Library Column–January 10, 2005

Now that I’m beginning to feel settled at the library I’m beginning to change a few things. First, the books on CD are right next to the door when you come in, where the reference books used to hang out. On the lower shelves of the same bookcase are some of the videos. Many of the videos are still over on the wall in the corner and many more are in the basement. We do have a notebook with a complete list of the video collection, so you don’t have to look in three places to find out if we have a particular title.

Warren Public Library has had a very nice paperback exchange for many years. However, when I started looking through the collection I quickly realized that the majority of the books were 10 years old or more. I decided to drastically weed the collection and then solicit donations. The weeding has been completed and now I’m going to start asking for paperback donations. Please bring your recent paperbacks (5 years old or less) to the Warren Public Library during open hours. We are looking for mass market paperbacks, either fiction or popular non-fiction. We welcome science fiction, fantasy, romance, suspense or mystery novels along with general fiction.

I’ve also been weeding the main library collection to make room for new books. Many of the weeded books are out in the hall in our new, ongoing, hardback book sale. We are selling the books for $1.00 each and the money will be used to support a variety of library activities and services. Come by and look them over! There are even a few videos for sale. We will still have periodic book sales. I’ll let you all know in advance so you can bring over your books to contribute to the cause.

While weeding, I observed that we had many excellent parenting books which were rarely checked out. It is possible that the superb parents of Warren don’t need helpful advice and guidance on how to parent, but I suspect the challenge of trying to use the library and keep an eye on their children may have made it hard to browse for books. I’m trying putting a collection of early childhood parenting books over at the Town Hall during story hour to see if this makes the books easier to find.

On a related topic, the library is always available to families with children. I’m going to try out a weekly play group time to see if there are some parents who can’t make it to the story hour on Wednesday, but would love to bring their kids into the library. The new play group time will be Friday afternoons from 2 – 4 pm.

I’d like to encourage the use of the library by interest groups. Book discussion groups or knitting groups are two possibilities that seem good matches. We’ve heard from one person who would like to discuss Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian and we’ve scheduled a discussion get together on January 25 from 1:30 to 3:30 at the library. We are hoping to birth an ongoing discussion group. Contact me for more details.

State services: The State of Vermont offers a variety of support services for libraries. Many patrons take advantage of the Inter-Library Loan service. If you can’t find the book you want locally it is fairly easy for us to order it for you from the regional libraries or from other public libraries. The Special Services Unit provides talking books and large print books for anyone who needs them. I have the information and forms for anyone who would like to sign up for the service. We also have access to the Vermont Online Library. This is a database of full-text articles from a large number of periodicals. You can download the articles, print them out, e-mail them, compile lists, etc. It is easy to search and fun to use. Contact the library for the web address and password.

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