Thursday, September 4, 2014

East Berlin Community Library: Reflections of an Awesome Year

East Berlin Community Library: Reflections of an Awesome Year

              In the two plus years I have been Director of the East Berlin Community Library, so many wonderful things have happened. Particularly in 2014, we have begun tremendous work on our Capital Campaign to expand and renovate the East Berlin Community Library to double its present size… More on that later! In terms of programming, we continue our very successful children’s programming and adult programs, but in 2014 we have also added regularly scheduled young adult programming to our busy schedule. Our big splash was our Teen Summer Reading Program, which proved to be very successful… more too on that later. Finally, we welcomed a new staff member, Kyla O’Hara, to our wonderful staff. Kyla is a professional librarian with her Master’s Degree in Library Science. She has become very involved in answering reference questions on the circulation desk while also taking over most of our new book ordering. Next time you are in, please welcome Kyla to our staff.
              As I mentioned, our Capital Campaign is off to a wonderful start.  With the tremendous support we have received, we very much look forward to spreading the vision of the plans in the coming years and starting construction at the appropriate time. Our goal of raising $1,200,000 is still a ways off, but we are confident support for the project will continue to grow. If you would like more information about the Capital Campaign or how your family, company, or foundation can participate, please feel free to contact Library Director Brandt Ensor at 717-259-9000 or email us at We look forward to working with the entire community to make this project a reality.
              East Berlin area children had a tremendous time this summer with our “Fizz Boom Read” Summer Reading Program. Our programs, storytimes, and science sessions were well attended and children and adults alike loved our science in a bottle station by the circulation desk. For those who didn’t stop by this summer, science in a bottle is a way to bring science to children (and children at heart) without it being messy, too difficult, or too long of a project. We had a bottle that made it sound like rain, a bottle that had paper inside to stick to your hair with static electricity, and even a jellyfish (ok a shredded up sandwich baggy) in blue ocean water. Thanks to all for making these science in a bottle experiments a great way to celebrate the “Fizz Boom Read” science theme this summer. During summer reading 2014, the East Berlin Community Library held 41 children’s programs with a total attendance of 1,504 adults and children attending. That’s a crazy average of 36 people attending each program. All I can say is, the public has spoken and they need the expanded library with dedicated programming space! In terms of participation, 209 children ages Birth-11 read 92,050 minutes while 45 teens registered and read a combine total of 169 books. Thanks to all for making our Summer Reading Program the coolest time of the year!
              Visit the library at 105 Locust Street, East Berlin or online at for programming information or call 259-9000 for more information.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beach Reading

Beach Reading

I have returned from the annual summer trip I take with my parents.  We spend a nice time at the beach and I get the opportunity to catch up with them and spend some nice time with family.

It was great to spend some time reading on the beach.  However, as a good librarian I never stop working and spent a lot of time spying, yes I admit it, on the people around to see what they reading.

I am asked all the time if people still actually read.  After doing my spying, I can unequivocally say yes! 

This year I was more interested in what they were using to read than the titles they were reading.  Surprisingly, I saw a lot of actual books.  Actually, I guess it should not be all that surprising.  The beauty of the book is that it is mobile, it does not need any power, and the sun doesn't interfere with your ability to actually read the page.  Also, a little sand is no problem.

There were also a large number of magazines.  They give nice manageable stories which can be read in small doses between naps and splashes in the ocean.

Yes, there also lots of devices.  People were reading ebooks, listening to eaudios, and streaming music.  This will be the future of our fun time at the beach.   Right now I can read a book, listen to an audio and get music on the device I am using to write this article.

The library can provide you all of these formats right now.  It is what we know the future of the library will be.  We are planning for that future right now.  Yes, people are still reading books, people are still reading lots of books.   We still have to have space for books.  But we are now planning how to seamlessly integrate the 21st Century reading and listening developments into the library you have known for decades. 

You will be hearing more in the coming months about these plans.  Adams County has a great library system in my humble opinion.  However, we cannot ignore these new developments or you will be left behind in this ever changing world.  We promise to let you know more about this, just come and check us out.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

One Book - Are You Reading?

One Book – Are You Reading?

              We hope that you’re reading this year’s Adams County Reads One Book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  We’re working on a variety of programs to supplement the book that will take place throughout the month of September, with one program happening in early October.
              Throughout September, each library within the Adams County Library System will be holding book discussions on The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.  The discussions will be taking place on Thursday, September 11th 9:00am at New Oxford;  Wednesday, September 17th at 10:00am at Gettysburg; Thursday, September  18th at 6:30pm at Harbaugh~Thomas Library; Friday, September 19th at 1:00pm at Littlestown; Monday, September 22nd at 7:00pm at Fairfield; Tuesday, September 23rd at 7:00pm at East Berlin.  All discussions are open to the public.  Check one out and discuss the book with other community members.
              We’re very pleased to announce that on Tuesday, September 9th at 6:30pm at the Gettysburg Library we will be hosting the presentation, Hiking in Penn’s Woods: A History with Silas Chamberlin, a Commonwealth Speaker.  This presentation will provide an overview of Pennsylvania’s rich history of hiking trails – from the founding of the earliest clubs in the 1910s through the present.  Attendees will find out about the colorful characters who constructed thousands of miles of hiking trails across Pennsylvania that link natural areas and communities.  This focus on hiking will provide a unique opportunity to explore the ways in which Pennsylvanians interact with the natural world.  This presentation is a program of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The Pennsylvania Humanities Council, a nonprofit organization, inspires individuals to enjoy and share a life of learning.  It is free and open to all.
              Book Talk on September 29th will also be related to some of the themes within The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.  More information on this program will be forthcoming.
              Our final One Book program will be taking place in early October.  Licensed Battlefield Guide John Winkleman will be at the Gettysburg Library on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00pm presenting a program on Historic Taverns in Adams County.  He will start with an overview of early taverns in America and then focus on early taverns in Adams County.
              Please join us for one of more of the programs that we’ve mentioned.  Each program ties into a topic or theme from Harold’s journey.  We hope that you have been reading with us and have been enjoying Harold’s journey.  Remember, in January we will be announcing the title for Adams County Reads One Book – Nonfiction.  Programs for that title will be held throughout April.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Future of Libraries

Future of Libraries
     It is almost impossible to predict the future.  A few years ago I attended a wonderful workshop on what the future will hold and how libraries can help to meet the needs of the new that is just on the horizon.  Then the economy hit its most recent speed bump.  None of those futurists predicted the economic downturn and how it would impact libraries and the communities at large.
     Recently, I purchased and read a fascinating book by Dan Gardner. Its title is Future Babble: why expert predictions are next to worthless, and you can do better.  It is a fascinating book.  He goes through the process of the futurist and explains how their theories are based on improbable information and little tested hypothesis.  Flexibility seems to be the best antidote for meeting what ails us in the future and not putting all of our resources into one idea.
This is a good premise for our libraries also.  What is the future of the book?  What will the Internet be like in five years?  How will people use computers to get information in 2020?  Will there still be computers in 2020? All of these questions have huge implications for libraries and how we will serve you in the future.
     Libraries need to be flexible.  Libraries need to look at the spaces they have and use them most efficiently and not just look to see how they can accommodate more stuff, but how they can accommodate more people. 
Books are important, very important.  We will be buying close to 15,000 of them this year alone. However, we understand that how people are reading is changing almost every day. 
     As people change, libraries will change also.  We are currently buying thousands of ebooks and eaudiobooks each year to recognize the current trend.   But that is the current trend.  We will be able to adapt as the next great wave of the information society hits.
     Here is another example; 15 years ago the most important reference book any library owned was its paper encyclopedias.  In a class I had in college, we learned the subtle differences between each encyclopedia and even the differences between the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica and the 1995 edition.  This was seriously important information.  Today, purchasing paper encyclopedias is a thing of the past.  They are not updated regular enough to warrant the cost of processing and storing.  Encyclopedias are in electronic format.
     What will libraries be like in 2020?  I do not want to make any predictions.  But I can say that we will be here.  We will be providing materials in many formats.  We will be helping people get the information they need and teach them how to navigate the Internet.  We will be anticipating what will be coming next.

Friday, July 11, 2014

What's new at the library

What’s new at the library

              Here is a look at some of the DVDs recently added to the adult collection at the library. If you’ve missed a new movie or television program, wish to revisit an old favorite, or are looking for something completely different, stop by and browse through our selection of videos. They are all available to borrow free of charge.
              Two new programs from PBS commemorate the seventieth anniversary of D-Day. D-Day's Sunken Secrets follows divers surveying the seabed along the beachheads as they map the locations of various military craft sunken during the invasion. This information is combined with eyewitness accounts from veterans to shed new light on how the invasion unfolded. In the second program, D-Day 360, 3-D computer models based on eyewitness accounts recreate the battlefield during one key five-hour period of the invasion and allow the viewer to zoom into the action from all angles.
              To further commemorate the one-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War, The Address by Ken Burns follows a class of learning-disabled boys at a small New England school that must memorize Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The film combines the history of the Address with the current struggles of each student. Civil War, the Untold Story, narrated by Elizabeth McGovern, looks at the impact of battles in the West, such as Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chickamauga, on the overall outcome of the war.
              New documentaries on current issues include The Waiting Room and Burn. The Waiting Room looks at one hospital’s struggle to care for uninsured patients. Burn by executive producer Denis Leary, follows a year in the life of firefighters in Detroit, a city with blocks of abandoned buildings, drastic budget cuts, and the highest arson rate in the country.
New travel and nature programs include Brazil with Monty Python’s Michael Palin exploring that country’s people and culture.  Across America: Route 66 and Beyond rides along with Globe Trekker host Justine Shapiro on a road trip from Virginia to Arizona visiting historic sites along the way. Earthflight, narrated by David Tennant, showcases bird's-eye views of flights of various birds around the world. Ireland’s Wild River documents the plants and animals found along the Shannon River, Ireland's longest river, over the course of one year.
New releases of British television programs include the comedy series Blandings, adapted from stories by P.G. Wodehouse, about a dysfunctional earl and his family living in Blandings Castle. Murder on the Home Front, based on the book by Molly Lefebure, follows a forensic pathologist and his young journalist-assistant as they track a serial killer on the loose during the London Blitz. The drama series Broadchurch follows two police detectives investigating a murder in a small town.
              Upcoming film releases to look forward to include: 22 Jump Street, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Divergent, Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, Godzilla, Heaven is for Real, Noah, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
               Be sure to check the library's Pinterest page, also accessible through our website, for updates on our new DVDs. All of these videos and many more are available to you with your library card.