Friday, November 28, 2008

Outreach at the Library

The following post was written by BHPL Director Stephanie Bakos. I posted it a week ago, just before I inadvertantly wiped out all the November and most of October's blog posts. We are gradually reconstructing the lost posts. Here is Stephanie's reflection on library outreach then and now. (Anne)
SB writes -
Years ago, when I started as a librarian at Plainfield Public Library, the Outreach Department was well staffed and quite busy spreading library services throughout the community. Staff gave book talks, showed films at the Senior Center, and visited preschools. Library websites have expanded outreach to everyone with a computer, but many of the services offered online are impersonal. BHPL’s book blog is a great example of traditional outreach and the Internet living in harmony; reader’s advisory service, offered by a librarian that you can reply to by email or phone, is available online.

Understanding that representing BHPL to the community is a major part of my job, I still have my personal outreach experiences. For several years I delivered books to a patron who owned seven cats. Even though I have numerous allergies, I was the only one who believed cat affection to be a perk. My most recent outreach is helping a book group in Arkansas. A good friend moved to Mountain Home and relies on me to provide an annual list of titles. So far, I have been a great success and have been invited to visit.

My next list will include: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows; Loving Frank by Nancy Horan; The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd; Montana 1948 by Larry Watson; and, The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman. At this moment, I am reading Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton and listening to 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. Perhaps these titles will appear on the next list.

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