30th Anniversary Celebration: Today at CPL

Today at CPL - October 2, 2010

As we learned yesterday, Canton Public Library was dedicated on November 9, 1980, and our current building was dedicated November 13, 1988. But what about our home on the web?

According to newsletters from the era, CPL's website launched February 19, 1996. Before then, we offered dial-up internet service to our patrons, but did not have a web portal. You can get an idea of what it was like from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

The July/August 2006 issue of Connections indicates another milestone: October 18, 2000 is when we launched our "Internet Branch" (the name we used for our website for much of the 2000s). We switched domains to our current cantonpl.org prior to that, but the site hosted at that address changed considerably in October of 2000.

The I-Branch, as we called it, saw some aesthetic and functional changes over 6 years, but it wasn't until early July of 2006 that it was upgraded to a new layout and platform. This version can be viewed on the Wayback Machine, though the main menu at the top relied on JavaScript for its layout and therefore doesn't look quite as it once did.

On February 2, 2009, we launched the first iteration of the current site. This site uses the Drupal content management system. Since then, we've transitioned to new visuals to match our new logo (at the beginning of this year).

Just for fun, here's a small screenshot of what our current site looked like on October 10, 2008, three months before we launched it:

Today at CPL - October 3, 2010

All this month we will highlight aspects of CPL's history, so stay tuned.

Today's look back focuses on Summer Reading. CPL's Summer Reading began in 1981, with "Adventures '81 At The Library". In 1982, from June 1 to August 6, Canton children joined the Summer Reading club "Camp Wanna Read a Book."

According to the June 1982 issue of "The Patron's Page" (Vol. 1, No. 1), this program included a magic show, mime presentation, puppet show, sing-along, story festival, skating party, talent show, games, and craft days.

What other Summer Reading themes have there been?:

  • 1981: Adventures '81 At The Library
  • 1982: Camp Wanna-Read-a-Book
  • 1983: Keys to the Castle
  • 1984: Through a Looking Glass
  • 1985: Buccaneers and Books
  • 1986: Spotlight on Books
  • 1987: Parade of Readers
  • 1988: Passport to Adventure
  • 1989: Reach for the Stars
  • 1990: Batches of Books
  • 1991: Read on the Wild Side
  • 1992: Read Rock Rap: Tune Into Summer Reading!
  • 1993: Make a Splash!
  • 1994: Camp Read
  • 1995: Books Under the Big Top
  • 1996: Colorful World of Library Kids / Summer Reading Olympics
  • 1997: Be Eager About Reading
  • 1998: Reading is Dino-mite
  • 1999: G'Day For Reading
  • 2000: Caution: Readers at Work!
  • 2001: Reading Road Trip U.S.A.!
  • 2002: Join The Winner's Circle
  • 2003: Laugh it Up @ Your Library
  • 2004: Discover New Trails @ Your Library / Get Connected @ Your Library
  • 2005: Dragons, Dreams, & Daring Deeds / License to Read
  • 2006: Summer Reading Celebration / Read Around the World / Drive In To Summer Reading
  • 2007: Get A Clue @ Your Library / Summertime Masterminds / Read Around the World
  • 2008: Catch The Reading Bug / Metamorphosis / Challenge of the Decades
  • 2009: Be Creative @ Your Library / Express Yourself @ Your Library / Master The Art of Reading
  • 2010: Make a Splash @ Your Library / Making Waves @ Your Library / Set Sail for Summer Reading

That's a lot of Summer Reading!

Today at CPL - October 4, 2010

On August 25, 1992, President of the United States George H.W. Bush visited Canton Township as part of his '92 campaign. After a campaign rally address in Heritage Park, President Bush attended an economic summit at Canton Public Library with Michigan Governor John Engler.

More materials, courtesy of the George Bush Presidential Library:

Special thanks to the George Bush Presidential Library for providing these wonderful artifacts.

Also, celebrate CPL's 30th with a contest related to this post, or with 30 Favorite Pet Books.

Today at CPL - October 5, 2010

Various civic and community groups, as well as many dedicated individuals, contributed to getting the start up funds the library needed but it was Canton Township Supervisor Harold Stein's $10 contribution from his own pocket to the library fund account at the Wayne Bank in October, 1977 that got the ball rolling.

After the fund was established, the service groups took the lead. The Canton Jaycees sponsored a benefit basketball game in January, 1978 where they took on the disc jockeys from radio station WDRQ. Not be outdone, the Canton Rotary and the Roman Forum restaurant hosted a spaghetti dinner, charging $3.75 for adults and $2.50 for children, which raised $2,000 for the library fund. Donations from other groups and individuals continued to pour in, despite the fact the voters turned down a 1 mill levy in August 1978. An unused area on the third floor of the Canton Township Hall was set aside as the fund reached $6,000.

A library committee was established to gear up for another millage proposal. Members included Stan Bucher, Larry McEwen, James Gillig, Norma Waara, John Schwartz, Geraldine Barlage, Norma West, Barbara McEwen, Jane Portschell, Mary Dingeldey, Doug Ritter, Chris Culbert, Barbara McKaig and Mary Feltz.

On May 9, 1979, voters went to the polls in a special election to decide the fate of a one-mill library funding request, which passed with the backing of local newspaper editorials, with a 713-606 vote. With this approval, the Canton Public Library became a reality for the citizens of Canton.

Read about the current library funding levels and our budget here.

Today at CPL - October 6, 2010

As we'll learn more about later, our current building opened November 13, 1988. At the time, it was 31,500 square feet, which allowed the library to house about 149,000 items.

An expansion took place over 2000 and 2001 that gave us an additional 22,000 square feet, for a current total of 53,500. This additional area allowed us to have over 300,000 items and to serve our growing population better with more rooms, seating, and overall space.

Many photographs from the re-opening of the expanded Children's Library can be found in the Canton History project. You may also enjoy these pages from our old website talking about the expansion, courtesy of the Wayback Machine.

Today at CPL - October 7, 2010

May 3, 1990. Besides being Levi Johnston's birthday, what other historic significance does it have? Well… it's the date of one of the clippings in our 1989-1990 scrapbook!

This Community Corner article asked "What are you reading?" See the responses as linked to our catalog below:

The one minute manager by Ken Blanchard, Spencer Johnson

Amelia Bedelia and the surprise shower by Parish, Peggy

Canton Observer


Reader's digest

Growing up by Russell Baker

The good times by Russell Baker

Our scrapbooks are full of fun little treasures! To celebrate our 30th Anniversary and find other great books from the past, check out Mad Men at CPL and 30 Best Films You've Never Seen…

Today at CPL - October 8, 2010

The establishment and growth of the Canton Public Library over the last 30 years has closely mirrored the development of Canton Township. Once a farming community known as the Sweet Corn Capital of Michigan, the township experienced phenomenal growth in the 1980s and 90s as its 36 square miles were booming with housing and industry development. According to the Canton Historical Society, in 1961 the population was 5,300. At that point, Canton incorporated into a charter township, one of the first in the state, and added police, fire and municipal services. By the 1980s, the population had exploded to 48,616 and continued expanding to today's count of nearly 90,000 people. SEMCOG predicts Canton's population will reach nearly 99,000 by 2035. A prime location between Detroit and Ann Arbor, near universities, hospitals and an international airport has helped Canton become a desirable community in metro Detroit and helped the Canton Public Library become the busiest single-branch library in the state.

For more of our 30th Anniversary celebration, check out 30 Absolutely Indispensible Items for Foodies: an Amazingly Idiosyncratic List.

Today at CPL - October 9, 2010

Partnerships with businesses and organizations in the community have played a big role in the library's 30 year history. Some, like our ongoing Read with the Whalers partnership with the Plymouth Whalers, have helped us make some new fans in our community. Others, like our partnership with Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Project S.N.A.P. and the Plymouth Community Arts Council, provide enrichment in arts and music. We've teamed up with our local McDonalds for summer reading and a special exhibit, the Canton Veterans Memorial Association to bring a traveling museum, the Canton IKEA for outreach storytimes and the Canton Multicultural Commission and Canton Township for an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. Canton Leisure Services partnerships bring games, performers and equipment. These are just a few of the partnerships that have helped us stretch our budget, provide additional services and programs and connect our community.

Today at CPL - October 10, 2010

In 1984, when Canton Public Library was only 4 years old, we participated in an important anniversary celebration. 1984 marked Canton Township's Sesquicentennial. To mark the occasion, the Township published a "Time Capsule" newspaper with historical information and other interesting tidbits. One of the ads in the paper was from the Canton Public Library to the people of Canton.

If you would like to see this wonderful artifact and perhaps get a copy of your own, check out the Canton Historical Society. Here is an example of the fascinating things you can find when you explore Canton's history; an article by Canton Planner Jim Kosteva, entitled A visit to Canton in 2034: indelible memories:

It was May, 2034. We were traveling back home to Cincinnati after our weekend respite in the Traverse-Mackinac resort center. The areas' natural vibrancy refreshed me after two months of virus-free medical research in space.

Possibly as a reminiscent gesture or maybe just out of fatigue, Rebecca suggest we stop in Canton, the place we both knew as children. "We haven't been back there in years," I said. So, after agreeing, I reprogrammed our CTV, and my thought immediately turned to Grandpa. When he wasn't showing off his flowers, Grandpa would take us for drives in his old gasoline car and talk endlessly about the paths of Indians, Henry Ford and sweet corn in the summer. But we were children then, just children, and we took his words as ancient mumblings. As we coursed the tracks of the 275 express, I began realizing just how indelible those memories had become.

Our Compatible Track Vehicle then announced that I would regain manual control in three minutes at the Ford Road interchange. The trip from Mackinac had taken only two hours.

With the exception of the housing towers dotting the major corridors, Canton had not experienced much housing construction since the 2010's. Away from the interchange, we spotted the neighborhoods which largely blended into one another, but had grown stately in their own way. Although at first glance the homes appeared dated, inside, families were in touch with the world. Business transactions, education and even medical care began and ended in each communication den. The self diagnostic and treatment programs were the most phenomenal, bringing the world's best physicians into homes via micro chips and phone lines.

Many local businesses had become those pre-ordered pick-up places for anything and everything. Although home computer ordering schemes had cut the number of small merchants deeply, almost all of the plazas had put on larger, new architectural faces and many were connected. Surprisingly, the old Meijer building was still visible under the shroud of its new distribution center with its own track link to the 275 express.

The wide roads with a through track in each direction gave way to those in the western half and in typical fashion most roads here were with programmable track. The next view staggered me as sweet corn green had given way to a cellophane sheen. The remaining farms were large low greenhouses now, not only with radiation traces from the Greater Asian War still being detected with the regular host of contaminents, the recent move to agribubbles made sense. The hunger of three and one half billion people helped initiate the war and the indiscriminate explosions only hastened the enclosures and strict land protection policies. Though long expected, the deadly blasts shook the world back to its senses and into a production tailspin from which we had yet to emerge.

Traveling southwesterly, we received such a treat! Much of the Cherry Hill settlement was still there, but the sleek movements of our CTV made us feel out of place. The buildings were better kept than ever and had become popular as a rare mecca for homemade goods.

As we bumped along an older road, we spied children playing on a field I remember as much larger. It was strange to see them outside without protection suits, the recent alert having temporarily been lifted. They were laughing and running, busy with their games, echoing how we used to race around Grandpa's wooden barn. Continuing on, we drove past the old Township hall. Once graced with specimen trees and now a regional resource library and art center, it looked stark and weathered. The unprotected timbers had weakened in our recent environmental debacles. Only the roof glistened as light reflected a small set of solar mirrors. Local government operation had been transferred to the Western Wayne Enclave 20 years ago. The resistance to the Enclave had been as great here as to regionalism was throughout the country. But when individual communities folded under the pressures of services costs and infrastructure replacement needs, there was new viability in joining together.

Moving south of the road that Grandpa said once carried Sauk, stagecoaches, and Studebakers we were taken aback by the massive parabolic mirror energy station that stretched for more than a mile. Its power lighted the towers as dusk turned to night.

My own dusk was turning to night and I became entranced with my own mortality and the things that had changed since those sunny days with Grandpa. I saw once again those roads not taken, the paths toward peace and pure air. But now I as a grandfather was determined to treat my daughter's son to those entrenched memories of Indian trails and sweet corn, or settlements and subdivisions. And note for him that in fact all of the paths were still here.

Today at CPL - October 11, 2010

What better place than a library for a sculpture called The Storyteller? The Storyteller, created by Canton resident and nationally known sculptor Joseph DeLauro, was commissioned by the Canton Community Arts Council and officially unveiled on February 16, 1992. The 26-inch high bronze piece depicts a Native American storyteller in a casual pose, inviting, as do many of DeLauro's works, interaction with the piece. The sculpture can be seen at the east end of the library. Another of DeLauro's pieces, Bedtime Story, hangs behind the Reception Desk.

Today at CPL - October 12, 2010

30 years of authorsIn our 30 year history, the Canton Public Library has connected readers with authors, both on the printed page and with live author visits. In November of 1991, Detroit-based author Elmore Leonard, fresh off the release of Get Shorty, visited and signed autographs for patrons. In 2006, Everyone's Reading author Robert Kurson told a spell-bound audience his true adventure tale of shipwrecks and scuba divers in Shadow Divers. That year we also sponsored Sonya Sones, popular teen writer, on a visit to the Plymouth-Canton high schools. National Book Award nominee MT Anderson presented his historical fiction book The Astonishing Tale of Octavian Nothing: The Pox Party. Another Everyone's Reading author and 2004 National Book Award winner Kevin Boyle spoke to a packed house about his book, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age, a true story of the trial of Detroiter Ossian Sweet. Recently, we hosted Detroit author Michael Zadoorian as he read from his critically acclaimed book, The Leisure Seeker. One of our most popular programs was the  visit of attorney and master of the crime fiction genre, Scott Turow. His book, Presumed Innocent, was the 2010 Everyone's Reading selection.

You don't have to be famous or a best-selling writer to have an author talk at CPL. We also host an annual local author day that features up and coming Canton and surrounding area authors.
(photo, left to right: Elmore Leonard, Robert Kurson, MT Anderson, Kevin Boyle, Sonya Sones, Michael Zadoorian, Scott Turow)

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.

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 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 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!

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Health Reference databases, 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?

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 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: