Did You Know?

  • Discovery Kit FB

    If you didn’t know already – play is a really important part of developing good readers and thinkers. “Pretend play” is especially important to help kids develop their imaginations, reasoning skills, social skills, and pre-reading skills. What better way to foster play than with a Discovery Kit chock full of ideas to inspire little ones? Whether you have a pirate, fairy, or monster-lover we have a kit for you. 

    Many of our patrons have already discovered Discovery Kits (one of the best kept secrets of the Children’s Department) and know just how fun they can be. For our patrons who don’t know what a Discovery Kit is, now is a great time to get acquainted. Discovery Kits are a selection of themed books, toys, and activity ideas appropriate for kids ages 3-5, and each one is filled with enough fun to fill days and days. The Discovery Kits check out as a set and you can keep them for three weeks. That means you have three weeks to play with all the toys, read all the books, and do all the things suggested in the included activity binder. When your three weeks are up, just bring the kit back to the Children’s Reference Desk and you can make a reservation for another one. The best part is that you can now make a reservation for a Discovery Kit online on the library website

    I recently wrote a blog post about finding fun things to do with my niece who loves Frozen. The process of finding things she might like were similar to the steps the children’s librarians go through when creating new Discovery Kits – but on a much smaller scale. Believe me, we put a lot of thought into helping our little patrons grow and develop into the best people they can be, and Discovery Kits are just one (of many) ways we try to foster that. 

    Check out provolibrary.com/discovery-kits to see which adventure to take your kids on next.

  • inktober 01

    Happy Inktober!

    With the Get Graphic Festival just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about drawing and telling stories through pictures. A picture may be worth 1000 words, but more often than not I’ll choose to write instead of draw. Stretching that creative muscle can be challenging when you question your ability, but I believe that practice is the only way to improve. I practice reading. I practice writing. And this October I’m taking the Inktober challenge and I’m going to practice drawing!

    Inktober is a challenge created by Jake Parker (who will also be at the Get Graphic Festival) in 2009 to help improve his inking skills. Since then, every year artists from all over the world have taken on this 31 day challenge to create an ink drawing every day during the month the October.

    Inktober 2

    A drawing every day?! But I have no idea what to draw!

    Never fear! I know, I know, it’s October and fear is the cool thing, but ideas are something you don’t have to worry about because there is a prompt for each of the 31 days. We got this! 

    Inktober 1

    Missed the first drawing(s) of the month? Start now!

    If a drawing a day seems too overwhelming, then take the slower but still steady path of drawing every other day, or even just every week. The point is you’re practicing drawing, in ink, regularly.

    I hope that as you draw that you will feel the power of graphic storytelling and will get even more out of the upcoming Get Graphic Festival on October 13th and 14th. It will be a lot of fun, and inspiring for artists of all skill levels.

    Good luck, and happy drawing!

  • lynda

     

    Provo City Library offer its cardholders free access to Lynda.com’s 6.300-plus course library of instructional videos. This new database to learn software application, design, job search and business skills that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

    While lynda.com requires a paid subscription to learn from top-quality, industry experts, now a Provo Library card gets you unlimited access Lynda.com’s courses for free. Simply enter your library cardbarcode and PIN on any computer with an Internet connection and begin learning on your own schedule.

    This database is built around five or ten minute video tutorials along with downloadable examples and exercises. Earn certificates of completion that can be added to a resume or attached to a Linkedin profile.

    Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you can find exactly what you need to update job skills, advance in a career or pursue a hobby with an ever-growing list of courses and videos in business, creativity and technology. Kickstart your career development, step-in to basic or advanced technology,strengthen your eye for creativity, and much more all on your own time, wherever you may be.

    This new service, powered by Lynda.com and Linkedin, is free with your library card. To get started, visit our A-Z Resources page or use this direct link. You can find helpful tools and information, as well as a link to contact support.

    Related: Lynda.com By the Numbers

  • library sign

    Today is National Library Workers Day!  There are 89 wonderful individuals that keep our library running smoothly throughout the year.  Here is a little list of what they are busy doing each day and how essential each one of them is.

    Our Director makes all the hard decisions and keeps us on track to provide Provo with the best services, collections, facility, and programs possible.  He is assisted by an executive assistant and a receptionist who together keep our human resource and financial paperwork accurate.

    The Adult & Teen Services Department is headed up by a manger who supervises thirteen busy librarians who buy books, create adult, teen, and family programs, process magazines, ILLs, prepare book club sets. Most importantly, they spend hours at our two Reference Desks answering questions and helping patrons find what they need, access our computers or wifi, print, and request services.

    The Children’s Department also has a busy manager along with nine librarians who help our young patrons at the Children’s Reference Desk, create amazing displays, and present all those amazing children’s programs including the Fairy Tea Party, Big Guy Little Guy, and the Children’s Book Festival.  This department also includes five entertaining performers who present those lively story times throughout the year.

    Our Support Services Department has three different divisions all led by our Support Services Manager.  The Circulation staff includes a supervisor and thirteen clerks who all help get items checked in and out. They identify books that need repair and manage our lost and found. They also help patrons get library cards, take care of fines or other account issues, and keep items moving so that our thirteen busy pages can get those items back out on the shelves quickly and accurately.  This wonderful group of people often has books back on the shelf with 24 – 48 hours, which is impressive!

    The Technical Services staff is small, just five people, but they take on the herculean task of processing all those shiny new items that are purchased each year.  We have a receiver who gets the whole process started when items are shipped to the library, two busy catalogers who make sure each item appears in the catalog correctly, and two hard working processing clerks who make sure they get the right stickers, stamps and covers to quickly make them available for our patrons.

    Finally, the last division included in our Support Services Department is our Systems staff.  These five patient guys keep our computers up and running, and we have A LOT of computers.  Add to that keeping our network and catalog safely behind monitored firewalls and also keeping our website running like it should and these men accomplish a great deal each and every day.

    Our Events staff is headed by an events coordinator and his assistant.  They work long days facilitating the hundreds of meetings that take place in our beautiful building each year from 9:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night.  They are assisted by our “set-up” guy who sets up all those chairs and tables in each room.  This department also employs four security guards who help keep the building and our patrons safe as they man our Welcome Desk and keep an eye on things.

    Behind the scenes we have a Facilities Maintenance Technician and eight stalwart custodians who come to work in the early hours of the day to make our building shine!  They keep our floors vacuumed and cleaned, our bathrooms clean and stocked, and all those chairs and tables used in our many meeting rooms put away.  These are some of our quiet heroes and they make us look good! 

    And last but not least, our Community Relations Department.  This energetic group of people manage our promotions and marketing, arrange all our wonderful author visits, keep delightful exhibits in the attic, and will soon also manage our new Basement Creative Lab.  They consist of a Coordinator and her assistant, two docents to greet you in The Attic, and an incredibly creative graphic artist that makes all those pretty posters and displays promoting everything we have going on.

    Wow!  That’s a lot of work!  These people definitely deserve a day to be celebrated.  Some of them you see when you visit us and many of them are quietly working behind the scenes.  I want to sincerely thank each of them for making this a wonderful place to work and the absolute best library for our patrons.

  • here to help

    I recently took a phone call from a library patron who was interested in learning how to use some advanced functions in Microsoft Office software (Excel, Word, etc), but taking a formal class was cost prohibitive. This patron wanted to know if we had any resources that could help them.

    Oh do we have resources…

    Can I just tell you? Asking a librarian what resources are available for [insert task/project/assignment here] is one of the best ways to make us love you. We want to tell you all about the amazing resources that you can use for FREE!

    For this patron, I recommended four different resources:

    1. The Computer Help Lab which takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 – 5:00 PM in the Special Collections Room. This particular patron wasn’t available during those hours, so next I recommended…

    2. Book a Librarian. With this service the patron can request a time that suits them to meet with a librarian one-on-one to get individual help. The patron liked this idea, but was also interested in self-directed learning. So I also recommended…

    3. Learning Express Library, which has a lot of great resources that range far beyond just basic computer and Microsoft Office skills, including standardized test resources (ACT, ASVAB, GED, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, Praxis, SAT, TOEFL, TOEIC, etc.), resources for becoming a U.S. citizen, basic math, reading, and writing resources, and so much more that this is just the tip of the ice berg.

    4. And finally, one of my favorites, Lynda.com. I don’t really know where to start when trying to describe the wealth of resources available on here. In addition to Microsoft Office courses, Lynda offers fantastic and professionally produced video courses on subjects relating to and including: 3D and animation, audio and music, business, CAD, design, courses for developers, education and e-learning, IT, marketing, photography, video, and the web.

    For the Provo City Library, providing our community with access to information, instruction, and learning is central to our mission. We are here to help, and want to make sure you are aware of the amazing, FREE resources available to everyone.

    The next time you come in, ask a librarian what great resources the library can offer, and watch their face light up.Just try it.

    I dare you.

  • vhs danger 01 1

    I was shocked a few months ago to learn that my VHS tapes are in danger. While I thought that they had another few decades of life in them, it turns out that 15-20 years is about the healthy age range you can expect. The reason for this is their magnetic fields, which fade over time until the magnetism is so weak that the tapes become unplayable - and it’s not possible to get it back. Most tapes were recorded in the 1980s and 90s, which means now is the time to save them!

    If your VHS tapes aren’t stored carefully, that lifespan can be even shorter.  “VHS tapes degrade easily from exposure to heat and humidity, causing poor tracking, reduced color saturation, and static.  Many tapes stored in attics or garages break during fast-forward or rewind operations.  Unless the case unscrews, which is rare, there is no easy way to repair the tape" (Saving Stuff: Digital Preservation for Family Historians, pg. 19. Computers in Libraries, April 2017).

    Before you break out in a sweat thinking of all the childhood memories stored on tapes hiding in a closet somewhere in your house, you should know that there are plenty of services out there to digitize tapes, including a VHS converter we have right here at Provo City Library. The best part is that it’s free to use!

    I have been bringing in a few tapes at a time to convert, and the process is easy enough to do yourself, although our librarians can also walk you through it. It’s pretty magical seeing memories I haven’t thought of in 20 years come back to life before me. Even if the tapes weren’t expiring soon, the thrill of re-visiting important moments from my life and sharing them with family and friends online has been worth the time.

    You can call 801-852-7681 to make a reservation to use this equipment any time the library is open. We also offer audio transfer services if you have old LPs or cassette tapes (those cassettes were created with magnetism just like your VHS, and will be fading soon, too!). More about our digital transfer services can also be found by visiting this page.