“A Little Piece of Quiet” Mary Engelbreit Each morning when I set down at my desk, I am greeted by the whimsical art of Mary Engelbreit on my daily calendar. The bright colors and positive thoughts help to begin my day on a positive note. Recently I turned to a page with the quote, “A Little Piece of Quiet.” I got the pun immediately, but it took me longer to really analyze the message. A young lady in sock feet, jeans, and a loose, yellow sweater sits with a glass of milk, a jar of peanut butter, a butter knife, and a stack of crackers… reading a magazine. Her “piece of quiet” isn’t her smartphone, ipad, or laptop; it is a snack and something to read. It made me pause. How often do I find my “piece of quiet” in a book instead of on a digital screen? Where do you find your “piece of quiet”? If you, like me, find too often it isn’t so very quiet or peaceful, then perhaps it is time for a change…
I just had a great conversation with one of our patrons who is currently interviewing for a new profession in the healthcare industry. She has been stopping by to fine tune and print resumes before each interview over the past two weeks. Over the last two years, she has been a silent, smiling library user. She would pop in during the late afternoon, find a quiet corner, open her laptop, and work on her online classes until closing. Last year, she would pop in before closing to pick up her teen daughter who would come to the library after school to work on homework and hang out with friends.
When I reflect upon this particular patron, I realize that she is only one example of a library user of the 21st century. She doesn’t ask for the latest bestseller or ask us to recommend a good book to help her can peaches for the first time. She doesn’t want to check out a blockbuster film or even a classic Jimmy Stewart flick for the weekend. Instead she is using other less tangible things that we provide like study space, FREE WiFi, and copy services. These are things that are here when you need them, but things that you might not remember that we can provide for busy parents, nontraditional college students, and job seekers.
So the next time you hear a news story with dire predictions about the death of public libraries, remember the variety of resources, spaces and materials we provide for our patrons and our community. Oh yeah, and we can still recommend a good book, set you up with a funny movie, and get you several books about canning peaches. We really mean it when we say… New Madison Public Library; Something for Everyone!
Where did summer go?! Around here a lot of it was spent celebrating summer reading. We made marble mazes, learned about trail riding with horses, had some competition sprints in the aisles, learned some fun ways to stay fit, pet a salamander and a snake, and even rode horses in the backyard. Over 100 readers, from little listeners to teens, earned some fun prizes for reading with us; one lucky family won passes to the Ohio State Fair, and 50 readers went the extra mile with their summer reading. One of those readers won a Samsung Tab and another won a new 6-speed bike! It was a great summer of reading, but it was also a great summer of running.
Our little community proudly watched as Clayton Murphy, a 2013 Tri-Village graduate, ran a personal best time in the 800 meter to earn a Bronze medal. The Tri-Village Community cheered him on from restaurants, living rooms, the school commons, & even the New Madison Public Library as he ran in the prelims, semi-finals, and the medal race. We had signs, banners, streamers, and even round bales of hay to proclaim our support for this hometown boy.
Needless to say, it has been a wonderfully exciting summer, and with the closing of The Great Darke County Fair this weekend, it is time to slow down, begin school, and prepare for… FOOTBALL!
WARNING: We are experiencing spontaneous bouts of giggles today in the library! This condition is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS! You have been WARNED!
Today is Movie Day @ NMPL. When the children and teens signed up for the Summer Reading Program, they voted on a sports-themed film to watch today. Air Bud won over The Karate Kid by only a few votes, but I must admit I was excited. It is difficult to watch the amazing basketball playing golden retriever without a bad case of the giggles. I must admit that I love hearing laughter, snickers, guffaws, & snorts of glee in the library. It reminds me of the intense emotions that storytelling of any variety brings out in us all. So if you are expecting a quiet library today, I will apologize in advance. Today is not that kind of day! Maybe tomorrow… oh, no, tomorrow is Friday. That means another round of Friday Afternoon Trivia. Yep, tomorrow is booked for giggles, too. Maybe Monday… 😉
Well, it’s official. The school year is finished her in New Madison. The teens have been trickling in early each day this week with the blind stares of final exam burnout. Today the elementary students arrived tired with armloads of end-of-the-year baggage like basketballs, art projects, and forgotten hoodies. The usual chatter was subdued this week. Although many students look forward to this day for months, they often seem a bit melancholy when the end actually arrives. Some begin to wonder how they will fill their days, and parents begin to fret about their kids spending too much “screen time” over the next three months.
Well, we have a cure for both here at NMPL. Stop in beginning Monday, June 6 to sign up for our Summer Reading Program. We reward children and teens for reading this summer and offer some great programming with crafts, special guests, and silly fun. Be sure to check out calendar of events here on the web site or stop in for a copy. We all look forward to making your summer a memorable one! See you @ the Library!
With warmer temperatures, spring flowers, and longer days in the Midwest, our minds turn to gardens. Vegetable gardens filled with crisp, fresh cucumbers, squash, and green beans; flower gardens brimming with sweet fragrances and bright colors; rose gardens with delicate blossoms and deceptive thorns… regardless of the type of garden, we possess this desire to dig in the soil, plant seeds or seedlings, and watch the magic happen. If you are like me, you can always use some visual inspiration and some instructional advice to create these gardens. Here at NMPL, we can easily supply both of these with gorgeous magazines like “Blooms” and “Garden Gate” and books like Richard Gianfrancesco’s How to Grow Food, and DK’s Gardening Shortcuts and Gardening Month by Month. I know that it seems counter intuitive to come inside to plant outside, but trust me, getting a bit of inspiration or direction from a book or magazine is always a sound decision. As always, remember that my staff and I are always here to help you… even if means finding a book or magazine to help you plant your carrots at the ideal time, choose which variety of seed is best for this area, or determining how best to keep those pesky rabbits out of the garden patch. Stop in and see us soon!
In our 3rd grade Patriots Book Club yesterday, I was reminded of an important fact – we don’t all see things the same way. At the end of each book we finish, the readers and I “rate” the book on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest. Then the reader adds a comment about why he or she rated the book this way. Well, today’s book was fairly popular with several 10’s on the rating, but one reader explained that his rating of a 1 was because it was a boring book. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had the privilege to read a book written by Geronimo Stilton (who just happens to be a mouse journalist living in New Mouse City), but his books are very lively. An interesting discussion about favorite books followed, and since the next reader rated the book a 10,000, the discussion became lively. The exciting element was the fact that nine-year-old readers were discussing the merits of literature with each other and defending their choices quite eloquently. Each reader shared some element of the book that earned the rating given.
Sometimes we forget to ask the “But why?” questions because we don’t like the first answer. We need to remember that even children can use evidence to support their judgments. We just need to keep listening long enough to hear it. So the next time someone shares a quick opinion, give her time to finish by sharing the “why” behind her choice. You just might learn something…
It’s hard to believe that the levy renewal campaign is behind us. The Trustees, the staff, and I are so humbled and inspired by your overwhelming support. We are moving forward to plan for the future with your resounding support. Top on the planning list is updating the facility with automated doors to assist those who have trouble opening our entrance doors. The back doors are finished and the front doors are on the schedule for a spring update. We are also beginning the process to replace our 25 year old roof. But our attention is not solely focused upon the facility, we have also increased our budget for materials over 16% for 2016. Plan to see more titles on the shelf as well as in the ebook, audiobook, and film offerings. We will continue to carefully select items that invite our patrons to read favorite authors and about popular topics, but with our selections we also strive to encourage our readers to sample new authors and interests. As always, we welcome suggestions.
We are starting a blog here at the library! Brenda and the staff will be writing to keep you informed of all the goings on here at the library. We will let you know about changes we make, programs we’re having, new items that are coming to you. We may also throw in a few book reviews. Please check back often!