Welcome!

While we’re sad to see our friend Maren leave, we’re excited to welcome a new member to our staff—Alexine! Alexine joins us as the new Materials Processing Clerk, and she’ll be cataloging and taking care of our Interlibrary Loans starting this week.

If you happen to be in the library and see a new face, say hello to Alexine!

Goodbye.

We’re sad to say goodbye to Maren today at the library, but we’re thrilled that she’s off on a wonderful new life adventure.

Maren, we’ll miss your coffee cups, your book club organizational skills, and your book chats. (Of course, we’ll miss you, too!) Take care, and make sure to visit us when you’re back in this neck of the woods sometime!

Easter Weekend

We’re gearing up for a long weekend at the library…and that means some days closed. If you need movies, books, magazines, puzzles, or whatever you enjoy, make sure you drop by Monday to Thursday during regular hours this week to stock up.

Our holiday closures:

Monday to Thursday       OPEN 1:30pm – 8:00pm

Friday, April 14/17            CLOSED

Saturday                         10am – 5pm

Sunday, April 16/17          CLOSED

Monday, April 17/17          CLOSED

You can return all items to our blue return box that sits on the front steps of the library any day we’re closed, so don’t worry about trying to aim for the days we’re open. You won’t be charged fines for any days we’re not open, either. It’s convenient!

If you’re worried about not having enough to keep you busy this weekend, make sure you ask for your PIN so that you can access OverDrive, Hoopla, and more online during the days you can’t come in for actual books. It’s fun, and easy! If you’re not sure how, we can get you started.

Happy Easter!

 

Wonders

WONDER by R. J. Palacio is a book that came out in 2012, and hasn’t stopped flying off the shelves since. It tells the tale of a boy who is born with a facial deformity that prevents him from attending regular school for most of his life. It’s a wonderful book that demonstrates the strength of the human spirit, and addresses such themes as bullying, empathy, and acceptance. (And yes, it’s going to be a movie!)

But this spring, Palacio released a picture book version called, WE’RE ALL WONDERS, and it aims the idea of differences at a new crowd—2-5 year olds.

I read this during storytime recently, and was surprised at the reactions. While this cover has a similar looking boy…with one eye….he also wears a space helmet. When I asked the children to tell me something about the boy on the cover, they mentioned everything but the eye. He has on a space helmet! He’s wearing a red shirt! He lives in a city! Honestly, I had to point out the main idea here…and yet, these young listeners were hardly phased by it. One eye? Meh. So what? He has on a space helmet!

It’s interesting to talk with young readers about books, especially books that have a certain goal. Are children really blind to differences? If the cover of this book is any indication, yes. In real life, it’s often quite different, but the more we can expose children to ideas like this early on, the less likely they’ll be to antagonize a “different” child in real life.

We need more of these, for sure. What issues would you like to see in picture books?

Bookstores

In a small town like Carleton Place, we’ve seen a few small, independent bookstores come and go. It’s sad, because wandering around a bookstore is usually such a lovely and zen-like experience. But the rise of online shopping and big box stores has made the bookstore–both big and small–a thing of the past. So, it was nice to hear that independent booksellers in New York City are trying to change that.

In a recent article in the New York Post, the shocking statistics tell the tale. In Queens, there are 2.3 million residents, but only one general interest bookstore. In the Bronx, the numbers are even more bleak–1.4 million residents, and no bookstores at all. Add to that New York City’s 8.5 million residents, with only 8 Barnes & Nobles, and fewer than 100 independent bookstores. Compare that to France’s entire population, which is 8 times that of New York, and they have 2500 bookstores. What does that say about this part of the world?

But indy booksellers are trying to do something about that, barging into communities and putting down roots to make the comparisons a little more even. Crowdfunding has helped, but the rents in NYC make it difficult to compete with the likes of Amazon, which has deeply discounted books. In places like Germany and France, bookstores are safeguarded with bans on deeply discounted books because they feel bookstores are an important part of their cities. Isn’t that great? It’s nice to see that a few warriors are trying to bring that idea back to North America as well.

Of course, it’s up to the public to support local businesses, including independent book sellers, by shopping in their stores. Without us, they will always go under, and one day, cease to exist at all. The extinction of bookstores is not something we should be looking toward.

Do you shop in local bookstores?