Monday, December 24, 2007

Annual report

It's quiet around here right now. Time enough to gather a few facts and give an annual report.

The actual report is much longer and more detailed, but I can share a few statistics with you.

Our year runs from October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007 as we follow the county's fiscal year for purposes of budgeting.

Libraries like to collect statistics to see how we are doing. During this past fiscal year the libraries in the three counties circulated 212,299 items to library users. (Our system that checks books out and in counts everything for us.)

This figure was down somewhat from the previous year. A few factors influenced that. One: Bradford County Library was closed for a month while the library moved into their new building. And two: computer use was up. Almost 37,000 uses of the public access computers in the libraries.

That's quite a bit of contact between library staff and the public. Consider that each library item must be handled twice--once as it is checked out, and once as it is returned and shelved in the proper place. This shows many people using the library and finding good books to read, videos to watch, or books on tape to listen to.

And quite a few computer users...each one must be logged in, timed, and logged out. Many times staff are instructing users on how to use the computer or how to find a website. That's many people finding and using information valuable to their lives.

To say the least, it's been a busy year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday closings

Libraries and bookmobiles will be closed from December 22 through December 25 for the Christmas holiday. Bradford County Public Library will be open on December 22.

In addition, libraries are closed on Tuesday, January 1, 2008 for the New Year's Day holiday.

Book drops are located at the front of each building and are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A busy time of year...

Libraries see fewer people in December. Not that we want to, but many people are involved with holiday preparations and libraries and books move down on their list of priorities.

But remember, we have books to help you with holiday preparations no matter what holiday tradition you celebrate. We have audio books and videos and DVDs to help keep little ones entertained while parents are busy. And don't forget Dial-a-Story for young children (1-888-4ATALE1). This month Dial-a-Story features holiday stories.

Bookdrops at all libraries are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that you can drop off library materials.

See you soon!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dial a Story

Let you child listen to a story on the telephone. This service is ideal for busy parents who need a short break. We can help!

Stories are for young children and last 3-4 minutes. Stories are changed weekly.

Dial the number, put the phone on speaker and you can listen together. Let your child listen in the car while you drive. Have your child listen when you need to get a quick job done.

In Union County dial 496-2542.

In Baker and Bradford County dial 1-888-428-2531 (1888-4ATALE1)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Winter holidays

It is a busy time of year, but not too busy, we hope, to enjoy a few holiday stories.

There are many books, audio tapes, videos or DVD with a Christmas theme. Books and stories about Christmas for children and adults; books on Christmas crafts for all ages. Something for everyone.

Hanukkah begins on December 4 this year, and the libraries have many items on this tradition.

Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 25 to January 1. There are many items for those that celebrate this tradition.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Children's Book Week

November 12-18, 2007 is Children’s Book Week, and people across the country will be celebrating in schools, libraries, bookstores, and homes. The libraries encourage you to spend time reading with your child during this very special week.

Here are some ideas for celebrating Children’s Book Week at home.
· During dinner, each family member can share their current favorite book by naming the title, author and illustrator, and giving a brief description of the book and why it’s a favorite.
· Go to the library as a family and help each other pick out new books to bring home.
· After dinner, instead of watching television, read aloud from a book (or books) to each other.
If you haven’t been read to in a while, you’ll be surprised how much fun it is.

Parents, librarians, teachers, booksellers and anyone interested in good books for children have been celebrating Children’s Book Week since 1919.

The need for promoting good children’s literature was a collaborative
effort between the Boy Scouts, publishers and a librarian from the New York Public Library.

The goal of publisher Frederic Melcher in 1919 was to create a "Book Week (that) brings us together to talk about books and reading and, out of our knowledge and love of books, to put the cause of children's reading squarely before the whole community and, community by community, across the whole nation. For a great nation is a reading nation."

A worthy goal and still true toady.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A few pictures....

A few pictures of the new Bradford Co. Public Library.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A great event...

I went to a wonderful event last Friday...the opening of the Bradford Co. Public Library. The new building, much needed, is 20,000 sq.ft. What a difference from the 4,000 sq.ft. building that the county had. This new building is a great asset to the Bradford County community.

The building is beautiful. Plenty of room for books, magazines, videos and their new DVD collection. It has an expanded children's area with computers for little fingers, and a room where programs can be held.

There are additional computers for public use and a classroom that will be used by Santa Fe Community College. That will be a nice partnership.

Pictures as soon as I get some.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Floridians Value Their Public Libraries

Florida residents really enjoy reading...102 million items were borrowed from public libraries in fiscal year 2005-2006. Fifty one percent of Florida residents have library cards; that's more than 9.2 million people.

Library staff can help you find what you are looking for. Over 24 million questions were asked and answered by library staff. These are questions about finding information that you need, such as information on health or jobs, or information for student reports. Over one half million of those questions were answered online, either by email or through Ask a Librarian, an online chat service with a librarian available Sunday through Thursday 10am to midnight, and Friday and Saturday 10 to 5pm.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What is your library worth to you?

How much monetary benefit do you get from the library? How much money do you save by borrowing a book from the library instead of buying it?

The State Library of Florida has provided us with on online calculator that helps you calculate the value of library items that you borrow. It is based on one devised by the State of Maine and modified a bit for Florida use.

Plug in some numbers and see how much the library is worth to you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Did you know...?

There are other things that you might not know about libraries.

  • Florida's public libraries return $6.54 for every $1.00 invested. Florida's libraries contribute to the state's economy through jobs created and a positive impact on Florida's gross regional product. (From Taxpayer Return on Investment Report, January 2005)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bradford Co. Public Library closing for move

Bradford Co. Public Library and its bookmobile will be closed from September 30 to October 26 as they move into their new library building. Library users are encouraged to use Union Co. Public Library in Lake Butler, Emily Taber Public Library in Macclenny, or the New River Bookmobile. Check library and bookmobile schedules.
Photo--interior of the new building without furnishings.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Don't forget....

Several September activities to remember...

September is Library Card Sign Up Month...the most important school supply.

Free admission to Florida State Parks in September with your library card.

Despite the lack of rain, it is still hurricane season. Have your disaster plan ready. Use this online tool to create a plan. It's available from Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Last but not least...take a minute or two and answer our brief survey. We'll use the results of what you tell us to improve.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Answer our survey.

Help us to find out what we are doing right and not so right. Answer our brief survey.

It's only eight questions and easy to answer. We'll use the results to see what needs improvement.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

1 in 4

1 in 4--the headline reads "1 in 4 adults read no books last year."

What a shame...all the enjoyment and knowledge that is missing from their lives.

Everyone has priorities and work, TV, Internet may be more important for some than reading.

The article only talks about reading books, not magazines or newspapers. I hope that one person is reading something.

At least our library users are the other three of the four. I worry, though, about the other one.

Monday, August 20, 2007

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

School starts in our area this week. Does your child have a library card?

September is library card sign-up month. This is an annual nation wide initiative to remind parents that a library card is the most important of all school supplies.

Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

Registration is free to residents of all three counties in the Cooperative. Parents need to register for children. You need an ID that has your current address on it; or your old ID with an official piece of mail.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hurricane season in Florida

Hurricane season started in June and will go through November 30. We've been lucky so far here in our area, but it is still necessary to plan for emergencies.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has made planning a bit easier. They've posted a webpage that will help you think through your emergency plans, fill in contact info and generate an emergency checklist for you and your family and pets. After you've filled in your information the printout includes contact numbers for local emergency management and maps of evacuation routes for your area. There is also a page for business owners.

Emergencies aren't just hurricanes. In our area we know they can be wildfires or flooding. Take a look at the Emergency Management webpage and get reliable, accurate information.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Great Deal

Florida State Parks celebrate literacy in September.

With your library card, a library book, or a donation of a gently used family appropriate book you can gain free admission to a Florida State Park in September.

There are many parks in our area, and September is a perfect time to visit one.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Back to School

Public schools in our area start in mid August.

Back to school means school supplies and new clothes. In Florida we are fortunate to have a tax holiday on school supplies from August 4 to August 13.

Another back to school supply is a library card...for adults and children. With it you have access to over 130,000 items, online databases for research...just a world of information.

All you need is an ID that has your current address. Parents need to register for children. Children aged kindergarten and up are eligible for their own card... a nice way to send new students off to school.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We're just wild about Harry....

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh Harry Potter book, was released on July 21. The libraries have ten copies and all are checked out with people waiting their turn.

Union County Public Library hosted a Harry Potter party. Almost 200 people attended and were treated to games, food, and the release of the book at 12:01am on July 21. Take a look at their video. (If you are reading in from a library computer, you'll be blocked by our CIPA mandated filter. Please watch if from home.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summer Programs Winding Down...

Summer programs for children are winding down. One library finishes this week and the other two soon after. But there is still time for children to attend a program and of course, still time to read books.

The newest Harry Potter book will be released at 12:01am on July 21. The libraries will have copies on hand on Saturday when we open to check out. The publisher has strict guidelines as to when books can be purchased at a store or checked out at a library. This all helps to build the suspense for the last Harry Potter adventure.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

July 4

The libraries and bookmobiles are closed on July 4 in observance of the July 4 holiday. You can renew your books on line or reserve a book (place holds in library lingo) while we are closed.

Bookdrops are always open so you can return your books and items 24/7.

For more information on July 4 and our Declaration of Independence check this website.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer is underway...

The calendar might not say it is summer yet (June 21 is the first day of summer) but the libraries are busy with summer programs.

Union County Public Library and our multitype cooperative (NEFLIN) sponsored a snow day. Watch their video. (Our filter, Websense, blocks this site[YouTube] from access by library computers. Please watch their short video from home.)

Emily Taber Public Library has hosted programs featuring a storyteller and a puppeteer. Read their blog and see their photos.

And you can find out about programs at Bradford Co. Public Library here.

Monday, June 4, 2007

This is the week!

Libraries in Florida and in our three counties have been preparing for several months...and now is the time summer programs start to appear.

Florida uses a statewide theme for summer programs (this year : Read All About It) and each library develops the local programs as they want. The State Library provides us with program guides and incentives for children. The incentives this year are paper book bags , a popular item year after year, and of course bookmarks.

I've mentioned before the importance of keeping children reading during the summer. Most children need a grown-up to take them to the library. They either live too far away to walk or ride their bikes to the library or parents have safety concerns if children are on their own.

Check out the program schedule. (A print copy is also available at each library too.) The libraries have many great programs planned, new books bought, and they are ready to read.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Listen to a book.

Do you remember long trips in the family car during summer vacation?

What did you do to pass the time while traveling? Games, counting cars, spotting license plates? Or did you read a book?

Reading a book is still an option as are other time tested ways to pass the time in the car. Some vehicles even have DVD players now.

Another way to make time pass quickly is to listen to a book. Your public library has many books on audio cassette or compact disk...something for everyone...all ages and tastes.

For families traveling together there are many books that both children and parents will enjoy. Classics such as Black Beauty to current books such as the Harry Potter series are available.
The libraries have many book and audio combinations that are good for young children. The stories are shorter and children can turn the pages of the books and look at the pictures as they listen to the story.

For adults traveling without children a wide range of fiction and non-fiction audios will get you to your destination (or work) quickly. All recorded books are read by professional readers (many times they are actors) who have a knack for reading with many voices. One reader, but you would think there are many people recording...not so...the readers are just so talented.

Friday, May 18, 2007

R is for Reading

Five things to do to encourage your child to read:

5. Read with a directions for a craft activity or a recipe.

4. Encourage your child to read aloud to you...have your child share an interesting part of a book or read a joke to you.

3. Encourage older children to read to younger brothers and sisters.

2. Read aloud to your child.

1. Take your child to the library regularly.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Summer programs for children

What do children do during the summer vacation? Go to the library, of course!

The libraries have a busy schedule of programs for school age children. Some programs will feature performers such as magicians or storytellers; others might feature animals or include a craft activity. All will include many good stories and books for children.

Take a look at the schedules on the program calendar or on our webpage. Children have received copies of the schedule at schools or you can pick up a schedule at the library.

We are all--parents, teachers and libraries--involved in keeping children reading during the summer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tracing Your Family Tree

Do you remember the book Roots?

Genealogy research became more popular with the publication of this book by Alex Haley in 1976. Do you remember the TV miniseries in 1977 based on the was very popular and genealogy research became a new quest for many Americans. (The libraries have both the book and the video of Roots.)

I've added the link to a new online database. (Funds for the subscription are from a grant from the Florida State Legislature.) This new online source of information is Ancestry Library Edition linked from our main web page. There is no remote access from home (the company does not sell remote access) so you must use library computers to search the database.

You will find information from the 1930 U.S. Federal census, ship and passenger immigration records, and even United Kingdom census information. There is more information and the database is updated daily. The searching is easy and you can print information, email it to yourself or others, or save your information to a disk.

The libraries have many books on genealogy, some you can check out, some to use only in the library. Look in the 929 section or ask a staff member for help.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Children's Programs (continued)

Some summer program schedules are ready, check the online calendar for June and July. More programs will be posted as soon as the schedule is finalized.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Children's Programs

Brown Bear, Dr. Seuss books, Hungry Caterpillar...just a few great children's books. The library has many, many more of course.

Staff who work with children might use these books and many others in presenting programs for children. The spring schedule of programs is winding down...the programs will be over by the end of April. But staff is busy working on a schedule of programs for school age children during the summer.

Teachers know and research has shown that children need to keep reading during the summer to maintain the skills they have learned during the school year. Reading is like learning to play the piano: practice, practice, practice; you get better with practice.

Programs at the library during the summer keep children involved with books and reading. Staff are working hard to develop programs that children will enjoy. New books are purchased. We are working to keep children reading during the summer.

Schedules will be ready soon. They will be available through the schools, at the library and posted online.

Monday, April 16, 2007

National Library Week, April 15-21, 2007

April 15-21 is National Library Week, a time when libraries of all types and the people who use them come together to celebrate the contributions of all libraries, librarians and library workers in our nation’s schools, campuses and communities. .

The facts speak for themselves: library use is up nationwide. More than 2 billion items were checked out last year, and librarians serve nearly 1.8 billion visitors annually. At libraries in our area you will find a busy schedule of classes and children’s programs. Take a look about our online library newsletter for some statistics about the libraries in this three county area.

Rather than threatening our libraries, the age of technology has only complemented library services and expanded the library’s reach. This is because libraries are about more than information and data sharing.

Libraries are about community. They provide us with a physical gathering place, a crossroads for people of all ages with trained information professionals - librarians and library workers who are eager to help you find the information you need.

For many who don't have computers at home, public libraries make computers available for internet searching and other tasks that must be accomplished on line. Things such as choosing a Medicare drug plan are done online.

Libraries and librarians are more relevant than ever, providing a 24/7 information delivery service. And, of course, admission is free.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Online Learning

One of the most frequent requests for books that libraries receive are for test tutor books...books that help you prepare to take a test.

Many adults are working of GED (high school equivalency diploma) or ASVAB (entry into the armed services). We have a hard time keeping these books on the shelf.

So, we've subscribed to an online test tutor service called Learning Express. GED and ASVAB are available here as well as many other practice tests for adults such as real estate, nursing, law enforcement, and firefighter.

There are also practice tests for students preparing for SAT or ACT exams for college entrance.

Even elementary school students have practice tests available in reading and math.

You can work at the library or from home. You'll need your library card number to log in from home. If you can't finish the practice in one session you can save your work and come back to it at a later time.

This subscription was funded by a grant to the Cooperative from the State Legislature.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

April is National Poetry Month

Can you remember a poem from childhood...or even part of a poem? Little poems that we memorized long ago stay in our memories.

In April we take time to recognize poetry and the affect it has on our lives. Clever poems can make a point well. Poems are used to commemorate special occasions...from weddings to funerals to Presidential inaugurations.

The libraries have many books on poetry for children and adults. For poetry in English see the 811 and 821 non-fiction section. Here you will find poems of all types. Children especially like humorous poems...Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky are two who write funny poems for children.

Adults might remember limericks...Ogden Nash and Edward Lear are two authors who are known for their limericks.

There are many online sites that feature poetry. One of the best known and most reliable is This site is sponsored by the American Academy of Poets which sponsors National Poetry Month. The site includes thousands of poems, audio recordings of poems, and biographies of poets. You can search for a specific poem and even search by occasion. If you need a poems for an anniversary or a graduation, this is a place to look.

Another poetry source is a new database that has been added to an already large collection available through the State Library of Florida. Log into and choose LitFinder. (There are many good databases on this site, but LitFinder is a new one.)

LitFinder includes poems, short stories, essays, speeches and plays...a wealth of information all indexed and searchable. It is international in scope and updated frequently.

This database and others are available through at your library or from home using your public library card.

Friday, March 30, 2007


Can't get to the library? The library will come to you!

Bookmobile service is available in all three counties. Check out the schedules.

Bookmobiles are little libraries on wheels and have a long tradition of service in the United States. There are bookmobiles of various types world wide...even by camel in Kenya and pulled by donkey in Zimbabwe.

The bookmobiles here carry a selection of books for children, teens and adults, large print books, paperbacks, audios and videos.

You can use your library card or register for service on the bookmobile. You can request books and other library materials and we'll bring them to you.

Bookmobile service is free, just like your public library.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Children love to listen to stories and they can listen to a story on the telephone from your library.

By calling the Dial a Story line, young children can listen to a story. Put the phone on speakerphone and you can hear it too. Stories are for young children and are changed weekly.

Stories last 3-4 minutes so it is a good way to engage children when you have a short task to do. Getting a snack ready for them, last minute preparations before you leave home; there are many opportunities to fit in a short story. Dial up a story and your child is involved in listening, a good skill to cultivate.

The toll free number is ...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Antiques and Collectibles

Antiques Roadshow is one of the most popular TV shows on PBS. Many people want to know what their antique is worth...we all wish for one that we paid little for and is now worth thousands.

The library has a new online database, PriceIt!, in which you can value your antiques and collectibles. The database includes millions of records and tells you current values and prices for your similar items. You can easily search by keyword.

I have an antique pie safe made in the Eastlake style. Putting in the keyword "Eastlake" yields over 2000 entries. That's too many to look through but it gives you an idea of the scope of the information. To get better results I'll have to be more specific in my keyword.

The database is available through the library's webpage either at the library or remotely from home. All you need is your library barcode when accessing PriceIt! from home.

The libraries have many books on antiques and collectibles too. Look in the nonfiction 745.1 section.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Children and Libraries

Have you checked on programs for children at the libraries?

Long before children start to read on their own, they love to listen to stories. Interacting with your child with a good book is a way to instill the love of reading in your child. Even the youngest children benefit from exposure to books and stories.

Holding a book, feeling its texture, learning that we turn pages in a certain way all contribute to reading readiness. The more a parent can do when a child is young, the better ready a child is to start reading on their own when the time is right for that child.

Your library has many books for children, from the youngest to those reading on their own. Library staff will be able to assist you in selecting books of interest to you and your child.

There are many programs for preschoolers now and in the summer libraries concentrate more on programs for school age children. Check back for that schedule.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Books, books, books

In spite of all the talk about internet acess, online content, programs, computers and whatever else the library offers...we are all about books. Books for every age group from babies to seniors. Good stories, information, guidance, inspiration....we have a book (or more) for you.

Each library purchases books and materials to compliment our goals: to be a library that provides current titles, information and books to help all age groups learn.

Our online catalog

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New online content

Learning Express has been added to the New River webpage. It's an online test tutor with many practice test offerings for children and adults. From their information:

LearningExpress Library is a comprehensive, interactive online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial course series designed to help patrons—students and adult learners—succeed on the academic or licensing tests they must pass. You'll get immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of your results.

You can use this at the library or from your home computer. All you need is your library barcode number from Baker, Bradford or Union County library. You create your account and can log back in if you don't finish a practice session.

Take a look. Learning Express