One question that I’m often asked lately, is, “Are libraries still essential?”  Another way people ask the same question is, “Are libraries still relevant?”  or even, “Why do we still need libraries?  Can’t I find all the information I need on the Internet?”   During the past few years, library administrators have worked to place a value on libraries in an effort to help the public (taxpayers) understand what their money buys.  Each year, Melissa Scott, our Assistant Director, does just that when we present our Annual Report to the County Council.  There are many things that a library’s staff and materials bring to the public that are much more difficult to calculate.

We live in tough times.  When we consider what services a community needs, it is easy to cut the programs and agencies that provide “luxuries”.  We know that we need police and fire departments, water and other utilities.  We know that our citizens need food and clothing.  Those are all relatively easy decisions.

But, a person is nurtured by more than just food, clothing and a warm, safe place to live.  We need to nurture our heart, mind, and soul as well.  That is what culture, especially great (and not-so-great) literature does.  When we feed the mind, we allow a person to grow, to have a better life.

Fayette County Public Library offers many invaluable materials and services.  Here are just a few:

1) Early Literacy Programs.  Early literacy programs are proven to have a positive impact on learning.  The library provides storytimes, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, Reading Buddies at schools, and more.

2) Computer Training and Access.  FCPL offers a computer lab where the public can have free access to our computer.  We also offer use of laptops and free wireless service within the library.

3) Information Access.  Our library offers free access to databases that otherwise would be very expensive.  Long before it became so popular to be “green”, libraries (and librarians) knew how economically practical it was to share the few copies they owned in their collections, rather  than each person having to purchase all of the resources they would need or want in a lifetime.

4) Economically Efficient Collections of Materials.  Not only do libraries share copies with their registered borrowers, but public librarians have become experts at making tax dollars stretch even further.  Many libraries join together to form consortia (such as the Overdrive Consortium that FCPL has joined).  Our library saves more money joining with others to form consortia for purchasing supplies which reduces the burden to our taxpayers.

5) Intellectual Freedom Fighters.  Let’s face it.  Libraries have been major players in the defense of our intellectual freedom for many years — even before most of us knew exactly what that meant.  Who hasn’t had the thrill of finding at least one life-changing book on the shelve at the local library.  My first such book was Fahrenheit 451.  But, that was followed by so many others.

6) Inexpensive Entertainment.  Our library strives to  offer fun program at very little cost.  In some, if not most, cases they are absolutely free.  Libraries, including FCPL, have managed to make summer reading fun for so many years, and all that time many of the kids participating in this perennial program didn’t even know they were being duped into maintaining valuable library skills over the summer.

7) At Your Door Services.  Another perennial favorite of  our library users has been the beloved bookmobile.  Books are actually brought to your neighborhood.  Libraries have been doing it for years.  And, that was quickly followed by homebound service.  Now, you can access books and information from your PC, your laptop, your android phone, and other devices.  Definitely 24/7 service.

8) Social Services.  Many people seem to forget that the library is a great social service agency.  Librarians are happy to show newcomers, who don’t own a PC or laptop, how to search for the Internet or in traditional print materials.  All of this helps the community by raising the educational level of those that take advantage of the free, lifelong education offered at the local library.

9) Increased Property Value.  Study after study has shown that the presence of a good library in a community attracts people to that community.  I am happy (and proud) to say that our library is a great one.

10) Homework Help.  If your child is struggling with a homework assignment, consider bringing him or her to the library.  We can work with you to find the answer.

11) Keepers of Civilization.  Libraries in some form have been around for about 5,000 years.  If libraries weren’t valuable and essential institutions, chances are they would have become extinct long, long ago.  And, all of that information is mostly free for the asking.  I don’t know about you, but I still think the works of great thinkers should be shared freely.  No other institution does that as well as American libraries.  So, when you think about the value of libraries, and if they are still relevant, just remember that some information is invaluable.

~Anne Marie~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As you may be aware, public libraries are supposed to be a key place for information about Health Care, including how to comply with requirements of the Affordable Health Care Act.  Our librarians will be happy to help you negotiate the process of finding a health plan, although we can’t advise you about which one would be best for you.

Finding out about the Affordable Care Act can be confusing. At the library we can help you:

  • Get assistance finding unbiased, relevant, reliable information on insurance and health topics
  • Use technology (computers, Internet, printing) to find information and complete applications on your own
  • Find enrolling agencies who can help you sign up for a plan.

There’s much more to affordable health care than just the Affordable Health Care Act. and affordable health care really involves so much more than finding the right insurance plan.  Here are a few Internet sources that are considered reliable.  They might help you find information about your health conditions, medicine you take, and more:

National Institutes of Health — http://health.nih.gov/

Healthfinder..gov — http://healthfinder.gov/

WebMD — http://www.webmd.com/

Mayo Clinic Health Information — http://www.mayoclinic.com/health-information/

MedlinePlus — http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/

Fayette County Public Library has some eBooks and online resources that might provide the answers you need:

1) Visit our website at http://www.fcplibrary.lib.in.us/

2) On the homepage find the Online Databases near the bottom (printed on a black background)

3) Choose “Gale Virtual Reference Library”.

4) Under “Subjects” choose “Medicine”.  There are several medical books.

You can also choose “INspire” from the online databases.

1) Choose “Health and Medicine” from the A-Z Resource List

2) Next choose on of the listed Medical Databases — there are a variety to choose from.

For more information contact Anne Marie at 765-827-0883 or annemarie@fcplibrary.lib.in.us

 

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We’re having a special event to kick-off a brand new early literacy program at the library.  The library is hosting a Community-Wide Baby Shower for expectant and new parents (anyone with babies less than two years old).  There will be gifts and refreshments!

I am excited to announce that we will soon be offering a brand new reading program at Fayette County Public Library.  The program is called, Very Ready to Read: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. We are one of many libraries that offer the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, which was started in Bremen, Indiana.  The program is meant to encourage early literacy or pre-reading skills.

This free library reading program is being made possible with a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library, and through our partnership with the Fayette County Foundation.  It encourages parents to read 1000 books to children before they enter Kindergarten.  When you, as a parent, read to your child, you help him or her develop the skills s/he will need to learn to read by himself or herself.

One of the best ways to encourage pre-reading skills is to spend time sharing books each and every day.  Reading provides a solid foundation — a key to school and learning success.

Our version will rely heavily on our use of the Very Ready to Read early literacy program, as well as the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read program.  We will also be offering parents an opportunity to encourage children to use e-readers as one way to gain those pre-reading skills.  One of our new resources is called Tumblebooks.  It will be accessible from our website.  Tumblebooks is a wonderful collection of interactive online picture books.  We will also be purchasing an additional AWE early literacy computer station.  Any books shared from either of these resources will count for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

Babies up to children not yet enrolled in kindergarten are eligible to participate.  Stop by the library to receive your free bookbag containing a folder to hold your reading logs, along with a bookmark and book lists of suggested reading.

As you read, your child will receive a prize for each 100 books.  When you reach the 500 mark, your child will receive a paperback book, or a board book.  Once your child completes the program, your child will receive a hardcover book, a special memento, and a place in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Scrapbook, not to mention a wonderful start to success in school.

For more information contact Kim, Melissa or Anne Marie at 765-827-0883.

 

Anne Marie

 

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Wow!  That’s really all I can say about my first three months at Fayette County Public Library.  I’ve had a chance to get to know all of the staff members, the Board Members, and many community members.  I have rarely felt so welcome.  I truly appreciate it.

I was born and raised in Richmond, Indiana so working in Fayette County is a bit like coming home.   I graduated from Herron School of Art (quite a while ago) and I continue to paint, often teaching classes, so I am definitely looking forward to collaborating with the Whitewater Valley Arts Association on projects.  After graduating from Herron School of Art, while working on my Master’s Degree (first in Education and finally in Library Science) I eventually started working as the Librarian in the Rauh Memorial Library at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.  I had always enjoyed going to the library and I really fell in love with librarianship.

Since my first library job, at Herron, as a library aide, I have worked in almost every job available in a library.  I have been a library clerk, a reference librarian, a cataloger, a children’s librarian, a library department head, and I’ve been a library director a few times.  I’ve worked at a small library (Rushville  Public Library), a medium-sized library, and a large library.  Altogether, I have more than twenty-five years of experience.

Recently, we’ve had some truly once in a lifetime events taking place in Connersville The library is a wonderful resource for community members.   How lucky most of us are to have all of the wonderful resources available to us for so little cost!  It’s easy to take it for granted.

I’m so happy that I arrived as the Library Director just in time to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Connersville.  Because of the Bicentennial, in recent weeks our community has had the opportunity to celebrate some truly once in a lifetime events, such as the Bicentennial Birthday Party which included a visit from John Conner and the opening of the time capsule.  I’m thrilled that the library was able to host the Birthday Party and will be participating in more events this summer.  There will be events taking place downtown during the entire celebration week  from Friday, June 28 – Sunday, July 7, 2013.

This summer we will be celebrating “Dig Into Reading”.  Our Summer Reading Program is always a special event with programs and other fun activities, plus the chance to earn incentives for reading.  It’s for all ages.  Each registrant will receive a bag of “goodies” and will have the opportunity to share book reviews with other readers.

The purpose of the Summer Reading Program is to encourage people to read and to take advantage of the services of the public library throughout the summer. Moreover, study after study has shown that summer reading helps students maintain (and even improve) their reading skills and school performance while on break from school.  Make sure you register!

–Anne Marie

 

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Fayette County Public Library is doing pretty well these days, so let me tell you a little bit about what is going on around here.  We’ve been buying a lot of new books, ebooks, DVDs, music CDs and much more for you!  More people have signed up for Summer Reading this year than last year, and library users are taking home more library materials this year than last year.  As part of Summer Reading, we’re offering a new kind of program–special activities for kids and teens in grades 6-8.  These activities are scheduled 3-4 p.m. most Mondays through August 6. 

The library is actively looking for new members for our book discussion groups—Christian Fiction, Mystery, and Teens!  These meetings are a good way to meet new people and to discover new books.  Please join today.  You might want to take a look at the interesting art displays currently in the library, and it might be worth a special trip here just to find out about everything that is happening at your library this summer!  Next time you’re in, pick up the library’s summer activity schedules for kids, teens and adults.  Always remember and never forget, all activities are free!

Ann Hoehn

P.S.  Very important—our next book sale runs June 20-23.  If you are a member of the Friends of the Library, you may get first crack at the sale items the evening of June 19!!!  Join today!

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Welcome to the Fayette County Public Library’s new website!  We are very pleased to present it to you.  I encourage you to browse it, play with it, and let me know what you think.  Please enjoy!

Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to invite community organizations, non-profits, and government agencies to contact me if you are interested in working more closely with the Library and strengthening our ties and partnerships.  One easy way to strengthen these ties is to link your website with the library’s website, and vice versa.  You promote the library; the library promotes you!  It’s a win-win situation.

So, please contact me if you would like to pursue new ways of working with the library, helping each other, and better serving our community!

Ann Hoehn

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