Looking for something for the kids to read? We can help!

Babies bookmark revisedEach year approximately 5000 new children’s books are published.  Few parents or teachers have the time to sift through them to find good reads. Our hope is to give you a good place to start, increase your enjoyment, and save you time. How do we keep kids excited about reading, even reluctant readers, even in the summer? That’s where BCPL can help.

Have you used our grade level bookmarks in the past? These are bookmarks that contain lists of books for specific grade ranges that are recommended by the youth services librarians at BCPL. We have updated them to include more recently published books you may not be familiar with and they are available at all six of our locations. The bookmarks are updated every two years to make sure they include some of the newest books in our collection. Bookmarks are available for the following age/grade appropriate categories:

  • Birth to 22nd 3rd 4th bookmark revised_Page_1
  • Picture Books for ages 2-5 and 4-7
  • Kindergarten to 1st Grade and 1st to 2nd Grade
  • Grades 2-3 and 3-4
  • Grades 4-5 and 5-6
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Graphic novels for Teens
  • Graphic novels for Kids

While we hope that the titles listed on the bookmarks will interest your child, it may also spark an interest in similar topics. A librarian will be happy to help you find both the bookmark and other titles that may be of interest to your child. Bookmarks are also available to download on the BCPL website.

The library website has many other aids to help parents and kids find great reading material. Go to our website at www.bcpl.org and select the Kids tab. On this page you will find the following lists of top children’s books:

Another good resource available to you is Goodreads. Goodreads is to book lovers what Pandora is to music lovers. You can find great books that you will love by sharing books that you have already read with friends or any Goodreads group you would like to join. Check out our Goodreads page and see what you think!

Finally, a great way to get and stay interested in reading for yourself and your children is to participate in Boone County Public Library’s 2014 Reading Challenge. This year-long program challenges you to read a book from a different genre each month. Visit your local Boone County Public Library location, either in person or online, for these and many other great reasons and motivations to read! See you at the Library!

–Jennifer

Jennifer Timmerman, a graduate of University of North Carolina, has worked in both school and public libraries in Florida, North Carolina and Kentucky and shares her love of learning and literature daily as the YS Manager at the Scheben Branch in Union.

 

Secrets and Lies the IT Department Tells You

The world of Information Technology can be a strange place to work.  We deal with pieces of equipment and services that most people have never heard of and will never see.  This lends an air of mystery to what we do and how we do it.  Let’s pull back the curtain and shed some light on what IT does and how we do it.  I promise – there’s no alchemy or divination involved!

Secret 1:  We don’t know everything.
While we are all awesome in our own way, not all IT people know how to do every technological task.  It’s simply not possible for someone to maintain the required level of expertise in all the areas that we deal with.  We hone the skills we do have as much as we possibly can.

BCPL’s IT department is responsible for administering all of the equipment, software and services that you interact with each time you visit the library and we have worked to develop expertise in those areas.  If you call to ask a question, we take care of the phone used to answer you.  If you renewed your books through our website, we take care of the hardware and software that makes that possible.  If a staff person used a computer to help you or if you came in and used one yourself, we installed it and will maintain it until it is replaced.

Secret 2:  Most of the time, you probably won’t even know we are here.
Part of the air of mystery that surrounds IT work comes from the fact that, when things are at their best, you don’t notice the work that we’ve done or are doing.  Hopefully, we can swoop in, do what we need to do and get out without incident.  We work very hard to minimize downtime and make things as seamless as possible.  For the moments that this doesn’t quite happen, we provide tech support.

Secret 3:  We work really hard to try to make you happy.
The bulk of our time is spent installing patches, performing routine maintenance, testing software, doing research, and planning projects.  Before we install a new piece of software, for example, there are a host of questions we consider:  Who would use this?  Is it reliable?  What about maintenance?  How much does it cost?  How can we secure it?  Does it work with our other software?  Is it hard to use?  We really, really want you to be pleased.

Lie 1:  To us, it’s just stuff.
Geeks everywhere get emotionally attached to their work because we spend so much time and effort doing it.  It may just seem like ‘stuff’ to the rest of the world but to an IT person that ‘stuff’ is often a project they’ve stressed over for what may have been months.  Some projects have been in the works for years.  Even after a new software or service is up and running, we still have to take care of it and maintain it so we never really let it go.

Lie 2:  We don’t like people.
It is true that IT people work with things more than with other colleagues.  It is also true that everyone in BCPL’s IT department works out of the basement.  It is NOT true that we don’t like people.  We work at the library because we want to be part of a great organization that is useful to the community.  We want to be helpful and hope that you like the programs and services we support.

Lie 3:  We like to say ‘No’.
I hate saying no.  I dislike, loathe, abhor, detest and despise saying no.  IT is constantly balancing the finite resources we have (e.g. time or money) with the imaginative variety of requests we get on a daily basis.  We want you to be happy (see Secret 2) but we can’t do everything all the time.  Our goal is to serve the largest number of people in the best way possible with the resources we have.

Do you have a question about why we do what we do?  Would you like to know what gear or software we use on a regular basis?  Do you have a great idea for a new service you’d like us to roll out?  Let us know.  We might just apply our dark arts to your idea and fulfill your request.

–Michelle

Michelle Foster has been the IT manager at BCPL since the Earth cooled.  When she isn’t fixing computers, she likes to knit, restore turn of the last century machines and write.  In her wildest dreams, she lives on a small farm with a herd of pygmy goats and is a bestselling novelist.