Archive for November, 2008

In the midst of economic uncertainties facing our world, Meadville Public Library (MPL) now more than ever, plays an important role in providing patrons of all ages access to the world of information through books, music, movies and the Internet. And a public library has even more value when personal finances are tight. That value can have many definitions: it can be measured monetarily or in terms of services. Comparing MPL with either of these definitions will give you a perspective on the library’s value to the community.

One of our employees recently conducted research on the return of investment MPL provides. Her study found that in the past 12 months, area residents received $5,161,204 worth of benefits from MPL. Every dollar invested in the library returns almost $6 in benefits to the community. If Reference materials and services such as Internet access, story hours, etc. are included, the return is even greater.

The importance of the library can also be measured by our circulation figures. During the last 12 months more than 232,000 items were circulated This represents more than six books a year to every man, woman and child in our service area. Though it is true that MPL does circulate a great deal of non-print materials the vast majority of materials checked out is still books and magazines.

Libraries also have many worthwhile qualities which are difficult to measure. What is the value of a child watching a puppet show? What is the value of a teacher tutoring a student? What is the value of simply reading a novel, browsing through a magazine, or studying a book on history?

When you combine all the library’s benefits, monetary and otherwise, it provides a wonderful return on all levels of investment. This is a treasure that anyone can come to use in good times and bad. Lately we are seeing more and more people using our services.

We hope you will consider investing in the library by donating to our Patron’s Drive. We ask for your participation with much trepidation. We know times are uncertain, that every Monday seems to bring further troublesome news and instability. Whatever investment you can make will appreciate in value and benefits to your community.

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Fall has arrived with glorious colors, stunning sunsets, and crisp mornings. Of course along with the beauty of the season comes all of those tasks that we do in order to prepare ourselves and our homes for what will follow. After the gardens and flower beds have been tidied, the lawn mowed, and the leaves raked one more time, settle into your favorite chair with a cup of tea and a good book or movie. We have just what you are looking for on our shelves.

If you like football, check out Mark Bowden’s book The Best Game Ever: Giants Vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL. For you non football fans, we have Falcon Fever: a Falconer in the Twenty-first Century by Tim Gallagher; Brian Donovan’s Hard Driving: The Wendell Scott Story, The American Odyssey of NASCAR’s First Black Driver; and Chuck Culpepper’s Bloody Confused! A Clueless American Sportswriter Seeks Solace in English Soccer.

The holidays may be months away but we all know that time seems to move quickly this time of year. For those of you who are thinking of giving handmade items but need some inspiration, check out A is for Apron: 25 Fresh & Flirty Designs by Nathalie Mornu. Her designs are pretty, functional, and for many of us evoke fond memories of past holidays. Marilyn MacEwen’s Woodworking 101 for Women; Quick & Clever Christmas Cards by Elizabeth Moad, and Make It in Minutes: Party Favors & Hostess Gifts by Roxi Phillips are sure to make your gift giving more personal and fun.

For all of you true crime fans, check out For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder that Shocked Chicago by Simon Baatz and Kathryn Harrison’s While They Slept: an Inquiry Into the Murder of a Family. The Middle East continues to serve as a topic for debate. The library has added several new books to the collection that are sure to generate discussions, including: Basrayatha: the Story of a City by Muhammad Khudayyir; Sarce Makdisi’s Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation; Muhajababes: Meet the New Middle East -Young, Sexy, and Devout by Allegra Stratton; and Raja Shehadeh’s Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape.

The following are additional titles to consider: The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane; The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant; David Kaufman’s Doris Day: the Untold Story of the Girl Next Door; The Beautiful Struggle: a Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates; and, on a lighter note, Bruce Patterson’s The Walking Tractor & Other Country Tales.

We continue to add new DVDs to the collection on a regular basis. For those of you who enjoy foreign films, we have added the following: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; The Lives of Others ( winner for best foreign language film); Under the Same Moon; and The Year My Parents Went on Vacation. These and many others are available free of charge to our library patrons. Please stop in the library and check out what we have!

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Like something out of a science-fiction novel, Meadville Public Library has an uncanny ability. It actually holds more information inside than you might expect from just looking at it. How do we do that? Is there some space-time rift allowing for the internal expansion of the library beyond the bounds of its bricks and mortar? Not exactly.

We have access to more information than could possibly fit in our three floors through our collaboration with other libraries in Pennsylvania. You probably know about our non-fiction and fiction collections for children, young adults and adults, our magazines and newspapers, our videos and music all available for you to check out when you stop by the library, but are you aware of the resources we have through our web site?

Whether you’re at MPL or visiting our web site, POWER Library is one such resource that offers
information on a range of subjects: Art, Auto Repair, Biography, Business, Children’s Resources,
E Books, Education, General Reference, Health, Literature, Music and Science plus additional magazines and newspapers. Thinking about buying a new snow blower and want to know what Consumer Reports has to say about what’s on the market? Is your child writing a school report about his or her favorite author? Looking for trustworthy information about an herbal remedy your neighbor suggested? All of these needs and more can be met through the offerings of POWER Library.

Look for the POWER Library icon on our home page or the POWER Library stations on the Main Floor. If you have questions or need assistance, remember you can always stop by the desk, give us a call, or email your questions to

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We had a wonderful summer full of many games, activities and prize give-a-ways. This year, a record number of patrons entered the summer drawing and more young adults participated in the Summer Reading Club than ever before. Our activities for young adults included a Tai Chi demonstration given by Cootie Harris. He shared some history of the art and had each of us trying basic moves for a very fun and interesting afternoon. Lynette Olson, RD, LDN, a dietician from Meadville Medical Center, shared tips on healthy eating and good nutrition. Our end-of-summer party followed the theme Metamorphosis @ Your Library and found young adults enjoying an afternoon of snacks, Dining Etiquette Jeopardy, assembling collages and many other fun activities. We would like to thank those who participated and invite everyone to join us again next summer as we explore Express Yourself @ Your Library.

As we head into cooler weather, it’s time to start thinking about all the new books to enjoy throughout the winter. The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent, a debut novel based on the author’s own family history, provides a fresh viewpoint on the Salem witch trials in this highly recommended novel. Elizabeth Peters ends her Vicky Bliss mystery series with Laughter of Dead Kings. Walter Mosley brings back Socrates Fortlow in The Right Mistake, his third novel in this suspenseful series. Look for David Baldacci’s new book, Divine Justice, a continuation of his Camel Club series, coming in November, along with Cross Country by James Patterson, Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler and Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King.

Start getting into the holiday spirit with a few of these Christmas books soon to arrive: A Christmas Grace by Anne Perry; A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber; The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck; A Christmas Star, another Cape Light novel by Thomas Kinkade; and An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor.

We now have books on CD and cassette for young adults. Some just added to the collection are Flight by Sherman Alexie, The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter and The Land of the Silver Apples by Nancy Farmer. Recorded books are a great way to enjoy a good book when busy schedules don’t allow time to sit and read. We also offer a Teen Writers’ Workshop every Wednesday afternoon, 4 to 5 p.m. Teens can join Jeanne, the Reference Librarian, to find out what other teen authors are doing and get feedback on their own writing. Stop by the Fiction desk for more information on this fun and informative workshop.

New books just arriving for young adults to enjoy are Brisingr by Christopher Paolini, the long awaited third book in the Inheritance series; Oracle of the Morrigan by Tiffany Trent, the sixth novel in her Hallowmere series; The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong; The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie; Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories About Teens in the Arab World by Elsa Marston; All Shook Up by Shelley Pearsall; Digital Art: Painting with Pixels by Ron Miller; and The Career Chronicles: An Insider’s Guide to What Jobs Are Really Like: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly From Over 750 Professionals by Michael Gregory.

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A sunny sky and a cool breeze greeted the 60 pets and their families who attended the 30th Annual Pet Show sponsored by Meadville Public Library and Dad’s Products, Inc. Dad’s provided rosette ribbons, pet food samples and trophies for the pet show winners.

Chance, owned by Lita Ruhl, won the trophy for Best Cat in Show. Buddy, owned by Dante Hagberg, took the trophy for Best Dog in Show, and Abby, Cheyanne Crum’s dog, sang her way to the trophy for Most Talented.

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