Blogger Meg Smith

Grant Revitalizes Deposit Collections after Hurricane Matthew

Sometimes our programs and services can be discontinued through no fault of our own, and we have to think outside the box to re-envision this work. This was the case for us when Hurricane Matthew caused major flooding to our community in 2016. Our deposit collection services, located in the lower level of our Headquarters Library of Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, N.C., sustained severe damage when flooding damaged all central operations. Deposit collections provided a lending library of rotating, gently used, discarded children’s materials. These collections were sent to child care facilities and other community organizations serving youth. These child care facilities qualified for services because the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education ranked these centers with low ratings of one, two, or three stars. Each facility also served a minimum of ten children. The majority of users receiving deposit collection services…

Blogger Meg Smith

Grant Supports Early Literacy and Family Corners

Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC established interactive Early Literacy Family (ELF) Corners at all eight locations to encourage families to develop pre-reading skills with their children from birth through five years old. ELF Corners enrich children’s learning through interactive manipulatives to encourage children and their caregivers to talk, sing, read, write, and play. Board books, games, puzzles and imaginative play resources support interactions between adult and child. Youth Services librarians utilize these engaging manipulatives to model Every Child Ready to Read best practices and promote books and resources through individual consultations with adults to strengthen pre-reading skills. Impromptu story time experiences demonstrated effective reading techniques. ELF Corners provide a non-threatening environment for new families to engage in literacy activities. As a parent summarized her early literacy experiences for her child, “every time I walk into my library, I never leave disappointed. My daughter is more…

Blogger Meg Smith

Stories Cross Boundaries

  For Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center in Fayetteville, NC, March is associated with storytelling. This March celebrates our 9th annual Storytelling Festival. Expanded from one week to an entire month, this year will offer even more performers and programs to promote cultural diversity. The theme, Your Passport to the World, integrates international folktales, oral storytelling, and puppetry through a dynamic celebration of world cultures. Our free and inclusive festival provides one of the only literature-based, cultural arts programs many families may experience within our community. Our Community Relations Department created passports for each participating child and customers will receive passport stickers when they attend festival programming or check out books from our international themed book displays. We are excited to see children’s stickers from around the world as they share in this experience with their families. Collaboration remains a central component of our festival. With partnerships with…

Author Spotlight

An Interview with Deborah Hopkinson

Author Deborah Hopkinson shares her process of writing Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen and the role children’s librarians play in supporting the dreams of their young patrons. What motivated you to write a book about Jane Austen for young readers?     I’ve been an Austen fan for a long time. I was perhaps in sixth grade when I first discovered her books. I still have a few old battered paperbacks from those days. And I once took my daughter on a “literary pilgrimage” in England. And yes, we went to Bath. I don’t anticipate young readers to rush out and devour Pride and Prejudice, of course. But I think it’s wonderful to give readers the chance to discover accomplished women of the past from all cultures. And Austen offers a model for an ordinary person determined to follow her own path, which seems especially relevant in our celebrity-focused culture.  What do you…

Author Spotlight

An Interview with Author Richard Torrey

Author and illustrator Richard Torrey shares his thoughts on the role of libraries and his process creating Ally-Saurus & the Very Bossy Monster. How would you describe your book ALLY-SAURUS & the Very Bossy Monster to children’s librarians sharing this book with young readers? Like the first book (ALLY-SAURUS & the First Day of School), it’s primarily a celebration of the incredible resilience and flexibility of children’s imagination. In this story, Ally-saurus and her friends are having a wonderful time playing pretend, each in their own way. But everything changes when the bossy new neighbor, Maddie, shows up. Maddie insists they play what she wants to play-and according to her rules. When she finally goes too far, Ally-saurus ROARS into action, helping Maddie understand that bossiness is no fun at all. What inspired you to tackle the issue of bossiness in this book? I never intentionally set out to tackle specific issues when…

Blogger Meg Smith

NASA @ My Library Offers Spectacular Science

As a NASA @ My Library grant recipient, Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center receives STEM kits, technology, and resources to share with our community. Our role as a NASA @ My Library Partner aligns with our mission, “the library opens windows to the world by encouraging expression, enlightenment, and exploration,” with NASA @ My Library’s goal to strengthen STEM learning opportunities for library patrons in underserved areas. Our Youth Services Leadership team, composed of professional librarians from all eight public library locations, has already met to review grant requirements, collaborate on programming initiatives, and to coordinate these NASA-related STEM programs through system-wide planning. Our public library’s partnership with Fascinate-U Children’s Museum will offer opportunities for museum and public library collaboration through STEM programming. Our staff will partner with a local Title One public elementary school, with a high percentage of minority students and the county’s only elementary school with…

Blogger Meg Smith

Summertime Kids Brings Books to the Underserved

Outreach is a vital component of summer reading programs, but sometimes it can be a challenge for libraries to connect to busy day care groups in our communities. One way we have strengthened our partnership with local agencies serving youth is through our public library participation in the Summertime Kids program. Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center has received a $5000.00 grant from the Cumberland Community Foundation to participate in Summertime Kids. What is Summertime Kids? Summertime Kids supports youth from low-income and underserved communities and provides opportunities for them to experience unique life lessons through enriched summer experiences. Summertime Kids also supports children with various developmental and physical abilities. Summertime Kids partners with the Autism Society of Cumberland County-Camp Sunshine Summer Developmental Day Program to provide resources and support to young people living on the autism spectrum. Vision Resource Center – Out of Sight Camp supports children with…

Blogger Meg Smith

Your Passport to the World

Which programs are you most excited about presenting this year? At our Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, we’ve just applied for grant funding to host our 9th Annual Storytelling Festival.  Your Passport to the World, a month-long storytelling festival presented by the Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, will integrate international folktales, oral storytelling, and puppetry through a dynamic celebration of world cultures. Aligned with the library’s mission as a window to the world, this festival supports library goals three and six as identified in our long range plan; “the library will provide customers with opportunities and experiences that explore and support diversity in the community,” and “the library will provide resources that support and encourage lifelong literacy and creative expression.”   Youth services staff will present free programs to meet current and future needs and interests of the community. Reflected through summer reading programming and downtown 4th…