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Today at CPL

Today at CPL — November 9, 2010

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Today at CPL — October 31, 2010

Canton Public Library has been a destination for fright and fun on Halloween for nearly as long as we've been around.

For instance, as this Observer clipping attests, CPL hosted singer/storyteller Pamela Vander Ploeg in 1986 for a Halloween dose of spooky stories and "ghosts, goblins, games, goodies."

We've recently snapped a lot more [digital] pictures of staff and patrons in their costumes:

2007

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2010

Today at CPL — October 29, 2010

As illustrated in this CPL music video from 2002, reading rules. And that's as true today as it was in 1980 when the library opened.

In today's media, the death of reading is greatly exaggerated. How people read and what people read has changed, to be sure. And although there are many other things you can do at the library, books and reading is still the number one reason people visit. Fiction titles are the top circulation item at CPL.

What will reading be like in the future? Will the ink on paper format still exist? What impact will electronic books have on how and what we read? Clive Thompson's piece in Wired, The Future of Reading offers one opinion. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is hard at work building a better book.

So, yes, reading rocks. And it rules. And it really does unlock the door to a world of imagination, fun and opportunity for kids of all ages.

For more CPL 30th Anniversary celebration, check out 30 of the Best 30s.

Today at CPL — October 28, 2010

We've covered the 1980s and the early 2000s this month as we look back over CPL's 30-year history. But what about the 90s?

The image at right is the letter from the director, Jean Tabor, in the January 1994 issue of the library newsletter. You can find this and more historical images in the 1994-95 scrapbook.

What's interesting about this letter is that the technology has changed since then, but the end result is largely the same. In 1994 we had a few computer terminals networked together to offer databases on CD-ROM. Today, we still offer SIRS and a Health Reference database, though we recently switched from Newsbank to other news databases. You can still read Just Grandma and me, though we only have it in conventional book form now instead of CD-ROM.

And what about that laserdisc? Well, we don't have it anymore, and it's not available on DVD. However, you can check out Master Paintings from the collection and American Masterpieces, or just visit the gallery's website for a full catalog of art with many of the pieces digitized and available online.

What sort of technology will CPL use 16 years from now?

For more CPL 30th Anniversary celebration, check out 30 Fugitive Facts.

Today at CPL — October 27, 2010

Canton Township was a different place in 1980. The photo to the right (from Images of America's Canton Township Book) shows a parade down Ford Road between Haggerty and Canton Center in 1981, at the Canton Country Festival (the precursor to Liberty Fest).

In 1980, the decision was made to put the library in Township Hall. Deborah O'Connor was selected as the first director. Funds were raised, supplies were purchased, and the library opened on October 20.

The 1980-81 Scrapbook has some amazing press clippings and photos from this exciting time in the library's history. It's worth a look.

For more CPL 30th Anniversary celebration, check out 30 Big Links of 1980.

Today at CPL — October 26, 2010

When the library opened in 1980, the population of Canton was around 48,600, according to SEMCOG reports. It took the library nearly four years to circulate one million items. This clip from 1984 reports a circulation rate of one item every 35 seconds that the library is open.

Our circulation rate rapidly increased and in 2002, serving a population of around 80,000, we hit the one million items a year mark, giving us our reputation as the state's busiest single-building library.

In 2009, we set an all-time circulation record when 2,015,317 items were checked out. That's a rate of one item every 6.44 seconds, or about 22 items for every Canton resident. Our circulation remains high and to help handle the workload, in 2010 we installed a state-of-the-art automatic sorting machine.

Today at CPL — October 25, 2010


On November 13, 1988, Canton Public Library opened in its current building. The grand opening celebration was well-attended, with the flag-raising by the Canton Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a musical performance near the fireplace by members of the Centennial Park Chamber Orchestra.

For more CPL 30th Anniversary celebration, check out 30 Albums I've Worn Out Over 30 Years.

Today at CPL — October 24, 2010


In December, 2000, a large assortment of tiles designed by Canton Children were installed in the Children's Library as part of our expansion project. The tiles in the reading nook were co-sponsored by Canton Project Arts, Canton Community Foundation, and CPL. If you haven't before, stop in the Children's section and see the great tiles in the reading nook!

Today at CPL — October 23, 2010

The library's teen room opened in 2001 to accommodate the growing, and sometimes noisy, number of teen users. Featured on the wall is a mural created by Canton residents Betty Huang and Milli Li, students at Salem High School, whose design was selected from several concepts submitted. The room is outfitted with 11 computers, plenty of graphic novels and a collection of video games, as well as the traditional young adult materials.

In March, 2007, Tween Scene opened to provide a space for the kids in fourth, fifth and sixth grade, those caught between the children's library and teen spaces. Artwork of popular tween books, five computers and comfortable chairs made the room inviting for tweens, who also voted on the name. Today, the space includes 11 computers and is a popular spot for homework and quiet reading. Over 8,500 Canton library card holders fall into this age category.

Today at CPL — October 22, 2010

For the last 30 years the Canton Public Library has tried to provide the best customer service and resources for the Canton community. Our staff works hard to serve our community and have been recognized often for their efforts. Here are just a few of the awards received by CPL staff, or as we like to call them, our Rock Star Librarians.

Library Director Jean Tabor received the Michigan Library Association Award of Excellence in 2007 for her outstanding contribution to effective and improved local library service, promoting library cooperation and contributions to professional and community activities. Jean was also recognized by the Canton Business and Professional Women in 2004 with the Athena Award.

Teen Librarian Anna Slaughter (center) receives Pletz Award Anna Slaughter, one of our teen librarians, was honored with the Frances. H. Pletz Award for outstanding quality of service to teens in 2010.

In 2000, Children's Department Head Judy Teachworth was presented with the Children's Services Award of Merit from the Michigan Library Association for making an outstanding contribution to library service to children and young people in Michigan.

Adult Department Head Rebecca Havenstein-Coughlin received the Canton Rotary Award of Excellence for 1991-1992 and also the Community Service Award for dedicated service to Community Literacy from the Canton Rotary Literacy Committee for 1993-1994.

In addition, the Canton Public Library was named a Library Journal Star Library in 2008 and 2009.

In 1997, we received the American Library Association "Library of the Future 1997" award for the innovative development of the Cyber Kids room and its policies.

Even our landscape has won awards, thanks to our Friends of the Library. Our READ berm facing Canton Center Road has won many awards, including several Canton Chamber of Commerce and Canton Township beautification awards and, in 1997, a statewide Award of Merit from Keep Michigan Beautiful, Inc.

For more CPL 30th Anniversary celebration, check out 30 Home & Garden Favorites.

Today at CPL — October 21, 2010

Help Wanted: Hard-working, dedicated individuals to teach, file, sort, move, plant, assist, shelve, load, repair, carry and stamp. Other duties as necessary. No pay or benefits.
[Article from 1980, just after library opening.]

Who would want that job? Thankfully, hundreds of people in the Canton community.

Volunteers have played a huge role at the library. In the very early days, volunteers helped sort through donated books, raised funds and stamped and tagged books. As the library matured, volunteers planted flowers in the READ garden, shelved books and hosted programs. Today, high school National Honor Society students offer tutoring during our homework help sessions. Kohl's employee volunteers help with summer reading programs, other volunteers shred documents, cut scrap paper, repair damaged books and shelve DVDs.

Last year, over 5,000 work hours were donated by library volunteers and that doesn't begin to include the thousands of hours our Friends of the Library put in running Secondhand Prose, the used bookstore.

We say thank you every year with a staff-cooked banquet and, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we acknowledge and appreciate the service Canton Public Library volunteers provide to the entire community.