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Today at CPL

Today at CPL — November 1, 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.

Today at CPL — October 20, 2010

Today is Opening Day! Thirty years ago today the Canton Public Library first opened its doors for business. Although there were still boxes to unpack, books to catalog and shelve, and dozens of other tasks to complete, the library was ready for the public. Shown here in this Canton Observer photo is Canton resident Carol Micksch, one of our first visitors, checking out a stack of books with the assistance of Deborah O'Connor, the Head Librarian.

In 2009, CPL checked out over 2 million items. We averaged around 2,000 visits each day by our community and 70,416 Canton residents had library cards.

Today at CPL — October 19, 2010

We continue to celebrate National Friends of the Library week and our 30th anniversary by profiling the Friends of the Canton Public Library.

One of the main services the Friends provide is the Secondhand Prose Used Bookstore. The Friends' book sales have evolved from a yearly sale to a fully operating used bookstore located in the library. With monthly specials, rare and collectible books, best-sellers and popular CDs and DVDs, Secondhand Prose has attracted a big following of bargain shoppers. Stop in and see what treasures you might find.

As the video shows, it was a big deal in 2000 and 2001 that the expansion included a space for the Friends to have a bookstore. Since the library's expansion, Secondhand Prose has been an integral part of the library.

Today at CPL — October 18, 2010

We continue to celebrate National Friends of the Library week and our 30th anniversary by profiling the Friends of the Canton Public Library.

The Friends of the Library have existed since the idea for a Canton Public Library was conceived. It's fitting that the Friends as an organization would precede the library as well. According to the most reliable records we have available, the Friends first met November 27, 1979.

Since then they've had a few more meetings. Our scrapbooks, starting in 1979, show a long line of meetings, events, gifts, book sales, fundraisers, and other great things sponsored by the Friends.

To further celebrate our 30 years and learn more about our Friends, check out 30 Gifts We've Gotten From Our Friends.

Today at CPL — October 17, 2010

October 17-23 is National Friends of the Library Week. The Friends of the Canton Public Library is a volunteer group of library supporters who advocate and raise community awareness. They are also the library's biggest donors, with financial support for library offerings such as summer reading, programs for all ages, equipment and special collections and much more.

CPL has been fortunate to have great Friends Boards, such as the one elected in January, 1988. Patricia Bunnell (right) was President, Marta McCabe (center) was Vice President, Shirley Worpell (left) was Secretary and Linda Garrett (not pictured) was Treasurer. Special thanks to Shirley Worpell, historian for the Friends, for the photo.

Today at CPL — October 16, 2010


Hey Kids!
You may have noticed that there's been lots of talk in the library lately about CPL's 30th anniversary. There are only a very few people who've been a part of Canton Public Library as long as I have, so I thought I'd chime in with my own experiences here at CPL. You can find my story on the library's Flickr account. Yup! I'm a pretty tech savvy bear. In some of the pictures I look kind of funny because they were taken a long time ago. You'd better not laugh!
While I never lived in the library when it was in the other building, I have seen the current building get renovated and the Children's Department transformed into what it is today! That was fun! That summer I earned my hard hat!
I also made lots of friends over the years. Some of the kids that used to see me at the library have grown up and now work at the library themselves! Isn't that amazing! I like to think that I helped them make decisions about their future careers.
I love meeting all you kids at Summer Reading, First Grade Round-up and Storytime. You really make my day. Working at CPL is so much fun, I don't ever want to retire! So when CPL has it's 50th anniversary, expect to hear from me! :)
Bear Hugs!
Thorndyke

Today at CPL — October 15, 2010

Many people were instrumental in the founding of the library but none had a longer involvement or deeper relationship with the library than former trustee Dr. James Gillig. Dr. Gillig was part of the original citizens group formed in 1978 to secure funding and start the work of forming a library. He was also one of the original library trustees, serving from 1980 until his retirement in May, 2009. He helped hire the three library directors, saw the library through a tremendous period of growth in the 1980s and 90s, shepherding the construction of the current library building and later the expansion of the building. A local orthodontist, Dr. Gillig and his wife were very involved in the Canton community. They retired to North Carolina but stay in touch with CPL through friends and our website. We invite you to post your greetings to Dr. Gillig through the Contact Us link and we will pass them on.

Dr. Gillig has been a vocal advocate and tireless champion of Canton Public Library, as you can see from this video from 2000 about the library's Board of Trustees.

Today at CPL — October 14, 2010

The New York Times Bestseller Lists reflect the zeitgeist of a given era. The authors and types of fiction, and the subjects of the non-fiction can give us a hint what was on America's collective mind at a given time. Today we look at the books on the NYT Lists on October 20, 1980; the day we opened our doors to the public:

The key to Rebecca by Ken Follett

Firestarter by Stephen King

Rage of angels by Sidney Sheldon

The tenth commandment by Lawrence Sanders

The Bourne identity by Robert Ludlum

Free to choose: a personal statement by Milton & Rose Friedman

Men in love by Nancy Friday

Anatomy of an illness as perceived by the patient: reflections on healing and regeneration by Norman Cousins; introd. by René Dubos

Loon lake by E. L. Doctorow

Random winds by Belva Plain

Come pour the wine: a novel by Cynthia Freeman

Sins of the fathers by Susan Howatch

Music for chameleons: new writing by Truman Capote

The sky's the limit by Wayne W. Dyer

Goodbye, darkness: a memoir of the Pacific War by William Manchester

Ingrid Bergman, my story by Ingrid Bergman and Alan Burgess

Lyndon, an oral biography by Merle Miller

For more CPL history, check out 30 Things I Remember from Adult Service Department Head Rebecca Havenstein-Coughlin.

Today at CPL — October 13, 2010

Canton Public Library has always been on the forefront of technology. On October 20, 1982, the Friends of the Canton Public Library gifted the library an Apple II computer in celebration of our 2-year anniversary. Since then, computers and the technology associated with them have been a huge part of the CPL experience.

For instance, when our current building opened in 1988, it featured an equipment room with computers with special tutorials for first-time users. Since then CPL has installed and upgraded a few hundred computers for patrons to use.

Sometimes, staying on the cutting edge of technology can lead to controversy. This was especially true from 1996 until 2003; when the internet was young and it was most unclear how libraries should deal with potentially-objectionable content online. Our "Cyber Kids" room gained national attention and awards for providing space for children to access the web, albeit after their parents filled out consent forms. The forms educated parents on the benefits and potential risks of using the internet, and left ultimate responsibility to the caregiver.

Later, our IT specialist Carl Miller occasionally contributed to the Canton Observer with tips for parents to protect their children online. Often, this advice centered around website filtering technology.

Website filtering software is required on all internet-connected computers in libraries that receive Federal financial assistance. When the Children's Internet Protection Act was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2003, the Canton Observer lauded then-Director Jean Tabor for making the correct decision to filter most computers, but provide adults with unfiltered access in the Internet Lab. Not everyone agreed with this position, but this policy has withstood the test of time.