Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why and How to Read Aloud to Your Baby and Young Child

Studies show that one of the most important things adults can do to prepare children for success in school and life is to READ ALOUD with them. Doctors even think that children need reading aloud to be fully healthy. And start from the day they come home from the hospital.

Why? Some of the benefits are:
  • builds self esteem
  • increases communication skills
  • introduces new concepts like colors, shapes, numbers, letters
  • builds listening skills, memory, vocabulary, language skills
  • develops imagination and creativity
  • increases information about the world
  • develops individual interests
  • builds positive behaviors and attitudes
How in the world do you read to a baby?

It's easy and fun. Sit them in your lap or by your side so that they will feel close to you and comfortable. This makes reading even more enjoyable. Pick books that have simple pictures and bright or high contrast colors. Books with photographs of real things are great to start with. Make sure that the books are sturdy and can even handle being eaten! Start with short books for a short attention span - and never force reading. If they get restless before the end, let them go. Encourage them to pick the books to read as soon as they're ready. Keep books where they can reach them and play with them on their own. Read in front of your baby to set an example that you love reading. With small things like recipes, signs, instructions, read them them out loud to your baby. Whenever you're reading out loud, make it fun with different voices and facial expressions - your baby will love it.

As your children grow, keep reading aloud - and let them read to you. Older siblings should be encouraged to read to their baby sister or brother. Involve the whole family in reading out loud regularly - that is really fun!

Bring your baby to our Babies & Toddler Storytime (birth to age 3) every Tuesday at 10 am. When they get older, they can come to Children's Storytime (ages 3 to 5) every Wednesday at 10 am.

Children can go through a lot of books, as they have different interests and abilities as they grow. The best way to keep up is to come to the Library, where we can help you select books appropriate to their age. You can check out up to 15 books, which may last them for the two week checkout period.

Reading aloud is the best present
you can give your baby and young child.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Natchez Teens Have a New Hangout!

Calling all Natchez Teens ages 13 to 18.
Do we have a place for you!

The new Teen Zone is awesome. We want to provide a really fun, safe place for teens to hang out, meet new friends, and learn new things - while being around positive role models who want them to succeed.

The new room will be painted in bright, eye catching colors. We have soft, comfortable chairs, a new colorful carpet, stackable chairs for events, and stools for quiet conversation or for reading your favorite books. A 46 inch tv, a Wii console with games, a popcorn machine, and a Kareoke machine will be used for special programming throughout the year. A large storage locker is filled with board games and craft supplies that can be accessed anytime by asking a librarian for assistance. Check out the new teen magazines: Teen Vogue, GamePro, Spin, Mad Magazine, something for everyone! There will also be two new computers with internet access that will be exclusively for the teens. NO ADULTS ALLOWED!!

Come check it out! Join us Thursday, October 28 at 3:30 pm for our Open House. Bring your parents, invite your teachers and school librarians -  this may be their one and only chance to step into the Teen Zone and see what the Armstrong Library has to offer. And be sure to bring all your friends.

The Teen Zone was made possible by funding under the Federal Library Services & Technology Act administered by the Mississippi Library Commission. Matching funds were provided by the Friends of the Library. At a time when libraries are struggling with cuts in funding, it would seem we always find a way to provide services to the public.

Click to see photo gallery of Teen Room Renovations.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted to cut the Library funding by $55,000. After all, the Library has those trust funds they can use. The Library Director told the Board that if they did that, it would jeapordize the Library's state funding, since state law requires local jurisdictions to maintain their level of funding in order to receive state funding. Also, only the interest of trust funds can be used for operating the Library - and they do not count as part of the local funding. Sound familiar? But this news wasn't from this year - it was from 2001. However, in 2001 there was a happier ending. The Board voted to reinstate the funds.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted to increase taxes and part of the increase was for a dedicated millage for the Library. Of course, people came out in droves against a tax increase, but no one seemed to object to giving the Library more money. Faced with all this pressure, the Board votes to cut the tax increase. Guess what got cut? The Library, of course. This didn't happen this year either. It happened in 2000.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted to increase taxes and part of the increase was for a dedicated millage for the Library. I know I'm repeating myself, but this time (2005) it actually happened! 2.575 mills was dedicated to the Library. This did not represent an increase in funds, but it meant the Library could predict its income based on the value of a mill and didn't have to beg the Board every year to fund it out of the General Fund. In good years, it would go up, and in bad years it would go down. This was a major goal for the new Library Director when she arrived in 2002.

As we all know, the City claims it reduced the millage last year (2009) when the value of a mill happened to go up and thus taxes would increase. They certainly didn't want the Library getting more money! However, there is nary a mention of this in the newspaper. In fact, in several articles, it references the last time taxes went up was when they dedicated millage to the Library. Plus, they just happened not to inform the Library. Interesting, don't you think?

PS  While I was going through back issues of the Democrat searching for "library", I kept noticing all the positive things happening across the river. Of course, Concordia Parish Library got $875,944 in ad valorem taxes for a population of 19,060, whereas we got $255,000 for a population of 31,307 (2008 figures). What's wrong with this picture?

Concordia Parish: $45.96 per person for the library
Natchez/Adams County: $8.15 per person for the library

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Borrow Practically Any Book You Want FREE

Books Just Fly to You!
Have you ever gone to your Library looking for a certain book and found we don't have it? Do you belong to a book club and need extra copies of a title for your group? What about looking for that old favorite book that you haven't read in years? Thanks to the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service offered at your Library, your chances of getting the book you want is greatly increased.

How do you get a book through ILL? The easiest way is to come in your Library and ask. But if you want to know if something is available or if you have other questions, then email our Reference Librarian - or you can always call your Library at 601.445.8862.

How does it work? The Reference Librarian takes your request and begins her search through other public libraries within the state of Mississippi. If the book cannot be found there, then she will go to what is called the World Cat, which offers more search options and generally searches academic libraries and public libraries from all over the country. Chances are very good that she'll find your book.

And now it's a free service! We used to charge $2 to partially cover postage. Thanks to a grant received through the Mississippi Library Commission we can now offer the service free of charge!

You can go to our website to read our ILL policies, but here are a few important points:
  • You must have no fines on your library record.
  • We cannot borrow NEW books published within 6 months of the time of the request. Just like the us, most libraries prefer to save their new books for their own patrons.
  • We cannot get college text books and most genealogy materials.
  • Generally the loan period for ILL's is thirty days but not always, lending periods are up to the lending library.
So the next time you can't find the book you're looking for, stop in at your Library and let us help you.