Children’s Theatre will perform Rapunzel at Library, sign language interpretation available

(Micha O’Connor is the Youth Service Community Events Liaison at Boone County Public Library)

You have three days to guess his name…

On February 16th, the Main Library, 1786 Burlington Pike, Burlington, will be hosting a very special performance of Rumpelstiltskin, performed by the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, featuring interpreters from Cincinnati State.   We are very excited to be able to take one of the great programs you have come to expect from the library and take it to the next level. 

The conversation began with a request from a library patron.  They called asking for a special story time for a hearing impaired child, and we were more than happy to oblige.  With certified interpreters and students from Cincinnati State, we came up with a program, much like our family story time, which incorporated ASL (American Sign Language) stories, songs, and rhymes.  The staff members that provide story times have training in and do include elements of sign into their regularly scheduled programs, but this particular story time was exclusively in ASL.  And out of this came the idea to provide interpretation for select large format programs.

Here at the library, we are committed to the equitable usage for all our patrons, as is dictated to us by our professional organization, the American Library Association.  In plain language, this simply means that we do everything in our power to make our buildings, materials, and programs accessible to the residents of Boone County, regardless of disability.   We follow all guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (ADA compliant) and will make any reasonable accommodation for those with special needs.  From our large-type books and audiobooks, to foreign language materials and story times, we are constantly looking for ways to be more inclusive in all that we do.

According to the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, there are 19,010 people in Boone County with a hearing impairment; thus, making us the third largest community in the state.  Research shows that there is a direct correlation between hearing and academic success, and the library, as a learning institution, is here to assist.

For our interpreted programs, there will be a special designated area up front for hearing-impaired patrons to have visual accessibility to interpreters in the front of the room, and their image will also be broadcast onto Apple televisions mounted on either side as well.   We hope to continue this with many of our programs, including the March 10th performance of Alice in Neverland, and the April 17th program featuring Holocaust survivor, Stephanie Marks.

Our new building in Hebron has taken special needs of our patrons into consideration with design as well.  A section of the library will include larger screens for those with vision impairment, and assisted hearing pendants available for use within the library.  With this device, patrons will be able to tune into a frequency that will allow for ease of listening, while filtering out other ambient noise.

Are there others ways in which we might be able to make the library better and easier to use?  If so, please don’t hesitate to let us know as we will make reasonable accommodations for you with ample notice.  For help with adult programs, contact Kelsey at 292-3393 and for children’s programs, contact Micha 342-2665 x.8142.

–Micha

-Micha O’Connor is the Community Events Liaison for Youth Services.  As a mother of a child with a hearing impairment, this is an issue especially close to home.  She is also a member of Delta Zeta sorority, whose philanthropy is that of speech and hearing impairment, with national partnerships with Starkey Hearing Foundation and Galludet University.

Boone County is home!

I work out of a little corner of Heaven on the first floor at the Scheben Branch.
My favorite thing about BCPL is the people, both the customers and my
colleagues. Every minute is as different as each person I encounter. There is
never a dull moment! Although I have had many roles at BCPL over the last
17 years, I am currently the Adult Outreach Manager. Outreach is the work
that does not take place on Library property and includes the delivery of
library materials to the homes of customers and programs at adult residential
facilities.

I was raised in Clermont County (OH) and graduated from Amelia High School. I grew up sandwiched between two brothers, one seven years older (John) and one seven years younger (Brent), so yes, there was a time when we were ages 7, 14 and 21. Mom was a school bus driver, and Dad was a letter carrier. Both of my parents performed many hours of volunteer work and taught us to give back to our communities.

One fond childhood memory was during the blizzards of ’77 – ’78. My family and I would venture over to Florence Mall as soon as the snow emergencies were lifted. We were absolutely bamboozled by the fact that Florence had a mall that was two stories high! Other places that I have lived include Cincinnati and a brief stay in Cleveland.
During my childhood, the UHF antenna on our 9” black and white TV (dubbed “the kids’ TV”) opened up a whole new world to me. I spent many afternoons watching Channel 19, WXIX. It took me a LONG time before I realized that XIX was 19 in Roman numerals! Does anyone remember Hattie the Witch, alias Batty Hattie from Cincinnati? I enjoyed the Cool Ghoul, too, and was so pleased to meet Dick Von Hoene at a BCPL
program shortly before his death.

Another childhood passion was reading. My dad took me to the local library on Thursday afternoons. And during the summers, I bought boxes of books from a local Goodwill store where they let me pack a box for just $1.00!

My teen years were comprised of homework, 4-H and serving on the Clermont County Junior Fair Board. I spent a lot of time listening to oldies music, too, and was relieved when old rock became more mainstream and entire radio stations were devoted to it. I wanted to go away to college, but not THAT FAR away! I enrolled at Xavier University and moved into the dorms. After graduating from Xavier with a BA in English, I worked full time while earning a Master’s in Education from Xavier and finally a Master’s in Library Science from University of Kentucky.

I worked in a bookstore while in college before being hired by my college library during my senior year. Upon graduating, I was fortunate enough to start a full-time career at McDonald Library-Xavier University. It was a great place to be for an English major! Much later, I thought that I would continue to be an academic reference librarian until retirement. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that my husband and I were building a home in Boone County, I decided to apply at BCPL. Academic
librarianship and public librarianship are more different than I ever imagined, but I am very happy to have made the change.

Now residing in Boone County, I have two dogs (Daisy and Duke, rescued littermates who are part Chihuahua, part Chinese crested), and one husband (Barry, a chemist, married for 30 years). At one point, my husband and I bred fancy goldfish and had 30+ aquariums and a 550-gallon water aging tank in our basement. In case you are wondering, yes, the house sounded like a giant Jacuzzi with all of those filters running! Since water weighs 8 pounds per gallon, this hobby necessitated double rebar in the
basement of our house when we were building. During construction, I took Mom and my brother John to look at the house. John looked long and hard at the water aging tank and said, “I would have thought that they’d have sewers over here [in Kentucky] by now.” I once flew with 12 Bristol shubunkin from London to CVG. It prompted a lot of laughter among airline employees in the two countries.

Other things that I like to do include making greeting cards, or more precisely, I like collecting pretty cardstock that I hope will one day become greeting cards. And I am addicted to thrift shopping! I started all of those years ago while buying the books at Goodwill. Let me know what you need, and I can give you places to shop at all price points. Barry and I love to travel. One of my favorite places to visit is Hawaii; I have been there 8 or 9 times. Paris for our twentieth wedding anniversary was amazing! I also enjoy visiting my college roommate who lives in England. One of the trips that I will never forget was a trip to Germany. The plane ticket was a gift from my college roommate, Diane and I had no time to prepare. I arrived in Germany knowing only the words for thank you and yes. Although it was nerve wracking, it was one of my most memorable experiences.  Everyone should be dropped into a country where they don’t know the language, especially people who serve the public.

My path brought me to BCPL, a place where I belong and a place where I want to be. Outreach has changed my life in ways that I never imagined. I now have so many friends in Boone County that it’s as if I grew up here. Boone County is home!