This summer’s theme, “Dream Big, READ!,” will explore all things nocturnal – the nighttime sky and its constellations, dreamers, and nocturnal animals. This year’s Children’s Summer Reading Club begins June 4th and lasts until August 3rd.
Artwork for this year was created by Brian Lies. His fans will remember his bat books; “Bats at the Beach,” “Bats at the Library,” and “Bats at the Ballgame.” He has also illustrated other authors’ books including the Flatfoot Fox books and Finklehopper Frog.
The summer program is open to children from toddlers to those leaving sixth grade. Incentives and activities will make this an inspiring nine weeks for the whole family.
All craft activities will have a nighttime flair. Each arts & crafts program will be divided into two activities – one for younger children and one for older elementary-aged children.
Special programs include the annual pet show on July 7th and a visit with owls and other birds from Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center on July 24th.
To participate, a child must be a member of one of Crawford County’s libraries. Preschoolers and summer visitors will receive a summer card. A special reading sky chart will be issued to record each reader’s and listener’s progress through summer reading pleasure and prizes.
For every library book read, children will get a stamp on their sky chart. Preschoolers must listen to two books to get a stamp. For every four stamps, a prize may be selected from the display case. When 12 stamps have been collected, participants qualify for two chances to win one of the Grand Prizes. The drawing for these prizes will be during our Summer Reading Club Party scheduled at 10 a.m., August 4th.

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I have been thinking a lot lately about industries that were swept away by the horseless carriage 100 years ago.

In 1900 there were many companies that made buggy whips and corsets (one of them, Spirella Corsets, was located here in Meadville.) Both industries were eventually wiped out when the automobile was introduced and became popular in the early 1900′s. Women who had to start a car themselves couldn’t bend over to crank the car’s starter if they were wearing a corset. And as for buggy whips well, no need for one of those when you had an accelerator on your horseless carriage.

Technology has advanced to the point where most individuals have access to a computer from which to receive information or download books; those with a personal computer can do this anywhere there is cell phone access. A description of this technology just 20 years ago would have seemed like magic.

So how are our libraries going to cope with virtual books as demand for the old-fashioned book slowly declines? A very good question and one we have been contemplating for months. We know that certain members of our community would love to have down-loadable books accessible to their electronic reading devices. Unfortunately, publishers and copyright authors are not making it easy for libraries to retrieve their electronic materials. In addition, funding is a real obstacle for the public library since purchasing electronic books means having to cut back on purchases of traditional materials.

So although introducing electronic media in libraries is difficult and a challenge in libraries today, MPL has been making some progress in this area with the introduction of Playaway books in the Children’s Department. The audio books allow the user to listen to a complete book through ear buds or even a sound system.

In addition, we have linked our on-line Patron Catalog to the more than 10,000 books of the Guttenberg Project. By going to our web site and searching for a title published before 1927, you can follow the link and download both electronic books and/or versions of the book. In the next few months we’ll install new software that will allow our patrons to access more than 5,000 electronic books made available through the Pennsylvania Power Library Project. Most of these books are older titles (1960-1990) dealing with non-fiction topics.

Finally, we are hoping to introduce more popular and newer books electronically by the end of this year or the beginning of 2012. Though we have yet to select a provider, our specifications require a supplier who will provide us with materials in all popular formats including E-Pub and PDF. Though our plans are not yet complete, we are committed to making sure that Meadville Public Library does not become an anachronism. I have a picture of a horseless carriage on my desktop that reminds me of just that every day.

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Spring in Pennsylvania means different things to each of us. For some it is sunshine (on occasion), for others, warm weather, rain or flowers. For Meadville Public Library it is the anticipation of another decrease in funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The reduction in the library subsidy will affect the library’s budgets, but until the final proposal is passed, the impact will not be known. Our patrons have shown overwhelming support for the library through the years and I am sure it will continue during these unsettled times.

On a more positive note, with spring comes the preparation of flower and vegetable gardens. I will not mention specific titles but suffice to say we have added new books on both topics. Remember that new books (those purchased within the past six months) are just inside the doors under the windows and across from the main desk.

We have added many new movies to the DVD collection, including the following: Black Swan, Chasing 3000, Downton Abbey, Echo an Elephant to Remember, Get Low, Howl’s Moving Castle, Nowhere Boy, Pillars of the Earth, Secretariat, The Social Network, and Waiting for Superman.

These and many more are available at the main desk. Please remember that an adult library card is necessary to check out DVDs and videos. Hope to see you @the Library.

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Spring is finally here and with it many activities at the library. We started with a “Civil War Day” held in fulfillment of a grant we received last year from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Patrons who attended the program were treated to a visit with local re-enactors of the 150th PVI Bucktails group. The women of the group gave a Civil War era fashion show and played dulcimer music throughout the morning. A presentation by Dr. Barratt, an historian with the Crawford County Civil War Roundtable, and Civil War era games for kids in the Children’s room were also part of the festivities.

The grant given to the library includes 20 books and a set of DVDs on the Civil War. If you’d like to learn more about the Civil War, these items and many others can be found throughout the library.

May brought a book signing by the young author, Brenna Thummler. Her book entitled, From Alligators to Zippers, was written and illustrated as part of her Senior Project and uses each letter of the alphabet to give a brief history and tour of Meadville and the surrounding area. Her book is available for checkout and can be found in the Young Adult section of the library.

June 6th starts our Summer Reading Program with games and activities planned for young adults and prizes for all. This year’s young adult theme, “You Are Here,” will have us touring the world with weekly crafts and activities from many different countries. For more information stop by the Fiction desk and pick up a bookmark listing the summer activities. We hope everyone will join us for another exciting summer as we explore the world

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This summer’s theme, “One World, Many Stories,” will allow children to sample the cultures and stories of the whole world. The 2011 Children’s Summer Reading Club begins June 6th and ends August 5th. Rafael Lopez is the creator of this year’s art work.

The summer program is open to children from toddlers to those leaving 6th grade. Incentives and activities will make this an inspiring nine weeks for the whole family.

All craft activities will have an international flair. Each arts & crafts program will be divided into two activities: one for younger children and one for older elementary-aged children. The annual pet show will be held July 9th at 10 a.m. in Diamond Park. Co-sponsor of the pet show is Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, the Home of Dad’s Pet Care.

To participate in the reading club, a child must be a member of one of Crawford County’s libraries. Preschoolers and summer visitors will receive a summer card along with a special reading passport to record each reader’s and listener’s progress throughout the summer.

For every library book read, children will get a stamp on their passport. Preschoolers must listen to two books to get a stamp. For every four stamps, a prize may be selected from the display case. When 12 stamps have been collected, participants qualify for two chances to win one of the Grand Prizes. As long as children continue to read or listen, they can qualify for more chances to win Grand Prizes. The drawing for these prizes will be during our Summer Reading Club Party beginning at 10 a.m. on August 5th.

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Fall 7 times—stand up 8
Japanese Proverb

As the proverb states: when you fall down, you have to dust yourself off and get up again. The past two years at the library definitely fit that axiom.

We have never been more successful regarding services to our patrons. An average of 600 people a day use our facility. Last year we circulated an almost record amount of materials: more than 246,000 items. Our five story times are at or near capacity every week. In other words, we are a hit.

However, when you take a look at our financial ledger, we are not so successful. Our operating budget has lost money four out of the past five years. Over that period, we have lost $143,747—mainly through cuts from the state.

The reason we are still open after racking up this deficit is that we were able to draw from a small financial cushion. That cushion is now depleted and we are forced to cut hours, reduce book purchases and eliminate some digital databases. The current 2010 budget is actually smaller than the 1998 budget even though many expenses such as insurance and utilities are now much higher.

Over the past few months patrons and members of our community have responded to our appeals for help. The generosity has been heartwarming and to everyone who has given, we thank you.

We still need help. We at MPL understand that this is a tough economy with many groups and organizations in need. I have listed below several ways in which anyone can help the library with or without involving money. Please take a moment to peruse the following list and see if you see yourself contributing in some way.

* Most of us have books that we don’t want any more: why not donate them to the library? Books that cannot be used in the collection will be sold at the semi-annual sale, placed on the regular sale shelf or sold on Amazon.com. If you have heavy boxes or bags, please call ahead at 336-1773, ext. 303 and ask for Gary. He will arrange to have someone at the library assist in unloading your materials.

* Due to cutbacks, all of our landscaping budget has been eliminated this year. Consider donating mulch. We went through 20 yards of the stuff last year. Or if you can donate just a few dollars at the main floor box marked “Front Flowers,” we will put it to good use—either towards mulch or flowers.

* Think about giving a lasting donation in your will to the library. We have an informative brochure titled “Get Involved” which provides all details. Request a copy at the Main Desk or call my office at 336-1773, ext. 302 for more details.

* Finally, we welcome donations to the Patron’s Drive. Every dollar goes to purchase new materials. With our trade discount, we get almost twice the buying power. I know of no other organization that makes a dollar go further.

These are difficult times indeed, but with your help we will continue to dust ourselves off and remain standing.

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As many of you are aware, the library has had to reduce hours, cut materials budgets and furlough staff as a direct result of decreased revenue from the Commonwealth. Even though the library is not able to purchase everything we would like, Crawford County residents have been generously donating books and movies. Items that are not added to the library collections may be sold at either the spring or fall Friends of the Library Book Sale to help fund special projects. Because of these donations, we have added books on kitchen and bathroom remodeling, flowers and flower gardening and current non-fiction bestsellers. Among the DVDs added to the movie collection are the first three seasons of 24 with Keifer Sutherland, seasons one and two of Smallville, and the original Star Trek television series on video.

Although the library is buying fewer new items, the main floor staff is committed to providing our patrons with continued access to quality print and audio books, DVDs, videos, ILL (interlibrary loan), reference service and internet computers. In fact, two more internet computers have been added to the main floor for a total of nine.

We thank all of you for continuing to support the library. Please stop in to say hello and check out what we have to offer the community.

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However you say it, say hello to Mango Languages, a new electronic resource available to Meadville Public Library patrons.

Mango Languages is an online language learning system that you can use in your own home. Choose from Basic or Complete courses. The Basic course teaches you some elementary phrases and cultural knowledge for 22 languages. If you want to learn more, choose the Complete courses which are aimed at students who want to move beyond basic language skills. There are currently nine Complete courses to choose from including Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Additionally, Mango provides Basic courses in 14 languages for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners.

Look for the Mango Languages button on the Library’s home page (http://meadvillelibrary.org). From home, you will need your Meadville Library card to log on, just like the Power Library databases. Enter your Power Library code (the blue sticker) starting with PL and then your eight-digit bar code. Create an account to keep track of your progress, pick a language and start conversing in a new language today! If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Library’s Main Desk , (814) 336-1773 ext. 303.

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An ocean of fun awaits children of the Meadville area this summer as the Children’s Room Summer Reading Club hits full throttle starting June 7th and steams along until August 6th. Henry Cole is the featured illustrator this year. His exuberant cartoon style has graced such books as The Worrywarts, about a trio of timid adventurers; Bad Boys, a tale of wolves in disguise and Mooseltoea, a Christmas story about a moose who has to find a substitute Christmas tree.

All craft activities will have a water theme: Beneath the Sea; Drip, Drip, Drip; Pool Party; Pirate Treasure; By the Sea; Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Each arts & crafts program will be divided into two activities- one for younger children and one for older elementary-aged children. The annual pet show on July 10th in Diamond Park is cosponsored by Dad’s Products.

The summer program is open to children from toddlers to those leaving 6th grade. Incentives, activities and plenty to read will make the nine week program sail by quickly.

To participate, a child must be a member of one of Crawford County’s libraries. Preschoolers and summer visitors will receive a summer card. A special “water log” will be issued to record each reader’s and listener’s progress through summer reading pleasure and prizes.

For every library book read, children will get a stamp on their water log. Preschoolers must listen to two books to get a stamp. For every four stamps, a prize may be selected from the display case. When 12 stamps have been collected, participants qualify for two chances to win one of the Grand Prizes. A drawing for prizes will be held during our Summer Reading Club Party at 10 a.m. on August 6th.

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Spring is officially here and with it come thoughts of transformation and change as trees start to bud and flowers emerge from their long sleep. You may have noticed a few changes or transformations happening lately in the Fiction Department too.

Because so many authors are writing in multiple genres these days, it is sometimes difficult to know exactly where to find his or her books: this may mean searching two or three different sections in order to get all the books written by a particular author. We have eliminated this confusion by going back to a more traditional method of shelving which combines all genres together in alphabetical order by author and title. For instance, if an author writes detective and mystery as well as westerns, his or her books will now be shelved together in alphabetical order. We will continue to use the distinctive labeling system for each genre: with an SF on the label for a science fiction or fantasy book, a D for detective and mystery and a W for westerns.

The Young Adult area has also undergone some changes. A recent donation has enabled us to expand this section and add a table, chairs and a computer station. This new space will provide a great setting for all of our summer activities and allow us to offer additional young adult programming throughout the rest of the year. It will also provide a safe haven for teens to enjoy a good book, work on school or club projects and do homework with minimal disruption to other patrons in the library.
Check out all of our changes, grab a new book and join us for this year’s Summer Reading Program as we “Make Waves at Your Library.”

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