New and Improved!

As bookstores are having to constantly change their formats to keep up with the changing needs of customers, libraries have to do the same. Long gone are the dusty card catalogs, replaced by shiny new tablets with searchable catalogs.

And what about cramped, outdated computers to do your work or log onto social media? Sleek desks with tiny computer footprints make it easier for patrons to get their work–or surfing–done. That even includes a height-adjustable desk for patrons who might be in a wheelchair.

And for older patrons, the task of looking for large print books can be unappealing. But large print covers are now bright and fun, and facing them out bookstore style, should help make selections easier. Maybe patrons will even find some new favourite authors!

If you’re seeing changes at our library, while they might cause a bit of confusion, they’re also exciting and forward-thinking. Take a few minutes to see what’s new at our library!

Saving

Libraries are all about cost savings. You can get the obvious benefits for your piggy bank by coming here for books instead of buying them. But what else can you get for your money at libraries?

At the Carleton Place Public Library, you can get:

  • movies for the weekend
  • museum passes to take the family to see a special exhibit
  • a great choice of puzzles to take home and exchange for new ones once you finish
  • literacy tutoring for your child who might be struggling with reading
  • access to free WiFi and computers
  • a safe space for your child to meet with a tutor
  • a cool zone during the hot summer months, and a place to warm up in the winter
  • one-on-one tech tutoring for that new device you don’t quite know how to use
  • fun summer programs for the whole family
  • great monthly events like bird watching classes, meditation seminars, and book launches
  • writing classes for youth and adults
  • online language instruction, downloadable magazines, and streaming TV shows
  • access to books from all across the country
  • a family friendly washroom with a changing table
  • room rental space for events
  • Halloween costume exchanges, craft nights, and Lego Drop In days

This is only a fraction of things that you can do or access at our library, but there are many more things that happen at libraries. If you haven’t been to a public library in a while, drop by to see what they offer. You might be surprised!

So, start saving those loonies and toonies for a nice vacation, and visit your public library!

Blind Date with a Book

16195594_1241718475864146_2420850322450417109_nIt’s that time of year again….Blind Date with a Book! We’ve found our favourites from the last year, and packaged them up in pretty paper and stickers! If you drop by the library anytime between now and the end of February, we’d love it if you took one home.

Some of the books have a little blurb on them to give you a hint, but why not be wild and pick one up because you like the look of the decorations? Maybe you’ll fall in love with a new author. Or maybe it’ll be a bore. But either way, it’s a lot of fun and a nice way to make the month go by a little faster.

We have a nice selection of books for adults–both fiction and non-fiction, and books for kids (8 years and older), and teens. All of them are good. Keep an open mind, and you’ll have fun.

16143316_1241719109197416_2926013362927477432_n 16179843_1241718745864119_6040080664942583363_oHappy Blind Dating!

 

It’s Typical Week!

20141110_150341If you drop by the library this week, you might see us clicking a counter, or madly writing down statistics. It’s “Typical Week” at the library—a week during November where statistics are gathered about libraries to see just what happens on a regular day. It’s interesting for us, and also a bit of fun. Don’t be surprised if we get especially excited if you ask us a rare question, or take out a large number of books. This is librarian fun!

A Day in the Life of an Adult Services and Outreach Coordinator!

a-day-in-the6My name is Caroline, and I’m the Adult Services and Outreach Coordinator. I like to arrive early, because that’s my nature, and then I typically spend the first hour performing opening duties, like emptying the blue return box, checking in materials, and putting returned DVDs away. I usually have emails to follow up on, and might spend a few minutes returning phone calls or making appointments.

Then, I spend the rest of the morning planning for my programs. That might involve scanning Pinterest to find great craft ideas, trying out those ideas, doing research on Google for programs and displays, and I also make posters for upcoming programs.

After lunch, I’ll prepare for any programs I might have in the afternoon or evening,  and then work on the circulation desk for an hour circulating materials, answering reference questions, making book suggestions, and helping with research. It can very busy!

You might not realize it, but we make visits to home bound patrons to deliver books. It’s not just about dropping off materials–it usually involves spending a little time with them, as we might be one of their only visitors that week. And once I return from my deliveries, I spend the next two hours doing one-on-one tech tutoring. This service is so popular with our patrons, we often book several weeks in advance. I answer questions about whatever device they would like to learn about, and we spend time learning specific skills during their hour-long session.

Sometimes, I have evening or weekend programs, which means I need to spend about 45 minutes setting up and making sure everything is ready. Being prepared means the program will run well, and everyone will have fun, or be informed.

It’s an interesting position, and every day brings something new!

You can find out more about our staff and what we do all day by coming back tomorrow.

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A Day in the Life of a Library Assistant, Part 2

3My name is Judi, and I’m a Library Assistant. I’m here typically 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 days each week, so my days are usually packed with things I need to get done in that time. We do much more than just circulate books on the front desk; there are many tasks that have to get done in order for our books to circulate properly, and I do a number of things each week.

My full days of work usually include searching for books that patrons have put on hold from home. There can be anywhere from 1- 20 holds that I have to search for, process, and put on the shelf so that our patrons can pick them up once we open. If they don’t use email for notification, I will put those aside to be called later in the evening. We search for holds twice a day, so this can be a very time-consuming part of my job.

While we don’t normally notify people of recently overdue books, there are always a number of books that have reached the overdue status of several weeks or more, and those patrons need to be notified. We run a report that tells us which books are long overdue, at which point, I’ll do a search to make sure they haven’t just been missed on our shelves. Any that I don’t find will stay on our report, and I’ll send bills in the mail to those patrons. Often, people just need a reminder to return something.

Interlibrary loan is a popular service in libraries these days, and we have a good turnover of books we loan out and books we borrow. It can take a while to package up these books to get ready for the courier, depending on how busy we are at the circulation desk. If books aren’t on our courier route, we have to get these ready to mail, which requires a bit more work, and eventually, a visit to the post office.

Once a week, we get new books delivered to the library that we’ve purchased. After they are processed, these books will come to me to add spine labels, get covered, and stamped. Then, they’re ready to go out to people who have placed holds on them. I am also in charge of processing paperbacks for our shelves.

I’m the Health and Safety rep for our library, and that requires me to attend meetings, take special training courses, do monthly inspections, and prepare reports. When things are running smoothly, it’s a pretty straight-forward job that I enjoy.

We do a lot of outreach to the community, which entails packaging up books to take to seniors’ residences, removing books from our collection and packing boxes to send the books away to Better World Books to be redistributed, and more.

Of course, none of these things take precedence over helping patrons find books, answering the phones, registering new members, or answering reference questions. We love our patrons (I especially LOVE the babies), and enjoy the constant variety found in each day. It’s always exciting!

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