Director's Blog

The latest news, thoughts and updates from Kristin Shelley, the Director of the East Lansing Public Library.

Social Justice Reading Group for Children

I have said many times that the beauty of public libraries is that we are open to all.  No matter your views, how you look, how much is in your bank account or what your zip code is, we welcome you into the library.

As the East Lansing City Council commits to civil liberties for all people, the East Lansing Public Library, Michigan State University and the Greater Lansing Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. have collaborated to offer a monthly Social Justice Reading Group for Children.  The first Social Justice Reading Group welcomed 209 children, parents and caregivers to listen to and discuss stories on immigration and migrant workers and make a craft. I found the program to be incredibly rewarding. Listening to children ages four to 11 years old share how they view people and the world was a positive and uplifting experience, especially while our country seems to becoming more and more divided.

The second Social Justice Reading Group for Children is on February 25 from 10:30am to noon at the East Lansing Public Library.  The February event will explore the topic of racial justice through children’s literature. MSU faculty with expertise in this social justice area will read children’s books related to racial justice. After the readings, MSU teacher candidates will facilitate small group discussions on the topic and volunteers will assist with discussions and craft activities.  The February program filled to capacity in less than 24 hours, but I hope you will join us for future Social Justice Reading Group sessions, planned for March, April and May.

Wireless Printing Now Available

Did you know you can sit in the comfort of your home, office or car and send a print job to the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL)?  Yes, wireless printing is here.  You can pull up a photo, document or email from your smart phone, laptop, tablet, desk top—actually any device with Internet access and send it to our public printer at the library. You have three days to come into the library and pull up your print request and physically print it. This service will work from a wireless device within the library, as well as, Internet connected devices anywhere in the world.

Kristin's Top 100 - Part 4

ELPL director Kristin Shelley has worn many librarian hats in her career in public libraries.  Including almost 10 years as a children's librarian, providing book recommendations, storytimes and more to the littlest patrons in libraries.  So when you ask her for her favorite picture books for National Picture Book month, you get a really, really, REALLY long list - all of it pure gold.  

Part 4 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin's Top 100 - Part 3

ELPL director Kristin Shelley has worn many librarian hats in her career in public libraries.  Including almost 10 years as a children's librarian, providing book recommendations, storytimes and more to the littlest patrons in libraries.  So when you ask her for her favorite picture books for National Picture Book month, you get a really, really, REALLY long list - all of it pure gold.  

Part 3 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin's Top 100 - Part 2

ELPL director Kristin Shelley has worn many librarian hats in her career in public libraries.  Including almost 10 years as a children's librarian, providing book recommendations, storytimes and more to the littlest patrons in libraries.  So when you ask her for her favorite picture books for National Picture Book month, you get a really, really, REALLY long list - all of it pure gold.  

Part 2 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin's Top 100 - Part 1

ELPL director Kristin Shelley has worn many librarian hats in her career in public libraries.  Including almost 10 years as a children's librarian, providing book recommendations, storytimes and more to the littlest patrons in libraries.  So when you ask her for her favorite picture books for National Picture Book month, you get a really, really, REALLY long list - all of it pure gold.  

Part 1 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourteenth Year of One Book, One Community

It is time, once again, for one of my favorite community events, the One Book, One Community (OBOC) kickoff. OBOC is in its fourteenth year! No small feat.  As a librarian, I love that the community and Michigan State University students come together centered around a book, and this year a film too, to discuss hard topics like justice and inequality in our country.

Donate, Renovate, Innovate...A Renewed East Lansing Public Library

I am excited to share with the community that East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) received an incredibly generous donation from an anonymous donor on April 10, 2015. The donation is in the amount of $1,500,000.

This is truly wonderful for ELPL and the entire community. It provides the opportunity to inspire and innovate a re-imagined East Lansing Public Library.

What does this mean for ELPL?

The donation will allow for a partial renovation of the library. We will be able to move some things around and to re-purpose some spaces. The teen area will be larger; the maker studio will be larger; the children's area will be engaging; a cyber cafe with vending machines will be added; and the floor plan will be opened up. We will also incorporate new furniture and shelving in parts of the library.

While $1.5 million is huge and by far the largest donation the library, and probably the city, has ever gotten, unfortunately, it does not get us a full renovation of the library nor does it get us a much needed expansion. ELPL does need to be expanded because we are approximately 20,000 square feet too small for the size of population we serve. In addition, it will not allow for any parking lot repairs or additions.

This is why we are asking for the community to match the gift or to even exceed the donation. Our goal is to raise an additional $1.5 to $2 million by May 2016. However to do an expansion and renovation like we need, it will cost $11,000,000. The Donate, Renovate, Innovate...A Renewed East Lansing Public Library Capital Campaign kicked off on April 17.

It is important to note, the gift ELPL received is restricted. It can only be used for renovations to the current library building. It cannot be used for operations. Our operations budget continues to be tight as we juggle the cost of staff, materials and technology needs.

If things progress well, the renovations will start in September/October 2015 and will take approximately nine months to complete. This means our Meeting Room, the North Foyer Art Gallery, the Storytime Room and other areas will not be available to use. Things will be displaced and dust will fly, however, the end result will be a re-imagined East Lansing Public Library where the possibilities will be unlimited.

Coming very soon, we will display a "book-o-meter" to show the progress of our Donate, Renovate, Innovate…A Renewed East Lansing Public Library Capital Campaign and architect renderings of the renovation plans.

This is a great time for the community. With your help we can make the East Lansing Public Library the stellar library the community deserves.

Happy Birthday, East Lansing Public Library!

Happy Birthday ELPL!It is hard to believe that in 1923 in a small area of the People’s Church, the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) began. ELPL is 90 years strong this year. Few things continue without interruption for 90 years. The fact that ELPL  is here and continually provides exceptional customer service is a true feat. The library has seen many changes over the years. Many of these changes, including the introduction of computers, the Internet, online card catalog and e-books, have tremendously changed the profession, operations and the physicality of the library.  However, we have never stopped being about information, literacy and the community.

ELPL has had its share of aches and pains over the years.  As the country and community suffered so did the library.  ELPL struggled through the Great Depression and we have struggled, like many others, through this most recent economic downturn.  Yet, with a huge thank you to the residents of East Lansing, we have preserved.  We are leaner than in past years and we are paddling fast to keep up with the lightening-speed changes of technology and society.

Come join us on Saturday, September 28 from 12pm to 2pm as we celebrate the next 90 plus years of the East Lansing Public Library. We will have cupcakes, children’s activities and a short program to honor ELPL’s past and future.

 

But you don't have to wait for the party to start celebrating.  Post a video response to our 90th Birthday Celebration video on YouTube to share your favorite memories, experiences and thoughts about ELPL.

If you'd like to give a birthday gift to the Library and the greater East Lansing Community our staff have compiled a wish list of materials, equipment, program support and more that are needed to provide another 90 years of excellent service.  Whether you'd like to give a board book or an iPad, all gifts are appreciated and benefit library patrons and the citizens of East Lansing.

Create at the Library

Maker Spaces, Fab Labs or Hacker Spaces, whatever you call them, they are catching on all across the country, especially in public libraries.  For years libraries have offered craft, educational and do-it-yourself programs for patrons.  Now we are retooling those programs to include science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) components and provide patrons with an opportunity to create in the broadest sense of the term.  Maker spaces offer educational programs in a fun, play-oriented environment.  They allow library patrons t

Thank you East Lansing!

Thank you to the residents of East Lansing for voting yes on the one-mill operating levy for the East Lansing Public Library!  The tremendous outpouring of support from the community is truly amazing and deeply heart-felt.  It is very rewarding to know how much ELPL means to East Lansing.

The Citizens to Protect the East Lansing Public Library Committee deserves special praise as they went above and beyond to support the levy efforts and to get the word out about ELPL’s needs.  We tip our hats to this dedicated group of people.

The success of the levy means that we will continue the library’s tradition of providing quality materials, excellent service and innovative programs designed to meet patron expectations. Specifically we will: increase our book, dvd and e-book budgets back to levels before 2011; enhance technology services; continue to develop innovative programs for babies to seniors; and strive to improve library services however possible.

I am excited about the next chapter for ELPL and look forward to the future.

On behalf of the ELPL Board of Trustees and staff, a sincere thank you. 

–Kristin Shelley, Director
 

Weeding: It's Not Just for Gardens

To weed or not to weed should never be a question for public libraries. The answer always is to weed.  Weeding is a part of collection maintenance.  Collection maintenance is what libraries do to keep their collections up-to-date, accurate and relevant. It is not just removing out-dated, inaccurate and worn materials; it also involves analyzing the collection to determine what is in demand. Collection maintenance includes selection, de-selection and replacing.  It is never taken lightly or done haphazardly. At the East Lansing Public Library(ELPL) our librarians look at the materials that are being weeded to determine what should be replaced.  We use reports to analyze the collection, including items that have not checked out in a certain amount of years, age, accuracy and demand of materials. 
 

Silence Is Not Golden

Shhhsshh!  Libraries are not quiet, noiseless places anymore. Contrary to popular opinion, librarians are not taught how to shush patrons in our Masters of Library and Information Science programs.  Of course, I thought this when I was a child. I remember using the public library as a child and getting the evil eye from the librarian because I dared to use my regular voice in the library.

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