Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter chills bring thoughts of summer reading programs

We need society, and we need solitude also, as we need summer and winter, day and night, exercise and rest.
--Philip Gilbert Hamerton


It's freezing outside.  Which means it is time to start planning the summer reading program.  This will be my fourteenth summer running the program, and I need to breathe some new life into it.  Switch things up a little bit, and hopefully attract some more kids.  

Attendence over the past few years has remained small.   Some kids grow out of the program, and few return to take their places.  I'm not great at promoting the summer reading program.  I've done it for so many years already, and have never really succeeded in drawing extra kids through the library door.  I would not make a great salesman.  So, we're doing some work to come up with new ideas.

In the past few years, I've started the summer reading program shortly after school gets out.  Bigger libraries do this with great success.  But, we aren't a bigger library.  With a town of less than 500 people, there aren't all that many kids, and right after school gets out is when there are a lot of other really great programs and activities for them.  Maybe that will help.  

For many years we've had a library store at the end of the program.  Each 15 minutes of reading equals one library dollar to spend at the store.  The kids love it, but it doesn't necessarily encourage six weeks of reading.  Many of them cram some book reading into the last week of the program.  This year we're thinking about giving the kids prizes at each level of reading met.  Read for two hours, you get a prize.  Continue reading for another two and you get another.  We're also toying with the idea of getting credit for attending story hour and credit for bringing in the book logs and getting them stamped for some extra prizes.  Big libraries can't do that, but since we're so small it would be an option.

The thing about small libraries is that you know most of the kids that walk through the door.  You know their names, ages, and have a pretty good idea of what their home lives are like.  You know which ones need the most help with reading.  You know what kinds of books they prefer.  You know what games they play on our computers.  

At a small library you build relationships with these kids.  Granted, it's only for a short time.  Sometime in their teens they don't come through the door on a regular basis anymore.  Sometimes you don't see them until they bring their own children in.  You do your best to provide them with some tools for a successful life while you have the opportunity.  You impart on them the belief that public libraries are a wonderful thing.

It's really only the beginning of the planning stage, but we've already brainstormed quite a few new ideas.  It should be a fun year.  The Dig Into Reading theme translates to one thing for me, WORM ART!!  One of my most favorite projects!  I can hardly wait to share this painting technique with a few more kids.  What the rest of the six week program will bring is still up for discussion.  

Here's hoping we can bring a breath of fresh air to our summer reading program.  Maybe we can bottle up some of this below zero windchill and pull it out in July. 

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Comment, old story

We live in an increasingly sophisticated world that makes it difficult to make simple comments on stuff. There are too many people on both sides of the border who are taking advantage of circumstances and the situation.
Arlo Guthrie


I love it when people comment on this blog.  I like the feedback, I like the shared stories, I like the shared ideas.  For every post I do, I hope for a comment or fifty.  Lately, I've been getting a lot of comments.  Usually not on the current posting though.  More often than not, it's on the Smooth Seas or What Happened After the After School Special postings.  Those comments don't make it onto the actual blog.  Sometimes, the comments are quite flattering.

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Too bad I don't have any use for cool minecraft pictures, but thank you for taking time to leave a comment!

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Oh, sorry to hear about the security problems with your Tropical Fish Food website.  I'm really not a great person to ask about that kind of stuff though.  I just write the postings, I don't get too involved with anything else.  Good luck!

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I don't think that about anyone leaving comments on this blog.  You must have accidentally posted your comment to the wrong blog.

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I'm sorry, what??   I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say.  I don't take out payday loans. 

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Wow, fastidious is a great word.  Very flattering.  For anyone else who doesn't know:
fas·tid·i·ous [fa-stid-ee-uh s, fuh-] adjective 1.  excessively particular, critical, or demanding; hard to please: a fastidious eater.  2.  requiring or characterized by excessive care or delicacy; painstaking.
I'm not sure I'd say that it's fastidious to read this.   Perhaps you were talking about how hard it is to read it instead of referring to the care I take in composing the blog.  Nuts.  Now I'm not sure whether to take that as a compliment or an insult.

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I'm glad you found this useful.  I didn't set out to satisfy anyone with the posting, but I'm glad you are.  

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I think it's great that you want to know more.  There are all kids of ways to find out.  Maybe you want to ask someone a little more local to you, since I assume you're typing from Canada.  I never knew you could grow coffee there.  You learn something new every day! 

There is always a link attached to some website or another.  I usually delete them right away from my emails, but I knew I was going to write this post, so I've been saving them up.  

It does take a lot of effort to make a comment.  It seems that perhaps some of these comments were made by people who get paid to post comments along with links to various places.  

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I'm going to hope they were talking about this website instead of their own, but I can't be sure.

So, thank you to anyone who has ever made a comment.  I know it takes some effort to make them.  I would also like to thank anyone who has never made a comment.  Thanks for reading this and hopefully enjoying the Marble Public Library blog. 
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 “Observing and commenting, it is a piece of cake.
Experiencing and sharing, that is a piece of work.”
― Toba Beta,
My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

Thursday, January 3, 2013

You'll never get a book deal with that resolution.

“If the real world were a book, it would never find a publisher. Overlong, detailed to the point of distraction-and ultimately, without a major resolution.”
― Jasper Fforde,
Something Rotten


Did you make a resolution?  I didn't.  I couldn't think of any that I haven't already made and failed atWhich got me to thinking.  If I often make some effort to come up with a resolution at this time of year and then repeatedly fail at these resolutions, maybe I need to rethink my strategy.  

On that note, here are my resolutions:

1.  I will never turn in a library book on time again.  Ever.  Those fines help (very indirectly) pay my wages, and I need to support the library by paying them.

2.  I will spend more time sleeping.  Or, at least sleeping when I should be awake.  Naps are not okay.  I need to sleep until the morning is almost over.  To accomplish this, I need to stay up until the wee hours of the morning.  Preferrably long enough that I only get a few hours of sleep before lunch.  Which makes napping in the afternoon a bad idea since I would have only just gotten up. 

3.  I will get more screen time.  

4.  I will cut down on the amount of time I spend cleaning and organizing my house.  One person should only do so much.

5.  I will read nothing but romance novels.  But just one per month.

6.  I will gaze into every sunny sky looking for a dark cloud.  Not just figuratively either.

7.  I will eat more butter.  I love butter.  I will eat more of it.

Maybe that's all a little too tongue in cheek and just invites trouble.  I should probably stick to some of the same resolutions my sister came up with.  Things like:

1.  I will put my pants on the right way.  If the tag is in the front, I will switch them around.

2.  When I wear socks I'll wear one on each foot.  Unless it's super cold outside and then I might wear two socks on each foot.  At no time when I wear socks will I have zero socks on my feet.

I'm fond of the one about socksMaybe I'll just keep it simple and stick to that one.  You'll notice that it says nothing about the socks having to match.  That should make it a resolution that is much easier to accomplish.

It's fun to make resolutions, I'm just not any good at keeping them for very long.  At least not the ones made around the first of the year.  But maybe if I break any of these resolutions I won't feel too guilty.  I might even be happy about it.

2013 Goals

“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall!”
― Aleister Crowley, Moonchild