If you were to ask people why they volunteer at the library, many of them would talk about their love of books, or their special memories of a library from their past. Sometimes people volunteer when they are between jobs and need something to do. Sometimes it’s a teenager who needs volunteer hours for a school or club, or a retiree who wants wants to feel of real value to the community. The library provides these volunteers with direct benefits that make their lives better. But the benefits they provide the library are incalculable.
When you think of our library volunteers, you may imagine that friendly face that greets you when you check out a book. You may not always see the ones who sanitize the storytime toys, or the ones who repair damaged books, or the person who may make it their personal mission to keep the Mystery section in perfect order. But they’re here too. And they keep Skidompha Library alive and well and ready for you.
This past weekend we had an opportunity to celebrate with our 104 volunteers, set to the rocking refrains of the band 32 North. Our yearly volunteer party is just one very small way that we say thank you. We hope that you will join us in appreciating our volunteers all year long. The next time you see someone shelving in Mystery, remember to give them a smile. 😉
Have a great week,
Happy National Library Week everybody! What’s that you say? You’ve never even heard of National Library Week? Well, maybe we’re a little biased being a library and all, but National Library Week is a bit like the Academy Awards and library “Christmas” all rolled into one.
In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers started National Library Week as a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians, and to promote library use and support. You see, they believed that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries, and in turn be a more well-informed and educated population. The first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!” This year the national theme is “Libraries Lead,” and libraries across the nation are asking their patrons to share how the library led them to something of value in their lives. Library lovers can post to Twitter, Instagram, or on the ‘I Love Libraries’ Facebook page during National Library Week for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Entries can be a picture, video, or text, and creativity is encouraged. Just be sure to include the hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesLead on your post, and enjoy taking a look at what others have shared about their library experiences.
Ultimately, today more than ever libraries need the support of our patrons. To coincide with National Library Week, Skidompha has launched its Spring Funding Campaign – the first of only two times a year we ask our patrons to help keep us funded and strong and offering books, free services, and programs to the community. If you can help us pay it forward, please consider making a secure donation online at www.skidompha.org, and thank you. We rely on individual donations to make up the bulk of our yearly funding, and believe me when I tell you that every dollar counts. Let’s share the love and learning all year long.
Have a great week,
The Winter Olympic Games have begun in South Korea, and I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me feel more fiercely patriotic than watching our athletes compete for gold and glory.
From my armchair I glide along with our speed skaters, thrill at the intensity of focus exhibited by our curlers, and ride the emotional highs and lows of our skiers, snowboarders, and professional sledders in the luge competition. Was anyone else reduced to tears during the ladies figuring skating free skate??
However, if you are one of the many people out there who have forgone your cable subscription and find yourself without a window into PyeongChang, never fear! The Library has you covered! For the entirety of the Olympic Games we will be showing NBC coverage in our Atrium during regular hours of operation, where you can pull up a red comfy chair and tune in to one of the greatest shows on Earth. The best events are still to come!
Have an inspiring week,
Though we may still have six more weeks of winter – according to some prognosticating ground squirrels – I believe that we should look past this, and focus instead on the bright things ahead in 2018.
For Skidompha Library, 2018 represents not only the debut of our first full season of programs for the whole family, but also comes with the expectation of another summertime Community Read Event, the excitement of live performances thanks to our partnership with River Company Theater, and participation in a timely national discussion. 2018 is already being heralded as “The Year of the Woman” for political and social reasons, but it also represents a very significant anniversary in the story of the women’s suffrage movement.
After more than 80 years of protests, parades, outreach and argument, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, mandating that voting rights could not be restricted on the basis of sex, was brought before the House by President Woodrow Wilson. It would take another two years for all 50 states to ratify the amendment and make it law, but it was the tipping point that made women’s rights more of an inevitability. As we prepare to join the national celebration in 2020 of women’s right to vote, this year we will be highlighting women authors, women in history and great women thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Keep an eye out for upcoming events such as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein,” the 150th anniversary of “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, and a very special event for the release of the forthcoming movie adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle. (Remember Harry Potter Day last year? Well, hold onto your tesseracts! We’re at it again!)
Have a great week,
Challenge yourself to read a little differently this winter with the Mid-Winter Reading Challenge!
Always wanted to try reading a graphic novel, or a book that inspired a film? Now’s your chance!
Read a book in just 5 of the 13 categories, and you will be entered to win a $50 Gift Certificate for the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop, or a Skidompha Beanie!
Please pick up your challenge card at the library circulation desk.
It may not feel like it today, but there is no denying that winter is here, and will be for some time yet.
While a very common and normal response to this might be to
shutter the windows, stockpile bottles of water, rolls of toilet paper, cans of soup, and set a timer for April, there is another way!
Here is the SKIDOMPHA LIBRARY WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE for getting through the season without climbing the walls, or risking the mental health of yourself or your loved ones:
Read a book that reminds you that there are seasons other than winter. (We recommend “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett, exploring the deep connections between two interwoven families, full of humor, heartbreak, and summers spent together in Virginia.)
Yes we know it’s dark and cold, but get out of the house and come to one of our FREE Thursday night movies. There will be hot popcorn and people to talk to other than your dog.
Go out for a walk in the snow. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to come back inside and feel your toes and fingers again.
Drink hot chocolate. Not only will it keep your hands warm, chocolate releases serotonin and endorphins that lessen pain and decrease stress. Bonus points if you drink hot chocolate with a friend while talking about that great book you are reading, “Commonwealth.”
And last but not least, CALL YOUR MOTHER. Complain vigorously about the weather (this is scientifically proven to burn calories), invite her to go see a movie with you while drinking hot chocolate, and suggest that she also read “Commonwealth.”
We’re all in this together!
WRITE-ON: The Skidompha Teen Writing Workshop
Tuesday, February 20th through Friday, February 23rd
10 am to 3 pm daily at Skidompha Library.
“If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.” Elizabeth Gilbert
Unleash your creativity and tell your story! In this four-day creative writing workshop, you will work with other teens interested in creative writing. We’ll play writing games and complete prompts to get your creative juices flowing. We’ll peer-edit, discuss style choices, and offer reflections as a group. If you’re interested in storytelling, this group is for you!
Sign-ups will begin in January. If interested, please email Youth Services Coordinator Kelsey Gibbs. This group is open to teenagers in 9th through 12th grades. Admission is FREE, but class size is limited to 8 slots, so early registration is encouraged!
Did you know that Skidompha Library offers book club kits that you can take home? Grab some friends and dive into one of our many available literary adventures. Each kit features 5 to 10 copies of the same book, a discussion guide, and may be checked out for up to six weeks.
Carpe Diem! Carpe Liber!