Friday, August 8, 2008

Stuff I Saw

Well, my vacation is winding up and we are heading west once again. Here's a few library things I noticed this trip:

While staying in Mishicot, WI (pop. 1422 and apparently served by the Lester Public Library in nearby Two Rivers) I saw a flier for a weekly SRP program held in Mishicot Village Park--rain or shine, games, crafts and stories! I loved this idea--clearly it's an outreach thing to a small community without its own library branch, but wouldn't it be cool to take a story and a craft every week to Westlands Park? How many people make it to the playground every week who don't come to the library? If we did this, which park would you recommend we go to near your branch?

(PS: I also really liked their webpage, which included an events blog.)

I stopped in at the Roselle Public Library in suburban Chicago--my hometown library where I paged as a teenager) and admired their summer postcard wall. They told their kids to send the library postcards from wherever they went on vacation! The postcards came in from all over the world and were displayed on a huge bulletin board in the children's room.

(PS: I checked out their webpage too and found a "Blogger Bookclub" for kids. Those of you who hold book clubs, what do you think about this idea? Should we try it at ALD? As an extension of a regular kids' book club, or as a separate online program?)

We visited my college roommate who told me about a "travel kit" service her family used this year. After filling out a short form (Mary got a sample for me if you want to see it) with their kids' ages and interests, the family picked up a bag filled with books and videos to take on vacation, including a book about where they were going. Mary was really impressed that when her four-year-old twin boys stated that their interests were french fries and pie, the librarians included a story about pie and a book about how french fries are made in the kit! I don't know that this is a service that we could support at ALD (we've got a lot more patrons), but it made me think again about doing personalized booklists for patrons via email...maybe that's something we could handle. What do you think?

(PS: Plainfield has posted instructions for their patrons to create a catalog bookmarklet--you can check the library catalog for books while surfing Amazon.)

Last but not least, we're staying tonight at a Country Inn and Suites on I-80 (the really exciting part of our trip) and I noticed that the hotel has a "Read It & Return" lending library program! Sarah and I took a walk to go check it out. They've got a bookshelf with children's and adults' paperbacks (hotel stickers on the spines) and you can borrow a book for free, and return during your visit or later to another CI&S location. And every time you bring back a book to them, they make a donation to a literacy program! What if we asked the Friends to set aside some of the children's books they get as donations, and put them in small "library boxes" at various places around town? Panera, Starbucks, DMV, banks...? Kids could read some books while waiting for their folks...

Okay, I'm finally done with this humongous post. But I have an assignment for you! Check out your hometown's library website and see if they mention any programs or services that you think are cool. Leave a comment and let us know what they are!


Allison said...

Wow Melissa it sounds like you had a very enjoyable road trip! Seeing lots of libraries too! :)

Hmmm...I am not sure where to start commenting on this blog of yours...but I guess I will start with the "BookBlog" where the kids were able to comment on what they read and what they thought of what they read. I was surprised by how many comments were left in regards to different books! I just did my first 4-5th grade book club and am sad to report that I only had one kid show up. So with this in mind it seems like we could almost do anything to try and get a better attendance. Maybe kids would rather talk about their books online rather than come in and talk about them to people they don't know? I wonder how many kids would actually blog on something like this? Hmmm things to think about!

As far as hometown library pages...well this is my hometown and I know we all think that ALD can work on improving things on the website I do have to say that I often go into the "Books and Reading" page and look at what books are featured for that month! It does change! This way I can keep up to date with what is recommended!

Jill Corrente said...

You did pick up a lot of really cool ideas, Melissa! Maybe you could put in for mileage reimbursement!

The book club page on Tales' Treehouse is one of the more popular pages--so somebody is looking at it even if they're not attending (in June, book clubs got 109 hits and events got 158 hits)! I try and give the kid and family book clubs as much top billing as possible--donna g. even recently went through and made podcast reviews for all of the books being discussed that trimester (if you're interested in doing some, let me know). I think we can very easily set up book discussion areas for the kids; however, we'd need to check into the whole CIPA deal. Also, I've put up a "email Tales for a booklist" link. It's been up for about a month and I've had only one email, but it was totally fun to build the list!

Dee said...

Hi to all,
Hope you have all had a fun summer.
My hometown is Wakefield, Nebraska population about 1700. The library website advertises a community activity - the Hot Air Balloon festival in October. Gardner library is the new library -about 5 years old. The old Graves Library where I did lots of old fashioned high school research work is now a community museum. The librarian today is a friend from high school who is also the Kindergarten teacher. They also did the "Catch the Reading Bug" theme and had 25 teen volunteers.
They require a parents permission slip for the kids to use the computers. Since it is a small town and everyone pretty much knows everyone this works for them. Some parents did not want their kids using the computer for long periods of time.
Hope you have a good day!

lorine said...

Welcome back Melissa - sorry i am a turtle! There are lots of KO patrons who go to westlands Park - maybe if we were reading there we'd attract some non-library users to try us out. i think the craft thing might get tricky but we could give it a whirl. We have lots of competition for after school time - that may be the biggest problem with scheduling the 4th and 5th book clubs. i wonder what would happen if we had a few teacher contacts at nearby schools - hmmmm
i am jealous - i wish we'd get postcards from our little library peeps - too cute!