Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Originally published in the California Focus Feb, 2012

Greetings from the California Area Public Library.

Last month I mentioned one of our goals for 2012 was to increase programing and services.  This month I wanted to stay with that theme and introduce you to a few ways we are going to meet that goal.

First is our newly redesigned website created by Matt Peteritis at www.calpublib.org.  This will serve as a portal to the library and what we have to offer.  You can check our hours, access electronic resources like Power Library, or find links to the community.  The events section will be especially helpful in finding out what is going on; you can even follow the link and friend us on Facebook.

OverDrive in next.  I mentioned it before and am excited to say that it is available to our patrons.  As part of the Washington and Greene Greater Information Network, with state funding, our members can now download eBooks and audiobooks form our website.  Using your library card you can now access digital media anytime, anywhere on to devices like your computer, smartphone, or eBook readers.  It is easy and convenient, perfect for days when the weather just does not want to cooperate.  Get started by visiting our website and look for the link on the main page.  If you are interested in learning more about how the service works we are looking to schedule some information sessions, call us for details.

A lot of people have been asking about computer classes.  We are in the process of scheduling them for March. There will be an introduction to computers class and another that will teach you how to use word processing and spreadsheet software.  If you are interested let us know.  We will be announcing the dates and times in the next few weeks.

Finally, we are proud to have Susan Chernay R.N. providing information sessions on nutrition to our community. Stop by to speak with her one-on-one about living a healthy life and have your blood pressure taken.  She is generously making herself available to the community.  You can also see the schedule of when she will be available by visiting the events section of our website or the Facebook page.

We are always looking for fun and interesting ways to reach out to you, so if you have an idea for events or programs you would like to see let us know.

~Brian K. Dawson
                                                  Library Director

Monday, January 23, 2012

Here is a recent interview I did with Brad Hundt of the Washington Observer Reporter about the District Libraries OverDrive initiative. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Originally published in the California Focus Jan, 2012

            Greetings from the California Area Public Library

How time flies!  As we all recover from the rigors of the holidays and finish off the last of the leftover cookies it is time to reflect and plan how to forge ahead in the New Year. 

I am just finishing up my first year here as the library director and what a year it has been.  Most of my time has been spent on learning the day to day operations of the library and getting to know the community.  My goal was to see what the library had to offer, what more we could do and how we fit into the lives of the people.  At this point I have a fairly good idea to those answers.  Before I get into that I wanted to let you know what we have accomplished this past year.

In 2011 we have invested heavily in three large projects.  The first was updating our facility.  We were able to renovate our office space increasing efficiency and work space that was welcomed by the employees.  Technology was another goal of ours.  We have been fortunate enough to upgrade equipment creating a more stable system in-house.  We now have a total of eight computers that are available publicly to our patrons along with projection equipment they can utilize.  In cooperation with the Washington County Library System we will be making e-books available through OverDrive.  Patrons will be able to borrow e-books and audio books 24 hours a day to the device of their choice with a valid library card.  We also have e-Book readers available here for our patrons to use.  The last project was serving the children of the community.  By focusing our efforts we had more children attending and participating in our Summer Reading and Story Time programs.  This was all in addition to adding new employees, expanding our collection and serving our patrons in more traditional ways.

So what is in store for us in 2012?

This year I have three goals; providing more services and programing, creating relationships with organizations to help promote those services and finally increasing community participation. We are in the process of planning programs for both children and adults.  We are planning classes on computers and health and would love to see the return of the book club.  We are hoping to partner with local organizations to help provide content that you are interested in.  We are hoping to forge stronger relationships with area schools and see how we can help them achieve their goals.  Lastly, we are hoping to develop more community participation with the library.  We have a number of ways to be involved; if you are interested on serving on our board, joining our Friends of the library group, volunteering regularly, helping us teach a class or accomplish a short term project let us know.

                                                ~Brian K. Dawson

                                                  Library Director