Archive for June, 2005

Mark your calendar for summer fun as the Children’s Room of the Meadville Public Library presents “Dragons, Dreams and Daring Deeds” for its summer reading club starting June 13.

The summer program is open to children from preschool through grade 6 with enough prizes, story times, activities and performers to make the summer fly by.

To participate, a child must be a member of one of Crawford County’s libraries. Preschoolers and summer visitors to the area may use a relative’s card. A special Knight ID, complete with barcode, is the passport to summer reading pleasure and prizes. For every library book read, children will get a stamp on their ID. Preschoolers must listen to two books to get a stamp. For every 4 stamps, a prize may be selected from the display case. When they’ve collected 12 stamps, participants qualify for two chances to win in the Grand Prize drawings during our Summer Reading Club Party.

There will be a full slate of activies following along the medieval theme as drawn by renowned author and artist, Steven Kellogg. Each arts & crafts program will be divided into two activities – one for younger children and one for older elementary school aged children.


  • Tuesday, June 21
    Crowns 2:00 p.m.
    Children’s Room Theater
  • Tuesday, June 28
    Spoon puppets 2:00 p.m.
    Children’s Room Theater
  • Saturday, July 9
    Pet Show 10:00 a.m.
    Diamond Park
  • Tuesday, July 11
    Juggler 10:30 a.m.
    Children’s Room Theater
  • Tuesday, July 12
    Calligraphy 2:00 p.m.
    Children’s Room Theater
  • Tuesday, July 19
    Shields 2:00 p.m.
    Children’s Room Theater
  • Tuesday, July 26
    Music 2:00 p.m.
    Children’s Room Theater
  • Tuesday, August 2
    Stained Glass 2:00 p.m.
    Children’s Room Theater
  • Friday, August 12
    Party 10:00 a.m.
    Library Side Yard

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Something new is being added to the Young Adult collection in the second-floor Fiction department. Graphic novels (which look like comic books) are starting to fill some of the shelves. These are novels which were deliberately written to be illustrated and are proving very popoular among young readers (12-16 years), although older folks like them too.

There are a wide range of titles to choose from. While some are stand-alone non-fiction or novels, others are anthologies of stories, and some are excerpts from larger narratives.

A few of the new titles include: Abraham Lincoln, Alexander the Great, Christopher Columbus, Cleopatra, Harriet Tubman, Hernan Cortes, and Spartacus in non-fiction, and Stories by Mark Twain, Batman: War Drums, The Beast of Chicago and The Irregulars – in the Service of Sherlock Holmes in fiction.

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by Roseann Dies, Librarian

The Meadville Public Library has added more than forty new magazines to the periodical collection. A few of the titles include Bead & Button, Creative Crafter, Crochet Fantasy, and Memory Makers for craft lovers while gardening enthusiasts might enjoy checking out American Gardener and Country Gardens.

For our patrons who love to cook (or just love to eat), then Everyday Food, Food & Wine, and Gourmet should not be missed. Shoppers, please check out Lucky! For those interested in recreation and leisure activities, be sure to take a look at Backyard Living, Boating World, Flying, and Motorcyclist.

These and more new magazines are on display on the main floor of the library.

New magazines in the Children’s Room are American Baby, Discovery Girls, Junior Baseball, Young Dancer, and Young Rider.

The following new titles have been added to the reference collection:
Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound edited by Frank Hoffman (who just happens to be a librarian) is a two volume set that covers the history of recorded sound. The entries range from short definitions to lengthy essays and cover Thomas Edison’s disc to the MP3 player.
The New Biographical Dictionary of Film written by David Thomson contains 1300 entries about actors and directors of which 300 are new additions to the 1994 edition.

United States Holidays and Observances: By Date, Jurisdiction, and Subject authored by Steve Rajtar covers not only the United States but American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Fifty-one essays and more than 90 maps tell the story of how each of the fifty states became a part our nation in the new reference work titled The Uniting States: The Story of Statehood for the Fifty United States.

Library patrons who are interested in ebooks, may want to look at what is available through Access PA. To view the available titles please go to the Power Library site. From there click on Find a Book and then–net Library. There are 8,926 ebooks available and range from the classics of literature to more recent titles. The Help menu is quite detailed and should answer any questions that users may have about the NetLibrary site. One interesting feature is the ebook of the month. The selection for May is Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. It was published in January 2005 by Harvard Business School Press.

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by Lynn Piotrowicz

Six months ago an acquaintance sent me a quote that has been serving as my guiding mantra:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
-Mark Twain

As some of you may know, I have thrown off the bowlines and will be sailing away from all that is safe and secure. I have recently accepted the position of Director of the Tucker Free Library in Henniker, New Hampshire. Henniker is a quaint New England village that boasts of converted antique gaslights, a college, a ski resort, a class five river, the first bridge in New Hampshire and a corrner store where you can buy oil, wine, magazines, small hardware items and lunch! The area has particular appeal for me because my brother and his family live 30 miles south of Henniker, so I will get to spend lots of quality time with my nephew.

I am passing the Fiction Department baton to Joice Imel. Joice has worked at the library on the Main Floor for nine years. She has superb interpersonal skills, a friendly disposition, and a genuine commitment to fulfilling the leisure reading needs of the patrons of the Meadville community. A fiction reader, Joice enjoys Robert Ludlum, Nevada Barr, Iris Johansen, Suzanne Brockmann, Ann Rivers Siddon, Nora Roberts, Diana Gabaldon, Rosamund Pilcher, Dorothy Gilman and others. Please take the time to introduce yourself to Joice next time you stop in the library.

This is a bittersweet time for me. I have tried to say farewell to as many of my patrons as possible, but I haven’t been able to touch base with everyone. As I write this article, I am reflecting back on all the friends I have made and all the fun I have had working as the fiction librarian at the Meadville Publilc Library. I have truly enjoyed guiding your leisure reading pursuits over the years. I would like to think that we have all grown into sophisticated readers of discriminating taste. But remember, occasionally a trashy novel, a plaguebook, or a serial killer book provides a great alternative!

I have been pretty preoccupied and busy over the last few months but I have managed to read a couple of excellent well-written books. If you are up for a challenge try Haruki Murakiami’s Kafka on the Shore or Dave King’s The Ha Ha. Must-reads for the summer include: Sue Monk Kidd’s (Secret Life of Bees) The Mermaid Chair, Alice Hoffman’s Ice Queen, and Judith Ryan Hendricks’ Baker’s Apprentice.

If you are ever in the Henniker area, please stop in and say hello, Meadville friends are always welcome!

Lynn Piotrowicz

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by Patricia Bailey, Librarian

Those of us at the Main Desk have adopted the mantra “change is good.” If you have been to the Library recently you probably have noticed a change in the staffing. Lacey, Lynn, and Jeanne have joined our staff on the Main Floor; Joice has taken over the Fiction Department and is now upstairs. We hope everyone will be patient during the learning process. Also changing will be the layout and look of the Main Floor. The first stage will involve changing the shelves (this means moving all the books) which will happen in the summer. Then the Director’s office will move to the second floor, the wall will be removed, and shelving added to the new space. Throughout all of this we will keep repeating, “change is good.”

Even though it is now spring and many people are anxious to be outside in yards and gardens, I am not going to focus on our gardening collection. I will simply mention that the collection is varied and extensive, so come in and browse. Instead, I want to talk about DVDs we have recently added to our collection.

Our collection contains many older movies and that is primarily what has been added. Classics such as “My Favorite Wife” with Gary Grant and Irene Dunne, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” with Gary Cooper, “Teacher’s Pet” with Clark Gable and Doris Day and “Inherit the Wind” with Spencer Tracy and Frederick March never go out of style. Other movies not quite so old are “The Odd Couple” and “The Apartment” both with Jack Lemmon. Historical dramas such as “The Name of the Rose,” “The Lion in Winter,” “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness,” and “The Agony and the Ecstasy” combine exquisite acting with wonderful settings.

Classic musicals are wonderful entertainment. “Damn Yankees,” “Camelot,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” “The Band Wagon,” “Brigadoon,” and “Bells are Ringing” will have you humming long after the movie is finished. A few science fiction classics have been added. These include a four- disc set of “The Outer Limits,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

Television programs have not been neglected. We now have some of the Red Green programs and the PBS series “Island at War” about the German occupation of one of the English Channel islands during WWII. Seasons two and three have been added to the first season of the PBS series “Ballykissangel,” which is about a parish priest and the lives of the residents of the Irish town of Ballykissangel. We also have the HBO movie “Angels in America.” “The Little Rascals” should provide a nostalgia fix.

There are many more not mentioned here. Everyone will be able to find something enjoyable out of this eclectic mix and will then have something to look forward to after a day working in the yard or soaking up the sun.

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by John J. Brice, Librarian

Some days I am truly amazed at the news. For example, as I was reading the paper today I found a news story from the Associated Press about Joel Schlesinger, a man in Orchard Park, N.Y. Mr. Schlesinger borrowed a book in 1981 from his hometown library in suburban Buffalo and recently found it while spring cleaning his attic. Mr. Schlesinger, being a good library patron, returned it along with $2,190 in fines. Isn’t it amazing how a 10-cents-a-day fine adds up?

Of course the library did not charge this fine as their policy is similar to ours in that the maximum fine is only $10.00. Mr. Schlesinger was just trying to help out his hometown library by paying the full fine and he hoped that the library could buy some books.

Of course, the Orchard Park book was nowhere near the champion for longest overdue and returned library book. That record belongs to Sidney Sussex College Library in Oxford England. A copy of a German biography of the Archbishop of Bremen was checked out in 1667 by Colonel Robert Walpole and not returned until 1956 by one of the borrower’s descendants. If you do the math that is over 285 years overdue which at twenty cents a day adds up to over $20,800!

Overdue books are always a big problem with any library. Everyone has good intentions when books are checked out but eventually a small percentage of the items we lend become misplaced, lost or otherwise overdue. Since 1991, when the computerized circulation system was installed, 3,694 materials have been checked out and not returned.

Considering that on average we purchased around 3,000 new books a year, having 3,694 books overdue is a rather significant number. In actual dollar terms to replace these items would cost us between $60,000 to $75,000.

So if you want to help out your local library and don’t have the means to pay four figure fines, feel free to give to our Patron’s Drive which is used to purchase new books. And if in your spring cleaning you run across a long forgotten library book please, please return it. Every item is important to us and even if it has been one, ten or a hundred years we will be glad to get our materials back. Who knows, you may have a record-breaker sitting in your attic.

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