Director’s Corner

The Open Book
by Robyn E. Vittek
Virtual Services Connect Patrons with Library Anytime
Guiding Ohio Online…One Library at a Time

Most of you have probably heard of the Peace Corps, which sends Americans abroad to learn about other cultures, share our culture with other countries and peoples, and serve as volunteers to improve the quality of life in underdeveloped areas around the world. Did you know there is a domestic version?

AmeriCorps is a civil society program created during the Clinton administration and supported by the US Government. Members commit to full-time or part-time positions offered by a network of nonprofit community organizations and public agencies, to fulfill assignments in the fields of education, public safety, health care, and environmental protection across the United States. Members are generally paid a small stipend to assist with living costs, and at the end of their term of service can earn financial credit towards paying student loans or furthering their education. Members get the chance to help fulfill needs within their own country, and gain valuable experience in the process. It’s really win-win.

The reason I’m telling you about AmeriCorps is that the St. Clairsville Public Library, along with libraries in rural areas across the state, is taking part in an AmeriCorps initiative, spearheaded by the State Library of Ohio. The State Library wrote and earned a grant to place full- or part-time AmeriCorps members in 30 public libraries with the vision “for every Ohioan to be able to fully participate in online government, search and apply for jobs online, understand the risks and benefits to internet finance, connect with family online, and protect personal information in the digital age.”

Our AmeriCorps member, Anthony Johnson, is from Cadiz Ohio. He is a graduate of Harrison Central, and seeking a degree in Networking from Belmont College. Anthony has a lot of experience helping others during his time as a Boy Scout. He loves computers and technology, and even has a background with Lego Robotics! Anthony started his term of service at the beginning of October; the term will end in August of 2015, but the State Library plans to request a renewal if the program is a success. The program temporarily increases our Tech Services staff by 150%; Anthony is part-time, and the project is overseen by Ron Woods, our Computer Services Supervisor. Having Anthony on board greatly increases the scope and breadth of what we are able to do.

So what does all this mean for you, the library user? Firstly, that we are going to be able to offer even more computer classes than we have in the past. In November alone, we have five Basic Computer Classes scheduled in our Technology Center:

 Tuesday, November 4: 2-3:30 pm
 Friday, November 7: 11 am -12:30 pm
 Tuesday, November 18: 2-3:30 pm
 Friday, November 21: 11 am – 12:30 pm
 Wednesday, November 26: 1-2:30 pm

We are also now able to offer off-site computer classes at schools, senior centers, and other organizations in our district (our library serves the St. Clairsville-Richland School District).
One of the most exciting services we can offer is that Anthony is available to schedule one-on-one instruction sessions. If you don’t like learning in a classroom setting, or if you have a special project such as uploading pictures from a camera to a website, learning how to create an Excel Spreadsheet to track your finances, figuring out how to use your new tablet, or even basic web navigation, Anthony can help! All of our classes and one-on-one help are free of charge

.
If you would like to attend a computer class, book an off-site visit to your organization, or schedule some one-on-one technology help, please stop by or call the library. Also, mention the secret password, “AmeriCorps” to our Front Desk staff by Wednesday for a chance to win two free tickets to the annual St. Clairsville Noon Rotary Spaghetti Dinner, Thursday October 23 from 11am to 7 pm at Marian Hall in St. Clairsville!
The St. Clairsville Public Library is located at 108 W. Main Street.

We are open Monday- Wednesday 10-8, Thursday-Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-2. We can be reached at 740-695-2062 or www.stclibrary.org.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

The Open Book
Robyn E. Vittek
We Get by with a Little Help from Our Friends

There’s a saying amongst librarians that everyone loves libraries until it’s time to give us money. That of course isn’t entirely true, but non-profit organizations don’t have an easy time of it during economic downturns; we receive less money from the state, but have more demand on our services. Am I right, social workers?
St. Clairsville Public Library is one of four library systems in Belmont County (Barnesville Hutton Memorial Library, Bellaire Public Library, and Belmont County District Library are the other three), so we receive only a part of Belmont County’s portion of the state’s Public Library Fund. Libraries are currently funded at about the same level as we were in 1996. St. Clairsville Public Library does not have a levy; we receive no local funds.

Happily, the people of St. Clairsville really do love their Library, and back up their very kind words through donations. Sometimes we receive donations directly, but we also have two wonderful organizations that help us fundraise: The St. Clairsville Public Library Foundation, who raises incredible sums of money for large projects (such as repairing the roof on our old building) and an endowment fund; and the St. Clairsville Friends of the Library (FOL). Today I’d like to tell you a little bit more about the Friends, as this is a busy season for them.
The St. Clairsville Friends of the Library is a non-profit group closely affiliated with the Library. The group’s primary function is to raise money that the Library can use for purchasing materials or equipment, offering programs, sending staff members to training, and helping to fulfill other small yet urgent needs that aren’t quite covered by the annual budget. The FOL holds book sales twice a year; this year they participated in the National Road Yard Sale and sold books at the Belmont County Fair as well.
Anyone in the community who wishes to support the Library can become a member; dues are only $10. The Friends of the Library is a great value for the money; not only are you able to attend the book sale Member Preview Night and get first pick of the books, but you are also invited to the FOL Annual Meeting, which is quite an event. This year, the annual meeting will include a wine and cheese tasting at Belmont Hills Country Club on Friday, October 17.

The Friends of the Library is above all a service organization; members can also volunteer to help at the book sales and other events. It takes a lot of effort and elbow grease to raise funds, especially one .50 used paperback at a time. Joining the Friends of the Library is a great way to support the library, meet people, and have a good time.
The Friends of the Library have a special fundraiser planned for this year, just in time for holiday gift-giving. Saturday, November 15 at 12 pm, the FOL will be hosting a Thirty-One party at the Library. Proceeds will be given to the Library towards the purchase of an AWE Learning Station,
which is a special child-sized computer pre-loaded with educational software. Tickets for the party are $10, and will give you $10 off your purchase of Thirty-One items. You don’t have to be a member to attend the party, but there will be a preview and pre-orders at the Annual Meeting.

The Friends of the Library recently elected new officers: The President is Sarah Steele, Vice-President, Alisa DelGuzzo; Secretary, Natalie Brown; Treasurer, Denise Zatezalo; and Membership Chair, Sarah Mahan-Hays.

To join the St. Clairsville Friends of the Library, stop by the library any time or attend a FOL event. Membership forms are also available from the library website. Purchasing a membership right now is a great deal as your membership will be valid through December 31, 2015.

Stop by the front desk and mention the secret password, “Sgt. Pepper,” before the end of the month for a chance to win a free Friends of the Library membership!

The St. Clairsville Public Library is located at 108 W. Main Street. We are open Monday- Wednesday 10-8, Thursday-Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-2. We can be reached at 740-695-2062 or