May 11, 2013
Although the weather still refuses to cooperate, the calendar is moving on into summer. As a reminder while the kids are out of school- young children need to be supervised while in the library. We do not provide any childcare services, except during Juneís summer reading program or on the rare occasions when we provide childcare during a program for adult patrons in the village. I know it seems like such a small thing to send your child down to the library for a couple hours, but this is a small library and we donít have the manpower to staff the library and provide childcare. If this is something you think the new library should consider when the renovations are complete, let us know. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or just mention it when you are in the library getting books or movies.
Volunteers are still needed for the summer reading program. Teen and adult volunteers are needed for a couple of hours on Friday afternoon in June and until July 14 when the program ends. If you can volunteer for each Friday- great. If you are only available one or two Fridays- that is still good. Sign up sheets for the kids to register for the program and for volunteers to sign on are located at the librarian desk at the library.
The new library system is young, but already a success. Before the implementation of consolidating library and connecting them all with the Polaris system, there were 7,443 items coming into the area libraries from libraries outside our library system. In April 2013, there were 51, 589. Before there were 6,595 items sent out to libraries not in our library system. In April, there were 51,482. Averaging a 10x increase canít be labeled anything other than a triumph.
If you would like some help learning how to order books from libraries all over the state, stop in and we would be happy to give you a hand. If you want to try on your own, start at synp.illshareit.com. Your ID number is your library number that starts with 21793 and your pin is the last four digits of the telephone number you used when you registered for a library card. (Donít worry, you can call and get it over the phone from us. Just call 688-2332 during normal business hours.) There are over 10 million items to choose from including books, audiobooks, movies, magazines and even some artwork and sheet music is available for checkout.
One new book this week- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
April 27, 2013
We really appreciate the patience all of you have shown us as we learn the new library system and all of the bugs are cornered and killed. Over the next month, we will be required to gather more and/or different information for library registration than we normally ask for when you get a library card. Illinois Heartland Library System is working with the other library groups in the state to standardize all registrations in the state.
First up for registration information is your driversí license number. The Sidney Community Library used to gather that information when you first registered for a library card, but we were asked to get email addresses instead. So we did. Now, we will need both. The email will be used to notify you when a library order has arrived, if you have any items that are late and how much you owe in fines. The driversí license number is for the computer system statewide for preventing duplicate cards and making sure fines move when you move.
It would be very helpful for us if you had your driversí license with you the next time you come into the library, so that we may enter the number into the system. Yes, we will forget about it at times. So, please remind us, if we do forget. The computer system will still let you check out for now without a driversí license or state ID number, but who knows how long that will last?
On to more pleasant news, starting May 6th, the Sidney Summer Reading program sign up sheet will be at the librarianís desk. This year, the program will be held every Friday afternoon starting June 14th through July 12th from 1-3pm at the library. Please register your child/ren so we are sure to have enough supplies for everybody. If you are interested in volunteering, the library needs teen and adult volunteers to help the kids with reading, crafts and general mayhem. Call 688-2332 or sign up at the library if you are available to help out this summer.
Summer AR testing is back! Computer testing will be available again this year at the library. After reading their AR books this summer, the kids can come to the library to take the AR test on June 10th, July 1st, July 22nd, and August 12th and will test with one of the Unit 7 librarians. Either Kathy Wickline or Kris Graves will be at the Sidney library from 9-9:45am on the above dates.
Remember, the kids must have their AR book with them to test and there are only three computers right now, so be sure to come early to ensure time enough to test. AR points earned during the test will be good for the first quarter of the 2013/2014 school year. It is a great way to give your child a head start on next year and keep them reading during the summer. Kids that read during the summer do not lose nearly as much academic ground as kids that donít read all summer.
One new book this week- 12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.
The Sidney Community Library Book Sale was a success, in no small part, due to the volunteers and donors. People came in to help set things up, donated hundreds of books, came to the sale and bought items to support the library and even stayed to help clean things up. Iím not surprised. I think small towns actually get more done than large cities, itís just we do a little every day and cities make a big splash once in a great while. Guess which one gets the most credit and publicity? I did take pictures of some of the people at the sale and pictures of the inside of the new library building as it is right now so you can see the progress of the project.
The Polaris computer system is still not fully integrated so we are still left with only the check in and check out functions. We really do appreciate your patience as we work offline for the next bit of time. Once the Polaris program is up and running as intended, you will be able to order books and other items from many more libraries in the state. Other than that, you wonít notice much of a difference when you come in to get books.
As was the case last week, we have new books. They canít be entered into the Polaris computer program until it is fully functioning. The target date for functionality is April 15th and all the libraries will be able to order from other libraries again, look up library numbers, enter new books into the database and levy fines on late returns. Thatís right. We have no way of looking up your fines right now. If you have late books or movies, now is the time to return them.
March 30, 2013
As we march out of winter, you might need some resource material to get you ready for spring. We have books and magazines on almost any spring or summer activity. Perhaps you want to start container gardening, or hammock sleeping or tree house building. The library has plans and instructions for all of them. The public use computers are all working again and all able to print out recipes, kite designs or receipt from ordering some new clothes and shoes. If winter was just too much and you simply want to rest, we have many new DVD movies and lots of old favorites.
The March 25th Sidney Community Library Board meeting was cancelled due to the late spring blizzard. All the discussion items are now included in April 30thís Board meeting agenda. All Board meetings are open to the public. The Board meets at 6pm on the last Monday of the month in the Community Building on David Street if you wish to attend.
One item of interest for the April meeting. The Board needs 3 bids on the roof repair for the new library building. So far, they only have one bid. If you are a roofing contractor, or know of one that would be interested in bidding on this job, please call Board President Bethe Lynn at 217-369-2596 for more information and for the procedure to bid.
This Saturday is the book sale at the new library building two doors south of the present library. It was formally the grocery store. The sale is from 8am-3pm.
Well. We have new books this week but you canít have them. Iím not holding them hostage. The Polaris computer system is in the set up stages at all 427 libraries. Until it is completed, we will only be able to check books in and out for you. That is, if you have your library card or know the last four digits of your card number. (We also need to learn how to put books into the system. We all attended class #1. Putting books in for check out is in class#2.)
All this turmoil from the new system will be worth it once the kinks are gone. There will be 427 libraries and over 10 million items you can order from and you will still be able to use your Sidney card at all the area libraries that belong to the Illinois Heartland Library System. As the system is installed, you will be able to use your Sidney library card at all 427 libraries. If you happen to be in Carbondale and want to check out a book- you can. If you are in Kankakee-you can. The card will be good at most libraries in the state that are south of the Chicago suburbs. We have flyers available that list all 427 libraries.
Katie has started planning for the Summer Reading Program to begin in June. It is not that far away, so give some thought about whether or not you want to register your child for the program, would like to volunteer to help Katie with the kids, or have an activity, craft or book you think the kids would like this summer. The program is always fun and a success with the kids. There are pictures from last yearís program on the pages of the calendar at the librarian desk.
Clap if you agree. Iím thinking the best way to get through this week is to wait until Jeanne is back next week to have any problems. We will hold off on any computer problems, lost books, library cards go through the washing machine or DVDs forgotten in the machine when you return the case. Sounds right, donít you think? Thanks for agreeing with me.
March 16, 2013
Right after celebrating my 50th birthday this month, a kid came in to the library while I was typing up a library card on the typewriter. He kept making this strange noise and at first I thought he was making jokes with his friends. Turns out, he was fascinated with how the typewriter works- since he had never seen one typing before. He assured me he knew what one was, though he thought they had all been junked decades ago. Talk about sprouting the grays.
The change over to the new computer system has started. Until further notice, no books, movies or magazines can be ordered from another library. If you are on a waiting list for a Sidney Library book, please let us know and we can keep track of it in-house. We will have no other way to determine which books you want to read. In two weeks, the current system will be down all together and the only way we can check a book out to you is if you have your library card with you when you come to the library. If you have lost your card, now would be a good time to get a replacement if you plan to check out books, magazines or movies.
The workday at the new library building was last Saturday. The turnout was more than expected and very welcome. The crowd was able to finish the cleanup for the April 6th book sale and we can now take book donations for the sale. If you have quite a few books, VHS tapes, DVDs or blu-ray you would like to donate, please call and let us know before you drop them off. The libraryís number is 688-2332. Sometimes, we have to rearrange things to fit a large donation of items.
New books this week are Chance by Karen Kingsbury, Esmeraldalicious by Victoria Kann, Glamping with Mary Jane: Glamour Plus Camping by Mary Jane Butters, Gone, Girl by Gillian Flynn, Slim for Life by Jillian Michaels, Storyteller by Jodi Picoult and Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis.
March 9, 2013
There will be a few ups and down over the next three weeks as we transition to Polaris, the new computer system chosen by Illinois Heartland Library System to integrate with all the other downstate libraries. There will be 1.2 million people in the new system and over 400 libraries. This means many more books available to you, but it also means more opportunities to make a mistake while we are getting used to Polaris.
I went to computer training this week to learn the new system. There are a couple of features to the new program I know will make you cheer. You will be able to keep a list of all the books you check out, up to five years or 1000 items. Now you can stop writing your initials next to your library number to remind you. Also, you will be able to create a user name when ordering books from another library, so you donít have to remember your library number. Another thing, you may or may not be excited about, is the ability to text you when your books are available, you have a fine or you forgot to put the DVD in the case. You can choose the text option. It is not automatic.
Starting April 1st, we will only be able to check books from our own library in and out, so please get your books in before March 22, 2013. Any books you have ordered now will be cancelled, so please write them down now if you want to reorder them when Polaris is up and running on April 9, 2013. To order, we will be giving everyone a website with our library information and the order page. It will be much more extensive than the Lincoln Trail website.
March is National Craft Month, so stop in if you need some patterns, instructions or inspiration. The library has many books and magazines to help. Of course, you can always watch a video online to learn how to do something as well.
While you are at the library, take a look at the art display. Area artists have consented to show some of their work at the library. The works are rotated, so check often to the see the new ones.
Remember, Saturday is a work day at the new library building if you have an hour or two to swing a hammer or sweep up the debris. Work need to be done before setting up the book sale scheduled on April 6th in the new building. People will be working 9am to noon, but you donít have to give up your whole morning. Just an hour can make a difference.
The Sidney Community Library Board will meet on March 25th at 6pm in the Community Building on David Street. (The meeting room in the same building as the library.)
The two new DVDs this week are Academy Award winner Argo and Breaking Dawn Part 2.
New books this week include the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. The books in the series are Tangled Threads, Venom, Spiderís Bite, Spiderís Revenge and By a Thread. Other new books are Red Velvet Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke and Sisters by Susan Mallory.
March 2, 2013
Have you seen the pictures of the libraryís Facebook page? I try to add new pictures every week, even when Carol and Bethe wonít let me take their pictures. Facebook is such a visual media, that I would like to see pictures of the cover of your favorite book, or the one that kept you up late last night. One of the great things about finding that special book is letting other booklovers know about it. I expect to see some pretty good, and unusual, books on the page.
There will be a volunteer workday at the new library building on March 16th from 9-noon to get ready for the book sale on April 6th from 9-noon. People are needed to help clear an area and set up for the sale. Any book donations should be held onto for now. We donít want books or other items to get damaged while the workday is getting everything in order. If you would like to lend a hand, please call the library at 688-2332 or just stop in on March 16th and pick up hammer.
The Library Board is also looking for volunteers to help with the book sale on April 6th, from people setting up before 9am, manning the sale, and taking everything back down after the sale concludes. Volunteers can stay for half an hour to the whole day, itís up to each person how much time they can spare.
Homework Help is available free to all children in grades 1-12. Janet Wolf will be on hand for tutoring on Thursday evenings from 5-6pm at the library. You do not need to reserve a spot for your child, but it would be helpful if you could let Janet know if your child will be attending. Call the library at 688-2332 or send an email to email@example.com and we will pass on the message to Janet. Children can attend one session or every week as they need for assistance.
Betheís Book Club is reading two Willa Cather novels this month. O Pioneer and My Antonia will be up for discussion at the meeting on March 25th at 7pm in the library. There will be a potluck to accompany the discussion. Each attendee is encouraged to bring a dish that goes along with the booksí themes. Sounds like a lot of good food just like Grandma used to make before microwaves and drive-thru windows. If you need more information, contact Jeanne at the library, email or post your question on the Facebook page.
Books added to the shelves this week include Passing By Samaria by Sharon Ewell Foster, True Honor by Dee Henderson, A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison, The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek by Jane Myers Perrine, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach, Making Pillows and Slipcovers by Dorothy Wood, Better Homes and Gardensí Additions: Kitchens, Sunrooms, Front Room and Bathrooms, A Snout for Chocolate by Denys Cazet, Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, Nicolae and The Cosmic Battle of the Ages: Armageddon by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins. These last two complete the Left Behind series for the library.
February 16, 2013
The Illinois Heartland Library System is preparing to switch software to Polaris. To get us ready, no orders from other libraries will be possible after March 14th and any unfilled requests will be cancelled on March 22nd to allow time for the changeover with the least lost books possible. From April 1st through the 8th, you will only be able to check out books at your home library if you have your library card with you. The request portion of the program will not be ready until after April 9th and when you visit another Illinois Heartland library, you may not be able to check out any books until the full program is operational. This sounds like (and it is) a big pain, but once the Polaris software is running, it should make your library experience better than before the new software was available.
Katie Shaw is joining the staff of the Sidney Community Library. She will be working Friday evening and Saturday mornings. She will also be developing the Summer Reading Program activities. Katie grew up in Sidney, but is currently living in Champaign. Iím sure many of you will recognize her when you come in, she was a volunteer at the library while in high school.
There are new pictures and announcements on the libraryís Facebook. Sometimes, an important item gets missed and/or there isnít time to publish before a deadline so we have been putting them on Facebook. For example, I missed the closing for Presidentís Day this past Monday. If you have a question about hours, that is the best place to look. Any postings will be answered as soon as possible and, when I get a little better at it, will be posted on the Sidney Community Library website as well. The libraryís email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer to private message instead of public post on Facebook.
There were quite a few new books while I was untypable, but here is a list of the newer ones: The posthumously published Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy, Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Baby for Hannah by Jerry S. Eicher, Chance of a Lifetime by Jodi Thomas, Cook This Not That Comfort Food by David Zinczenko, Last Kiss: A True Story of Love and Joy by Leslie Brodie, Matchmakers of Butternut Creek by Jane Myers Perrine, 1356 by Bernard Cornwell, Promise for Ellie by Lauraine Snelling, Shadow Creek by Joy Fielding, Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling, Haven by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Sophieís Dilemma by Laurine Snelling, and for Downton Abbey fans we have Phillip Rockís British aristocracy before WWI series The Passing Bells, Circles of Time and A Future Arrived.
Amazon.com has several free Kindle books worth downloading this month. Growing Deeper in our Church Communities: 50 Ideas for Connection in a Disconnected Age by C. Christopher Smith, Dirty Martini by J.A. Konrath, The Right Wrong Number by Barbara Delinsky and Tongue Twisters for Kids by Riley Weber are just a few good books that happen to be free right now.
What Are You Reading?
Someone left a recommendation for me for Homerís Odyssey by Gwen Cooper, but forgot to sign their name. The memoir is about a woman asked to adopt an eyeless cat. Gwen already had two cats, but could not resist the three week old bundle of fur abandoned at her veterinarianís office. Not expecting much, Gwen was inspired by the catís abilities, including being trapped alone in the apartment after 9/11 and by Homerís endless joy and loyalty. The note said this is a great book and not at all a maudlin one. It is recommended for people that need that little boost to their day.
Carol Erb recommends The Haven by Suzanne Woods Fisher. The novel is about the Amish community in Pennsylvania. A woman comes back to the community after studying herbal healing with an Old Order Amish woman in Ohio. She meets two men upon her return, one an Amish schoolteacher and the other an Englisher studying falcons on her familyís farm. Carol said some of the Amish series are really just so-so, but this one is a good book. Not just a good Amish series book. The novel is part of the Stoney Ridge Seasons series by Fisher.
January 10, 2013
Stuck inside during the warm rainy days that turn into cold snowy ones? This is a good time to catch up on some projects at home. Finish the afghan you began crocheting two, no make that three years ago. Or learn to knit. Or take up stained glass mosaics. Whichever craft or project you choose, the library has resources to help you along. Next time you stop in, check out all the craft magazines and books on display at the front desk. And, if by chance, you have chosen an unusual pastime like insect preservation or spitball towers, you can use the public use computers to find more information or join a group of fellow spitters.
If you would rather just read a book and hate to go out in the rain, you can download a free ebook from amazon.com or mymediamall.net. I hear many people say you canít get any good free ebooks. I disagree. Right now, you can get The Covenant by Beverly Lewis or The AARP 2013 Almanac: Free Stuff, Scams and Savings, Diet and Health Tips, Movie Classics and More by AARP from amazon.com or The Intercept by Dick Wolf, Katyís Decision by Kim Vogel Sawyer and Low Country by Anne Rivers Siddons. There are dozens more good books you can download free from these sites, barnesandnoble.com or publishersí websites. If you have any trouble downloading the books to your ereader, computers or smartphone, stop in and we will give you a hand with that.
Fancy Nancy is growing up. Jane OíConnor, the author of the popular Fancy Nancy books has started a new series of chapter books with Nancy. We have two of them on the shelves: Nancy Clancy: Secret Admirer and Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth. This is a good series for girls ready to transition from elementary short stories to longer chapter books.
Hot enough for you? Just when I think Iíve reached my maximum sweat level, it turns cold and I want the heat back. I know. Temperatures in the sixties arenít really all that cold, but it feels so much worse after a stretch of nineties and sunshine. Besides, there are some really great ways to cool off, but the only way to get warmer is to turn on the heat or add several more layers of clothes.
The library is prepared to help, at least with the cooling off part. This summer, the library will have a bottled water fundraiser. During library hours, you can buy cold bottled water or candy. Or both. We arenít particular. The only catch is you canít eat or drink at the computers. They are particular.
Book donations are still being accepted for the Townwide Garage Sales held June 1st and 2nd. The libraryís sale will be during library hours on both days. If you have items to donate, you can drop them off at the library or put them in the drop box with a note letting us know the items are for the sale.
There is still time to sign up for the Summer Reading Program being held June 11th through the 15th and for the Summer Book Contest. Contest book logs need to be filled out before the first drawing to qualify June award. Each month reading logs will be drawn for winners of a $25 giftcard.
The Sidney Community Library Board will meet on June 25th at 6pm in the Community Building. The meeting is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend to find out about the progress made on the new library facility.
- Lisa Raymond
New books this week include Death Cure by James Dashner, Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green, Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseballís Longest game by Dan Barry, Catch Me by Lisa Gardner, Outsmarting the Scam Artists by Doug Shadel, Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke, Private Games by James Patterson, How Cooking Works by DK Publishing, How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue, Maze Runner by James Dashner, Pioneer Woman Cooks Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond, Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr, Scrap-o-Later Quilts and More by Dianne Springer and Secrets of the Garden by Kathleen W. Zoefeld.