Archive for November, 2005

Gertie, the Children’s Room giraffe, will be the official greeter for visitors to our revamped web page:

All of our usual links are here with a new feature in the center of the page.

Each week our blog will feature a different children’s author. There will be links to their official web site and the Pennsylvania libraries (including ours) that have copies of their books. There will also be a reverse-order ranking of their top ten most popular books as determined by the circulation records here at Meadville Public Library.

Some of the authors are more famous than others, but all have wonderful stories to tell.

As the weeks pass, the newest profile will show up at the top of the list, but the older ones will still be available by clicking the word “authors” in the left-hand column.

There will be additional surprises in weeks to come, so stop by often!

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Fall is a great time of year to catch up on what’s new in children’s fiction. Many books are published during this season, and with cooler weather blowing in, it’s a nice time to cozy up to the latest in the series you enjoy most.
Currently, at the Meadville Public Library Children’s Room, we have the latest for several series. ‘High Rhulain’ (the 18th book in Brian Jacques’ Redwall series), ‘Eldest’ ( the second installment in the Inheritance Trilogy), ‘Lionboy: The Truth’ (the third book in the Lionboy Trilogy), ‘Moonrise’ (Warriors: the New Prophecy Book 2), ‘Vox’ ( the 6th book in the Edge Chronicles) ‘Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (p.s. So Does May)’ (the 25th book in the Junie B. Jones series), and of course the infamous 12th book in the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events.’
If you’re looking for a good read further down the road, releases for later in the year and early next year will be ‘Ptolemy’s Gate’ (Jonathan Stroud’s final book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy), ‘Dawn’ (Warriors: the New Prophecy book 3), ‘Eyes of the Storm’ (Bone #3), ‘The Tenth Power’ (Kate Constables 3rd and final book in the Chanters of Tremaris Trilogy), ‘The Blue Djinn of Babylon’ (the second book in the Children of the Lamp Series) and ‘Celandine’ (the sequel to ‘The Various’ by Steve Augarde).
There are many others to enjoy in our collections here in the children’s room and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, just ask… requests are considered an important part of keeping our shelves stocked with what you like best.

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Many of the graphic novels for children started their lives as syndicated comics or comic books. Essentially, each title represents one comic book or a series of comics released separately that told a continuing story.

Some examples of these are:
“Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories”
“Bone Out from Boneville, “ and “Bone, the Great Cow Chase” by Jeff Smith
the “Star Wars Clone Wars” books by Haden Blackman
the Superman books by Mark Millar

Others take familiar characters or stories and translate them into the illustration-heavy graphic novel style.
Nancy Drew has new stories written by Stefan Petrucha
The Hardy Boys are in new stories by Scott Lobdel
“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” was adapted by Robin Lawrie

Occasionally, an author writes just for graphic novels.
“City of Light, City of Dark” by Avi
“Tex the Cowboy” by Sarah Garland.

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Grand Prize Winners

Sesame Street Dolls and Book:
Karmyn Kedzierski

Dr. Seuss Dolls and Book:
Kody White

Calligraphy Books:
Kaylee Johnson

Dragonology Books:
Ace Reese

Dragonology Books:
Emily Porter

Discovery of Dragons / Dragon Mobile:
Truman Wicker

Picturebook Collection:
Sara Heinbrook

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince book & Prisoner of Azkaban poster:
Mcalester Holt

Stamp Collection:
Samantha Whitney

Knight on Horse
Jigsaw Puzzle:
Michael Anthony

Pewter Castle and Dragon:
Hannah Whistler

YMCA 3 month Family Membership:
Cassidy Nottingham

The top readers for 2005 were:
John Kolacz who read 165 books in 9 weeks
Emily Porter who read 156 books
Ellen DeWeese who read 140 books


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In October, the library’s website ( received a facelift. It still features many of the same useful resources as before, such as our Internet Resource Guide, our catalog, the POWER Library suite of research tools and more, but in a format that will allow library staff to easily post news and other timely information on the site so we can keep you, our patrons, more informed about what’s happening at the library.

Eventually each department will also have its own site, where librarians can post the latest library news, book reviews, new books and more. The sites even have RSS news feeds, which let you use live bookmarks to make it easy to keep up with what’s happening at the library—for example, if you’re using Firefox to browse our pages, click on the orange button at the bottom of the window and subscribe to the feed of your choice. This will add a bookmark that automatically shows you our latest headlines.

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The Meadville Public Library has added a new reference service for
patrons who do not have physical access to the building and its collections.

Library users may send e-mail requests for help with specific questions by accessing the main page of the new library web site and clicking on the link to “Ask a Librarian”. The main floor library staff will then research information sources and send responses via e-mail.

Our plan at this time is to check e-mail once a day Monday through Saturday and send responses within two working days. The library is pleased and excited about this new service and expects that everything will run smoothly. However, we do ask for your patience and understanding in advance if minor difficulties are encountered.

Several new magazines and a newspaper have been added to the periodical collection. Main Floor patrons will be able to peruse Backpacker (for hiking enthusiasts), Foreign Affairs, Hispanic Magazine, and the Washington Post National Weekly Edition. Disney Adventures and Disney Princess may be found in the Children’s Room as well as Ask, Chirp, Click, Kids: Fun Stuff to Do Together (Martha Stewart for kids), Preschool Playroom, and Wild Animal Baby. Our teen patrons will want to check out Career World, ELLEGirl, Imagine, Ride BMX, Wizard: The Comics Magazine, and Teen Ink which are available in the Fiction Department. Several magazines have also been moved from the Main Floor to Fiction and include Game Pro, PC Gamer, Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Snowboarding, and VOYA.

Unfortunately along with the additions there are some deletions. The library will no longer subscribe to Antiqueweek, Breakaway, Consumer Reports on Health, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and New York Times Upfront. We hope the new magazines will be enjoyed and the old ones missed only slightly.

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Over the past few months the Fiction Department has gone through several changes. As I am getting settled into my new position, I encourage you to stop and talk to me if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions. I would also like to hear from you about some of your favorite books or authors, and what kind of programs or activities you would like to see in the Fiction and Young Adult Departments in the future.

With the arrival of Fall, I start thinking about finishing up my outside chores and settling in with a good book. Following are some possible choices to look for as the temperature starts to drop. Deadly Slipper, by Michelle Wan, a mystery that takes place in France where a young girl is looking for answers to the disappearance of her twin sister some 19 years earlier. With each twist and turn of the story yet another person becomes the possible suspect in her disappearance or murder. Follow along as the author weaves through the picturesque countryside of France.

A recent series addition is the Laura Child Tea Shop Mysteries. Each book contains delicious recipes for the teas and sweets she mentions throughout each intriguing mystery. James Burke’s new book Crusader’s Cross (number fourteen in the Robicheaux series) has just arrived. A few of the other new books you will find on our shelves include the long-awaited sixth book by Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes; Thirteen Steps Down written by Ruth Rendell; Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, the second book in the Philosophy Club series by Alexander McCall Smith; April Shadows by V. C. Andrews; James Carlos Blake’s The Killing of Stanley Ketchel; and The Historian written by Elizabeth Kostova.

Our Young Adult collection is growing too. Some of our new titles: When I Was a Soldier: a Memoir by Valerie Zenatti; The Lost Day by Judith Clarke; The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky; Flight of the Fisherbird by Nora Martin; Christopher Paolini’s Eldest, book two in the Inheritance series; I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader by Karen Scott; Dorothy Hobbler’s Ghost in the Tokaido Inn; and Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz. Non-Fiction titles recently added to the Young Adult collection include: Pioneers of Human Rights: Profiles in History by Cherly Fisher Phibbs. This book profiles several human rights leaders including: Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglas. Other new books include: Peterson’s Best College Admission Essays (a good choice for those seniors getting ready for college); The Driving Book by Karen Gravelle; and Learning Disabilities: The Ultimate Teen Guide by Penny Hutchins Paquette.

Our Young Adult Graphic Novel collection has grown to over eighty books. Some of our latest titles are Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602; Van Helsing’s Night Off by Nicolas Mahler; Marc Hansen’s Weird Melvin by Marc Hansen; Marvel Spiderman Vol. 3 and the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.

Some of the new magazines starting to arrive in the Fiction Department are: Career World (this magazine will be helpful to young adults thinking about future careers); ELLEGirl; Imagine; Ride BMX; Wizard: The Comic Magazine and Teen Ink. Magazines moving to Fiction from the Main Floor include: Game Pro; PC Gamer; Transworld Skateboarding; Transworld Snowboarding and VOYA.

We have received more than two hundred CDs and a few of these are being added to our collection each week. Some titles already available are: Plains by George Wilson; Come Rain or Come Shine by Sylvia McNair; Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 by Sam Cooke; Sunday Morning Classics by various artists; A Perfect Day by Roger Whittaker; Dracula by Philip Glass; Tierra Gitana by the Gipsy Kings; I’ve Been Loving You Too Long and Other Hits by Otis Redding; Irresistible by Jessica Simpson; The Best of Jefferson Airplane and Whole New You by Shawn Colvin.

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It seems to be in the nature of planning that initial schedules are seldom met. The ambitious plan for changes to the Main Floor mentioned in the Spring newsletter which was due to begin in the summer has not yet begun to happen. We here at the Main Desk are continuing to chant “change is good,” but we are going to need a different chant and are open to suggestions.

One of the benefits of a change in floor plan will, we hope, be more room for Books on Cassette. An anonymous donation of Great Courses on cassette offers exciting learning possibilities to our patrons. Each course consists of multiple tapes and at the moment there is no room for them. Some of the titles of courses to look forward to include How to Understand and Listen to Great Music; Elements of Jazz; Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition; Roots of Human Behavior; Early Christianity; Is Anyone Really Normal? Perspectives on Abnormal Psychology; and Great Principles of Science.

The Library has a new web page design and as part of that, the Main Floor has its own blog. This is under construction so the final content has not been decided but at the least there will be a listing of books on order and other lists of new acquisitions. If there is anything else you, as patrons would like to see on our blog, please let us know.

As the Fall season progresses, we continue to anticipate the changes ahead. We hope everyone will be patient during the process and pleased with the results.

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Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have proved once again that things are easily destroyed but ideas are indestructible. St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana received much attention due to the unfortunate events following Hurricane Katrina. The subsequent flooding put the public library under 12 feet of water — twice!
St. Bernard Parish is hardly alone. Its library in many ways is a mirror image of our own. It serves roughly the same size population, has a similar sized collection and number of staff. And just like MPL, it serves as a cornerstone for the community, providing support and resources for all residents. Amazingly enough, even in the face of a natural disaster, communities still desire and need a local library service. A recent Google News search resulted in numerous articles reporting on the reopening of libraries, albeit some in temporary facilities. In one news editorial there was a demand for libraries to be rebuilt with the same level of urgency as town halls.
Many of us complain about the bad weather here in northwest Pennsylvania. However, no matter how much snow we get, it’s easier to clean up than the damage left by 135-mph hurricanes.
That said, there are events such as fire or flood that could cause a disaster for our own library and MPL has demonstrated good planning and insight by developing its own Disaster Plan.
When writing such a plan, many scenarios are analyzed and a course of action developed for each. Much of the analysis is pure estimation of course. Some of the scenarios that we planned for are now being experienced throughout the Gulf Coast. From these real-life examples we will be able to learn what works and what doesn’t and adapt those lessons to refine our own Disaster Plan.
Since we stand to learn how to improve our disaster preparedness it is only natural that we extend a helping hand to our friends along the Gulf Coast.

At the September MPL Board meeting it was agreed that we would offer St. Bernard Parish Library our older equipment, furnishings and computer equipment which is no longer needed but still in good repair.
While the St. Bernard Parish Library may have lost its building and books, it has not lost the spirit of providing library service. We may not be able to help all the libraries along the Gulf Coast, but we can surely help one facility much like our own, get back to
providing essential public library services.

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