Author Archives: BreAnne Meier

2017 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees Have Been Announced

In case you haven’t already heard: YALSA has announced the Teens’ Top Ten nominees for 2017!

The list is comprised of the 26 books, along with summaries, that were nominated and chosen by teens as the favorites from 2016. Now is a great time to encourage the teens at your library to read the nominees, so they will be ready to vote for their favorites between August 15 and Teen Read Week (October 8-14, 2017).  Winners will be announced the week of October 15.

The nominee list and other information, including a guide on how to promote the books, a downloadable toolkit, and answers to frequently asked questions, can be found here: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten

Services for Homebound Patrons: Part 2

Once you’ve decided which services you want to offer to homebound patrons, how do you find the people who might qualify and are interested in these services?  Homebound patrons aren’t going to be coming through the doors of the library, so how do you get the information out to them?

Some groups and government entities that may be able to help spread the word about the services you are offering include:

Disability Groups
Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Meals-on-Wheels
North Dakota Human Services
Religious Institutions
Senior Centers
Support Groups
Veterans Affairs
VFW Halls

Some of them may even be willing/able to help get the items to the homebound patrons while delivering their own services.  Depending on your community, there are probably many other ways to get the information out, but this is just to give you a launching point.

Also, make sure to utilize your city’s newspaper and calendar of events to get the information out to those who have a need for your services, along with getting it on the radio and on the community access channel on television, if possible.

A toolkit that you may find helpful when starting a homebound program is the Homebound Program Toolkit.  This document gives advice on the pros and cons of the different delivery methods, policy development, planning the program, and marketing the program.  It also includes forms that you will probably need when setting up the program, including a reader profile, participant application, and route schedule log.

Also, a great resource for your patrons (whether they are homebound or not) who are unable to read standard print materials due to a visual, physical, or reading disability is the Talking Books program.  If you or your patrons have any questions, you can find more information available online (http://library.nd.gov/talkingbooks.html) or by calling 1-701-328-1408 or 1-800-843-9948.

Services for Homebound Patrons: Part 1

The main priority of libraries is to provide services for the people in their community. Libraries do a lot for the patrons who use the library by providing programs and items that can be checked out. How do libraries make sure these same services are also available to the patrons who are unable to leave their homes?

Homebound patrons can include those who are temporarily or permanently confined to their homes due to illness, disability, surgery, age, etc. They may be feeling isolated and bored and in need of the services that your library can provide. Some of the ways that you can provide services to homebound patrons include:

Mail delivery. Staff members can select items based on the patrons’ interests or the patrons can request specific titles and send them through the mail.

Home delivery. Staff members or volunteers take items directly to the patrons’ houses on a regular schedule. If you go this route, make sure to have rules/policies to make sure that the patrons are providing an appropriate and safe environment for the staff/volunteers and that the service can be suspended if unsafe/inappropriate conditions exist (threatening behavior, wearing revealing attire, unconfined pets, etc.).

Delivery with other services. Find a service that already delivers and see if they would be willing to deliver books, as well.  One service you could check with is Meals-on-Wheels.

Book discussion groups. If the patrons give permission, the library could connect patrons with each other so they can discuss books and other interests they share.

Special interest visits. Library volunteers can visit the homebound patrons and discuss hobbies, interests, etc. The volunteer could also record the experience as part of an oral history project for the library.

What types of services does your library provide to homebound patrons?

Check back next week for the next part in Services for Homebound Patrons, where we will discuss how to figure out who your homebound patrons are and how to make them aware of what the library can offer them.

“We’re Closed” signs

454736426_1280x720The holiday season is upon us and, with that, your library will probably be closed at some point to give employees time with their families. With the holiday season comes winter weather.  Unfortunately, the snow and cold has already set in and libraries around the state have had to be closed due to the weather.

When letting your patrons know the library is closed, whether it is scheduled because of a holiday or last-minute because of bad weather, be sure to remind them that the online library resources are still accessible 24/7. Just because they can’t go into the physical building, doesn’t mean they can’t reap the benefits of all the online resources that your library is providing.  They can still access TutorND, Universal Class, OverDrive (if your library provides it), etc.

If your library has a website or Facebook page where you can post about the closure(s), be sure to provide direct links to the online resources available at your library. If you are posting a sign on the library’s door, include your website’s url with information on how to access the online resources.

“YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten” Nominees for 2016

Teens' Top TenYALSA has posted the list of the 2016 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees. The 26 books on this list are the favorites from 2015, nominated and chosen by teens. Voting takes place between August 15 and Teen Read Week (October 9-15, 2016), with the 10 winners being announced the week after Teen Read Week.

Now is a great time to have your teens start reading the nominees so they are ready to vote when the time comes. This will also get teens reading during the summer, which is the ultimate goal. Continue reading

Acceleration Nation

checkered-flags-309794_640Scholastic and NASCAR have teamed up to provide a STEM education program for elementary and middle school students, with the target ages of 8-12. Acceleration Nation teaches students about the math and science behind NASCAR’s “Three D’s of Speed: Drag, Downforce, and Drafting” and also gives them a behind-the-scenes look at some of the popular drivers in NASCAR and how pivotal science and math are to the sport.
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Art Project for Teens and Adults

I stumbled across a site that had directions for a project called Song Lyric Wall Art that may work as a program in your libraries.  Instead of song lyrics, you could use quotes from books, movies, etc.

They say to find a painting at a thrift store or use one that you already have and are willing to paint over. Next, attach letter stickers over it in the form of whatever quote or saying you would like, and paint over it with acrylic paint or spray paint.  After it dries, take off the stickers and you will have a unique wall hanging.

I decided to try this to see how easy it actually was. Instead of using a painting, I bought a canvas and spray painted it black.  Since it took multiple coats, it did take longer than originally anticipated.  Also, if you use spray paint instead of the acrylic paint, make sure to go outside for this project.  Once it was dry, I stuck the letters and numbers on and spray painted the whole thing yellow.  This also took multiple coats.  Then, after it was dry, I took off the stickers.  The stickers weren’t too keen on staying on the canvas so some of the yellow paint got where I didn’t want it but, all in all, it was a fun project.  Next time, I may try the acrylic paint and see how that works.  Here is my finished project:

wall art

Have you done something similar at your library?  How did it turn out?  Do you have any tips or ideas on how to make this a successful program?

Book Spine Poetry

book spine poetry

National Poetry Month is coming up in April.  One program idea is to have your patrons “write” book spine poetry. Using books your library owns, patrons can use the spine titles to create unique and fun poems. They can be funny or serious and they can make sense or be totally nonsensical. The only thing that matters is that your patrons are having fun!  The following website has some examples of poems using book spines:
http://100scopenotes.com/2014/04/01/2014-book-spine-poem-gallery/

You can find more information and tips on programs, discussions, collection development, and book displays for the National Poetry Month at their official website:
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/tips-librarians

Does your library participate in National Poetry Month? What types of things do  you do to celebrate?

What I did on my vacation: Visiting Libraries in other countries

About a month ago, I was able to visit a couple libraries in England.  I was struck by how similar these two libraries are to the ones in North Dakota.

The first one I saw was at Stow-on-the-Wold.  The library is located on the ground floor of St. Edward’s Hall in the Town Square.

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Haunted Libraries

I know we are all getting ready for winter and the holidays that are coming up but I recently read an article on the 10 Most Haunted Libraries in America (http://www.buzzfeed.com/harpercollins/the-10-most-haunted-libraries-in-america-9npd) and found it quite interesting, even if it isn’t Halloween anymore.

One of the haunted libraries is the Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana. There have been so many sightings at this library that they have installed 3 “GhostCams” for people to watch online and capture any images that look like they have some sort of paranormal activity going on.  If you are interested, this is the link to the cameras: (http://www.willardghost.com/index.php?content=ghostcams).  They have a webpage devoted to the top pictures that have been captured.

The list also includes the Parmly Billings Library in Billings, Montana, where people have seen a woman in the basement and a man on the second floor.  They have also heard whistling on the second floor.

Does your library have any paranormal activities happening?  Please share your experiences in the comments.