Lopez Library San Juan Library Literary Moments

What could be better for welcoming winter into our lives than a few hours around the fire with local storytelling masters sharing their love of words? Our annual December storytelling event will take place on Dec 30 at 11 a.m. around the fireplace at the Lopez Island Library. Master storytellers Alie Smaalders and Rosie Sumner and friends. Storytelling, one of our oldest art forms, is like a more intimate form of theatre. Is there some winter story from your culture or family history you’d like to share? Contact Rosie about taking part in the rehearsals. Kip and Stanley Greenthal will be part of the “Polar Express” sharing their unique musical talents.

You can continue to ward off the winter winds with the comfort of words by joining our Adult Winter Reading Program which starts January 2, 2010. It is all about sharing the favorite authors and stories you discover with your friends and neighbors. As an avid reader myself, I always get a kick out of a great literary find, a story so compelling I want others to read it so we can talk about it! To take part, just write a review of the books you read and post it to the library website or email me at librarian@lopezlibrary.org. Each review enters you into the weekly drawing for prizes. One prize per week from local merchants such as Paper Scissors on the Rock, Lilies in the Valley, Caffe La Boheme and more. Friends of the Lopez Island Library are also donating money for prizes. Open to readers/review writers 18 and over. The program will run until March 31st. Lou will announce the weekly prize winner on her radio show, Wednesdays at from 1-2 p.m. on KLOI 102.9 FM. Reviews will be posted on the library’s web page to give you an idea of what to read next.

Restaurant owners and others in the food industry take note: certification in Food Handling can now be done at the Lopez Island Library. The San Juan County Public Health folks have installed a special station for completing the food handling certification test online. These are located just outside the library community room. The test takes approximately 50 minutes, just print off your results and hand them in at the library desk with your $10.00 handling fee. The county will send your card in the mail. Now you don’t have to leave the island to complete your food handling training.

In the Nov. 15 issue of the Library Journal, the Lopez Island Library was named as a 2009 “star” library in a national review, based on circulation of items, walk-in traffic, computer use and attendance at library events per capita. It just confirms what we at the library have long suspected, our islanders love their library. We’ll strive to provide the best books, films, magazines, and music to keep our patrons happy!

People come into public libraries for a lot of different reasons. Probably more than most people realize. Not surprisingly, people come in to check out a book or a movie. Others come to use our computers. Some bring in their laptops to use our Internet connection or print important documents. People come to attend a library program or take one of our classes. Others come to meet friends and study together. Some come and sit in front of the fire and read a magazine or newspaper. A lot of people come to use our meeting room.

There are plenty more reasons, but I think you get the picture.

Libraries have to balance all these different uses and somehow make it work for all. We know we are pretty well set up to circulate materials, but beyond that we need to continually evaluate our spaces and uses may change.

For example this year we did a significant rearrangement in the front area of the library to accommodate our increased programming. We know we will need to put more power outlets throughout the library as more and more people work on laptops in every corner.

Another change we just made is to what we have called the Quiet Room. This is our small enclosed room that was intended to be a place where people could close the door and work in a quieter space. But over time we have seen groups of people numbering from 2 to 8 using the room for collaborative work. Tutors meet with their students. Adults meet together to review documents. Students meet in groups to study and socialize. There has been a tension with enforcing quiet in that room and recognizing a need for people to meet and work together.

So we have re-designated the room the Study Room and updated our use policies for that space. Groups can now officially and with blessings use that space to meet and talk without disturbing others around them. It is first come first serve and fairly self regulating. We will continue to monitor use and re-evaluate as necessary.

We love to get feedback about ways you use the library so we can make sure we’re keeping up!