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…

Blogger Meg Smith

Library Learning Leads to School Success

What youth services ideas do you hope to turn into reality this year? At our Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, we have seen a need to increase the resources and support students receive so they may excel academically. Our School Success initiative developed into a formal project after assessment with our local public and charter schools, a staff-led focus group, and research to determine the needs of our student populations. We’ve applied for a grant to add technology and educational kits to our services and plan to add some new programming to encourage family engagement. Here are some highlights from our proposal: Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center will address the need for elementary and secondary student support through the development of our School Success initiative. This initiative features a 100 Days of School Celebration and the implementation of Learning Lab programming featuring laptops to provide homework…