The Library Connection
The Monthly Newsletter of the Eastern
Shores Library System
Volume 26 Number 6 June 2006
Click here for the Summer 2006 Bookmobile Schedule
"ESLS=Expanded Services to Library Seniors" is the title of this year's LSTA project in the Seniors/Disabilities category. Thus far, we have ordered and delivered folding wheeled walker carts to Sheboygan, Oostburg, Port Washington, Random Lake, Cedar Grove, and Plymouth. Sheboygan, Plymouth, Cedarburg, and Elkhart Lake felt that there was a need in their communities for a wheelchair to better serve their customers. These have also been delivered.
The libraries will now publicize these items to local community groups who have members who may have limited mobility themselves or who work with those who do. The next equipment purchase will be full-spectrum lighting and video magnifiers for customers with low vision.
Also, as part of this year's grant, Robin Jones from the Great Lakes ADA & Accessible IT Center will be doing a workshop on accessibility in the libraries. The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, September 14 at a location to be announced later. Mark your calendars!
Barb Huntington, Special Needs Consultant at the DLTCL, was at ESLS last month to facilitate a planning workshop with library staff members from member libraries on identifying and better serving their customers with special needs.
The first thing that library staff should do is look at their community and target any group that they see out there. Ask these questions. Who is not using your library? What do they want and what do they need? Who serves them now? Where do they gather? What is the best way to reach them? Do they read? What do they read? Is language an issue? When you have the answers to these questions, you have planned, collaborated, and discovered avenues for marketing.
If you have identified Hispanics in your community who are not using your library, you can work with area churches, specialty grocery stores, laundromats, employers, and housing units. Barb suggested that if you have ESL materials for Spanish-speaking individuals, you may want to consider placing them near the videos.
If you are aware of those in the community who have low vision, you would want to provide some type of magnifiers, large print material, books on CD/cassette, large print on at least one computer, and portable lighting. Be sure to publicize the services from the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped--you can get a demonstration machine from them if you would like.
Those living in poverty may be another group. They may need ESL or GED materials. Food pantries or low-income housing units, as well as social service agencies and schools may be able to help publicize your services to them.
Groups that may not be thought of as fitting into your special needs categories include those who are at the end of life and their families (receiving services through hospice), grandparents who are raising their grandchildren (the world is a different place from when they raised their children--they may need help), teen parents, and inmates at county jails or detention centers.
For more information about planning for customers with special needs, see the Public Library Services for Youth with Special Needs: A Plan for Wisconsin http://dpi.wi.gov/pld/ysnpl.html or the Adults with Special Needs: A Resource and Planning Guide for Wisconsin's Public Libraries http://dpi.wi.gov/pld/specialasn.html
Free promotional tools in Spanish and English for Library Card Sign-up Month are now online at http://www.ala.org/ala/pio/otherinit/card/librarycard.htm. There are radio PSAs featuring actor-comedian George Lopez that can be downloaded and shared with local media. A print PSA featuring Lopez can be customized with local contact information at no cost.
Other tools include "52 Ways to Use Your Library Card," a sample proclamation, press release, op-ed, letter-to-the-editor, PSA scripts and "Smartest Card" artwork. A summary of best practices from public libraries nationwide using the "Smartest Card" theme is helpful for getting ideas for your local campaign.
Library Card Sign-up Month has been observed during September since 1987. It is the time that ALA and libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all and the smartest card a student can own.
Children's Librarians Corner
Carol Langkabel, Plymouth Public Library
We are all in the middle of summer library program activities again. I have to admit that I had more fun promoting it this year than any in my memory. And believe me when I say that is quite a few years.
It all started with an email from Ann to all of us in children's library service. She included a website that had ideas for promoting this year's program: www.summerreading.cla-net.org/workshop2006.html I needed an idea promoting the SLP for the last storytime of this season and also for our Elder-Tots program. I found it in a script by Beth Jones of the Escondido Public Library. She had taken the book Bark, George by Jules Feiffer and worked it into an introduction to the summer program.
We had the book and we had a puppet that could swallow. I thought, "If it can swallow--it can also throw things back up." Okay, so the puppet wasn't a dog. Would anyone really notice? The answer is Yes, of course, someone would! Could I convince four year-olds and young school children that something that looked vaguely animalish, possible kind of a bear type was really a dog? The answer to that is that they really do not care! Even second graders bought the idea that he was a dog. Although, they were concerned that he did not have a tail. After all, the theme is Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales.
The next program was finding animals that were small enough to be pulled out of George's mouth. We found a cat, a duck, and even a cow, but not a pig. Finally we substituted a lamb for the pig. Even the classes who were very familiar with the story never questioned the change.
My willing helper in this was Kathy Ferguson, a staff member who does Elder-Tots with me. We used the story for the first time at Preschool Storytime. It was successful. Next came Night Time Tales, then Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and Second Grade Classes. I am not sure who had more fun with the story--the presenters or the audience. When Kathy wasn't working, I would ask for a volunteer (one of the teachers) to be George. It was never done in exactly the same way. We always exaggerated and improvised as much as we could. At the end of the last Second Grade visit, my glasses were fogged up and I had fur in my mouth!
One second grade girl asked how the vet got the animals out of "George." I showed her how the puppet worked. She said, "Oh, I thought it was magic!"
Libraries are sometimes asked to explain the value of their summer reading activities. A recent article in the Texas Library Journal http://www.txla.org/pubs/tlj81/81_2.pdf shows you how to calculate the value of summer reading in maintaining kids' literacy levels so no remediation is needed.
Steve Brown, the author of the article, is the director of the North Richland Hills Public Library in Texas. He refers to research that shows that kids who participate in summer reading activities maintain their reading skills better than those who do not. Other research estimates that students lose three months in reading skills during the summer months.
How do you demonstrate a dollar value for your summer reading activities? The author suggests multiplying the annual per pupil cost by 3/9--the value of three of the nine school months spent reviewing. Multiply this amount by 1/3--since reading constitutes only one third of the "Three R's." Now multiply this by the number of children who participated.
For example in Eastern Shores:
You can substitute your local costs and registration numbers to see the value of your SLP to your community.
The 7,152 children were registered at these libraries: Cedar Grove - 156; Elkhart Lake - 129; Kohler - 295; Oostburg - 231; Plymouth - 626; Random Lake - 160; Sheboygan - 2,096; Sheboygan Falls - 308; Cedarburg - 742; Grafton - 725; Mequon-Thiensville - 944; Port Washington - 518; Saukville - 329. 2,126 of the children were less than 5 years of age. Attendance at the programs at all of the libraries was a whopping 12,728 during the summer months.
Donald Hall, a poet and author of children's books including The Ox-Cart Man, has been named the 14th Poet Laureate of the United States by the Library of Congress. He has published 15 books of poetry since 1955. The Ox-Cart Man won the Caldecott Medal in 1980.
When making the appointment, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington stated: "Donald Hall is one of America’s most distinctive and respected literary figures. For more than 50 years, he has written beautiful poetry on a wide variety of subjects that are often distinctly American and conveyed with passion."
Edupage - June 7, 2006Project Gutenberg is organizing a book fair featuring online texts from its own digital library as well as that of the World eBook Library Consortia. During the World eBook Fair, which will take place from July 4 to August 4, users can download free copies of books from Project Gutenberg's collection of 18,000 texts, which are always free, or from the World eBook Library Consortia, which otherwise cost $8.95 each. Organizers hope the event will encourage more people to start reading books electronically, not only on desktop or laptop computers but also on portable devices. Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, said, "We get a lot of people reading Project Gutenberg e-books on PDAs, iPods, pocket PCs, cell phones, etc." Hart said electronic books benefit those who cannot get physical books from traditional libraries, noting that the goal of Project Gutenberg is to "break down the bars of ignorance and illiteracy." Daniel Greenstein, executive director of the California Digital Library, said that e-books are typically being used to find facts, not to facilitate "the reading experience that we all know and love."
Edupage - June 19, 2006Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia based on the model that anyone can contribute to or edit any entry, has placed new restrictions on editing. Certain entries in any reference work are bound to be contentious, and with Wikipedia, disagreements can escalate to a "revert war," in which competing factions simply change an entry back and forth to reflect their opinions. Such disputes have resulted in a status of "protected" for 82 entries, meaning they cannot be changed at all, and a status of "semi-protected" for another 179 entries. Semi-protected entries can only be changed by someone who has been a registered user for more than four days, the idea being that such a "cooling off" period will avoid most of the problems resulting from disagreements. Despite the steps Wikipedia has taken away from the ideal of "anyone can edit," founder Jimmy Wales says the resource works and is valuable. Most entries are only protected for a short period of time, he said, and they represent a fraction of the 1.2 million entries in the English-language version.
Monday Memo - Arrowhead Library System - June 5, 2006
Thorndike Press has some free marketing resources for large print titles. You can download full-color bookmarks, table tent cards, posters, shelf markers and other materials that promote reading from http://www.gale.com/thorndike/market.htm.
You are a brand new staff member at a Wisconsin library and your very first customer of the day greets you with: Comeer Once. Can youse borrow me a pen? I need directions to M'Wahkee. I don't know which way to turn at the Stop-and-Go Lights. I don't want to go a couple-two-three miles out of the way and go Up Nort by T'Rivers, which is pert-ner Man'Twoc. Do youse have a bubbler in the library? If you are busy, you can start with me last.
You need to learn Wisconsinese! The Wisconsin Dictionary will help you http://www.homestead.com/cameronwis/WisDictionary.html
You can also listen to the Beer Barrel Polka while you are learning to