Monroe Library Blog

Thursday, December 31, 2009

u CAN Rd Ths!

Congratulations. If you are reading this, then:

1. You are literate.

Okay, it's quiz time.

Which country has the highest literacy rate?

Cuba, with 99.8%.

What place on the list does the United States occupy?

Tied for 19th, with 99.0%.

Statistics per United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2009.

2. You probably live near America's Most Literate City: Seattle!

That's right. Seattle has just been named #1 on the 2009 list of America's Most Literate Cities, by Dr John W. Miller, President of Central Connecticut State University. The annual study, which originated in 2003, "focuses on 6 key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and internet resources," according to the AMLC webpage at

So rejoice. High literacy rates correlate with lower crime rates, better health, and higher productivity. And early literacy programs, according to the Economic Policy Institute, "contribute to long-term economic benefits for the community and the nation".

We have much to be thankful for.
We are among the lucky ones.
We can read.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vampire Tales That Satisfy Your Hunger

So you’ve seen New Moon, read all of the Twilight Saga, and now need something new to sink your teeth into? Or are you always looking for a book with bite? The library has a great selection of vampire books, both for the reader just getting into the world of paranormal novels, and for the reader who has been addicted to vampires since the first Anne Rice novel. Below are just a few of the selections you can discover at your local library!

  • Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowen – You know a blind date is bad when you are first turned into a vampire, and then your date gets staked by hunters!

  • Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris – Read the series that spawned hit show True Blood!

  • I’m the Vampire, That’s Why by Michele Bardsley - Broken Hearts was a town going south, until a rouge vampire turns all the single parents, and a large group of vampires decide to make it their new home.

  • Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson - You know you are having a bad week when you are mugged, laid off, and killed by a car – only to come back again as a vampire!

  • Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie Macalister – While on a singles cruise, a women gets stuck between the desires of two Dark Ones, and the destructive intent of the group out to destroy all Dark Ones.

  • Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes – A young writer attracts the attention of several vampires, turns out her books are based far more on fact then fiction.

  • Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan – A young boy agrees to become the assistant of a vampire, and travel around the world with him.

  • Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schrieber – A new family moves into the creepy mansion up on the hill in Dullsville, sparking rumors of vampires, and the interest of a local goth girl.

  • Vampire Knight by Hino – Cross Academy has two classes, what the day class doesn’t know is that the Moon class is made up entirely of vampires.

  • Vampire High by Douglas Rees – As his fellow classmates show an aversion to sunlight, and superhuman strength, a boy begins to realize that things just might not be what they seem at his new school.

Happily Obsessed

I admit it--I'm hooked ,addicted, obsessed. It's harmless--- it's TV series on DVD!
I'm not much of a TV watcher. I'd rather be reading.

That said, it began with the TV series "Slings and Arrows", the hilarious send-up of a Canadian professional regional Shakespearean company of actors. I watched as many episodes as I could each and every evening. When I'd watched them all, I felt like life was not worth living.

I just finished " Mad Men Season One" and it's the same thing all over again. I have Season Two on hold so I have something to live for.

I don't subscribe to cable TV but I can get these series at the library!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Extravaganza-mania!

Monroe will be hosting seven programs for school aged children over the next two weeks! Today we're starting off with a puppet show by talented puppeteer, Jean Mattson. Tuesday the 22nd we will feature a Mail Art program followed by Winter crafts on Wednesday the 23rd. Next week starts off with Beads and Beading on Monday, Fabulous Flying Fun on Tuesday, Wonder and Joy in a Homemade Toy on Wednesday at 11:00am and, later that day, Birds of a Feather . All programs start at 2:00, unless otherwise noted. For more information about the programs, please go to the Events and Programs page from out homepage. See you at the library!

Friday, December 18, 2009

DVD genre shelving

We have now been separating our DVDs by genre for a few weeks. Our goal was to make it easier for everyone to come in and locate a movie that you are interested in. With this new layout, we hope to expand our collection even further to provide an even better selection.

We would really like your feedback on this new set-up. What do you like and/or dislike about these changes? Is there anything we can do to improve your experiences when looking for DVDs?

Also, if you find a DVD that you think should be classified in a different genre, please pass this information on to a staff member so that we can reevaluate it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Computer Changes

You may have already noticed that we made a few changes to some of the computers here at the Monroe Library. We hope that it will make it easier for you to use our resources efficiently and effectively.

All of the computers that used to allow just 30 minutes of use at a time, have been extended to 60 minutes. This should allow more people to accomplish everything they need to get done without logging in multiple times. Along with this change, we have now added two more computers that you can use. The computer in the teen area that was originally for catalog and database use only has been converted, as well as the computer that was designated for access to the World Wide Newspapers database.

Let us know what you think of these new changes. We are constantly trying to find ways to better serve your needs. Leave a comment here or pass it on to any staff member.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

I was going through the day's mail on my arrival at work, as usual tossing most of it in the recycle bin.

Among the junk mail was an envelope hand-addressed to me, with a Yakima return address.

Inside was a hand-written note and an enclosed advertising brochure.

"Dear Ms. Lewis,

This piece of mail got stuck inside some of our mail.

I don't know if it's something you really need, but I decided to send it on. The last time I tried to return something to the P.O. tht was incorrectly delivered to us, the clerk discarded it saying it was just junk mail.

I would like to think that if my mail gets delivered to the wrong place, tht someone would take the time to get it to me.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas."

I did indeed toss the brochure, but I have thought about the note that came with it ever since. A stranger on the other side of the state took time and spent money on a stamp to do for another person what she would want done for her, and to top it off, wrote me an inspiring note.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Librarian's Evolution

One of the great things about being a librarian is that you are always learning something. It is impossible not to pick up knowledge when exploring the information requests that come into the information desk from our diverse population of library users. The Sno-Isle system firmly believes educated librarians offer better service, so it provides a number of trainings that bolster the knowledge of library staff in a number of crucial areas.

In the last month or so I've benefitted from a number of training opportunities the Sno-Isle system has made available. Hopefully the information gained will benefit both me and the library patrons I serve on a daily basis.

I was able to attend a book talking boot camp program offered in partnership with the King County system. This training was offered to library staff serving youth with the intent of making them more dynamic presenters and giving them the tools to interest young people in books. With all the distractions our youth are dealing with daily, I'm always looking for ways to break through to them to promote reading.

Along the same lines I was able to also attend The Mysteries of the Teenage Brain. The library system invited an educational consultant and expert on how the brain of a teenager develops to enlighten library staff about the emotional roller coaster that is the teenage way of thinking and strategies to approach, educate, mentor, and hopefully understand and empathize with teenage library users and better meet library needs which they might not be able to vocalize.

And earlier this week I was able to take part in a Reader's Advisory training on inspirational and Christian fiction. I am fortunate enough to be on the Reader's Advisory committee and each year we organize a training for our fellow staff members on a topic or genre they might not know much about. This year we picked a genre that has a lot of depth and a fervent readership that library staff might not be overly familiar with. Librarians can't read everything, and these trainings help fill some gaps in knowledge and give library staff the tools to guide readers in the right direction though the landscape might be foreign.

While times are tough and budgets are tight, Sno-Isle remains commited to educating and strengthening library staff so that we can always be improving the service we offer our patrons.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 7th...

Remember that day?

68 years ago, my mom remembered waking up to the roar of low flying aircraft. going outside & seeing Japanese airplanes flying over homes and then... explosion after explosion of noise. She was 25 years old, born and raised in Waimea, Hawaii. She was living in Honolulu & working as an usher at a theatre. An infamous day in our history... 1941.

Come and check out our display and visit the World War II Veteran's Audio stories on our web page.

- Joanne

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Memories of Pearl Harbor Day

Where were you on December 7th, 1941?

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a definitive moment in the annals of World War II and in American history.

In 2007 and 2008, Sno-Isle Libraries was privileged to be involved in a project to record the audio stories of veterans here in Snohomish & Island Counties who volunteered to share their memories of World War II.

These recordings are destined to be a part of the Library of Congress's Veterans History Project, which is accessible at

Selections from those recordings are now available here on our website. Check out

Pearl Harbor Day

Let us never forget.