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Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey kids!
Thorndyke here! Hope you are having a fantastic summer! I sure am with all of you coming in to say hello! In fact, a whopping 3,286 of you have signed up for summer reading. Good job!
Well, last time I wrote I gave you a hint as to where LB was headed next. Did you guess? Have you been waiting with bated breath? Well, it's time to reveal the answer. LB went to Canada! Wow! He sure gets lots of stamps in his passport!
He started out in Niagara Falls. This town is famous for it's really big waterfalls! Did you know that there is an American falls and a Canadian one there? You can even ride in a boat right up to the falls, but LB didn't do that, because the humidity does a number on his fur. He'd look like a big brown puffball. A long time ago, daredevils used to try to ride down the waterfalls in barrels. Today, the waterfalls are used to generate electricity. Pretty cool! There are other fun things to do in Niagara Falls too, like the Skylon Tower and the Butterfly House.
Next, LB went to Toronto, Ontario, where there is another really cool tall tower! The CN Tower is 1,815 ft, 5 inches tall, making it the tallest tower in the world! Woah! That's way taller than me. At the top there are glass floors that you can stand on, and then it looks like you are floating way up in the sky. LB is really brave. He took a nap up there on that floor! Next door to the CN Tower is the Rogers Centre. That's where the Toronto Blue Jays play baseball. The Blue Jays weren't there that day, but LB still got a tour. And then he ended the day at the harbour where there are some really tall boats! Everything is big in Canada it seems!
LB sure had fun! Remember, you can always see all of LB's pictures on the library Flickr account (and maybe you'll even see pictures of YOU!). LB's off on another adventure next week. Do you want your hint? He's got quite an itinerary, but one of the cities he's visiting is the home of another famous baseball team and the home of some pretty important people in our country's history. Good luck guessing! Until next time...
Bear Hugs!
Thorndyke

PBS Design Squad needs YOUR inventions!

Finished with your summer reading log and looking for a new summer challenge? The 2010 Trash to Treasure Competition challenges kids, ages 5-19, to recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials into out-of-the-box inventions. Three winners will win a trip to Boston to see their designs built and appear on an episode of Design Squad. Twenty-five finalists will be featured on the series website and will receive a Design Squad t-shirt. Entries will be accepted through September 5, 2010.

Ice Cream Social @ the Library

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Come learn how to make your own ice cream. Add some extra toppings to make a delicious ice cream sundae. All ages welcome! Register for one timeslot beginning July 20.
Program Date: August 3 from 11:00-11:30AM or 1:00-1:30PM or 3:00-3:30PM or 7:00-7:30PM

Bone — Tall Tales

Hey Bone fans! Have you been eagerly waiting for a new graphic novel starring your favorite guys from Jeff Smith's comic, Bone? Well, look no further! Coming soon to our shelves is the newest title in the Bone :--tall tales. Be sure to put it on hold so that you can keep up with this tale about Big Johnson Bone, founder of Boneville. Also, keep your eyes peeled because a new Bone trilogy is due out this fall. Happy reading!

Summer Romance Reads for Teens

Like books like the princess diaries? Looking for a good, wholesome, light romance for the summer? Try these:

Amy & Roger's epic detour by Morgan Matson

The summer I turned pretty by Jenny Han

I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you by Ally Carter

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Kimono

University of Michigan Museum of Art has some beautiful Kimonos on display as part of their special exhibits. The exhibition runs through July 25th, 2010. Head out and enjoy the display.

Summer Reading Fun!

Looking for a fun, easy, free activity for summer? Sign up for our annual Summer Reading program. We've got something for babies through adults. Complete your reading log by August 11th for a really fantastic prize!

Michigan Frogs and Toads

Learn about Michigan frogs and toads from the experts at Crosswinds Wetland Preserve. See and hear live frogs and toads and learn to imitate their sounds. All ages welcome! Registration begins July 14.
Program Date: July 28, 7:00-8:30PM

Duct Tape Mania

Teens in grades 7-12 and Tweens in grades 5-6 can create awesome creations out of duct tape July 15th from 2:00-2:45PM. All materials will be supplied.

Make Your Own Minicomics

Teens in grades 7-12 can learn to draw minicomics from Jane Irwin July 27 from 7:00-8:00PM.

Lips Touch Three Times

Three short stories about three magical, mostly disastrous kisses, Lips Touch Three Times oozes the kind of creative, madcap energy that reminds me of authors like Neil Gaiman or Charles De Lint. Deliciously wicked and inventive, from one-eyed fae who hunt by the smell of hair to demons that move their shadows. This has everything that a fairy tale / fantasy fan could want.

Do Library Summer Reading Programs Make Better Students?

The Dominican University Graduate School of Library & Information Science has released the results of their three-year study (2006-2009) on the impact of public library summer reading programs on student achievement. The results? Students who participate in summer reading programs at their public library score higher than their non-summer reading classmates on reading achievement tests when they return to school. Additionally, by the third grade, students who participate in summer reading demonstrate better reading skills and better standardized test scores by a significant margin.

Video Game Fun!

Unleash your inner rock star or Wii athlete or enjoy some MarioKart racing during our all ages open video gaming day. All ages welcome. No registration required.
Program Date: July 19, 1:00-3:00PM

July is National Blueberry Month!

Some fun facts about blueberries:
  1. The blueberry muffin is the most popular muffin in the United States
  2. The blueberry is the official state fruit of New Jersey
  3. A single bush can produce as many as 6,000 blueberries a year
  4. There are only three commercial fruits native to North America: blueberries, cranberries and Concord grapes
Learn more about National Blueberry Month.

Working to Improve Our Service to You

Our new returns system is here! This new system will allow us to better serve you and more accurately handle the 2 million+ items you checkout each year by automatically checking in returns as you put them into the slot. "Why aren't my returned items checked in yet"? is the most common question we receive over the phone and through our website, and our new system will take care of most of those issues.

With our budget cuts due to the recession — we've cut nearly 20%, or $1.2 million, from our budget since 2008 — we have held nearly all vacant positions open to save money. With fewer people working, but ever-increasing demand for materials (we hit a record of 2 million checkouts in 2009), we have struggled to keep up with all of the work that needs to be done. Many of you have experienced this when you return an item to the library and it takes us a day to clear your record. After holiday closures, it was not uncommon for us to need several days to catch up with all of the returns. We are only human, and simply reached a breaking point where our manual processes could not keep up.

Realizing that we were overwhelmed, a team of library staff who know and do the work examined how we do things and made suggestions for improvement. One of their suggestions was to install an automated checkin and sorting system (the conveyor system we are using is the same as/similar to conveyor and sorting systems used by UPS, USPS, Netflix, and Wal-Mart) that would let us devote more staff time to shelving and other patron services, such as retrieving and processing holds. These suggestions coincided with our need to upgrade our RFID inventory system, and last year we began the work of retagging all of our 300,000 materials with new RFID tags, eliminating nearly all of the locking cases that so many of you hated, and six months ago we launched new checkout, self-checkout, and processing equipment.

This past spring, our Copy Center services were distributed to other areas of the library, and the room converted for the new Sorting Room. New outside and inside return slots were installed, which feed directly into that space. The sorting system arrived this week, and today's launch of our new Sorting Room marks the end of this long journey. The majority of returns will be checked in and removed from your record automatically and pre-sorted into categories (bins). This means fewer hands have to touch items to get them back on the shelves. This, along with the other improvements made and suggested by our staff, means your library card record is more accurate, we will make fewer errors, and you'll see faster turn-around of items to the hold shelf or their home shelf location.

Check out our video for a demonstration, or stop by during our regular hours to look through the glass doors and see the sorting system in action.

These improvements were funded through the library's savings account and the generous donations of the Friends of the Library. We still have some kinks to work out — nicer signage for the new outside return slot, for example, among other things — and I thank you for your support, patience, and good humor while we work on fine-tuning our new system.

Best,

Eva M. Davis, Director

Celebrate Siblings at CPL

In honor of the new Ramona and Beezus movie, children, tweens and teens with siblings 8 and up can join us Wednesday, July 21st at 2:00PM as we celebrate that special sibling bond with games, crafts and activities! Registration is required and begins July 7th.

Scott Pilgrim vs. ...You

Excited for the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World movie coming out in August? Well check out the Scott Pilgrim avatar creator! Or, scope out the original graphic novels that spawned the movie. They're hilarious! They're action packed. They're... full of obscure video game references... Yeah, you know you want to read them.

Move over Babelfish!

Traveling to a non-English speaking country this summer? Getting letters from a pen pal or family member in a language you're learning? Feeling a little shaky with your translation?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you might be interested in this cool online translation dictionary. You can also click on the suggested definitions to see how they're pronounced.
They currently offer 28 dictionaries, including Arabic and Hindi, as well as European languages.

Stardate: July 5, 2010

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Here's your chance to log-in on William Shatner because the William Shatner Blogathon takes off on July 5.

The rules are simple: Blog about William Shatner. Doesn't matter what you blog about; anything that bears the golden touch of the Shatman is fair game.

Lin, the Face Reader

By focusing on your face for a few seconds, Lin can tell your personality traits, habits, likes, tendencies, needs, expectations, and more. Teens in grades 7-12 can experience Lins talents July 13 from 7:00-8:00PM.