Monroe Library Blog

Monday, February 22, 2010

Unexpected Questions, Unexpected Answers

One of the more unpredictable aspects of being a librarian is the questions you will get on any given day and the information you will use to answer those questions. The other day I was struck by the variety of 3 questions I received while working on the information desk, and additionally the answers I was able to provide.

Our first patron was a young boy of about 8 asking for Louis L'Amour. I showed him where the books were located on the highest shelf and offered to get him a stool to reach them. "No," he responded, "On tape." So I walked him to our talking book section... and again offered to fetch him a stool as they were again on the top shelf. I thought it was remarkable that a kid so young was reading (or in this case listening to) Louis L'Amour cowboy stories when his peers were checking out Magic Treehouse and Captain Underpants.

Our second patron was a teenage girl wanting to put up flyers advertising her availability for odd jobs. She wanted my assistance in designing a flyer that would get noticed. I sketched out a couple ideas and told her to put it together in Microsoft Publisher as she would have a better, more attention-getting result.

And our third patron was a teenage girl working on her culminating challenge project. She was studying professions and needed to interview someone working in the career she was interested in pursuing. The difficulty was that she had chosen actor as her profession and neither of us knew any who hung around the Sky Valley. What I did know (or was able to find out) was that Seattle had a Screen Actors Guild chapter which might be able to help her out. In addition Monroe's own flim-making Stipek triplets have worked with library in the past and I gave her their website and email addresses thinking they might have connections since as the Monitor reported they recently met with Anthony Hopkins.

Three young patrons, three very different questions and answers. And a three-time Best Actor nominee. Just another night at the information desk.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Download Audiobooks at Home

Audiobooks have become a very popular format for people to experience great literature. Most popular books also come out in an audio version. These audiobooks are great for people in many different situations. They can help pass the time if you have a long commute every day to get to work or a road trip that you are taking to visit family for a holiday. They are also very helpful for our senior citizens who may be experiencing difficulty trying to read the small print found in most books. Even children can enjoy these audiobooks as a way to get more involved in literature and stories.

We currently have a system in place powered by Overdrive that allows you to check out and download audiobooks straight to your home computer even if the library building is closed. In some cases, you can then burn the audio on cds or even transfer it on to your portable music device (like the ipod). There is a program you must install on to your computer before you can use the system, but it is a fairly simple process. Just follow the directions in the "Quick Start Guide". I strongly encourage you to give this system a try. Also check out the music and video that you can download to your computer as well.

We would love to hear about your experiences using this library resource. Let us know what you like (or don't like) so we can help improve everyone's experience with downloading library materials. If you have any technical problems, please check out the FAQs or submit a technical support request. Enjoy!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

What do the Volunteers at the Monroe Library do?

Do you ever wonder who cuts those little scratch papers that are by the computers? Who fills the plastic bag holders? Who gets your holds out on the hold shelf so quickly? How come those pencils are always sharpened and filled so perfectly? Notice how the paper is always filled and ready for you to print or copy?
Our volunteers are very valuable here in Monroe. We have several volunteers who come in daily to help us with opening procedures, pull books to fill holds, file our holds while we process the delivery, clean our book drop bins, shelves and table tops, help book mobile with cleaning of their childcare books, sharpen our pencils, cut scrap paper, and fill our plastic bag dispensers. We also have a Tech Teen program where the teens teach an internet and Library database class once a month!

Thank you volunteers for all the great work you do!

We do have openings for volunteers, contact for more information, or just come by and see me!