Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, Happy New Year 2009

It's the last day of the year and everyone is looking to the New Year with Hope...
Hope for Peace...
Hope for Better Times...

With the unstable economy, we all hope for financial security as well.

Our library expenses budget for 2009 is once again $60,000 higher than what our expected income is projected to be (this includes funding from State, County and Local governments, plus estimated income from grants and donations).

If you think about it you will realize that the costs of running a library involve more than the cost of buying a book or DVD. There are bills for water, sewer, heating, air conditioning, electricity, building maintenance, taxes, and of course employees to pay.

Think about this also...
When you borrow just one hardcover book or movie DVD, you have saved yourself about $20 to $30.
When you borrow an unabridged book on CD you have saved $40 to $100.
When you borrow a complete season of a TV program on DVD, you have saved $60 to $120.
When you use a computer at the library for a job search or homework you have saved $1,000.

What is your library worth to you?
As we enter this new year, please consider contributing to your local library. Consider asking your employer to match your contribution!
A library will always give you a good return on your investment.

See you next year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Teen Lock-In Postponed

Just a quick note to let all interested parties know that due to the bad weather on Friday the 19th the Teen Lock-In "Gaming & Wacky Gift Exchange" has been postponed.

The new date is December 26. Same Santa Time; same Santa Place. (Just the day after Christmas.) Hope to see all the kids who signed up for the 19th on the 26th instead!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On Towards Christmas

The Thanksgiving holiday is only days past but it seems the Christmas season began even before Halloween this year. Since I am tradition bound, I did not put up the Christmas decorations in the library until the usual Sunday after Thanksgiving.

We did, however, start planning for Christmas way back in September, so that we can offer programs and events for everyone. Here's what's happening:

December 5
- Local Author Ryke Leigh Douglas will read her book "Tock-A-Tick" during the 10:30am storytime (signed books will be available)

December 6
- The Friends' Used Book Sale will be held at the Odd Fellows Hall (just 2 doors down from the library) from 8 AM to 5 PM
- Christmas stories will be featured during an extended Story Corner (10:30 AM-12:30 PM) as part of Boyertown's community event "Chillin' on Main".

December 7
- The Bag 'o Books portion of the Friends' annual December Used Book Sale will be held between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Just buy a bag from the Friends for $5 and fill it with any of the left over sale items.

December 19
- A special jolly fellow all dressed in red, with white whiskers and a twinkle in his eye will be at the library during the Friday 10:30 AM storytime. Children can assure him they've been nice and not naughty, and tell him their dearest Christmas wishes in a non-chaotic setting. (We all can use less chaos at this time of year!)
- Teen Lock-In party will be Friday evening from 6-10 PM. Teens (13-18) can sign up to join in the fun. Bring a Joke Gift ($2 or less) for the gift exchange, play games and eat pizza ($1.50/slice).

We will continue to have LapSit (0-20 months) and Toddler Time (18-30 months) storytimes on the Wednesdays throughout December - even on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve when the library will be closeing early at 3:00 PM. Our regular morning programming will not change on those days.

So hopefully everyone will have pleasant days during this month of holiday madness and be sure to make time to stop in to see us.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Review -Books I'm Reading

There's a favorite saying here at the library... "So many books, so little time." My heart echoes this saying many times a day because I see so many books go in and out the door that I would like to read or that I feel I should read.

Right now I have two books at home that I haven't even started but am looking forward to reading. One is from a series by Lindsey Davis (I have read most of the books she has written featuring Marcus Didius Falco - this is one I missed). The other is a brand new author to me and a brand new book on our shelves, The Lost Temple by Tom Harper.

The Lindsey Davis book is Saturnalia and her character, Falco, lives in Rome - the Rome of 70 A.D. Falco is an "informer" which in our modern times is the equivalent of a private investigator. I look forward to reading of his next exploits.

The Tom Harper book, The Lost Temple, is an adventure story that takes place in 1947 Greece and the main character is an archaeologist. From what I have read in the blurbs the plotline is along the lines of an Indiana Jones story. I really enjoy the Indiana Jones movies, so we'll see if this story will keep me turning the pages like the movies keep me hoping for more to come.

I will report on these books when I finish them... more later!

Book Reviews -what are you reading?

From time to time I will post a brief review of what I am reading, but I'm also interested in what our patrons are reading, too. What have you read recently? What did you think of it?

Please send me an email with your thoughts on what you are reading, even if it is an older title but especially new books. Fiction or non-fiction, audio or print... let's share our thoughts. Just click on this link and tell us about your book.

Just remember - keep it short and no spoilers! Also, I will be monitoring, proofing and editing in order to keep our website family friendly.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

30 Days of Thanks

Tell us why YOU are thankful for libraries.

There's no prize, just a warm, cozy feeling for expressing yourself and the reward of seeing your words posted here on the Blog.

If you are interested in expressing your thankfulness in a tangible way, consider donating some needed supplies to the library.

We are always in need of homely supplies such as: C-fold Paper Towels for the bathrooms; Scott brand toilet paper; Bounty-type paper towels; Chlorox Wipes to clean counters and children's items; Ultra-fine and Fine point Sharpies (black only); Windex glass cleaner; liquid hand soap (Soft Soap type); white multi-purpose paper (96 bright, 20 lb) - both 8 ½ by 11 and 8 ½ by 14 inches; toner for our HP 4050 TN Laserjet Printer.

These are items that are used by the staff and the people of our community. We would be very grateful to anyone who would help the library with these types of donations.

A library doesn't just need books and movies on its shelves to provide service to our community.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Scams and Spams

We all know there are a bunch of scams going around on the Internet, some more easily perceived as such than others.

The U.S. State Department has a very good article on "how to" identify or deal with or report these Net Crimes. Just click on this link to read about International Financial Scams.

Maybe by becoming more aware and pro-active, we'll eventually be able to rid ourselves of these netsharks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poetry Contest for Berks County Students

The Young Poets 2009 contest is for any student in grades 1-12 enrolled in a Berks County School (Boyertown Area School District is eligible) or is Homeschooled and uses a Berks County Library (e.g. Boyertown Community Library).

Poems may be written on any subject but must be only one page in length. Complete rules and submission instructions are available at the library. Entry forms are included with the rules. Poets are encouraged to ask for help with their final draft from myself or any other staff member before submitting their work.

Prizes: Three winners (1st, 2nd, & 3rd place) will be chosen for each grade level. Three Honorable Mention winners will be chosen for each grade level. Each First, Second, & Third place winner will receive a monetary award, certificate, ribbon, and a copy of the Young Poets 2009 published booklet.

Poems must be submitted to a BCL librarian by Saturday, January 24, 2009.

Boyertown has had one winner so far in this writing contest (John Repsik, 2002, third grade – Lion in Space, 1st Place). Who will be next?

Essay Contest for High School Students

Here’s your chance to write a new profile in courage.
Enter the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Essay Contest!

1st place wins $5,000 and a trip to Boston to accept the award at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. 2nd place wins $1,000 and up to 5 finalists will win $500.

Students are encouraged to write an original essay about an elected official who has demonstrated political courage. The contest is a companion program of the Profile in Courage Award, named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

Complete information on how to prepare and submit (online submission only) is available at the library’s official website. Once at the JFK Library website mouse over the link box at the right titled Education and Public Programs and select the Profile in Courage Award link. Then click on the link in the left hand column for the Essay Contest. Be sure to read ALL the information including the portion about what teachers can and need to do.

This contest takes a good amount of research and has very specific presentation guidelines. Be sure to read all about it, but please DO consider entering!

The entry submission deadline is January 10, 2009.

Writing Contest - "Letter About Literature"

Read. Be Inspired. Write Back.

This is a great contest for kids age 9 and up, whether they are interested in writing or need to be encouraged to write. It is not at all like writing an essay or a paper for school. It is pretending to write a letter to an author and the entrant expressing themself about what they have read through the letter.

Entrants select a fiction or nonfiction book, a short story, poem, essay or speech they have read and about which they had strong feelings. Then they are encouraged to explore those feelings and why they reacted as they did during or after reading the author’s work.

There are three levels of competition...
Level 1 – Grades 4-6, no less than 100 words and no more than 400 words
Level 2 – Grades 7 & 8, no less than 300 words and no more than 600 words
Level 3 – Grades 9-12, no less than 500 words and no more than 800 words

For complete rules and entry forms stop by the library and ask or go to Winners at the state level receive a $50 gift card for Target and will advance to National Level Judging. National level winners receive a $500 Target gift card and a $10,000 Reading Promotion Grant for their community library!

Entry deadline is December 6, 2008.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jasper Fforde AND Charlotte Bronte

Many ask me, “What are you reading?” At this time I must answer that I am not reading something I have never read before, but that I am re-reading a book by an author introduced to me a couple years ago by one of my fellow co-workers.

The book? – The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. In fact I have almost finished the re-reading but have now paused to pick up a book (also one I have previously read) which is frequently referred to in Mr. Fforde’s work – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. In fact, I plan on reading other books referred to within the spell-binding plot of Mr. Fforde’s Sci-Fi/Mystery work (which is filled with literary allusions, puns and twists) – especially Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens.

The Eyre Affair is the first in a series starring Thursday Next, a woman employed by the LiteraTec division of Spec Ops in an England not exactly the same as the England of our world. History has been changed (the Crimean War still goes on, Wales is a separate Republic, and Zeppelins are the usual mode of air-transport) and people can change the great classics of literature by erasing lines or characters from the original manuscript thereby causing all copies and versions of the same title to be affected world-wide –hence the need for the LiteraTec Operatives.

Why read Jane Eyre before finishing The Eyre Affair? Well, first of all remember this is a re-reading of both for me. Then consider that in Jasper Fforde’s novel, Miss Bronte’s novel is slightly different from our true Jane Eyre. Also things start happening to it and within it that, well, suffice it to say I just wanted to see the differences and make comparisons between the two books. Since I don’t have a copy of Jane Eyre, though, I am reading it online from the Project Gutenberg free access. ( or just Google any classic title and look for the listing for your title with the Gutenberg URL.)

While you are online and after you have enjoyed reading The Eyre Affair or any of the subsequent books by Jasper Fforde, I highly recommend checking out his website. You will find a whole realm of interesting tidbits including supposedly deleted scenes, Goliath Corporation ads (inside joke), etc. to tickle your grey cells. How he finds time to create a website as complex as his books and still write is beyond me.

I really enjoy Jasper Fforde’s style of writing. His wit combined with his amazing imagination makes it difficult to stop anywhere while reading – in other words he writes a real page-turner. I do strongly recommend that you either read Jane Eyre or view one of the many film versions of this great classic novel before reading The Eyre Affair. But -if you enjoy British authors, their humor and style; if you have read any of the classics; or if you just enjoy a good alternative history, Sci-Fi Mystery you ought to try The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It will certainly make you smile if not laugh out loud.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Grand Prize - Laptop Computer Winners

This year was the first year a grand prize for two age groups was provided for participants of the Berks County Summer Reading Program.

A Sony Vaio Laptop Computer was provided by the Friends of the Reading/Berks County Libraries for kids aged 13 to 18 and for ages 12 and under who turned in at least one reading log entry form. All the entries from all the system libraries of Berks County were entered into two giant containers (two? one container for each laptop!).

The winner of the 12 & under group turned in reading logs at Exeter Community Library.

And the teen winner was our own Heather Gahler, one of the Raffle Drawing winners here at Boyertown. Heather came in to pick up her brand new laptop and get her picture taken last week.

There was one other prize winner not mentioned....
To make things fair, children of library staff members were not eligible for the laptop computers, so a special prize of a $100 Barnes and Noble bookstore gift certificate was provided. The winner? Marie Albiges, daughter of BCL's own Children's Services Coordinator, Jeanine Albiges. Marie is thrilled and excited to begin spending her gift... she LOVES books and reading.

Congratulations, Heather and Marie!

What Non-Fiction is Being Read? (A-D)

Here are a few of the books being read by our patrons. The comments/reviews were submitted during our 2008 Adult Summer Reading Program.

Tracy Acost, DVM, “Your Dog’s Life”, 1999. …I learned a lot to teach our new ‘naughty’ J puppy. – Michael S.

Stephen Ambrose, “Citizen Soldiers”, 1997. …An interesting and informative account of the conditions endured by soldiers during WWII. – Frank D.

Valeri Bertinelli, “Losing It”, 2008.
…At times a little too much of a ‘tell-all’ but interesting how she is turning on a positive track. – Dawn A.
…Quick read and pretty well written. – Sue A.

Rick Darke, “The Encyclopedia of Grasses”, 2007. …Interesting read, lots of pictures, descriptions, and knowledge packed into this book. – Cheryl B.

Howard Dayton, “Your Money Map”, 2006. …This book provided practical financial guidance in the areas of spending, saving, & investing. – Kendra M.

More reviews are forthcoming. If you would like to submit your own review or even comment on the books already reviewed please feel free to do so.

Remember - not every submission may appear.

What Fiction is Being Read? A-D

Here are a few of the books being read by our patrons. The comments/reviews were submitted during our 2008 Adult Summer Reading Program.

Mitch Albom, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”, 2003.
…Interesting - It was interesting to see the connection of the 5 people you meet once in heaven. –Connie J.
…A very simple read in a day. Made me think about my actions in life. – Meghan B.

David Baldacci
Camel Club”, 2005. …I found Oliver Stone & his 3 friends an interesting group of old gentlemen. – Donna R.
The Collectors”, 2006. …This was the second in the Camel Club series. Annabelle Conroy is an exciting character. – Donna R.
Stone Cold”, 2007. …Another Camel Club story. Sorry to see the death of ___ [spoiler]. – Donna R.
The Whole Truth”, 2008. …What a web we weave – very good intrigue – however hard to read. – Betty S.

Ann Brashares
The Last Summer (of me and you)”, 2007. …Not a bad book for her first adult novel. A story about a summer by the beach, family, & friends. – Treena F.
Forever in Blue”, 2007. …Another excellent installment of the [Sisterhood of the Traveling] Pants [series]. – Andrea F.

Wanda Brunstetter
Going Home”, 2007. …I really enjoyed this book set in the Amish Community. What a nice reminder that home is where the heart is! – Sabra O.
On Her Own”, 2007.
…Always a pleasure to consider a simpler life – even that has its ups & downs. Faith is key! – Sabra O.
…I enjoy reading the Amish romance stories. – Pat F.
A Sister’s Secret” (book 1 –Sisters of Holmes County series), 2007. …This book was a good mystery (although it was not solved yet – have to wait for the next book in the series). Good religious theme about forgiveness. – Sami Jo T.
A Sister’s Test” (book 2 –Sisters of Holmes County series), 2007. Always a pleasant escape into a “different world”. However, the mystery was not solved – I await the next book. – Sabra O.

Meg Cabot, “Size 12 is Not Fat”, 2006. …Good beach read! Funny parts. – Ursula G.

Jennifer Chiaverini, Elm Creek Quilts series
The Master Quilter”, 2004. …I enjoyed ‘catching up’ with these quilting friends. – Dawn A.
The Quilter’s Apprentice”, 1999. …I enjoyed how the 2 main characters’ relationship developed as they delved into the art of quilting. – Rachel F.

Ted Dekker
Black” (book 1 of trilogy), 2004. …The beginning was very confusing, but I couldn’t put it down. I read the book faster than any! – Diane F.
Blink of an Eye”, 2007. …Strange. – Janice B.
Skin”, 2007. …Almost too much thinking. – Janice B.

Christina Dodd, “Thigh High”, 2008. …Different!! Two old aunts robbed a bank only of a small amount of money once a year – at a bank their niece worked at. Occurs during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. – Hilda C.

More reviews are forthcoming.
If you would like to submit your own review or even comment on the books already reviewed please feel free to do so. Just click on the comment link below this blog entry to post a comment, submit your review by email from the BCL main page by contacting the Library Director, or drop off your brief review in person at the library.
Just remember - not every submission may appear.

Book Reviews Return

As stated in the introduction to this Blog, periodically I planned on posting some reviews of books by staff and by patrons of the library.

Events in the past few months have conspired to make this low on my “To-Do List”. But now I will revisit that intention and post a number of reviews received through the summer from our patrons. These were individuals who entered our Summer Reading Program for Adults by filling out a brief form with the title and author of a book they had read and added a comment or two about it. Not all the books were new and some were read by several people.

Maybe the comments posted here will help you make a choice on the next book you will read. I will not post all of them nor too many at one time.

Check the Blog periodically for a new posting with more reviews as the last few months of the year speed by.
…And Happy Reading to you!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Getting a Passport?

You can now apply for a Passport here at the library!
Be sure to call ahead to make an appointment and verify what you need to bring.

We are able to process your application for a new passport or the new passport card. We can also supply you with the proper forms for other passport business as well as help you find answers to your questions.

The most important thing adults need to know when applying for a passport is an official Birth Certificate with the raised seal plus a valid photo ID must be presented with the completely filled out application form.

For minors under 16 years, an official Birth Certificate must be presented and BOTH parents must be appear at the time of application with their own valid photo IDs. If both parents cannot appear, a consent form must be properly completed and presented instead.

More details about each line of the application, the form itself and other forms are available on the State Department’s website.

What is considered a valid photo ID? Here’s the list…
Previous U.S. passport (book or card)
Certificate of Naturalization
Certificate of Citizenship
Government employee identification card
Driver’s license (not temporary or learner’s permit)
Aircraft pilot’s license issued by the DEPT of Transportation, FAA
Official military ID card

We will make appointments beginning one hour after we open (meaning the first appt can be at 11:00am every day except Tuesdays. On Tuesdays the first appt could be at 4:00pm). The last appointment must be completed one hour before we close (meaning the final appt of the day on Monday through Wednesday can be at 6:30pm and on Thursday through Saturday the final appt can be at 3:30pm). The library is closed for all business on Sundays and Holidays.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Grand Re-Opening!

A special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 13 at 10:00 AM.

After the ribbon is cut the entire Biesecker Children's Wing of the library will be open to the public once more.

Since the reopening of the main part of the library on August 14 much of our children's collection has been housed in the Adult Reference area and Adult Fiction Room. We also held our storytimes in various other places since the regular storytime room (the Cabot Room) was unavailable.

Storytimes will once more be able to be held in our Cabot Room at the rear of the building as well as big screen movie showings, book club discussion groups, and anime club meetings.

Our first storytime back in the Cabot Room will be with Miss Barb on Thursday September 18th. All the September storytimes scheduled to take place in special locations throughout the community will still take place, so don't miss out on the visit to Taylor Backes Glass Blowing studio and gallery coming up next on Friday September 19th at 10:30AM.

See you at the Ribbon Cutting or some future event!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And the (Teen) Winners are...

School has started again and the Raffle Drawing for the Teen Prizes in Boyertown was held. Several of our library's Teen Advisory Council (TAC) - Sam Cronrath, Veronica Smith, & Evan Randall - drew the winning entries on September 2nd.

Our Teen Summer Readers (ages 13 to 18) read many, many books to collect raffle tickets to try for up to 14 different prizes just for their age group. 103 Teens turned in 1,487 green reading logs this summer, that's the equivalent of 7,435 books! For each green reading log turned in a Teen could get a raffle ticket to try for any of the 14 prizes.

Congratulations go to:
- Insulated Travel Mug winners - Kaitlyn Eisenher, Heather Filer, Ashley Lane, Aaron Saltzer, & Kristin Sechrist
- T-Shirt winners - Samantha Cronrath, Heather Filer, Brittany Mulcahy, & Aaron Saltzer
- Fullmetal Alchemist episode DVD winner - Ethan Fox
- Inuyasha Action Figure winner - Ethan Fox
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour for PS2 winner - Brett Kelly
- Spiderman 3 for Wii winner - Matt Schaeffer
- 1 large pizza from Carmelo's Pizzaria winner - Heather Frey
- $10 gift cert. from The Grill Shop winner - Emily Outland
- $10 gift cert. from Talarico's Sandwich Shop winner - Laura Keppley
- $10 gift cert. from Bause's Superdrug winners - Danielle, Minner, Karley Moser, & Emily Outland
- 8 Piano Lessons from Veronica Smith winner - Kristin Sechrist
- Special Edition copy of Eclipse by Heather Meyer winner - Heather Gahler
- 3 volumes from the series Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants winner -Brittany Mulcahy
- $135 BoomChair (great for video-gamers) winner - Danielle Minner

The library and our Teen Readers thank all the contributors (many are local businesses) for these great prizes. Plans are to have this type of raffle drawing again for the 2009 Teen Summer Reading Program.

And the (Adult) Winners Are...

Summer is over and so are all the varieties of Summer Reading Programs here in Boyertown... and we have many winners to announce.

Our Adult Summer Reading Grand Prize Winner was Janice Berman. One of her entries was pulled out of the 546 entries submitted by 89 adults. Her prize? A brand new MP3 player. Now Janice can download audio books from our website and listen on her new player!

Our weekly winners in the adult category were: Sharon MacMinn; Pat Folk; Wendy Barton; Justine Schumaker; Dawn Alderfer; Frank DeMers; Janice Berman; Melissa DeStefano; Lisa Rand; and Hilda Cooney. Each won some home-baked goodies, a coupon for a free Dunkin' Donut, a coupon for a free Rita's Ice, and a Hand-beaded Thong Bookmark.

This is the second year we have invited adults to join in our Summer Reading Program with incentive prizes to get or keep them reading. Plans are to continue the Adult version again in 2009.

Friday, August 15, 2008


We are so grateful to the many people who are concerned for the library and want to help.

Normally we accept book donations just about every day, but at this time we have no place to store them. It will be a little while before we have that space where we can sort them and prepare them for use. So we are asking our friends to hold off for a while on book donations.

People have also correctly heard we will need to replace many of our baby board books and all the Read-Along sets (cassette or cd with a book in a bag) that were on the shelves at the time of the fire due to water damage. Some tell us they have children's books they can donate.

While we are grateful for this thought, at this present time we are faced with a more pressing problem... we have a very small area where we are shelving our young children's collection. That includes the board books and read-alongs that were checked out at the time and are now back.

As soon as the section of the children's wing which sustained the most damage is reopened we will be able to accept these wonderful book donations.

We will be needing monetary donations to help pay for replacing many items that are not books. Items such as carpeting and furniture. Please consider dropping off a cash or check contribution for the Library Fire Recovery Fund at any branch of National Penn Bank or at the library itself.

We appreciate the kindness of all our friends. Everyone has been so thoughtful and understanding.

Library Life Goes On

Yesterday was the first day we opened our doors since the fire in Loah's apartment above the Children's Wing.

For years people have waited outside our door - anxious to get in and pick up that book they ordered from another library; impatient to get on a computer and check their email; looking forward to getting the next book in the series they are reading; or even to volunteer their time to put away all the returned library books.

Thursday morning seemed no different than any other Thursday morning... at first glance.

putting up signs on many of the windows saying in large letters that "Yes - we're OPEN";
the new donation jar at the front table for the Fire Recovery Fund;
me staying at the front door all day greeting people and handing out information about changes to our children's programming;
extra volunteers and library staff scheduled to deal with the expected large volume of visitors;
the new temporary location for the board books, picture books and beginning reader books;
and the curtained off section of the children's wing where those young children's books would normally have been shelved.

Still, there were many normal aspects to the day as well:
library friends coming in to pick up their books;
smiling faces and hugs from friends;
children thrilled to come in and get a book or a movie;
the internet access going down once again for all the libraries in the county;
internet access returning later in the day;
checking books in and checking books out...

These things can all happen any day and often happen every day.

We are thankful for these normal things.

It reminds us that no matter how hard or stressful, how terrible or tragic things can be...
life continues.

And there are so many wonderful things to think about.
Among those wonderful things are many memories of Loah to cherish.

Life goes on.
The Boyertown Community Library continues.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fire Recovery Fund

Beginning Thursday, August 14 friends (families, individuals and businesses) are invited to contribute to the Boyertown Community Library Fire Recovery Fund by sending or dropping off checks or cash at the library or any National Penn Bank.

Also, on Saturday, August 16 in conjunction with the Building a Better Boyertown (BBB) 3rd Saturdays event... Dog Days of August... there will be a special Hot Dog sale sponsored by the BBB to benefit the Boyertown Community Library Fire Recovery Fund.

Be sure to bring your children to the library for a special edition of its Saturday Story Corner at 11:30 AM. This Saturday August 16 for the Dog Days of August, the storytime will be held outside the children's library with a special visitor... Blackie (a labrador retriever mix). Children are invited to come hear Doggy Stories and meet Blackie the special pet of Children's Program Coordinator Jeanine.

The library will have a Fire Recovery Fund contribution basket right there with the storytime.

Thanks to all the community businesses who are participating in and sponsoring this special edition of Boyertown's 3rd Saturday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Re-opening Information

Thursday, August 14 is the date the library will be re-opening its door to the public.

There will be special extended hours for this first day. Normally the hours on a Thursday begin at 10 AM and end at 5 PM. However because we know a lot of people will be wanting to come to the library we will be open longer this first day.

The library will be open from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM on this particular Thursday.

But it really isn't necessary for everyone to come on this first day. Even if you have items that had a due date while the library was closed... that won't be a problem. Return it anytime this next week. No overdue fines are being assessed.

If you had a Hold Request arrive while the library was closed, it should still be there, ready for you to pick up. We will do all we can to make sure you get the items you need or want.

If you have questions, I will be at the front door on Thursday to try to answer them.
See you soon.

Fire Recovery Efforts

Stupendous efforts were made by all the fire emergency personnel to save our tennant Loah and also to protect the library below her apartment. Contact was being maintained between the Boyertown Police Department, the New Hanover Fire Department (the department in charge on the site) and a library board representative throughout the emergency.

Upon the recommendation of the fire companies a Restoration Company was immediately contacted to be on hand as soon as the buildings could be entered to evaluate what would be necessary to begin the recovery process.

We learned that the water damage to the library was confined to a small portion of the Biesecker Children's Wing... the section that houses our Baby Board Books, Cassette and CD Read-Along book sets, and the Early Reader and Picture book collections. There was also some smoke and soot dusted throughout both buildings... the children's wing and the original main library wing.

The large number of responding fire companies provided enough fire response personnel to be able to place tarps over all the book shelves and carpeting in the affected section so they were mostly protected from the water as it came down from the floor above. They even removed the bulletin boards from the walls!

The restoration company (Berks Fire Water Restoration, Inc) brought workers on site that same evening to immediately begin the drying process. This was as soon as the Fire Marshalls released the building for them to enter.

The next day the restoration workers began the process of removing the light film of soot from every surface in the Main Library wing. Every surface.

The workers actually removed each and every book, dvd, notebook, pen, stamp pad, everything and wiped it all down with special sponges to collect the soot and clean the items. They removed everything from the shelves and wiped the shelves. The same with the desks, counters, cupboards, signs, windows, and Teddy Bearsecker... everything. They attached these sponges to poles and wiped the painted ceiling in the adult fiction room. They removed every single ceiling tile and replaced them with brand new ones. They steam cleaned the carpeting and the upholstered chairs. Then they began work on the children's wing... the Juvenile Fiction, Non-fiction and Biography collections. Every surface has been cleaned.

This process has taken a long time because there are so many books, dvds, cds, magazines, etc. on our shelves... not even considering the shelves themselves and the computers and the walls and the furniture!

But even in this tragic time we have been lucky. This is the time of year when most of our collection is checked out by our library users. Our shelves had less items on them than might have been the case - say 6 months ago in March or February. That is why we asked our patrons to keep the items they had checked out at home and to not return them until earlier this week. We wanted to make sure they stayed away until all the soot had been removed from their shelf homes... that way nothing would get transferred to them when they were returned.

The entire Main Library Wing and the front half of the children's section have been restored for use now. We have now received the okay to open those areas of the library to the public.

We will be opening the doors tomorrow, Thursday - August 14 for all our patient library friends who have been suffering from library hunger pangs. We will also be extending the hours beyond our normal Thursday hours. Instead of the usual 10 AM to 5 PM... just for tomorrow we will be open later... from 10 AM to 8 PM.

Also we will be waiving all fines on items that were due back to our library during the time we were closed. So if you had a book or DVD that was supposed to be back last week, don't worry... there won't be a fine on it.

And if you can't make it in tomorrow, that isn't a problem. In fact you might want to come in on a later day because we expect there will be a lot of people coming tomorrow to pick up hold requests.

So welcome back.
But one last thing... this will be a long process. We still have a large portion of the children's wing that will be undergoing restoration and will not be accessible for a while. So please bear with us as we get things back to normal.

See you soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tragic Loss

It is with great sadness that I write today of the loss of a great friend and wonderful person.

Loah Whitmore was a longtime resident in the apartment above the children’s wing of our library. She and her husband Hal had moved into the apartment many years before the library purchased the building. I only came to know Loah and Hal when the library acquired the building next door in 1995. Later (in 2000) the building that housed their apartment was also purchased by the library and the lower floor renovated as the new children’s wing.

Loah became a good friend to me and to the library. She was a leader of many storytimes over the years and a member of the library’s book discussion group. She joined the Friends of the Boyertown Community Library group and most recently was their secretary.

This past spring, Loah started a new program at the library, an activity near and dear to her heart… she has been hosting a Scrabble Players Club each Wednesday afternoon. She had gained several regular players who came each Wednesday to be challenged and have fun. It was a personal joy for me to see Loah sitting at the front table playing the game I know she loved with her new friends.

Over the years both my husband Dennis and I have visited Loah in her apartment to help her straighten out little troubles she had with her computer. Being able to go on the Internet and communicate with her far flung friends and family, especially her son in California and brother in Florida was important to her, but she also played Scrabble and the Yahoo! version called Literati online. Dennis and I enjoyed lunch at least a couple times with both Hal and Loah before Hal died a few years ago. And in recent years, I have been fortunate to have been entertained by Loah (the consummate hostess) in her apartment after making a quick fix for her computer.

Loah has presented us over the years with wonderful examples of her culinary skills. I especially remember some awesome Strawberry Bread I received as a Christmas present. One year during the apple season, Loah dried some apple slices and had a storytime about apples. That day each child went home with their own dried apple ornament.

I must also include a mention of her beautiful garden. Behind the children’s wing, right next to where all the library staff park our cars is a veritable gem. A jewel that I know was one of Loah’s pride and joys. The roses and potted arrangements, the Hydrangeas and other beautiful shrubs were all exquisitely landscaped and lovingly tended.

Many a day I would leave for my afternoon break and find Loah sitting on her wrought iron garden bench with a book or a letter, watching the birds play in the bird bath. Often, I didn’t have the time for a prolonged visit but we would chat for several moments before I went on my way. But there were also times when I would sit and we would talk at length. She always invited the library staff to make use of her garden for their lunch breaks and I know it was a wonderful sight to look out the window of the storytime room to see the birds and their antics among the garden arbors all year round.

We will all miss Loah.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Prizes for Teen Readers

There are a lot of reasons to read books over the summer vacation.
1... because you enjoy reading anyway
2... because you need to read a certain number of books for school
3... because you have played the same games over and over and want something different
4... because you need to read specific books from a reading list for school
5... because you saw the movie and someone said the book was better and you want to see if they're right
But here's a great reason to read books this summer... you can win PRIZES! ! !

There are prizes available just for Boyertown Teen Readers and one GRAND PRIZE for all Teen Readers in Berks County.

Boyertown Prizes:
Large Pizza from Carmello's
$10 gift certificate from Talarico's
$10 gift certificate from the Grill Shop
3 separate $10 gift certificates from Bauses Super Drugstore
3 of the books from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series
1 episode of Fullmetal Alchemist on DVD
1 action figure from the Anime series Inu Yasha
1 T-Shirt (black with Metamorphosis design)
1 Insulted Travel Tumbler (Metamorphosis design)
1 PS2 game of Tiger Woods PGA Tour
1 Wii game of Spiderman 3
1 certificate for 8 piano lessons from Veronica Smith
1 special edition copy of the Stephanie Meyers book ECLIPSE
1 BOOMChair with vibration and other capabilities to make game playing and DVD watching even more intense

Berks County Grand Prize:

How do you try for the Boyertown Prizes? Just fill out a green reading entry form and turn it in for a grey raffle ticket. Write your name and phone number on one half, tear it off and drop it into the bag under the prize you are trying for. Put as many tickets into as many different prize bags as you want.
This is different than last year... a Teen who only has one raffle ticket may be the winner of a prize. But the more tickets in a bag a Teen has, the more chances that Teen has to win the prize.

How do you try for the Laptop Computer? Just fill out the green reading entry forms and turn them in. All green forms will be sent to the County Library Headquarters to be tossed together. A single winner will be drawn from all official green reading entry forms in September.
This year there is a greater chance to win the computer because there are 2 Laptops... one for young kids and one for Teens aged 13 and up.

So don't miss out on your chance for a prize!

Summer Reading - Reading for Prizes

We all know how important reading is... how it not only helps to enrich one's life but also how reading makes living life easier and more worthwhile. Posted in the library and elsewhere on this website is our Mission Statement. A portion of it says your library has a mission to encourage enjoyment of reading and promote lifelong learning.

Our Summer Reading Program has an important part in the fulfillment of that mission... and it certainly is a fun way to promote literacy. There are programs and storytimes based on the theme "Catch the Reading Bug"... and anyone who reads or has a book read to them is encouraged to fill out an entry form to win a prize. There's still plenty of time for everyone to get a chance on some great prizes. Prizes for all ages... for chilren to adults. Look for details in the library or watch for another blog post on the subject.

In the meantime keep reading!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Welcome to Our New Director!

We are all very excited to have a new member on our library team... Ed Goyda has joined us as our new "Fearless Leader". New to the area, Ed comes to us from the Brownsville Free Public Library (near Pittsburgh). He was interested in moving "East" because he has a sister living out here and wanted to be closer to her soon-to-be-enlarged family. I can tell he's pretty excited about becoming an uncle.

Having just moved in and with his first day on the job not too long past (June 30, 2008), Ed is still learning about our library, our staff, and our community. One of the first tasks he has taken upon himself is to review our entire Reference section and a lot of our Non-Fiction section with an eye to replacing old materials - getting us back up-to-date.

Stop in soon to meet Ed, maybe you can play a little game of "Stump the Librarian" with him! He might surprise you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Automatically Ordered Titles

Just in case you are interested, we have an ordering program set up to make sure we get the new releases on some of the most often requested FICTION authors. This program is called Automatically Yours.

I thought you might like to know which authors' books will be coming as soon as it is released. A couple warnings, though... these orders are only for books released in Hardcover editions... also, there are 330 authors on the list this year so I won't list them all here.

Read on to see the Automatically Yours Fiction Authors alphabetically.
A... Mitch Albom, V.C. Andrews, Jeffrey Archer
B... David Baldacci, Clive Barker, M.C. Beaton, Elizabeth Berg, Chris Bohjalian, Terry Brooks, Dale Brown, Dan Brown, Sandra Brown,
C... Stephen J. Cannell, Orson Scott Card, Jennifer Chiaverini, Tom Clancy, Carol Higgins Clark, Mary Higgins Clark, Mary Jane Clark, Harlen Coben, Susan Conant, Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Coulter, Robert Crais, Michael Crichton, Jennifer Crusie, Clive Cussler
D... Diane Mott Davidson, Lindsey Davis, Jeffrey Deaver, Ted Dekker, Barbara Delinsky, Nelson DeMille, Jude Deveraux, Anita Diamont, Carole Nelson Douglas
E... Janet Evanovich, Richard Paul Evans
F... Jane Feather, Jasper Fforde, Joy Fielding, Fannie Flagg, Vince Flynn, Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, Earlene Fowler, Dick Francis
G... Diane Gabaldon, Julie Garwood, Elizabeth George, Sue Grafton, Heather Graham, W.E.B. Griffin, Martha Grimes, John Grisham
H... Laurell K. Hamilton, Thomas Harris, Carolyn G. Hart, Brian Herbert, Joan Hess, Carl Hiaasin, Jack Higgins, Tony Hillerman, Tami Hoag, Kay Hooper, Khaled Hosseini
I... Greg Iles, John Irving
J... Jerry B. Jenkins, Iris Johansen, Robert Jordan
K... Jan Karon, Garrison Keillor, Faye Kellerman, Jonathan Kellerman, Laurie R. King, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Dean Koontz, Jayne Ann Krentz
L... Linda LaPlante, Tim Lahaye, Wally Lamb, Donna Leon, Elmore Leonard, Billie Letts, Beverly Lewis, Johanna Lindsey, Elizabeth Lowell, Robert Ludlum, Eric Lustbader
M... Debbie Macomber, Anne McCaffrey, Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, Judith McNaught, Fern Michaels, Linda Lael Miller, Gilbert Morris, Doris Mortman, Tamar Myers
N... Larry Niven
O... Joyce Carol Oates, Tawni O'Dell, Janette Oke
P... Chuck Palahniuk, Diane Palmer, Sara Paretsky, Robert Parker, James Patterson, Richard North Patterson, Anne Perry, Elizabeth Peters, Jody Piccoult
Q... Amanda Quick, Anna Quindlen
R... Kathy Reichs, Ruth Rendell, Anne Rice, Luann Rice, Karen Robards, J.D. Robb, Gillian Roberts, Nora Roberts,
S... Lawrence Sanders, John Sandford, John Saul, Lisa Scottoline, Jeff Shaara, Anita Shreve, Karen Slaughter, Alexander McCall Smith, Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, Sarah Strohmeyer
T... Amy Tan, William G. Tapply, Sheri Tepper, Scott Turow, Anne Tyler
U... John Updike
W... Alice Walker, Robert James Waller, Jennifer Weiner, Rebecca Wells, Kate Wilhelm, Jacqueline Winspear, Stuart Woods
Z... Timothy Zahn

If you wish to request a book early, stop by, call or email with the name of the author and their book. We can make up a pre-release request card and put your name on it. Please do not request more than 10 nor request a title more than 3 months before its release date.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Major Donation Brings New Copier

The Biesecker family of Boyertown is receiving many thanks each day when library staff needs to print a report or photocopy a project. Each copy now comes from a brand new Ricoh copy machine.

Not too long ago it was recognized that the photocopier which had been in place for better than 6 years was requiring repairs more and more often. It was also finicky when producing copies of a project.

The Board of Trustees for the library decided to ask various businesses and service clubs to consider contributing as a group toward the purchase of a network capable machine that would also be able to produce color copies. One of the first people asked was Mr. Fred Biesecker, owner of Drug Plastics and a friend of the library. He said "Tell me what you are looking for and we'll order one for you." As simple as that.

After a little research, Board President Sandy Polen and Acting Library Director Marta Weller found a machine that seemed to fit all the needs current and future. The information was given to the office manager at Drug Plastics and a brand new machine arrived just before Memorial Day.

There are so many bells and whistles on this new Ricoh that it may take the staff quite a while to learn it all. With all these great capabilities, the act of photocopying is no longer a self-service operation for the public. So we are asking anyone who wishes to have a copy made to please stop at the circulation desk and ask for assistance. Also, don't forget to pay for your printout before you leave. The library is assuming the cost of the supplies of paper and toner.

So next time you get a handout or see a poster at the library, or if you come to get a photocopy made, remember these awesome, high quality copies are all possible through the generosity of the Biesecker family.

Recently Added books

I will be posting titles of books we have recently added to our collection. The list will be divided by collection (Adult, Young Adult, and Children).


Audition by Barbara Walters (autobiography)
Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton (fiction- Anita Hunter, Vampire Hunter)
Dead Heat by Joel Rosenberg (political thriller)
Eighth Shepherd by Thoene (fiction)
Escape by Carolyn Jessop (non-fiction)
Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon - and the Journey of a Generation
My Guy, Barbaro by Edgar Prado (non-fiction)
Odd Hours by Dean Koontz (fiction- an Odd Thomas novel)
Once Upon a Time in Berks County by Charles Adams, III
Remarkable Woman by Jimmy Carter (biography)
Seventh Day by Thoene (fiction)
Shadow of Power by Steve Martini (mystery/thriller)
Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk (fiction)
Southeastern Berks County by Patricia Wanger Smith (a Postcard History)

Young Adult:

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
MaximumRide: the Angel Experiment by James Patterson
Tweak by Nic Sheff
When Irish Guys are Smiling by Suzanne Supplee (S.A.S.S series)
Assorted Manga volumes:
Fruits Basket
Oh My Goddess
Yu Gi Oh
Assorted Grahic Novels volumes
Ultimate X Men


Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Jewel Fairy series
Pet Fairy series
Rainbow Fairy series
Tiara Club series
Weather Fairy series

This just a portion of the new items that come in daily. Look for more titles to be posted in the coming days.

New DVDs @ your library

I will try to list the new DVDs we are adding to our collection as they arrive. Maybe you'll find one you didn't get to see in the theater or an old classic you always wanted to see!

For Children:

Matilda (starring Mara Wilson, Danny Devito, & Rhea Perlman)
Thomas and the Treasure (with Thomas the Tank Engine)
It's a Great Time to be an Engine (with Thomas the Tank Engine)
Kronk's New Groove (a Disney animated film)
School House Rock! Science
School House Rock! Grammar
School House Rock! Money

For Families:

Enchanted (with James Marsden, Timothy Spall, & Idina Menzel)
Follow Me, Boys (starring Fred MacMurray & Kurt Russell; 1966)
The Golden Compass (with Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, etc)
Mist: the tale of a sheepdog puppy
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (starring Nicholas Cage)
The Water Horse: Legend of the deep (with Alex Etel)

For Adults:

27 Dresses (starring Katherine Heigl)
Cloverfield (with Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J.Miller)
Juno (starring Ellen Page)
Rambo: the fight continues (starring Sylvester Stallone)


Baby Takes a Bow (starring Shirley Temple; 1934)
Bright Eyes (starring Shirlry Temple; 1934)
The Major and the Minor (starring Ginger Rogers & Ray Milland; 1942)
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (starring Shirley Temple; 1938)
That Funny Feeling (starring Sandra Dee & Bobby Darin; 1965)

TV programs:

Hogan's Heroes (the Sixth & Final Season)
The Waltons (complete Season 2)

Watch this Blog for additional titles as the calendar advances!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Different Kind of History "Book" to Read

Just recently, I learned of a very interesting Blog being posted by an Englishman using his grandfather's letters home during WWI.

Anyone interested in a real picture, a first-hand account so-to-speak, of the life of a soldier fighting in the Great War will want to read this Blog.

I have placed a link to the Blog with William Henry Lamin's letters to his family in the section for links located in the left-hand column of the Library Blog. There are a few things you will want to know before you begin:
  1. BEWARE. The letters are being posted on the same date they were received 90 years ago, so if you start with the most recent one you will be jumping into the middle.
  2. The BEST WAY to start is to click on the oldest date (July 2006) in the WWI Blog's archive and read from the bottom or oldest one up. The archive is located in the left-hand column of the Blog.
  3. To make it all more understandable, Lamin's grandson is posting background and research information between the letters.
I'm sure you will get just as hooked on reading this Blog as I have.
Please let me know if you like this type of posting.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year Resolutions

Did you make one or more resolutions for the New Year? Maybe you made one and you've already broken it. Maybe you didn't because you figured you couldn't keep your resolution.

Whether you took part in this tradition or not, it's not too late to make just one more resolution... one that will let you feel good about yourself because you made a committment to help someone else.

Here's what you can do. Just resolve to:

1. commit to help support your library financially by making a regular monetary gift
...a. donate $1 each time you visit your library
...b. donate $1 for each item you borrow from your library
...c. donate $1 for each week or $10 for each month or $1 for each day the library is open and make your donation in a single sum early in the year or split it in half, paying half in January and half in July.

2. commit to offer to purchase some supplies for your library, such as replacement lightbulbs (ask what type), a case of 96 brite - 20 lb multipurpose paper, a ream of white, blue and/or green 67 lb cover stock, or toner cartridges for an HP 4050 Laserjet printer.

3. commit to donating your time and skills to your library as a storytime volunteer, a library buddy for children while their parent browses elsewhere in the library, a shelver or shelf reader to help keep our books organized, or become a Friends member and help with their library service projects.

Many people think a library gets all the funds needed to buy books and pay salaries and building expenses from local, county and state funds. This is not true. Only a portion of the funds necessary to run your library comes from these sources. A large portion comes from donations from private individuals or bequests and memorials and from grants and donations from businesses and employee groups. To learn more about how your library is funded stop in and pick up a copy of the most recent Annual Report. Plans are to publish our next Annual Report on our website. Watch for the link to appear... possibly next month.

What is YOUR New Year's Resolution for 2008?