Oak Harbor Library Blog

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Support for Early Learning

During this time of transition for our nation, libraries continue to level the playing field by meeting the day-to-day information needs of all Americans regardless of age, economic status, educational background or geographical location. They help people find jobs, support education and lifelong learning, provide access to information and Internet services, empower families and connect communities. Shortly after the election in November Jim Rettig, American Library Association (ALA) President, sent a letter of congratulations to president-elect Obama and vice president-elect Biden. Since then, the Obama transition team has followed up by asking ALA for information and ideas.
Five key issues are identified in ALA's report “Opening the Window to a Larger World: Libraries’ Role in Changing America.” Of these, Literacy and Lifelong Learning, which advocates partnerships between early childhood literacy programs and libraries, is the most crucial to public libraries. It emphasizes the contribution early literacy programs make in a child’s intellectual development and articulates the important role libraries serve in literacy efforts. As President-elect Obama has stated, libraries are “sanctuaries of learning” that represent “a window to a larger world.”
Our library is indeed a sanctuary of learning: a place for children to meet after school and participate in programs; a place where students of all ages find resources for formal and informal learning; and, most important, a place where families can always afford to give their children one of the greatest advantages any child can have - early literacy.
The president-elect has embraced and promoted research showing “that early experiences shape whether a child’s brain develops strong skills for future learning, behavior, and success. Without a strong base on which to build, children, particularly disadvantaged children, will be behind long before they reach kindergarten” (Barack Obama’s Plan for Lifetime
Success Through Education 2008
).
Early learning starts here: visit the library web site and click on the Kids site for Parents and Educators. Or check out Sno-Isle Libraries Ready Readers page for more information. See you at storytime! Mary

Monday, December 15, 2008

Downloads in the Library

I like to ride the bus to work whenever I can, especially on icy days like this. Today I sat back, turned on my mP3 player, put my headphones on and started listening to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Reviewers have called the book "a true literary triumph that confirms Junot Diaz as one of the best and most exciting voices of our time." It's good... and here's the best part: I didn't have to wait for it.
Downloadable audio books and music are available free through the library web site's Overdrive service, and now you can download titles at the Oak Harbor Library. The new Overdrive download station allows anyone with an mP3 player to download the same great titles at the library using the library's bandwidth for fast downloads. You can browse at home or at any library computer, check out items to your digital bookshelf, and then download them quickly at the Overdrive Download Station. Simply plug your mP3 player into the USB port and follow the instructions:
1. Check out a title
2. Transfer the title to your device (entire title or selected parts)
3. Sign out of your account
You can find audio book titles listed in the library catalog as eResource titles. Click on the web site to visit the Overdrive section of the web site, or visit the library web site and click on Audio Books under the heading Books, Movies, Music to browse. Add items to your cart, proceed to checkout with your library card, and enjoy!
Happy listening - Mary

Monday, December 1, 2008

Poems for the Soul

This is a great time of year to enjoy poetry, particularly as we search for peace and meaning in the holiday hustle. Last week Washington's Poet Laureate, Sam Green, visited the library, bringing with him a literal feast of poems written both by himself and others. "Most people aren't aware of how many fine poets and poems are out there, and how large a need they fill," said Green. "'Poems are tongues for the mute hearts of people,' he quoted, "and I find that to be true, over and over." Try some of these selections - best read aloud!
Habitat : new and selected poems, 1965-2005 by Brendan Galvin. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2005.
The grace of necessity by Samuel Green. Pittsburgh [PA] : Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008.
Collected poems by Jane Kenyon. Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf , 2005.
Delights & shadows : poems by Ted Kooser. Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon Press, 2004.
Thirst : poems by Mary Oliver. Boston : Beacon Press, 2006
Here, bullet by Brian Turner. Farmington, ME: Alice James Books, 2005
The Friends of the Oak Harbor Library group is sponsoring a Haiku contest this month. Here's my (unofficial) entry:
The season's arrived,
Relentless and compelling.
Remember to breathe...
Happy reading to all! Mary