Mountlake Terrace Library Blog

Friday, September 30, 2011

Do You Love Manga?

I've always been fascinated with Japanese culture, and while I'm not obsessed with anime, I do love following some manga series. It is amazing how these comics can give you insight into life in another country...or take you to whole new worlds of imagination.

Next Wednesday the Mountlake Terrace Library will be hosting Jason Thompson, author of Manga: The Complete Guide, as he speak about Manga: Past, Present, Future. If you have any curiosity at all about where manga came from and where it is going you won't want to miss this cool presentation.

Never read any manga? Here are a few of my favorites to get started with:

by Kiyohiko Azuma

Follow the life of a weird little girl with green hair, her dad, and their next door neighbors. Reminds you of the wonder of childhood, and gives great glimpses into Japanese daily life.

Saturn Apartments
by Hisae Iwaoka

Mitsu, the lowly son of a window washer, has just graduated junior high. When his father disappears and is assumed dead, Mitsu must take on his father's occupation...washing windows outside the space station housing all of humanity.

Chi's Sweet Home
by Kanata Konami

Adorable kitten gets separated from its mother and litter-mates. Gets adopted by nice family who must keep him a secret. But this tiny cat is full of insatiable can he avoid getting caught? And will he ever find his mother again?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Library Services from a Very Different Perspective

Hello. My name is Mildred.

But don’t call me that. My mother named me after some ancient movie called "Mildred Pierce" starring some ancient dead actress. What teenager wants to be called Mildred? Why couldn’t she have named me Miley or Brittany or something cool like that? Anyway, I want to be called Lassie. I don’t know why – it just has a certain ring to it.

Anyway, I heard that the library is doing a survey this week (September 18-24) wanting to know how people feel about the services that the library provides.

On behalf of my fellow teens, I wanted to let you know how we feel.

We want a place where we can hang out and our little yelps, growls and occasional whining won’t bother anybody when we are meeting our friends. We like to come to the library to socialize, use the computer, and play games. But also, some of us don’t have quiet homes to go to so we need a place where we can concentrate and study.

It might not seem like we are doing something productive by gaming and attending movies at the library, but what adults sometimes don’t realize is that in order for us to thrive, we need support from adults besides our parents. We need positive role models, we want to feel valued and we want to feel safe.

We get that at the library.

At the library, we can get the latest Twilight books and romp around a bit, but we also see adults who like us, who smile at us when we come to the library, who we can see are respectful to others, who set reasonable boundaries for us and who are serving their community. We may not show it, but we appreciate it. And when we see this, it makes us want to serve our community too. We are glad we can do community service at the library. It makes us feel a part of the community. And that’s important to us, because we may act silly and get frisky soemtimes, but we really do want to be successful.

So that’s my two cents.

Sincerely, Mildred “Lassie” Pierce

Hello, my name is Frederic, and I am a senior.

Not only am I a senior citizen, but I am also the senior member of my, community.

As a senior, I am weighing in on the services of my community library.

I want the library to have large print books, so I can read more easily, quiet areas and places where I can gather with other seniors to talk about the issues of the day, such as the desirability of off-leash parks and local businesses providing water dishes outside their establishments. We want classes to teach us how to paw a mouse on the computer (good thing I am not a cat or that would be funny), and ESL classes to help us communicate better with humans. Other class ideas would be "Grooming for Dogs – Pros and Cons of Shaving in the Summer" or "Are Working Dogs Being Adequately Compensated?" Just a couple of ideas I had.

Anyway, I also see the library as a volunteer opportunity. I have friends in the "Reading with Rover" program who find it very enriching to help children with their reading. I also miss my grandchildren who have grown up and moved away, so it feels good to work with other young people. My library has some intergenerational classes where teens help us old folks understand our laptops or cell phone.

By cracky, when I look at it, I can see that my library is doing a very good job serving seniors such as myself. Thank you for caring what your community wants. I really appreciate the opportunity to give my input.

Sincerely, Frederic Alexander Poodle

Hewwo, my name is Baby Tarquin.

I think my friend A.J. wrote something recently about the Ready Reader Program. I wanted to be sure you heard from babies about what we think of the library. We like board books we can easily handle and Mommy and Daddy won’t have a fit if we chew, I mean, gum them a bit. During Baby Story Time, I like when you show my parents how to do things that baby's enjoy, so that when we are home together they won't just plop me in front of the TV. I enjoy songs, I enjoy puppets, I enjoy rhyming games and for them to read to me. Your baby and children's story times help my parents learn how to engage me and get me ready for kithergarten(sic).

And I like treats.

I don’t like the words “no” or “stop that!”

Thank you for listening.

PS I love my librarians and my library. They are doing a gr-r-r-reat job for my parents and me. Sorry, I didn't mean to growl.

Sincerely, Tarquin A. Baby

Please take the time this week – Sept. 20-24 – to fill out the survey at your community library to weigh in on your community library’s services.

We want to hear from you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The End of Summer

Sigh, goodbye summer.

Since my husband managed to lock himself in a BC ferry restroom and couldn’t get out, this is a good time to reflect on what went right and what went wrong over the summer.

Let’s get back to that incident with my husband on the BC ferry.

We were in the “quiet” room on the BC ferry from Victoria. The one restroom was set up to help people with disabilities, so it involved pushing a button to get in, even though the door had a handle. It took me a minute to figure that out. What I didn’t realize was that I had to push a button inside the restroom to lock the door. Fortunately no one came in. But while there, I did figure out that I also needed to push a button to get out.

Next, enter my husband. He made it in alright, but after a short period of time, a tentative rattling of a door handle pierced the quiet of the room, followed by a light tapping on the door. The tapping became more and more insistent. When I heard the strained yelp, I figured I had better take action.

So I nonchalantly meandered over to the door to talk my husband down from the ledge…er, out of the restroom, all the while pretending I was heading to refill my coffee cup.

“The big button over by the toilet. Push it,” I whispered into the door. I felt like I was in a spy movie. When he came out, the others in the room practically broke out into applause.

So to avoid similar embarrassment, here’s what I learned.

When entering an unfamiliar restroom, before locking the door, make sure you know how to get out.

On a more positive note, the end of summer also means the end of the library’s Summer Reading Program. And this was definitely something that went right!

All of the libraries in the Sno-Isle Libraries family participated and provided activities and incentives to keep kids reading throughout the summer.

Based on the findings of a recent three-year study by Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library Information Studies, it was discovered that students who participate in their local library’s summer reading program significantly improve their reading skills – in fact they found that kids who participated were 52 Lexile points ahead of their peers who didn’t. Also participation helped kids retain their learning during the summer months.

This is not news to us librarians who have participated in summer reading programs for years.

A landmark 1978 study had already determined that children who read at least six books during the summer maintained or improved their reading skills while kids who didn’t read at all saw their skills slip by as much as an entire grade level. And the time spent reading improved vocabulary test scores as well.

A 1982 study confirmed those findings when it found that by the end of 5th grade, students who didn’t read during the summer lagged two years behind their classmates who had read, and that summer learning loss accounted for most of the achievement gap between students who lived in poverty and those who didn’t.

So that is the practical side of children and teens participating in Summer Reading.

But there are other benefits as well. It’s fun!

This summer, children and their families attended weekly programs – everything from the Magic Tree House to learning about science to a play presentation of “The Emperor and the Nightingale.”

Children entered drawings and won bikes (thanks to the Mountlake Terrace Masons)

and cookies the size of their heads.

They marched with their library in a parade. Second and third graders who were reluctant readers worked with teens to learn to enjoy reading in the Book Buddies Program. Teens submitted book reviews online and watched movies at the library. Adults participated, too, and “best” reviews won a Nook Reader.

Here at the Mountlake Terrace Library, 357 children from 63 different area schools signed up for Summer Reading and 101 read 10 books or more.

But just because Summer Reading is over, that doesn’t mean the fun and adventures at the library end.

Here is just a sample of what is happening this fall:

Computer classes
Citizenship classes
Weekly baby and family story times where parents can learn skills needed to get their children ready to succeed in kindergarten
“Reading with Rover,” - children can practice their reading with an attentive and quiet canine

“Teen Wednesdays,” - teens can gather to play games and watch movies

“Book a Librarian :” You can make an appointment with a librarian to get help with the computer or research project
“Saturdays at the Library-There’s Always Something Going On!” - special events, such as learning how to Travel Journal or teens helping seniors one on one with how to email, Skype, use Facebook or upload photos to their computer, sponsored by the Friends of the Mountlake Terrace Library
Family Night at the Library, where a variety of activities are offered: Lego challenges, stories, etc.

The Foodie and and Second Tuesday Book Groups lure adults with yummy food and great books to share.

Summer is over, but your library is still there for you offering you reading adventures, opportunities to learn something new and just plain fun!

But don’t spoil your fun. Remember what I said about restrooms. Plan ahead!

How was your summer?