From the Director:
John D. Richmond
The Great Flood of 2014…and Possum Paws in the West
If I could collect on how many times I’ve heard (or thought), “They never taught us THIS in school,” I would be a rich man. “They” never taught us about bricks and mortar in grad school. Or wood, concrete, and other building materials. All of this reminds me a bit of the perils of home ownership, too.
On Friday, 1/10/14 a lake came bubbling up, as if from a spring, in the library. That Friday had been relatively warm. Snow and ice melted and had to find places to drain, with deeply frozen soil as a barrier.
So, in search of somewhere to go, water discovered an expansion joint in the foundation of the 1985 part of the building. Thus, the lake in the library. A remediation company arrived quickly, water was removed, gigantic fans and dehumidifiers scattered around, with extension cords fanning out across the floor. The spring stopped bubbling, too, which was a great relief.
We were sorry to close the next day, but liability was a concern, with equipment and cords waiting to be tripped over. If anyone missed us on 1/11, we apologize. And, we prefer our patrons to be alive and unharmed.
Meanwhile, on the “times they are a-changing” front: Effective 1/1/14, GED classes acquired access to online practice materials. Come fall, everything will be computerized. No paper, as I understand it. The library hosts a GED class administered by IL Central College—though, at this point, without computers.
Andrew Carnegie, whose fortunes paid for so many libraries, saw public libraries as the working person’s university. Or so it is said. We will be pondering the library as educational institution, as we consider the continuance of GED classes and the need for more computers. Somehow, I never imagined the GED going paperless. But if I could collect on how many times I have not imagined something…well.
Moving on, even as I write this we are buying two computer databases. Chilton auto repair manuals is one, to complement our Mitchell Manuals online. The other database is a test prep/career/resume resource, with practice tests for the ACT, GED, ASVAB (Armed Forces), and other tests, for high school students and adults alike. We are hatching plans with the high schools in our district to publicize the test prep database and to encourage its use. Both databases will be accessible from folks’ home computers.
We are looking ahead to National D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Day on April 12, with National Library Week immediately following. Even as we freeze, the Summer Reading Program, “Paws to Read!,” is being planned. Which reminds me that our west-side garden, with multi-colored birds against a backdrop of snow, has attracted three-four possums and many squirrels this winter. Apparently the possums don’t know that they are nocturnal creatures, because daytime near the bird feeder is their time to “paws” at the library. Stop by to pause (paws?) with us any time.
As always, thanks for supporting your public library.