Everything is on the internet, so why?

Recently the question was asked, why do you need a new library?  What brought the town board to even consider the matter? 

Our circulation of items has increased 14% between 2004 and 2007.

The number of library card holders in that same time has increased by 5%,  currently about 9536.  60% of Parma/Hilton residents have a library card. 

Our computer use has increased by a whopping 218% !!! 

The American Library Association has a set of guidelines for building size according to population, usually about 1 sq ft per capita.  The population in the Town of Parma is about 15,000, our building is currently about 8,000 sq ft.  

The Library does not own the parking lot, it belongs to the Methodist Church.  On an average day we have about 300 visits to the Library and there are only 43 spaces available between us and the church. 

Anyone who has spent any time in the library knows the lack of elbow room is a big factor. We have not been able to host larger programs because of fire codes, the staff have to navigate around a series of obstacles to do their jobs and there isn’t just a good comfy place for people to settle in and hang out.  We don’t even have space for a public copier.

All this activity is squeezed into a space that the community has clearly outgrown.  Thus, we are attempting to get a new building.  The thought behind partnering with the community center is that a two for one building will be cheaper in the long run, especially when you consider maintenance costs.

There you have it, in a nutshell.


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The Survey

The results of the community survey came out and the issues of interest to most people seem to be parking and cost to develop the site for the community center/library project. 

I think the survey will not be given much weight because people were not given enough time to participate. It was done by a volunteer (Sarah Warmbrodt) as a project for college and had to adhere to her professor’s timeline for grading.  It seemed like a pretty thorough and well organized survey though and was presented in a very professional manner. 

We have a copy in the library for the  public to view in case you are interested.

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Overheard at the Library

Overheard at the Library…

An intense discussion of presidential politics and the upcoming election. From what I caught of the conversation they felt Obama had the best chance of winning, however they were also very sure that the country was not ready for an African American president and that he would most likely be assassinated by racists. 

The participants in this mini caucus were two ten year old boys!


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Sometimes I get it right…

It’s hard to buy books.  I know people will say, how can it be hard to buy books?  That has got to be the best job in the world!  But what people don’t realize is that there is a lot of pressure that goes along with it, especially when your budget is limited.  I do all kinds of studies and analysis every couple of years because I’m paranoid I’m not buying the right stuff.  For a book to languish on a shelf unread is a librarian’s greatest fear and failure.

 However sometimes it’s a slam dunk.

I almost didn’t buy “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking” by  Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.   I thought to myself, who in the heck going to make cheddar sage panini at home, when you can trot right down to Wegman’s?  It’ll just sit on the shelf and take up space.  But then I thought about it, well Weggie’s has yummy bread but it a tad expensive and if it only takes five minutes…

Long story short, the book arrived at the library a couple of days ago and this morning I opened the D&C to find a full page article in the Living section about the “Artisan Bread” book.

I was soooo excited.  I guessed right. We are the only small library to own it and all six copies in the system are checked out or on hold.  Money well spent and thanks to the D&C for the free advertising!


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meteorological mayhem

The tornadoes that struck the south last week were awful.  I was just reading about them on the Weather Channel website and the expert Dr. Greg Forbes said it was the most deadly outbreak since May 31st 1985 when a series of tornadoes killed 76 people in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.I lived in Ohio at the time and remember that day vividly. 

Growing up in a tornado prone area, weather has always frightened and fascinated me. Dr. Forbes’ mention of the 1985 tornadoes made me remember an excellent book about that day.   “Tornado Watch #211” by John G. Fuller.  It is a factual account about a deadly tornado outbreak from the perspective of the weather offices, the news media, public safety and the people in the path of the storm.  It is a very easy read, not boring or overly technical and it gets very personal about the lives of those effected by the storm. 

Highly recommended for weather buffs.

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Lots of Books!

We are over flowing with donations!  I’m not sure where people are getting all these books, but we are swamped.  Thanks for for thinking of us!  We’ve managed to add a few to the collection, but we really don’t need 50 copies of the latest Danielle Steel. Luckily for us, the Friends of the Parma Public Library have a used bookstore now right across the street. 

Mainly Books is located at 24 Main St. in Hilton.  Since it is a strictly volunteer operation their hours are

Monday 10-1 and 4-7

Wed 4-7

Sat. 10-1

They are always looking for more volunteers to help sort the books and man the store. All proceeds help the library to buy fun things our regular budget doesn’t cover. 

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Blood and vodka

“Sweeney Todd”. 

Even though it’s a musical, “Oklahoma!” it is not, people!  The body count was amazingly high and the death frighteningly realistic and the blood, sooo much blood.  I have a pretty high tolerance for gore, but, wow! 

Aside from the mayhem, Johnny Depp is a fair singer, the rest of the cast of distinguished English actor types really good.  The movie was enjoyable, beautiful even, but not for the faint of heart.

“Eastern Promises”

A midwife helps deliver the baby of an unidentified Russian teenager. The girl dies in childbirth, but leaves a diary among her belongings.  The midwife hopes to translate the diary and find the baby’s relatives.  She turns to a the owner of a local restaurant for help and brushes dangerously close running afoul of the Russian mob. 

Viggo Mortensen who is best known as Aragorn from “Lord of the Rings” has won an Oscar nod for his role as a lower level mobster.  My guess is the academy is recognizing the sheer guts it took for him to do the scene in the steam bath where he fights off two other mobsters who are trying to kill him.  Lots of scenes like this in movies, what’s the big deal, you say?Well, Viggo did it in the buff.  That is one secure dude!

Aside from admiring Viggo’s, ahem, “acting” the movie had very little pay off in the end.  It built up for a long time and we were offered the resolution we had hoped for, but felt we didn’t get to actually witness the final showdown.  It left me wondering how much film was left on the cutting room floor.

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