digital go-to sources, wi-fi zones, community resource centres and so much more. You can get books, take a course, make some crafts, listen to stories, prepare and send out resumes, surf the web, play a game, research your family history, learn how to download ebooks and audiobooks on your device, and find out if you’re on the voting list for the upcoming election. If we didn’t have libraries as a central part of the community, where would people go? In this age of information, we’re less connected than ever before, so keeping libraries as a free zone to meet up with other community members, develop friendships that go beyond the library walls, and learn about community resources in a safe and welcoming environment is essential to the workings of a happy and healthy society.

Today, thank your local library. Make a donation. Drop in and say hello. Take part in a project or event. Stop by and see what’s happening. If you haven’t been in a while, you might be surprised at what is being offered!

Published in: on October 9, 2014 at 3:02 am  Comments (1)  
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Get Infected with Knowledge

The Tulsa Community College Library made this great YouTube video to inspire people to go to the library, and know what to do when you get there. “Get Infected with Knowledge” in a zombie theme is BRILLIANT!  Here’s your Friday giggle…

Published in: on September 12, 2014 at 3:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Weeding a Collection

Our very own Head of Library Services, Meriah Caswell, wrote a fascinating article in our local arts arts newspaper ‘The Humm”, called “Your Books, Your Library,Your Community”. It was all about how difficult ( and controversial) it can be to keep a library collection up to date and complete. While many people think of discarding books as the ultimate sin, it’s a necessary evil for libraries that can’t expand their buildings to keep everything. Meriah explains:

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“Developing a library collection, is not all about finding the perfect book for its reader. There is a darker side to librarianship. The side we don’t like to talk about. The thing is, once a library has filled its shelves with all those wonderful books, soon those shelves cannot be packed any further. White pages begin to yellow, hot topics become yesterday’s news, and current information turns from dated to incorrect and, if kept long enough, to hilariously (or insultingly) outmoded (for examples of this, check out awfullibrarybooks.net).

People who have read the hottest title are loathe to read it again, and soon the book featuring a busty damsel with hot pants and a scrunchie on the cover has been sitting on the shelf for years without a reader. These books must be moved in order to make room for those that the community currently wants to read. The process of finding these books and separating them from the ones that are in demand has been euphemistically dubbed “weeding”, and is an important part of keeping a collection current and relevant to a community. Library staff will rely on a variety of methods to determine what should be pulled, with circulation statistics being the main indicator. Books that are “weeded” often find new life on the “for sale” table, and many libraries will donate their used items to charitable organizations.

At the Carleton Place Public Library, much of our weeded material is donated to Better World Books, who will match each online book sale with a donation of a book to someone in need.”

 

So, the next time you come to the library and look through our sale table, keep in mind that these books were once well loved, and will hopefully serve a new purpose to someone who might not have had a chance to read them yet.

 

The Library is Everywhere

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Your library is changing. It might be the same building and the same people and have the same name, but the idea of “library” is completely different now. It’s not only a place to find books, and get information and attend programs. It’s so much more. The library is everything now…and the library is everywhere.

Who is the library?

Your library staff may not have changed much through the years, or it may be in constant flux. At our library, we’re beginning a new chapter, and it’s full of interesting ideas, people and ventures. But the library is not only its staff. The library is community partners, schools, local government, and most importantly, YOU. Without you, there wouldn’t be a need for the building, the books or the staff. So, we must always keep our patrons at the forefront when thinking about the library. We have to listen to what you want and try to anticipate what you might need. I think we do pretty well overall. The library is all of us.

What is the library?

Originally, the library was a place that housed books and stored information. It was a center of learning, a meeting place and a place to gather important records for posterity. The library was history, current events and imagination all in one. And it still is all of those things, but now it’s also much more.

  • The library is a place to get books, magazines, audiobooks, ebooks, movies and music.
  • The library is a place to access computers, usually for free. This not only means access to the internet, but an opportunity to use software to update your resume, search for your ancestors, do your homework or balance your chequebook.
  • The library is a place to bring your wireless devices and access free Wi-Fi. Download movies, chat on Facebook with your friends or check your email.
  • The library is a place to socialize. It’s warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. We have lots of programs where we invite you to come and spend time learning and meeting new people.
  • The library is a place for programs. Babies, toddlers, pre-school, school age, tweens, teens, adults and seniors are all represented at the library.  Looking for something different to do? Chances are, the library is offering up something fun!
  • The library is a community space. Host a meeting, tutor some students, hold a birthday party or teach a class. You can do it all in our public meeting space.
  • The library can help you with your future. Talk with people in a second language, take a course, research Universities, find books on subjects you’d like to know more about.
  • The library can teach you about your past. Access Ancestry.com and research your family tree. Book time in the Genealogy room or talk with a resident expert on the subject. No idea where to start? We have a questionnaire to help, and we offer special one-on-one sessions to learn how to do it, based on the demand.
  • The library is a place to go for help. We’re great at finding local information, matching people up with the correct community service and helping you figure out things like what day to put the trash out. We’re as good at finding your next great read as we are at listening to you vent about lack of parking in the public lot. And hopefully, you’ll always find us to be friendly, interested and full of great ideas.
  • The library is literacy.  Spend time in our Summer Reading program. Find a tutor to help with a second language. Start your children on the right path by coming to babytime or storytime. Read with your family.
  • The library is entertainment! Attend a fun event during the summer. Take part in one of our children’s programs throughout the year. Stock up on DVDs to get through the long weekend. Take out an armload of books.
  • The library supports local business. Did you know we buy some of our book selection from the local bookstore? How about those DVD’s we picked up in another shop in town. Participate in one of our fun events during the Bridge Street Bazaar or during Canada Day and you’ll find us encouraging you to visit many local businesses to see what they have to offer. Like us on Facebook…we have friends in the community, and you’ll find out what’s opening up or staging a special event. The library is everywhere.

Where is the library?

It might seem like an obvious question, but the library isn’t just that building in the center of town. The library is everywhere. It’s in your schools (with presentations and book visits), and it’s in your home (our online catalog is easy to access, and we have eBook and audiobook downloads, too). It’s in your car (plug in a CD or hook up your iPod or tablet to listen to a book on that long drive in), and it’s with you on vacation (bring sale books, stock up on downloads, pick up a movie before you go or access your account from the top of a mountain). Easiest of all, it’s on your phone (just download the OverDrive app, like us on Facebook, scan one of our QR codes and watch a book trailer, or send us a quick email…it’s all at your fingertips!)

When is the library?

Remember when you had to wait for the doors to open to access the library? Now, you can use the library 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Download books in your pajamas when you can’t sleep. Renew your books after we close in the evenings online. Visit our online catalog and place holds on books before you come in so they’re ready for you to pick up when you’re ready. The library is there during holidays, over the summer and most of all, on your schedule. While the physical doors might be locked, there are so many ways to access the library at all hours, you never need to go without information or books. Have a question about a library program or service? Need to know something about the community? Send us a message on Facebook or through the blog. We’re always checking our posts, and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. Have an overdue book and can’t find your PIN? Give us a call and leave a message. We’ll renew it the next business day, no problem.

Why is the library?

We should probably rephrase the question to be “Why is the library still so relevant?” It’s not the intimidating place you once visited as a kid, where you had to tiptoe around.  It’s not somewhere you have to go, but someplace you want to go. What other place in your community allows people from all walks of life, from infants to senior citizens, to go through the doors….for free……and participate in something interesting or fun or important? We’re hard-pressed to think of one.

Often, you’ll drop in an hear laughter pouring out of the children’s area, or people in hot discussion at the back tables. You might partake in a conversation with other patrons or staff at the front desk, or engage someone in the parking lot. Why is the library still a part of our society when everything can be accessed online? The easy answer is because the library is still about people. It’s about active conversation and ideas and programs. It’s about a physical building with community ties to engage you in something new. It’s about learning and trying new things. It’s about books and movies. It’s about access for people who might not have access anywhere else. It’s about the people that can afford programs, and the people that can’t. It’s about everyone, regardless of the job you have, where you live, your age or your beliefs. It’s a solid post in your community with access to the world.

How is the library?

This is one question that has to be answered in different ways. How is the library still available? How do we all have access to the library? How can we keep it going? In our community, we don’t charge fees to use the library (except for book fines, photocopies, room rentals and computer printouts). Our library is funded through community taxes, so in effect, if you live in our community, you fund the library. There are also other surrounding communities who help support our library, to ensure their residents also have access. We feel incredibly lucky to have a strong support system behind us, and we don’t take it for granted.  But it’s not the same everywhere.

We can keep libraries open and running by visiting them, taking part in programs, donating to special events or fundraising efforts and accessing us online. Some of our patrons rarely come through our doors, but are active members by downloading eBooks or audiobooks, which also contributes to our statistics. We keep close ties with community groups and encourage them to visit our library…like the Sparks or Cub Scouts. We invite schools to bring classes so that they have access to a bigger selection of books, and in doing so, encourage a new generation of readers. And we stay fresh in the minds of our local government by participating and inviting them to use our facility whenever possible. It’s all about ties….to people, government and ideas.

The next time you hear someone say that libraries are becoming obsolete, think of all of the ways we use our libraries now, and how we could continue to use them in the future. They won’t disappear if we fight for them and make them an integral part of our communities. After all, the library is everywhere.

(Photo: Monika Majkowska)

Published in: on February 26, 2014 at 3:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Off to Toronto!

It’s that time of year again…the Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2014!

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Meriah and Shirley are bustling off to Toronto to attend this year, and we’re all excited to see what exciting and new information they’ll come back with. As usual, there will be plenty of fabulous workshops, poster sessions, book signings and plenary sessions (which means AMAZING speakers!).  And this year, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is going to do the closing session, so that should be great!

Super Conference is billed as Canada’s largest continuing education event in librarianship. If you happen to be anywhere near the Toronto Conference Center this week, it’s the largest gathering of librarians you could ever imagine. You might be surprised that you’ll hardly see a tight bun or glasses anywhere, and expect to see more than a few young people . Libraries are a great career choice, full of exciting change and expansion. And mixed into all this is an enormous trade show, where vendors come from all over to display their newest fare with regards to books, libraries, technology and much more. There will even be dozens of authors on hand to sign books and do a few talks.  It’s going to be amazing!

The theme this year is “A Universe of Possibilities”, and OLA invites everyone attending to explore, collaborate, connect and inspire…..things we aim to do everyday at our very own library. 2014 is a year of possibilities, and we hope you’ll partake in library events as well as make regular library visits to see what we have to offer.

So, safe travels to Meriah and Shirley, and we’ll see you back here in Carleton Place next week!  Have fun!

 

What’s Better Than a Library? Nothing.

enhanced-buzz-wide-17720-1388669450-20One of our wonderful library friends sent us this great link to gorgeous library photos paired with inspirational quotes about libraries. The combination is uplifting, breathtaking, and pure genius. If you love libraries as much as we do, please take a moment to drop by this compilation on Buzzfeed to see more of these duos, arranged by Daniel Dalton. You’ll love them!

(Thanks, Rebecca!)

Published in: on January 24, 2014 at 3:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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