Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meet Maureen...

Hi everyone! I’m Maureen, and I work in the Children’s Room at PGTPL. I’ve been here since August 2011.
Libraries have always been a big part of my life, from when I was little and one of our treats was going to the 'Big Library' in our city. My parents were also big supporters of my reading habit. They had always read to me and my siblings before we were old enough to read on our own. When we could pick out our own books, we would take an old canvas laundry bag to the library and fill it up. I remember graduating to the chapter book area, and then branching out into the teen and adult sections.
When I was in middle school, the school librarian took me under her wing and let me check out as many books as I wanted to. In high school, I volunteered in the school library before school started and in my study halls.
In college, I worked in the circulation department of my university's library. This is when I really started to consider working in libraries after I graduated. I knew it was something that I enjoyed a lot and would be happy doing in the future. But I also knew that I wanted to work in a public library, where you can meet all kinds of interesting people, and that I was more interested in children’s and teen literature than in adult.
When I graduated, I spent over a year looking for a job. I kept interviewing and eventually applied for a Children’s Assistant position at PGTPL. I had never even seen it before I arrived for the interview, but I was immediately impressed by how friendly everyone was.  I was very excited when I found out I got the job! I’ve only been working here for a few months, but I’m still impressed by how friendly and committed all my fellow staff members are. Yay PGTPL!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Judging a Book by the Cover

Some very plain books have wonderful, exciting stories inside. That’s why we say "Never judge a book by the cover." It’s true of people too, that’s why we say "Still waters run deep."

But let’s face it, when it comes to picking library books, what the cover looks like is a factor, and it’s hard to know much from the spine! That’s why in the Children’s Room we have put a whole lot of books ‘face out’ to inspire you. If you want help, ask us – we are experts at finding things and pretty friendly, too. If you see a book on display that looks good, of course you can check it out- and 99 of its friends!

The Bad Beginning is the first book in the funny and sarcastic Series of Unfortunate Events. Full of orphans, despicable villains, and plenty of melodrama, this cover doesn’t begin to suggest the humor inside.

The Story of Ferdinand has been around since 1936 (not this copy.) If people didn’t love it, it would be long gone -like nearly every other book from 1936. The cover doesn’t shout READ ME! but that might be too screechy for this story of a gentle bull who prefers to sit in the shade and smell the flowers.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

All You Ever Wanted to Know About "The Tie Guy!"

Dave "The Tie Guy"
As anyone can tell, I like working at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library. I have worked here for years, starting off as a page in high school and becoming a full time employee in 2004. When I started, the library had just been completely remodeled. Move forward a couple of years and once again, another remodel took place on the first floor. Yeah, the library has two levels to it; an upstairs and main floor.

The library has had some challenges: from a water leak, (which damaged our VHS tapes), to our old computer system malfunctioning during our Summer Reading Program (we could still check out items, but could not check in). Books began to pile up on unused shelves, in closets, on tables and even on the floor. It was a mess. When we eventually got our system up and running we had every department checking in the stacks. We provide the best service and resources for the community.

Our former director moved co-workers around and eventually merged departments. Circulation, Reference and Technical Services began to all help out at the customer service desk. This greatly improved our morale and friendship toward each other.

During the most recent remodel I worked crazy hours. The clock on my phone read 3:30 a.m., and the maintenance man and I were ready to call it a day after moving desks, checking to see that floor plugs were turned off, and breaking down desks. When the library opened up after being closed for two weeks the result was spectacular. Beautiful and stunning, the public greeted our new look with all-around excitement.

Sometimes people know me as “Dave, The Tie Guy”, because I collect unique neckties and wear them throughout the winter months. I have enough ties that I can go a couple of months without wearing the same necktie! A couple of years ago Donna, a co-worker, made a display of my ties and the name stuck.

I have to go for now, but I will be back with more news from the front line of the library!


Dave “The Tie Guy” Brinker

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And the Winner Is...

You've all been wondering....

You decided to subscribe to follow the blog to receive awesome, funny, totally informative and cool news from your favorite library's new blog, and well... the potential to win Panera Bread for a year was a great incentive, too. So who won?

Liddy is our bread-loving winner! She's won a certificate to receive Panera Bread for an entire year.

But don't be sad if you're not Liddy. There'll be plenty more opportunities to win things, plus you'll be up-to-date with what's going on in the library, and being able to communicate with us here isn't bad, either. In fact, head to the library lobby tomorrow at 3:00pm and say the magic words "Be a Smart Cookie: READ!" to get a tub of Papa Murphy's chocolate chip cookie dough while supplies last.

Congratulations, Liddy!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Life, My Library

Me & My Mother
My relationship with the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library began before I was born. My mother, Susan Miller Carter, began working at the library in the 1970s. When I was born in 1985, my baby shower was attended by library staff, including the then library director, Mary McMillan. I grew up coming to the library on a more than regular basis – checking out books and videos, wandering in the staff only areas, and visiting with my favorite library employee, Jan Owens. As I entered middle school I came to the library after school with my friends and did “homework”. We mostly giggled and ate snacks, really. The library was a wonderful place for us to relax and socialize with a reasonable amount of freedom and independence.

I began working at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library on May 23, 2001. I was sixteen and a sophomore in high school. After school I would trek up Hobb’s hill to the library where I would begin my shift at 3:00 pm in the Children’s Room. Being a library page meant sorting and shelving returned materials, as well as tidying up the shelves. I loved my job and continued to work part-time throughout my high school and college career.

After graduating from Marian College in 2007 I began working full time in the Youth Services Department. I did programming for children of all ages – my favorite being my Bookie Boogie Woogie, a program series for toddlers. We read books, sang songs and danced along to lots of fun music – it was a blast!

In 2009 I moved to the Community Central Department, which focuses on adult programming, community outreach, advocacy and marketing for the library. This move was a big change, moving from the Children’s Room to Community Central, but I felt right at home right away. Now I get to go out into the community and let people know what their library has to offer beyond “just books”. It is a wonderful job and I love it!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Currently in the Gallery...

Check out 'Surreal Abstractions' in acryclic and pen&ink by Michael Lipe. Michael's artwork will be on display in our art gallery upstairs until March 3rd. A special closing reception will be held Saturday, march 3rd from 1:00 - 4:00pm in the gallery upstairs, so if you don't get to enjoy the exhibit before then, feel free to drop in then! This is art you've gotta see in-person!

'Michael is an artist, musician, author and graphic designer. He started drawing at an early age, but really came into his own in the early nineties while attending school at Indiana University (Bloomington Campus) "It was only after I could accurately draw reality that I could truly draw the surreal abstractions I can see in my mind” says Michael about his artwork. "I try to put the detail of realism into my works in abstract: Focusing heavily on depth and shadows. It is my hope that a viewer will be pleasantly surprised long after the initial appraisal of one of my pieces and see something with clarity that they've never seen before." He categorizes his pieces as "Surreal Abstractions". His work has an abstract face, but there is often a hint of reality weaved throughout.'

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tales of a Library-aholic

Michelle Peltier
Hello all. I'm Michelle, and I'm a Library-aholic. 

I have loved coming to the library since I was young. I remember walking into the old children’s room and seeing Paula Gilmour’s smiling face at the desk. I remember the yellow and orange paint. I remember picking out Mary Poppins to watch with my grandma. The library was always a fun place when I was little.

Fast forward to 2007…I just moved back to Plainfield after an out-of-state move. I was a new mom, new wife, and moving home after being away for six years was a little scary. I began stopping by the library as often as I could because it felt familiar, even though the building, staff, and I had changed. I took comfort in knowing that I could learn something new every time I checked out a book: from trying to figure out how to raise a kid, to learning about how to deal with financial stress, to figuring out how to cook dinner without making something from a box every night.

I have been jealous of my friend Laura Brack, the PPL Tech Goddess, because of her library gig she started over 10 years ago. In October 2010, Laura informed me of a 12 hour per week job opening in Youth Services, so I jumped at the chance to interview even though I was already working 40 to 50 hours per week. I scored the position, started in November 2010, and continued to work my full time job and part time at the library until the day before I gave birth to my youngest son. After I came back to work from maternity leave, I left my full time job and took the Librarian’s Assistant position in area T. I now work primarily with the YA fiction collection.

Even though I work at the library, I still bring my kids in on my days off. I feel like it’s important to instill a respect and admiration for libraries, learning, and play. I love reading to my oldest son at bedtime, and I hope to add my youngest to our book club when he’s old enough to not chew on the books when he sees them.

And even though I’m busy with two kids under the age of four, a husband, a dog, a job, a garden, I could go on…I still make myself read every day. I think if one stops reading, one stops learning, and that’s important enough to me to keep on.