Whether you're homeschooling or preparing to avert the summer slide, these resources will help you strengthen your math skills. 

Elementary School Math

  • Math Everywhere! series on hoopla - An eight book series full of word problems and real world scenarios.
  • McGrath Math series on hoopla - These books use teddy bears to teach beginning skills like counting, patterns, and more. 
  • Mathplayground.com - Hundreds of free math games separated by grade.
  • LearningExpress Library - The Elementary School Center on LearningExpress Library offers practice tests for grades 4, 5, and 6. Create a free account with your library card.

Middle School Math

Brainfuse

HelpNow by Brainfuse offers live homework help daily from 2-11pm. With just your library card, you can bring your toughest math problems to a live tutor. 

 

The American Library Assocation (ALA) reports that 566 books were challenged in libraries, schools, and universities in 2019. Below are the most frequently challenged books. More information can be found through the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

George by Alex Gino
Also available in: e-book

Reasons: challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure.”

Also available in: e-book

Reasons: Challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning.

If you need to send a fax while the library is closed, the company that supplies and operates the library's fax machine offers an online fax service. You can send a fax online from any device.

The cost is 99 cents for the 1st page and 49 cents for each additional page. For an additional 49 cents you may choose to get a text confirmation regarding the status of your fax. If you choose to not get the text confirmation, you can call 1-800-468-2748 for verbal confirmation or check their website to view the status.

Check out these new titles recently added to the Library's emedia Biography shelves.

April 16, 2020 – 7:30 pm

The Chairperson, Amy Watts, called the meeting to order at 7:32 PM.

Present:           N. Eggenberger, M. Farell, J. Lee, J. Pandit, D. Turner, A. Watts

Absent:            None

Also Present:  E. Davis, K. Gladden

  • CALL TO AUDIENCE   (M. Crowther, L. Golden, M. Hathaway, A. Iqbal, P. Jenkins, D. McHugh, M. Nicholson, R. Noble, J. Parij, D. Skopczynski, C. Souchock, C. Spas, C. Swanberg, N. Szczepanski, A. Watkins) – Director Eva Davis introduced the Canton Public Library Board of Trustees to the audience.         
  • APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Secretary/Treasurer Michelle Farell moved and Trustee Nancy Eggenberger supported a motion to accept the agenda as presented.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, M. Farell, J. Lee, J. Pandit, D. Turner, A. Watts

No:  None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/4‑16-1 (6-0-0)

  • APPROVAL OF GENERAL MEETING MINUTES

Vice Chair Jasmine Lee requested that an addition be made to the minutes for the February 20, 2020 board meeting minutes.

Trustee Don Turner moved and Secretary/Treasurer M. Farell supported a motion to accept the minutes as amended.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, M. Farell, J. Lee, J. Pandit, D. Turner, A. Watts

No:  None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/4‑16-2 (6-0-0)

  • COMMUNICATIONS — None
  • DIRECTOR’S REPORT
    • E. Davis reported that former Information Services Department Head Rebecca Havenstein-Coughlin died on April 8, 2020. Community Relations Department Head Laurie Golden had worked closely with Michael Coughlin to draft the blog post that appeared on the library’s website. She also worked with Information Technology Department Head Rudie Noble and Accountant Debbie McHugh to create a donation fund for the Rebecca Havenstein-Coughlin Memorial Courtyard. Golden utilized other social media outlets to communicate re: Havenstein-Coughlin. A small family service was held; a Celebration of Life will be scheduled at some point after social distancing orders have been relaxed.
    • The filing deadline for anyone wishing to run for a seat on the library board is April 21, 2020. Davis will provide Canton Township Clerk Michael Siegrist’s telephone number to anyone who is interested.
    • Governor Whitmer has decreed that all flags be flown at half-staff.
    • Davis noted that page 2 of her written Director’s Report contained an error: there were 10,300 Hoopla checkouts in March (not 12,300).
    • While the board packet contained financial reports for both February and March (due to the cancellation of the March meeting), she addressed only the March figures. As of March 31, the library was 25% through the fiscal year. Almost 100% of the property tax revenue has been received; the balance should be received in the summer, barring complications stemming from the COVID-19 closures. Other revenue (such as meeting room rentals, overdue fines and material replacement fees) will trend lower as a result of the library closure.
    • As always at this point in the year, certain expenditures are trending higher. Fringe Benefits are at 38% spent because of the annual payment made to MERS in January. Library Materials are trending slightly higher because of all the ordering done in January to make up for the lack of new materials being purchased in November and December. Professional & Contractual is trending higher due to the purchase or renewal of various software licenses and maintenance agreements. Travel is at 50% spent because of staff attendance at the biennial Public Library Association conference in Nashville in February. Insurance, at 75%, is also billed during the 1st quarter. These areas will fall into line as the year progresses. All other categories are at or under 25%.
    • Some conferences which staff members were slated to attend have been cancelled or postponed. Any refunds will go back into the fund from which they were paid. If airline tickets are not refunded, we will see if they can be transferred or re-scheduled. Any unspent dollars will be handled through the budget amendment process.
  • TRUSTEE COMMENTS — Trustee Jane Pandit had attended the PLA conference. She said that it was very worthwhile and that she had learned a lot.
  • COMMITTEE REPORTS — None
  • UNFINISHED BUSINESS & GENERAL ORDERS — None
  • NEW BUSINESS
    • 2019 Audit Presentation — Alisha Watkins and Melanie Crowther of Plante Moran presented the findings from their audit of the 2019 fiscal year. Watkins, in her first appearance as the library’s partner, stated her appreciation for the collaborative efforts of Business Services Department Head Marian Nicholson and Accountant D. McHugh. In her audit presentation, M. Crowther warned that any projections contained in the slide presentation had been obtained before the COVID-19 shutdown. Since 95% of the library’s budget is supplied by property taxes (the majority of which has already been received), the library will be okay in the short term; what will happen in future years is unknown, but she anticipates that any shortfall will occur in 2022. Davis remarked that, while the housing market collapsed in 2007, the library’s budget was not impacted until 2009. The Administration therefore has time to attempt mitigation of any shortfalls by budgeting higher for anticipated property tax refunds on the expenditures side, and lower for property tax receipts on the revenue side.

      Watkins stated that no expenditures were out of line with the 2019 budget, and that the library had received an “unmodified” opinion. She noted that the library’s current software may not accommodate the Updated Chart of Accounts that will be mandatory in 2021.

      While the library’s use of a Reserve/Contingency fund in its budget does not strictly conform with the Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act (Public 2 of 1968), it is not sufficiently deviant to merit the withholding of an unmodified opinion. Davis reminded the board that setting aside an amount equal to the library’s annual bond payment as Reserve/Contingency was begun years ago after the bond had been repaid, as a demonstration of the library’s good stewardship of the taxpayer’s money.  It is a presentation issue on paper and can be changed if the board requests it. The board agreed to discuss the issue at a later time.

      Davis indicated her appreciation for both D. McHugh and M. Nicholson, as well as all the department heads, all of whose hard work throughout the year made the audit better and made it possible for the library to complete capital improvement projects without dipping into the Fund Balance.

    • Accept 2019 Audit as Presented

N. Eggenberger moved and J. Lee supported a motion to accept the 2019 Audit as presented.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, M. Farell, J. Lee, J. Pandit, D. Turner, A. Watts

No:  None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/4‑16-3 (6-0-0)

  • 1st Quarter Budget Amendment — M. Nicholson explained the necessity for purchasing two (2) new sets of front doors at this time. Since the cost is more than $5,000 it is considered a capital improvement and requires board action to move the funds from one budget line to another.

M. Farell moved and N. Eggenberger supported a motion to approve the 1st Quarter Budget Amendment as presented.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, M. Farell, J. Lee, J. Pandit, D. Turner, A. Watts

No:  None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/4‑16-4 (6-0-0)

  • 2021 Budget Discussion — Expenditures
  • Healthcare plan coverage  — The library is not currently in full compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Davis reviewed the costs for full compliance based on the library’s current employee roster. Nicholson answered specific questions about the applicable regulations and penalties. The board members all indicated that more thought on this subject is needed in light of financial uncertainty due to COVID-19 and directed Davis and Nicholson to pursue the healthcare plan annual contract with the current policy and employee census.
  • Approve Resolution to Change Newspaper of Record — Designating the Canton Eagle as the library’s Newspaper of Record will result in less expensive legal advertising for the library, as well as bringing us in line with Canton Township, which uses the Eagle for their legal ads.

D. Turner moved and M. Farell supported a Resolution to change the Newspaper of Record.

ROLL CALL VOTE

Yes: N. Eggenberger, M. Farell, J. Lee, J. Pandit, D. Turner, A. Watts

No:  None

Abstain: None

The motion passed 20/4‑16-5 (6-0-0)

  • Library Closure Due to COVID-19 — The library closure has been extended through April 30. Thanks to previous action by the board, reporting pay (when the employee cannot work through no fault of their own, due to an emergency or disaster) is being extended to permanent part-time and permanent full-time staff members. Five (5) provisional employees scheduled for under 20 hours/week have applied for unemployment. The Administration will be having discussions to determine adjustments in the 2020 budget to cover any reimbursements to the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) over the amount already budgeted.
    • The combined federal Cares Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act mandates that employers must pay an additional two weeks of sick time (over and above any paid time off already offered to CPL employees) to any employee who must be quarantined due to them or a member of their household having the COVID-19 virus or caring for a family member with the virus.
    • The library has greatly expanded its collection of electronic materials, which are being ordered remotely by librarians working from home. Davis expects a huge spike in orders for physical materials in May since none have been ordered since March, but no one has any real idea of what the demand will be.  A committee is working on what an eventual library re-opening will look like. It will be done in stages, and the framework will be triggered by a combination of federal, state and municipal orders and guidelines. Davis assured the board that the library will not open until it has adequate supplies of hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and protective masks/guards so that both staff and the public are comfortable.
  • L. Golden and her Community Relations team are working with librarians on ways to make 62 Days of Summer flexible. Packets might be mass-mailed to township households and a lot of program components could be available online. While Davis noted that there would be a budgetary impact to postage and printing which will likely require a budget amendment, Golden hopes that having some form of the annual program may help residents achieve some sense of normality. Chair Watts noted that parents quarantined at home with their children will greet it with a huge sense of relief.
  • Trustees Turner and Eggenberger complimented Davis and her team for their approach to a gradual re-opening. Davis credited her team members for being unafraid to speak up and share their thoughts. Plymouth District Library Director Carol Souchock will be hosting a Zoom meeting of area library directors to ensure coordinated openings prevent any one library from being overwhelmed.
  • Davis told the board that certain revenues (material replacement, overdue fines, penal fines, and State Aid) will be less than budgeted due to the shutdown. The biggest concern for the next 18 months will be potential property tax refunds due to appeals to the tax tribunal.
  • Trustee Eggenberger complimented the library in achieving a favorable outcome with Kanopy.
  • CALL TO AUDIENCE – Information Services Department Head Jessica Parij thanked the board, on behalf of her department, for both approving reporting pay and for their significant support for materials, especially electronic materials.
  • ADJOURN

The meeting was adjourned at 9:37 PM

The CDC recommends wearing a cloth mask in public settings when it is difficult to maintain social distancing. There are several easy ways to make your own mask - for those who have have some simple sewing skills, and for those who do not. The CDC provides clear instructions on everything from how to make a mask, the correct way to wear it, and how to clean it. Another good source of simple mask-making instructions can be found at Masks4All.

Although the Freep Film Festival has been postponed until December, documentary fans can still watch  some of the films that were to appear at the annual event during a virtual version of the festival this week. One film will be featured every day  between April 22-26 for free on freep.com. In all, twelve  films will be shown. 

It's important to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19, and if you must go out, to practice social distancing. But while we stay home, don't let fear and anxiety become overwhelming. Helpful advice is available from many resources, including the CDC, the American Heart Association, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Mayo Clinic, and WebMD. The library's emedia collection also contains many titles, a few of which are listed here.

video chat

This is a lonely time, and though many of us connect with others through posting platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it can be difficult to stay at home all day with the same people. Eventually, as we begin to miss our friends (and even our coworkers), and wonder: how can we gather while staying safe?

The answer is a virtual social hour, in which multiple people join a video chat to share an experience: a book discussion, playing a game, even chatting over an end-of-the-day beverage. Virtual social hours are a great way to see the people you miss while protecting public health.

3 Tips for a Successful Social Hour

  • Keep it small - limit the group size so you are likely to hear each other. Video chats make it possible to see that someone is preparing to speak, so limit the number of participants so you can pay attention and not talk over each other. Depending on which software you use, try to select a view option that lets you see a grid of each person's video, instead of putting one person front-and-center while they talk.
  • Set a purpose - Are you discussing a specific topic (such as the most recent Hoopla Book Club Hub selection)? Sharing tales of parenting in the trenches with your mom group? Perhaps you're hosting a virtual dinner party? Whatever the reason, setting a purpose can make it worth the trouble to change out of our "day pajamas" and into normal clothes (at least from the waist up).
  • Choose a platform everyone can use - if you are gathering your entire family for dinner, don't choose software that will frustrate friends and family with a complicated installation or expensive subscription requirements. Choose something that will be easy enough for your most tech-phobic participant, and maybe do a practice run beforehand. 

Comparing Three Popular Options

There are MANY different programs out there to help you find a virtual space for friends to meet. Here are some popular options that accommodate groups of 10 or more; are available for Android, iOS, and Windows; have free options, and are helping friends and family come together across the country right now. 

Zoom 

Zoom seems to be everywhere recently due to its heavy use in online education (which has grown exponentially in the last month), and its newfound popularity in businesses. Anyone can use it to attend a meeting, though hosts must have accounts and their account status is what affects limitations on meeting size and duration. Tutorials are available here.  

Pros - High-quality video and an intuitive interface. Some fun and useful advanced features available in free accounts, including very fun Virtual Backgrounds. Multiple users can share their screens with the group. 

Cons - Groups meetings are limited to 40 minutes unless the host has a Pro account. (Host can immediately re-start a meeting if needed.)

Cost - Free for basic access, with Pro accounts available for $14.99/month

Google Hangouts

Google products are everywhere, even for people who aren't "power-users". Many of us use Google as our default search engine, or Google Maps to find directions. Google Hangouts, Google''s "everyday" video chat has been around for years, and its getting even more use these days. Tutorial available here. 

Pros - If you are a Google user, Hangouts easily fits into your other Google products, such as Gchat, Calendar and Gmail. The interface is one of the easiest to understand, too, if you aren't looking to use advanced features. It has no time limit on meetings, even for free accounts.

Cons - Google Hangout requires a Google login, which are free to create but may be a nuisance if you don't have one already. Though it limits free accounts to 25 users, for our purposes this isn't much of a drawback: we think 25 is plenty.

Cost - Free, though there are business-level upgrades starting at $6/month.

Skype

Skype has been around since 2003, and is one of the longest-running options for making calls on your computer. They're now owned by Microsoft, so if you have a Windows 10 computer it's possible you already have it set up on your device. Tutorial available here. 

Pros - Getting set up for a call is very simple with Skype. There is no time limit on calls, and the web feature allows you to blur your background so no one can see how messy your house is right now.

Cons - Skype is not known for its video quality compared to Zoom and Hangouts, and audio calls perform much better. Its free features aren't as fun as Zoom's.

Cost - Free for computer-to-computer calls, but paid options exist for calls directly to phone numbers, or international calls. Rates vary by country, but are generally under $10/month US, or Skype Credit (a pay-as-you-go option) can be purchased as well. 

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