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!