Library Fun!

One of our favourite patrons sent us this funny parade video from the North Vancouver District Public Library. Not sure if we could get so coordinated, but it looks like a lot of fun!

3 Simple Things to Improve Your Library Experience

Coming to the library for any reason should be fun–and simple. It’s free to take out items, you can download books at home, and we even offer free passes for places outside of the library, like museums and art galleries. So why do some people get frustrated when visiting? Much of the time, it’s just lack of preparation when visiting.

Here, then, are 3 Simple Tips to help your visit to the library run smoothly!

Tip #1: Bring Your Library Card

This is probably the biggest issue we see on a daily basis. We pride ourselves on getting to know our patrons, but there are many reasons why knowing someone’s name isn’t a good substitute for their library card.

  • Maybe you have a “common” name, and we have more than one patron in the system with that name. We don’t want to check out items mistakenly to the wrong person. A library card would solve that issue.
  • Not everyone who works on the circulation desk knows all of our patrons. We have students who work the desk occasionally, new employees, and let’s face it…sometimes we just forget. Library cards lead us right to your account.
  • If a patron’s name was entered incorrectly into our system, looking you up by name might result in a whole host of problems. We all make mistakes sometimes, but your library card would be a quick fix!

While it’s hard to imagine a scenario where someone would come to the library to take out books without bringing their library card, we’ll also accept Government Issued Photo ID.

Tip #2 : Plan on Staying in the Library if you Bring a Child to a Program

Not all programs are the same. Sometimes, we provide lots of supervision. Sometimes, programs are largely unsupervised. And during our drop-in programs, a child might finish the activity in a few minutes, or may choose to take longer. Regardless, our policy states that all children aged 8 and under must have a parent or guardian in the library during their program.

We don’t always have time or the option to have eyes on everyone during a busy program. Parents, we know you’d want your child to have the best experience possible when they come to the library, so please plan on staying. While problems are rare, it’s nice to be able to locate Mom or Dad quickly should something arise.

Tip #3 : Please Bring Pen and Paper when doing Work

We see this quite a bit—students coming to the library to work on homework with a tutor, but they fail to bring anything to write with. This isn’t isolated to children, either. Sometimes, it’s patrons who come to do research, or use a computer. We don’t always have pencils/pens and paper to hand out, so please come prepared. We’ll help if we can…and yes, we do have a pencil sharpener!

These are just three easy ways to make your next visit to our library a little bit better. We want patrons to leave happy and satisfied, and this will go a long way toward that.

See you at the library!


The List

Do you have a teen who might be looking for something interesting to read? The Toronto Public Library runs a great service for teens called “The List”. They interview teen readers in their branches about great new books they’ve read, and why they thought they were fantastic.

Drop by their page to hear more, and get a new reading list for summer!

Finland Has a New Library–and it’s AMAZING!

In Finland, libraries are the second-highest rated public service. The first, is drinking water. Municipalities MUST have a library, and so the country boasts 853 public libraries in total. The newest is Oodi, built on the most prestigious piece of land in the country—directly across from the Finnish Parliament.

Do all of these things sound strange? In North America, where library services are being cut left and right, and many libraries are closing their doors all together, the idea of libraries being not only essential services, but revered, sounds downright perfect! At least to this librarian.

Oodi has been 20 years in the making, built to celebrate the country’s 100th anniversary, and made to be not only a gorgeous design, but full of the practical and wistful alike. But here is where it gets really fascinating—only one floor of the building is dedicated to books!

We are well aware that libraries aren’t simply for books anymore. They’ve long been places of exploration, of creativity, of social meeting spaces, and digital resources. But Oodi takes this to the next level. There is a restaurant, a cinema, and a meeting space. They house “skills labs”, where people can go to learn new things, like using 3D printers or musical instruments. And eventually, a space with a kitchen and large public room might be the destination of birthday parties or other celebrations. And don’t worry, you’ll still find librarians. They wander the floors, helping people access all of the amazing things within the walls, making sure no one leaves without a satisfying experience.

You can read more about this wonderful new public library right here.


The Public

A new film by Emilio Estevez called “The Public” was inspired by an article which appeared in the LA Times in 2007 by Salt Lake City Public Library deputy director Chip Ward, and tells the tale of a librarian-led standoff with police after a group of homeless people take shelter in a Cincinnati library.

Libraries are becoming the safe havens of many people who either don’t have places to go, or need some respite from the elements. And while it seems like it might be the directive of libraries to provide space for any person who needs it, it can be a real problem for people who don’t believe that truth. Our spaces are open long hours. We have heat in winter and cool air in summer. We don’t require anyone to pay a fee to enter our buildings, nor have any specific purpose to be there. Everyone is welcome to enter a library and stay as long as they want.

“The Public” delves into the story of a group of homeless people who decide to stay, and a group a librarians who want to help. Strangely enough, it’s not always librarians who have the final say as to what happens in their libraries. Boards and municipalities often have input, as in this movie, and it makes for a lot of tension.

It sounds like an interesting premise for a film–and while the reviews for this movie haven’t been stellar, it might be something those who work in the library community can appreciate most.

If you’ve already seen “The Public”, did you enjoy it?