Kelly D. Dennison, Branch Manager Meigs Public Library Meigs, Georgia
Hello! I am Kelly, the branch manager for a small rural library in Meigs, GA. Our town is somewhat a ghost town and really the library is the only place for children and teens to go in the Summer. With this grant, I am hoping to provide better programs and crafts for the Summer as well as having a big end of the year party. These children need it. I'm still fine tuning my schedule but will have it up and posted in the next few weeks. I enjoy reading all your wonderful ideas and hope to talk to more of you during the summer.
Great idea Holly, I wish they would've kept our bookmobile running here in Thomas County. The children in these rural communities sure could use it. I applaud your dedication!
Holly Evans said:
My name is Holly Evans, and I am the Youth Services Librarian for the Marion County Library System. In my position, I work with the youth services departments at each of our three branches and on the bookmobile. Though most of my time is spent at the system's main branch, the Marion County Public Library, our greatest need is on the bookmobile. Recently, we have noticed that our patron base for bookmobile services is declining, especially at the low income housing areas we visit. In response to the decline, we really want to revamp our services. Currently, the bookmobile (due to our county being very rural and spread out) is used as more of a door-to-door service. However, the goal is to provide programming from the bookmobile, in areas where we are able to park and reach several people at once, so that patrons can have a more complete library experience. Additionally, the library does not get many teen patrons, and this is also something we would like to change.
So, for our Summer Learning Resource Grant project, we are going to take the bookmobile to each of the low income communities in our areas once a month for special, on-site programming that will introduce the children to what the library has to offer. For instance, one month, we plan on doing a "library taste testing" program in which we will show the kids the different types of programs and services available at the library.
I look forward to hearing what each of you have planned!
P.S. - Here is a picture of our bookmobile:
Here is a picture of the Marion County Public Library:
I'm Mandy Pinyan. I'm the Manager of Outreach and Youth Services Coordinator for the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library system in Huntsville, AL. We have 13 branches, and I oversee the Outreach Department and Bookmobile as well as Youth Services Librarians throughout the county.
Our SRP served a lot of kids and teens last year. I am personally involved with incarcerated teens and at-risk teens. Our Bookmobile visits a homeless shelter, too and there are homeless youth there. I wanted to be able to support our local schools Summer Reading assignments (we support three public school systems and a few private institutions as well) with instructional materials purchases.So many of our students are at risk, living at or near the poverty line or even homeless. So many of them cannot afford to purchase the required reading materials over the summer, and we can only purchase so many with our ever-dwindling funds. It's a crucial enterprise for our entire system during the summer months, and a real focus for our circulation efforts.
Our area is also big on STEAM, and we just opened our first library with a makerspace. It is still in its infancy (staff-wise and policy-wise...which is a little frustrating at the moment) and it is my hope to utilize it for teen classes during the summer. I agree with you guys about food- so maybe I'll just print some pizzas :P But seriously- feed them and they will come.
I also see that our program is growing so much, and want to be able to use funds to provide materials for activities/programs and end of summer party stuff and prizes for them. We get a lot of teen volunteers that work and attend programs, and the relationships we build with them are priceless.
I love what I am seeing so far, and am hoping to incorporate more ideas for our branch locations to use during the summer, so keep them coming!