Bertha Bartlett Public Library news

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

—by Kolleen Taylor

The library has been very quiet for the last week, as the weather shifted to winter, and the frenzy that begins with Thanksgiving, kicks into gear at local and regional shopping areas. The older I get, the less inclined I am to join in the chaos that is supposed to make this the happiest time of the year. I’m not a Grinch, although I do enjoy watching the movies ….but I do take a back seat to many of my shopaholic friends, trying to find something thoughtful, but also acknowledging the challenge of gifting to someone who expects something sensational….and clueless as to know how to do that!

Since I have always loved books, this is my great fall-back gift. It is just as challenging to find a book that suits an individual as it is a new scarf, a sweater or a pillow. We are all so unique in our likes and dislikes! I have to caution myself as well as others on staff when we are trying to recommend books. We have thousands of books in the library to try to meet nearly everyone’s reading interest…..and whether you like to read westerns, or romances, biographies or “how to” books, Christian novels or in-depth studies on religion, we will encourage and assist you in locating a perfect match. It’s our job to find them, process them and make them available to you so you can relax and stimulate your brain just the way you need to!

As we try to help match books to people, we try to figure out what style is your style. We have a bookshelf full of books which are our staff picks. It’s a very eclectic selection, and my choices are no exception. There are mysteries, and historic novels, non-fiction and audio books, young adult books and science fiction throughout these shelves. If you browse those, and find something that is a good match, it would be an easy stretch to assume that there might be other books that this particular staff person has read that would intrigue and engage you…using whatever format you choose. So find them, and ask them what else they are reading!

Even though we have been experiencing some quieter days at the library recently, that shift was slow coming to us, as we try to manage our fall/winter tasks that we can’t find time to do during our peak summer season. As we look at our collection development projects, and develop our reports, we have found that even with increased use of the down-loadable audio books and e-books, our regular materials are circulating at record high levels. We tend to expect that to happen in July and August, as we have students and teachers alike who take summer very seriously and just inhale books during their breaks. But when the September and October reports came together with equally high numbers, we were both thrilled and stunned! We were excited to see that our physical collection is also seeing increased use in addition to the new down-loadable materials.

One of the great gifts I receive when I come to work is to greet and meet our wonderful patrons and view the dialogue between our very young and their various ages of care givers. We love hearing parents, grandparents and siblings discussing the books that they are reading, and even more excited when I hear a child ask what their parents read when they were kids. How fun it is when we proceed to find it for them to check out!

We have some amazing parents and children who use our library, making great choices, teaching children the responsibility of borrowing books and other materials, but also taking time for a library visit to be an experience they will treasure forever. So as we take a step away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and retreat into the library to hibernate with our cherished collections, know that we are not bah-humbugging the world around us. We are choosing to view it in a way where the experiences warm our hearts and soul. We are viewing the holidays surrounded by a love for reading and the stories that embrace us. It’s the happiest time of the year!