—by Kolleen Taylor

Don’t forget that the schools are out early today, (Wednesday) so the library will have special programming for students from K through High School. Teens, Tweens and K-4th will have activities starting at 2 p.m. at the library!

Special programs are held when school is dismissed early, which usually happens each month. But we also have events weekly for our school age children called "KOOL", (Kids Of Our Library) in addition to the preschool program on Thursday mornings. As our young students get out of school on Tuesdays at 4 p.m., we love to have them come to the library for a quick snack and an hour of activities, which vary from week to week and month to month.

Recently this group has been introduced to STEM, which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In STEM, projects and activities utilize the skills needed to build on the education of our youth for future vocations. The intent is to provide activity based learning skills which will give children a world-class education and help Iowa develop a world-class workforce. We are slowly introducing some of the projects that fit this goal, set by Governor Branstad in 2011 We hope that by summer, when we launch our summer reading program projects (which is also science and math related), our youth will make the connection between reading, science, math and technology.

With winter colds causing sniffling everywhere we go, we want to remind everyone that the library is still a good place to pick up books and movies for those who cannot go to work or school due to an illness. We try to be pro-active by wiping down all books and videos we receive with a gentle disinfectant, keeping our books cleaner and protecting both our staff and patrons from any germs that might linger. This is not a step every library takes, but we are just small enough we are still able to do this step to keep from spreading any illnesses that might be in our community.

Periodically I take my turn working at the library on evenings or weekends, and I always enjoy doing this, as this is when I get to talk more to patrons, help more with locating books, and actually work with the collection more directly. As I did this during the past weekend, I was so pleased to see the diverse use of our collection. Our readers have widely varied interests, and sometimes I don’t get to meet those who are reading in the various genres. We have such a rich collection of westerns, science fiction, and mysteries, and have expanded the non-fiction parts of our library, so it is very gratifying to see the many books that are used beyond our new book shelves. It emphasizes our need to keep our collection diverse, and justifies the investment we continue to make in our library, and also in maintaining the fine editions from past eras that still are used regularly.