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1. The euro fesTivaL brings The WorLd To Kids aT dCpL
From madeleines to mask-making, old-fashioned puppet shows to Skype, the 2011 Kids Euro Fest was filled with wonder and creativity. Participants in this fourth Kids EuroFest involved 27 member countries of the EU, and 16 cultural institution collaborators. DCPL offered Euro Fest programs at every library. Here are highlights:
• UNICEF and Good Will Ambassador and master puppeteer Juha Laukkanen and his assistant described Finnish Lapland through a popular tale, “told” by the puppets, about a mean troll who lives inside a mountain. The children then made snowman puppets. This program was held at Georgetown and Northeast Libraries. • In partnership with the Imavere Pohikool Elementary School in Estonia, Colleen Semitekol, Children’s Librarian at Palisades Library hosted a Skype story time with Ille Krimm and her Language Arts class. Colleen read three books in English to the children at Palisades, and by Skype, to the children in Estonia. In turn, children at the school read a traditional fairy tale in Estonian. A pianist in Estonia played the closing song—“If You’re Happy and You Know It”—and the children sang along, first in Estonian and then in English. The program was held on October 20th in honor of Estonia’s annual National Read Aloud Day. • Maltese folktales and traditional Maltese riddles were used in a shadow puppet show, “Why Bats Fly at Night.” Jess Stork, also at Palisades, created the story after reading Studies of Maltese Folklore. The bat, who considered himself too special to be grouped with other animals, was punished for his arrogance and made to fly only in the dark of night.
Document #8 Board of Library Trustees Meeting November 16, 2011
2. CheCKing ouT e-booKs? Join The CroWd!
The rich offerings of e-books that can be digitally downloaded to e-readers, tablets, and mobile devices, are in high demand among DCPL users. With over 10,000 titles to choose from, there has been an exponential increase in the number of downloads from the Library collection. Almost 60,000 e-books were downloaded this past fiscal year. Amazon and Overdrive, the company contracted to provide e-books to DCPL, launched a long-awaited lending program for Kindles in late September. As a result of that and as more people use e-devices as “readers,” we expect the interest and demand to continue to grow. In the month of September alone, 9,420 e-books were “checked out.” Sing Talk and Read (STAR) Workshops have begun in libraries and other locations. A grant from Better World Books is funding this effort. Leaders follow a prescribed series of lessons for parents and caregivers that give them fun, easy skills that engage children, from newborns to age 3 years, and get them ready to learn how to read. The skills show how to use singing, play, talking, and rhyming as learning tools. The Library’s most recent partner is the New Heights Program at the DC Public Schools, which is for pregnant teens and teens who have recently become parents. Seven schools have either received or signed up for the program in all areas of the District. Micki Freeny is coordinating this effort.
3. sTar ConTinues WiTh granT funds
4. … and anoTher granT-funded LiTeraCy iniTiaTive begins
The Family Literacy Involvement Program (FLIP), aimed at families with children from newborn to age 8 years, granted an award to DCPL and its partner, the National Children’s Museum in Maryland, for a new approach to early literacy. Washington, DC, was one of ten cities across the country whose application was accepted for funding. The proposal was submitted by DCPL’s Wendy Lukehart, Youth Collections Coordinator, and the National Children’s Museum. The core of the project is the circulation of kits that contain a book, suggestions on how to engage children in the reading experience, and instructions and materials for related activities to be completed in the home. The Library and Museum are replicating the kits to provide multiple copies for circulation at the Dorothy I. Height/Benning Library and the Museum’s Launch Zone. Major funding for this initiative was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Library’s Public Services was given a needed boost in September and October with the completion of a major hiring initiative to help get ready for the three new libraries opening in the next several months. In addition to several internal promotions, 19 of the remaining 31 people hired—61%—are DC residents. This reflects DCPL’s ongoing commitment to the city-wide goal of providing employment opportunities for District residents. We reached an exciting new milestone by hiring five of DCPL’s former Teens of Distinction as Library Technicians. The new staff members are assigned throughout the system for training. Welcome!
5. neW sTaff hired
6. anaCosTia Library TeaChes CroCheT and researCh sKiLLs
A new children’s program, “Hooks N’ Books,” teaches children, tweens, and adults basic crocheting stitches on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. The program has attracted boys and girls, and all are close to mastering the basic stitches of a granny square. Every crochet and knitting book has been checked out and several have been put on reserve. Staff members also used a comprehensive website for video instruction and quick tips during classes. One goal of “Hooks N’ Books” is the completion of an Anacostia Library quilt by February for Black History Month. Harry S. Jaffe and Tom Sherwood led a panel discussion at Watha T. Daniel/ Shaw Library about DC government then-and-now. The city’s workings fascinated the two men and they joined forces to write Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, DC, which was published in 1994. The book traces the impact on city government of turmoil through the civil rights movement, riots and racial polarization after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., congressional domination of the city, and tensions generated by competing local economic and social interests. The panelists talked to the audience of roughly 100 people about the influence of the history of DC government on its functioning today. The presentation stimulated a lively Q&A.
7. dream CiTy auThors Come To WaTha T. danieL/shaW Library
8. sharing The suCCesses of dCpL’s Teen programs and serviCes
Rebecca Renard, Teens of Distinction Program Coordinator, was the invited keynote speaker at the October North Carolina Library Association’s Biannual Conference. This year’s conference theme was Libraries: The Next Generation. Weaving stories and key lessons learned from her experiences over the last four years while working with teens at DCPL, Rebecca discussed the need to engage teens and the community in projects of importance to them, as well as the myth that libraries will soon become irrelevant to current users and potential users. Rebecca was also asked recently to join the Mayor’s “One City Summer Fun Steering Committee,” which is being organized to develop a comprehensive and effective summer program for DC youth in 2012.
9. sharpen your foreign Language sKiLLs aT dCpL!
The Collections Development Division reports an infusion of CD sets and Playaways for studying foreign languages. The new CD sets and Playaways are available for learning French, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic, and more choices are expected. These resources complement the digital audio downloads that are available through the Library website. The website language choices include French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and German, as well as English for Spanish speakers. The approach generally simulates gradual immersion in the new language through a series of stories, activities, and learning exercises. Four DCPL neighborhood libraries are featured as the cover article in the Fall 2011 issue of Building Washington: The Voice of Construction in Washington, DC.” Petworth, Deanwood, Tenley-Friendship, and Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Libraries are in the spotlight. The article points out the shift from defining libraries as a place for books to the new identification of libraries as centers in which communities gather for a menu of activities of interest as well as for information in books and e-materials. All four buildings were commended for “blending functional space with unique, environmentally friendly designs that meet the demands of today’s technologically savvy users.”
10. “Library shoWCase: buiLdings for 21sT CenTury”
11. dC reads: one booK. one CiTy. one good read aT mLK Library
Author Wes Moore came to MLK Library to discuss his book, The Other Wes Moore, with more than 125 adults and teens attending the two-hour program. This is the book selected for DC Reads 2011. The book is about two boys named “Wes Moore,” a year apart in age, who grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods. Both were streetwise kids and both got into trouble with the police. One became a Rhodes Scholar and decorated veteran, and the other a convicted murderer serving a life sentence. The question Mr. Moore tries to answer is how did these distinctly different paths emerge? Mr. Moore’s mother, whom he calls a major influence in his life, and his sister were in attendance. DC Reads 2011 also featured an online chat with Wes Moore. The hour-long chat took place on November 1, and brought in 24 readers. Among the many questions asked were: • Do you know if Big Brother-type mentoring organizations have used your work to inspire the youth they work with? • Do you feel that this story is uniquely “American”?
12. peabody room aCquires rare 19Th CenTury business Ledger
The eBay posting described a ledger from Hunter Meats & Grocery in Washington, DC, as a 7 ½” x 12 ½” hard-bound journal of 200 pages in which proprietor CB Hunter recorded merchandise sold to approximately 80 customers between 1894 and 1896. But who was CB Hunter? A quick search of the 1900 Census showed that Charles B. Hunter was a 44-yearold “provisions dealer” who lived with his wife Mary C. at 1634 Valley Drive—today’s 32nd Street. One piece of information in the census was striking: Mr. Hunter was AfricanAmerican, and as a shop owner, was one of the few of his race who operated a brick and mortar business in Georgetown in the late 19th century. The acquired ledger has been a topic of inquiries and high interest.
13. The naTionaL booK fesTivaL TaKes over The maLL
The National Book Festival brings excited visitors of all ages to the Mall every fall, and the DCPL Booth was humming:
• George Washington was there—thanks to Madame Tussaud’s— and visitors took pictures with him. Books by DC authors were on display. Thirteen staff members and two Junior League members volunteered at the booth. They gave out DC flag tattoos to folks who showed their DC library cards. A fun stamp of the Library’s logo was used for the all-states passport game. • A special children’s program was hosted by Northwest One Library. The event celebrated release of the book, “The Exquisite Corpse Adventure,” which was developed collaboratively by the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance and the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress. The book is a progressive story written and illustrated by 20 well-known children’s book authors and illustrators, each contributing a section that reaches a cliff-hanging moment before it moves on to the next writer, and so on until all writers have contributed. A fast-paced adventure with many funny twists and turns results. Authors Jack Gantos, Patricia McKissack, Katherine Patterson, and Chris Van Duse, took turns reading the story to more than 60 students who had come to Northwest One from Walker Jones Elementary School. Each student was given a copy of the book to take home.
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