Thursday, November 13, 2014

Winter (Reading) is Coming

SNOW?!?!  Yes, we've had snow flurries on and off all day!  It may not officially be Winter, but there are lots of signs that it will be here very soon.   Here at the library, we have our own ways to tell that Winter is coming.  The Festival of the Trees will be starting soon (groups who have signed up for trees can begin decorating on November 22nd) , and it's time to start preparing for our Winter Reading Program. 

Winter Reading will go from January 2, 2015 to February 13, 2015 (yes, 2015 is almost here!).  We encourage patrons of all ages to "Resolve to Read" and join us for six weeks of reading fun.  Just stop by any library branch on or after January 2nd to sign up.  Children and Teens will keep track of how many minutes they spend reading; Adults will keep track of the number of books they read.  Everyone will have a chance to earn a prize and entries for our grand prizes, a $50 gift card for each age group!

We'll have more information about Winter Reading in the coming weeks.  Until then, stay warm!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Let's Go Googling!

For the past month I have been busy at least an hour a day taking an online class called, "Google for the Wise Genealogist."  The course is offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (NIGS) and can be taken by anyone for a fee.  For a list of courses NIGS offers online, go to their website

The first lesson was an overview of Google products.  Some of them I had used before like Google Maps, Google Earth and Google News.  But there were a couple new ones that I learned about that will help me organize my genealogy research.  One of these is Google Keep which allows you to take notes and store them so that you may access them again by signing into your Google account.  Another is Google Bookmarks.  This allows you to bookmark your frequently used websites and be able to access the bookmarks from any computer anywhere at any time.

The next lesson was about how to make the most of your Google search.  I was able to set up a Google alert so that when something new about the surnames I am researching is added, I will receive an e-mail notification.  So far I haven't received any alerts.  But hope springs eternal, as they say.

Another lesson taught me how to "map my ancestors."  Since I didn't have any addresses for my ancestors, I used all the locations I have lived in my lifetime.  I was dismayed to find out that one home I lived in is now a parking lot.  I don't think I have a picture of that home at all.  So go out and take pictures of your home right now because 40 years from now it might not be there!

This week's lesson was all about Google Books.  Many books that were published years and years ago are now digitized and available online for free.  If the book isn't available for free you might be able to find it at a nearby library.  Unfortunately, the books I would like to borrow are books that must remain in the library.  This means I'll have to plan a trip to go to that library to do some further genealogy research.  Some titles may be purchased online using Google Play.  However, I chose to save the titles I found using the "my library" feature of Google Books.  Now when I do have an opportunity to travel those titles will be "on the cloud" and fairly easy to access.  This is great for me as I often lose track of slips of paper, notes, etc.

But wait that's not all!  There is more to come in the weeks ahead.  Feel free to stop by my desk and ask about the latest "Google for the Wise Genealogist" lesson any time.

Genealogy Librarian

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book a Librarian

Do you want more help with a technology question but don't know where to start?  We have a new service that can help you with your questions called Book a Librarian.  Book a Librarian can help you learn: 
  • How to set up and use email
  • eReader questions & how to use OverDrive
  • Internet basics and internet safety
  • How to use the library’s databases & catalog
  • How to place holds on items
  • Microsoft Office programs
  • Resume creation & job searching using our databases
  • Internet Social Platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger, etc.
The "Book a Librarian" service is designed for those requiring one-on-one instructional or research assistance on using library resources. Half hour sessions are held in the library at a time determined by you and the librarian giving the session. Reservations require 48 hour advance notice and are dependent upon staff availability, excluding weekends.  Fill out a request form at the library during normal business hours and the reference librarian will contact you set up an appointment. Valid Morgan County Public Library card holders in good standing are eligible for this new service. Genealogy assistance is covered by the Genealogist Librarian and not part of “Book a Librarian”.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Fun Afternoon at the Waverly Branch

I want to thank Ron Hawkins for presenting a wonderful program at the Waverly Branch on September 27. Ron brought a generous sampling from his memorabilia collection for a display in our study rooms. He also brought videos from his recent trip to England, including his visit to the Cavern Club, ground zero for Beatlemania.

After showing a number of videos and sharing memories and information, Ron changes shirts and gave a guided (magical mystery?) tour of his collection. He explained where and when many of the most interesting items came into his possession, providing a trip down memory lane for the attendees.

Then Ron changed shirts a final time and presented a trivia challenge with posters, buttons, post cards and other items for the first correct answer to each question. Who was the bass player preceding Paul's assumption of that role? What German bass-playing artist provided the cover illustration for Revolver? The questions and answers were great fun for all.

Everyone was pleased to receive their prize.

Some were ecstatic to receive their prize.

Be on the lookout for your next opportunity to catch Ron as he continues to make presentations around the area.

And be on the lookout for a wide variety of programs at all of the library's branches.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Teen Services

At the end of the summer I said goodbye to my position as Teen Librarian with the Morgan County Public Library.  I started working with teens here at Main back in October 2009 and it was a wonderful four and half years.  During the course of that time I’ve meet some absolutely delightful teens.  I’ve seen them go from mousy sixth graders to towering high school students, from outsiders to best friends, from high school to college, from shy to outgoing, from non-readers to readers and so much more. 

Here are a few of favorite things from my time as a teen librarian…

·         Summer Reading – Back in 2010 when I planned my first summer reading program I was terrified.  We had 110 participants and they read well over 450 books.  Summer Reading has grown a lot, and I’ve learned a lot, since that first year.  363 teens signed up this past summer.  Alyssa and I’s whole year pretty much revolves around summer reading.  It’s what we’re working on from about November to June.  Then it’s time for the big two month long event to actually begin.  We have worked so hard to improve the program every year and I hope you think it’s as wonderful as we do!   

·         Working Outside the Library – Some of my favorite times at the library have actually been when I’m not in the library!  Community events and school visits have given me unique opportunities to meet patrons on their turf.  For much of my time as the teen librarian I spent one day a month at West Middle School hanging out with students during their lunch period.  We’d discuss upcoming library events, what they were reading and I’d give booktalks to introduce new titles.  I got to partner with school librarians and teachers on lots of special events.  More than once teachers and their students created videos promoting summer reading and other special events.  Luckily, outreach is something I’ll still get to focus on in my new role.

·         After-hours Events – At the end of May 2011 we cautiously planned out first ever after-hours event for the library.  Pizza, photo ops, games and a movie were all on the agenda and pretty much have been for every after-hours event since then.  I’m not sure why but there’s just something magical about being in the library after it closes.  Dance parties, life-size games, movie nights, and even crafts just seem to double in excitement when you know the library doors are locked to everyone but you. 

·         Meeting Mike Mullin – The Indiana author, Mike Mullin, who penned the Ashfall trilogy, visited our library in December 2011.  This was the first author event I ever planned which was a little scary and very exciting.  We pulled out all the stops for a complete Ashfall themed night including a themed Christmas tree, volcano cupcakes, a martial arts demonstration and Mullins’ engaging presentation.  One of my, and Mullins’ favorite stories from the night is what will forever be known as “the bloody book signing.”  Mullin ended his demonstration by chopping a concrete block in half with his hand.  Not realizing he’d cut himself he began signing books.  The first book he signed belonged to a young girl.  He thought she would be mortified by the blood he’d accidently left on the title page along with his signature.  Once he realized what had happened he was apologetic and offered her a new book.  She’d hear nothing of it.  In fact she made him note something along the line of “this is my blood” and was even more excited than if she’d just gotten his signature.

·         YA Lit – I read a little YA lit before I became a teen librarian and it hadn’t been that long since I’d actually been a teen but I really got into it the last few years.  Here are just some of the YA authors that have had me laughing, crying, sitting on the edge of my seat, bursting with excitement and just generally loving reading.
Jay Asher                                                       Jo Knowls
Natasha Friend                                               Jordan Sonnenblick
Barry Lyga                                                      Nancy Werlin
Katie McGary                                                  Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Raina Telgemeier                                            Sonya Sones
Helen Frost                                                     Ellen Hopkins
Wendelin Van Draanen                                    Rainbow Rowell
David Levithan                                                Laurie Halse Anderson
Gordan Korman                                               John Green
Ruta Sepetys                                                  Neal Shusterman

·         Volunteers – As I’ve mentioned I’ve met some absolutely lovely teenagers in the last few years and some of my favorites have spent time volunteering or job shadowing at the library.  It’s so awesome to see teens that truly love the library and want to do whatever they can to help out.  I know I can count on our volunteers for anything from updating booklists, creating displays, making popcorn, cleaning up, and just generally assisting with whatever we need.  One of my goals in my new position will be to find a few volunteers as sweet and dependable as those I’ve meet here at Main.

·         Game Truck Parties – The last two years during Teen Tech Week we’ve had Jason Green bring out the Game Truck.  It is awesome.  Up to sixteen people at a time can go into the luxurious “truck” to relax on plush couches while playing the latest and greatest video games on flat screen televisions.  This program always brings in a swarm of teens who are just as excited about our life-size Pac-Man game and fuse bead crafts as they are about the truck.

I will truly miss working with teenagers on a daily basis but I’m so excited for my new position with the library, Monrovia Branch Manager.  Get to know my new library, position, community and coworkers in my next blog post, later this year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Library + Your Classroom = A Perfect Match!

Teachers of Morgan County, the library wants to help you and your classes!  Many of you know that you can send your students here to find information for school projects or books to read, but did you know that we can do much more than that?  I can break down our special school services into two categories: We Come to You and You Come to Us.

We Come to You
-Storytime- We can come to your classroom for Storytime.  We currently provide this service for two Kindergarten classes and three fifth grade classes.  The program lasts around 30 minutes and we can tailor our reading selections to what you're going over in class.

-Book Talks- Book Talks are commercials for books!  We come in and tell your students about different books and why they should read them.  This is a super quick program that can be done in 15 minutes.

-Special Collections- Have a special project coming up?  The library can work with you to put together a collection of books on a special topic and deliver them to your class.  The collections will check out to your library card for three weeks.

You Come to Us
-Storytime and Check-Out- We can set up a time for your class to come to the library for a story and to check out books.  There are three classes who come to the library for this program and we love having them!  Please note, children will need to have their own library card in order to check out books.   

-Field Trip- Bring your class for a tour of the library and a chat about all the cool things going on at the library!  This is a very popular program with many preschool classes, but we even have fifth graders come for their own tour.

Ready to schedule a visit?  Have questions or other ideas on how we can work together?  Please contact me at or at 765-342-3451 ex16.

Looking forward to working with you,

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Art, Dancing, Stories, and Guitars. . .

Where can you go to hear a story, play a game, create some art, and sometimes even do a dance, all without spending any money?  Well, your local public library of course!  All library locations in the county library system offer some kind of children’s programs at their location.  Many locations offer a weekly storytime activity, as well as other programs intended for children. 

Here at the Waverly branch we offer a preschool storytime on Wednesday mornings at 10:30.   During storytime we read a story, do a dance or some other kind of activity, and create a simple craft.  We also offer a children’s art program every Thursday afternoon at 3:30.  This program is for children in grades kindergarten through the sixth grade.  We create many different kinds of art on Thursday afternoons.  This allows us to learn about a variety of artists and other cultures around the world.  So we get to learn and have fun at the same time!  Registration is not required for either of these programs.  We would love to have you join us for a story or art activity this week! 

This month we have a special program intended just for music lovers.  On Saturday, September 27th, the Waverly branch will host the Beatles' Memories and Memorabilia program.  All ages are welcome to attend this program that starts at 2:00.  Ron Hawkins from the Reporter Times will share memorabilia he has collected over the many years that he has been a Beatles fan.  There is even a rumor that Chuck, our branch manager, may bring his own guitar!  There is no charge to attend this event, and registration is not required.  Please join us on the 27th and see what Chuck will do with that guitar!

We are always open to adding new programs for all age groups, so if you have some particular activity that you would like to see offered here at our library branch please let us know!  We are here to serve you and we love to try new things! 

Check the library’s event calendar posted on our website to see the specific programs that are offered at each library location.  We have a lot of fun things going on for all age groups at our library and we hope to see you soon!