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.
Eva M. Davis, Director
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.
Here's your chance to log-in on William Shatner because the William Shatner Blogathon takes off on July 5.
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.
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.
Thorndyke here! I am so enjoying seeing all of you here at the library! I hope you are having a great summer! As promised, here's the latest update of what LB has been up to. This time he went some where local, the Toledo Zoo! And he got to see some REAL bears! Did you know that the Toledo Zoo has a new polar bear cub? In fact, he's the only polar bear cub in the whole US! And there's a whole website about him! Isn't it cool to have something so neat so close to home? Makes me want to check out some books about polar bear books! Sometimes the librarians say that they work in a zoo, but they're just joking... I think.
LB's been here at the library for a week or so, but he's gearing up to go on another big adventure soon! The people here at the library sure love taking him on their trips! He's a pretty popular bear! I'll give you a hint to where he's headed next. It's not in the USA, but you can get there by car! Where do you think he's going? Tell me your guesses!
As promised, here's an update on where LB has been! Did you make a guess about where he was headed? He just got back from Williamsburg Virginia! Were you right? LB came back with this really great letter about where he'd been, which he said I could share with you...
Wow! What a fun adventure! Thanks Ms. Jeanine for taking LB with you! Now I've got a whole bunch of new places to read about. Remember, you can see all the pictures from LB's adventure on the library's flickr account. LB left on another fun adventure almost as soon as he got home. This time it was somewhere more local. I'll give you a hint, there's lots of animals and it starts with the letter Z! Can you guess?
Wow! It's only mid June and I've already become a well-traveled bear! I had a great time up north with Ms. Ophelia and after a short stop back at CPL, I was on my way south on a road trip with Ms. Jeanine and her daughter. We left June 10th and drove all the way to Williamsburg, VA, in one day (about 12 hours driving)! We stayed at the Patrick Henry Inn, just a short walk from Colonial Williamsburg. (Patrick Henry was the patriot famous for saying, "Give me liberty or give me death!") The next morning, we visited the Yankee Candle "flagship" location in Williamsburg. They have a really cool room that looks like a starry sky at night, and every 15 minutes it "snows" right in the room! I made myself right at home in the shop full of stuffed animals. Needless to say, there are a lot more than candles at the Yankee Candle complex!
In the afternoon, we stepped back in time and walked through Colonial Williamsburg. It looks a lot like it did back in the late 1700s, around the time of the Revolutionary War. At the town hall, Ms. Jeannine put me in the stocks (where they used to punish convicted criminals), but it was just for fun, because I'm a really good bear! We also visited the campus of William and Mary College, the second oldest college in the country and the place where Thomas Jefferson earned his law degree. We later had dinner at Christiana Campbell's Tavern, where George Washington himself often dined! Then at night, we took a "Ghosts of Williamsburg" candlelight tour — kinda scary, but I'm a really brave little bear! No ghosts were spotted that night...whew!
Saturday morning, we were back on the road, this time to Kill Devil Hills, NC, which was the location where Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first successful airplane flight and literally "flew" into the history books! They picked Devil Hills because it's a flat, sandy and very windy island on the Atlantic Ocean coastline. It's a great place to fly kites, too! I got a taste of salty air and ocean breezes on the beach and wanted to stay all day, but unfortunately, they don't make sunscreen for bears. :-( . Ms. Jeanine's daughter gets to spend all summer in Kill Devil Hills (she has a summer job there), but Ms. Jeanine had to get back to Michigan and CPL, so we flew Monday evening from Norfolk, VA, to Detroit. Hmmmm, maybe I should sign up for frequent flyer miles so I can get a free airplane trip later in the year!
Until next time!
Why didn't I think of that? : 101 inventions that changed the world by hardly trying by Anthony Rubino, Jr
Michigan has an officially recognized state book titled "The Legend of Sleeping Bear" by Kathy-Jo Wargin and Gijsbert van Krankenhuyzen. Read the book and earn a drawing slip for Summer Reading which qualifies for a non-fiction read about Michigan. Good Luck!
Wild Hogs — Like any good travel movie, this film shows that it's the journey, not the destination.
Fear and loathing in Las Vegas — When packing for a trip, some people have different priorities than others. An ether frolic of a movie, from the mind of Hunter S. Thompson.
Books set in Michigan count, too!
Black lace by Beverly Jenkins
The Christmas clock: a novel by Kat Martin
Lucky by Jennifer Greene
Fresh water: women writing on the Great Lakes by Alison Swan, editor
Starvation Lake: a mystery by Bryan Gruley
Get up and moving
Gentle Hikes of upper Michigan by Tornabene, Ladona
Adventure guide to Michigan [electronic resource] by Kevin & Laurie Hillstrom
Wreck of the Carl D.: a true story of loss, survival, and rescue at sea by Michael Schumacher
Mighty fitz: the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Michael Schumacher
Eight steamboats: sailing through the sixties by Patrick Livingston; foreword by Neal Shine
Hop on board ship for a bit of romance and suspense!
Princess Charming by Jane Heller
Life skills by Katie Fforde
Burn by Linda Howard
Will Travel for Food
Spain - a culinary road trip by Mario Batali with Gwyneth Paltrow
Around the world in 80 dinners: the ultimate culinary adventure by Cheryl and Bill Jamison
America [videodisc] — Detroit
Anatomy of a murder [videodisc] by Columbia ; Otto Preminger presents — Ishpeming, Marquette, Big Bay
Historical mysteries have become increasingly popular in the last decade. If you are a fan of historical fiction, and historical mystery stories in particular, you've read many of the well-known authors of this sub-genre: Steven Saylor, Anne Perry, Eliot Pattison, I. J. Parker, Lindsey Davis, John Maddox Robert, Margaret Frazer, and the list goes on, but have you read the works of:
Nefertiti: the book of the dead by Nick Drake
Critique of criminal reason by Michael Gregorio
The fifth servant by Kenneth Wishnia
Thirteenth night : a medieval mystery by Alan Gordon
A test of wills by Charles Todd
Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson
The green home by Bridget Biscotti Bradley and the editors of Sunset Books
How green is your home? What impact on your health and well-being do the materials and items in your house have? It could be a lot, and if you're planning a renovation or even just redecorating, this book has a lot of great information about how to make environmentally responsible choices that are also aesthetically pleasing and useful in everyday real life.