Monday, 21 April 2014

New Library Catalogue

We’ve made some changes.  Late in the day on April 21st you’ll see our new library catalogue

It looks a little different, and has some new features.  There are some searching tips you’ll see near the top of the screen, these can be very helpful.  For example, if you are unsure as to how to spell an author’s name: Jan Pienkowski or Susan Wojciechowski.  You can type as little as the first three letters followed by a $ sign (ex. Woj$) and then click on “author” then on “Search”.  You will get a list of titles by authors where the first three letters are Woj, examples are Lisa Wojna, Ted Wojasik and of course Susan Wojciechowski. 
            Use the Go Back option with the catalogue to “go back” to the previous screen.  You’ll find the catalogue works much better using this feature.
            The search results of this new catalogue will be more on target with your inquiry and will be pre-sorted.  There will be more entries with added content including covers, summaries and reviews.

The Advanced Search contains additional options for refining your search.  My special mention is the Collection option. With this you can choose Adult Non-Fiction when doing your subject search for “Egypt”.  You won’t get those fiction books about Egypt in your list or children’s books.  The possibilities are endless.

            Now, for the best part--  if you place holds you’ll really like this one.  You are now able to add suspension dates to your holds.  So, you have too many books to read, or you are going away for a couple of weeks.  You don’t really want to have to cancel your holds for those books you’ve been waiting for only to start at the bottom of the list again.  You can add the suspension dates to whichever holds you wish so that they do not become available to you during the dates you choose (this was previously only available through staff).  Your hold will continue to move up through the list as before, but when your hold is at the top of the list, other users after you will get the book, until the suspension period has passed - then it will be held for you.

Charlotte Janes, Head of Systems and Administration

Monday, 14 April 2014

You’re not the bookmobile, are you?

Kurt Haussecker is AVRL’s delivery driver and we couldn’t manage without him.  He makes four trips a week to each of our library locations, traversing Highway 101 and the #1 from Annapolis Royal to Windsor.  Each day, each way, he transports hundreds of kilograms of books and library materials which make their way into the hands of appreciative library users.   He also carries totes full of puppets, laptops, storytime props, and LEGOS.  We love this guy (so should you!), and we wanted to give him a nod on our library blog.

During his March deliveries, we asked Kurt to jot down a few observations and notes on his journeys … and here they are:

-         “You’re not the bookmobile, are you?” asks an interested and hopeful onlooker
-         Potholes:  hazards of late winter driving.  Worst potholes are on Rte #1 (he named specific areas, but you all know where they are!)
-         Van and driver got covered in salt
-         Who packed these boxes?!?!    So heavy…
-         Spring-like weather on March 12th, noting llamas in Belleisle, alpacas in Kingston & pygmy goats in Berwick
-         $/!*#%*! – who’s in my parking spot?
-         March 13th – the worst weather, very slippery, slow-going  (but everyone needs their books, I must go on … oh,  I think I can!  I think I can!)
-         March 19th – They started fixing potholes!
-         Saw 3 eagles at Grand Pre
-         Who packed these boxes?!?!   So heavy …
-         March 20th – Lucked into pizza at Wolfville Library who had 5 pizzas donated by a local restaurant.Later, same day, Windsor Library was having their 3rd Thursday jam session with coffee and cookies!
            These boxes seem really heavy now… and no one to blame but me 
-         March 28 – Super heavy delivery day after 2 cancelled ones due to storm.  Lots of wind damage noted including shingles off roofs. 
-         Additional delivery day added to cope with volume.  Will anyone have pizza today?
-         Few more days of very bad weather.  Rivers swollen with spring run-off.
-         Time to get the winter tires off & Dreaming of summer days ahead …  when pothole challenges will be replaced with highway construction...hmmm…blowing snow with humidity…hmmm

Well, that’s just a snapshot – the good, the bad, and the ugly - of Kurt’s 14-year journey with AVRL.   If you see him on your travels, give him a wave and please let him know you appreciate him as much as we do.

Wendy Trimper, Head of Branch Services

Monday, 7 April 2014

April Daffodil Campaign

A sure sign of spring is the Daffodil and every April this is the symbol of the national fundraising campaign put on by the Canadian Cancer Society.  Society volunteers through numerous activities work to raise funds for the fight against cancer. There will be fresh daffodils and daffodil pins for sale via canvassing campaigns throughout the month. 

There are many reasons for supporting these campaigns with research funding being at the top of the list for most people.  According to the Cancer Society statistics over 60% of people diagnosed with cancer will survive compared to 25% in the 1940’s when research first began to be funded by the society.  

 For more information you can download the Canadian Cancer Statistics publication 2013 offered here.  Your local library has ebooks, guidebooks, audiobooks, dvds, cookbooks, memoirs and survivor stories to help you learn all you can to prevent, fight and survive cancer.  This disease touches everyone so wear the symbol of hope and renewal this April knowing that you are making a difference.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Blogs I read

   Because I love children’s books and storytime and have chosen to be a Youth Services Librarian in a small rural town, I depend on the Internet to keep me alerted to new trends and ideas in my field. Physically located pretty far from a Big City, I only get to see other children’s librarians a few times a year. But with the Internet, and with the plethora of good blogs these days, I can find excellent ideas for Storytime, read about what is new in my profession, and keep up on the latest and greatest books for kids and teens.  I wish I had enough time to read these blogs every day; as it is, I only get to some of them some of the time, and others serve as a first-choice resource for when I go looking for something.  I think that many of these would be of interest to parents and teachers as well, so here we go:

The ALSC blog:  This is the blog of the professional organization I belong to, the Association for Library Service to Children.  While it often has library-specific information, it also has great program ideas that could be useful to homeschool parents and to teachers. I also write a monthly post for this blog. 

Beyond the Book Storytimes:  Anyone who has ever wished they could use puppets should check this one out. Steven Engelfried shares his creative ideas on turning books into puppet stories, and he even has videos to help you. This one is a real gem!

Jbrary These two librarians from British Columbia are rocking it on this blog. They have so many resources here it is hard to list them all. They have themed storytimes,  Pinterest boards, and the best video song library ever! If you are looking for some rhymes or songs to share with your child or to spice up your storytimes,  this is the first place to go. 

Little Elit:   This is a one-stop shop for all things digital. This blog has articles, ideas, and resources for those who want to know more about using apps and devices with children. They also have great Pinterest boards with recommended apps. And Cen Campbell, the founder of the site, used to be a Bookmobile librarian right here at AVRL. 

Fingerplay Fun Friday:   The WCCLS blog has a regular Friday feature—fingerplays! Rick Samuelson does a fine job of making the fingerplays FUN – learn some new rhymes to share here. 

Storytime Underground ; This one is pretty librarian-centric, but teachers and homeschool parents could find great ideas here. There’s also a list of “Blogs that kick butt” for further reading. Dig in and find out what is going on in the Storytime world! 

Teen Librarian Toolbox;  For all things teen, this a great blog. Book reviews, issues, program ideas. 

For book reviews and interesting conversations about books, I like to read the Horn Book blogs. Plenty to keep the kid-lit bilbiophile busy here.

On the local front, I've started reading the Valley Family Fun blog which has great ideas for activities to do with kids.  Laura Churchill Duke shares fun ways to play and learn at home and out in the community. 

---Angela J. Reynolds, Head of Youth Services