Monday, February 11, 2013

Now Featuring: Teen Programs!

Our wonderful new Children's and Teens' Librarian has put together a number of special Teen Programs for middle- and high-schoolers grades 6-12 to enjoy! Check them out:

The After-School Book Club: Kids in grades 6-12 are welcome to attend this special Book Club. Meetings are on the first Monday of every month @ 3:15pm. Teens will comment on their previous book choice and decide what book they want to read for their next meeting! The current choice for the March 2013 meeting is "Uglies" by Scott Westerfield.

Teen Zone: On the third Tuesday of each month from 6 - 7pm, teens can come to the library for a special teen event! From Live-Action Angry Birds to Food Art, these free and interesting programs are sure to pique teens' interests!

Teen Time: Every Monday (after the first Monday, which is reserved for the After-School Book Club), teens can meet at the library to work on homework, or try crafts, games, and other fun stuff from 3:15 - 4:15pm! The library is a great place for teens to hang out after school.

After-Hours Family Movie Night: This is a free, family-friendly movie night, so teens are welcome and encouraged to attend with their families and friends! We have a different movie each month, including some recent releases!

These events are free, fun, and completely voluntary! Don't be shy - drop in and try out our teen programs soon @ your library! We can't wait to see you here!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Local History

Curious about local or church history? Wanted to learn about notable local people? Wonder what your Kutztown townhouse looked like when it was first built? We've got you covered!

On the upper level of the library, we have a Historical Bookshelf. This special bookshelf contains various historical books about Kutztown and the surrounding areas, as well as local people of interest and Pennsylvania Dutch non-fiction. Some of the local authors are:

Mildred Jordan's novels: an impressive local woman and an author of many Pennsylvania Dutch-focused novels, most of which we have in the bookshelf

Ruth B.deFrancesco, a local author who wrote a biography of Dr. DeFrancesco, a highly influential and progressive KU professor, after whom a campus building is named.

Alliene S. DeChant, a former local newspaper editor and a community-minded woman, wrote collections of poetry and short stories about the Pennsylvania Dutch.

We also have amazing historical books, such as the original Kutztown Centennial compilation, Berks Countians books published in the 60's, a celebratory Folk Festival magazine, and books on Kempton and  Albany, complete with black and white pictures of local people, clubs, churches, and buildings! There are a number of pamphlets created by the Kutztown Historical Society about local buildings, such as the foundry, the original movie theater, and our library!

On top of these historical items, there are also many informational, specific books about Pennsylvania Dutch culture, art, woodworking, songs, barns, Mennonite and Amish culture, and more! Pennsylvania Dutch customs can be hard to find on the internet - but we may have exactly what you're looking for!

In our Reference section, we have the 20-volume set of The Passing Scene, which covers historical places and photos of the Reading and Berks County area, as well as the "A Most Agreeable Town" set! There are also copies of the "A Most Agreeable Town" set in the non-fiction section that can be checked out.  

While these fragile historical items and reference books cannot be checked out of the library, you are welcome to peruse them at your leisure and make copies of pages that interest you! Come on in and spend a quiet day learning about your history @ your library! After all, "to know your future, you must [first] know your past."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Clubs and Programs... for Adults!

While we are a very family-oriented library, with various well-known children's and teen's programs, we also have free clubs and programs for adults, where anyone 18 or older may join! No dues or mandatory meetings are required - just friendly gatherings between people who want to make a difference. Why not try one of these staples?

Book Club: The Book Club meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7pm to comment on and discuss a designated novel with others. The library posts flyers that list the Book Club choices for each month. The books read by the Club range from classics to biographies, pop fiction to historical novels. Anyone who reads the monthly Book Club pick may come to the meeting!

Garden Club: These folks meet on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7pm to plan summer weedings in the community, plant exchanges, fundraisers, and picnics! The club even has special informational speakers at every meeting, covering topics from composting to invasive plants. From "master gardeners" to "weed-keepers," you're welcome to join!

Knitting Club: From beginners to "old pros," this knitting circle is for everyone! The Knitting Club meets every other Tuesday from 10am - noon; check the flyers in the library for specific dates. While the Club sometimes works together on special projects, you are encouraged to bring your own knitting. Whether for help or for friendly company, if you like to knit, the Knitting Club is for you!

We also have other special adult programs and clubs, such as:

Computer Classes & Programs: These classes and programs cover basic to moderate computer skills, from learning about using a mouse to navigating the Internet and creating formulas in Excel. Classes are taught in the Community Room throughout the year on various topics; keep an eye on the bulletin window for class offerings!

Comfort Keepers: These helpful meetings are for those with aging parents. These speakers point out warning signs, suggest plans for lifestyle changes, and reference reliable local services for adults that want information about caring for their elderly parents. These meetings are great resources, so if you fall into this category, watch for the Comfort Keepers flyers!

Community Room Events: From art classes and insurance help in summer to Santa visits and special speakers in winter, various fun and informative events are scheduled at the library throughout the year! Event dates will be posted in advance in the library and around town to keep you posted!

 Also, if you are part of a non-profit group or club that needs a meeting place, you can apply to use our  Community Room at the front desk. You can view the Community Room Application here!

Both men and women enjoy these events, so if you're interested in any of these clubs or meetings, feel free to call the desk for more information, or just drop in and give them a try! See you here!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Getting a Passport @ your library!

What do winter vacations to Bermuda, summer cruises to the Caribbean, viewing the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, school trips to Germany, and studying abroad have in common? You need a U.S. Passport!  
Did you know that you can apply for one right here at our library? The library processes applications by appointment only, so please call first!

When calling to schedule an appointment, the librarian will go over the list of things you need to bring before asking when you'd like to schedule. Please keep in mind - Minors aged 16 or 17 only need one parent in attendance, while children under 16 need to have both parents in attendance. If one parent absolutely cannot attend (ie, they're out of state or country), they must fill out a DS-3053 Statement of Consent form and have it notarized in advance. Adults 18 and older may apply on their own.  

Please procure the following items for each applicant:

1) Your original birth certificate, issued by the state, with a raised seal, and both of your parent's names listed as well as yours. (We cannot take photocopies, hospital or baptismal certificates, "registration of birth" certificates, or birth certificates that do not have your parent's names listed, according to Agency rules. If you need a new birth certificate, visit the Department of Health website of the state where you were born to  request a new one. You can visit the PA website here.) If you are over 18, you may use your expired U.S. Passport in place of a birth certificate.

2) Your valid Driver's License, Government, or Military ID if you are 16 or older. You can use a PA State ID, issued by the DMV, but you'll also need to bring a second form of identification. Driving permits cannot be accepted. For minors under 16, both parents must be in attendance and have their valid driver's license; no ID for the child is required.

3) A recent passport photo. These photos have very specific requirements, so it is best if you have your photo taken at CVS, a AAA agency, or any number of other places. Wear items you normally wear, keep a straight face, and if you have polarized or progressive glasses, remove them for your picture. Taking your picture at home or using a school photo is strongly discouraged.

4) A completed DS-11 Passport Application Form. This form must be filled out in black ink, whether you fill it out online and print it, or if you fill it out by hand. (If you bring a form filled out in pencil or any other ink, you will be asked to fill it out again using black ink.)  Read the directions and the form itself, then fill it out as carefully and completely as possible. Whatever you leave blank will have to be researched by the Agency, and could delay processing. If you make a mistake, do not use whiteout - simply draw a line through the error and write the correct answer next to the error.

5) Two checks or money orders per application. One check or money order will be mailed with your passport application. This amount varies according to your age, what type of passport you'd like, and how soon you need the passport. You can check current prices here.

The other check or money order is for the $25 processing fee, which helps to support the library. If needed, you may pay cash for the processing fee, or combine the processing fees for multiple people, but you must use a separate check or money order for each passport application fee. In other words, a family of four would need at least 5 checks: one for each person's application fee, and one for their combined $25 processing fees. We cannot accept starter checks.

Before you come to the library for your appointment, please make sure that you have all of these things with you!  Bring your things to the front desk upon arrival and inform the library ladies that you're here for a passport appointment. We'll take it from there!

 *NOTE: You can renew your passport by yourself if it expires soon or if it has expired within 15 years of its issue date. (If it's been more than 15 years since your passport was issued, or if you never had one before, you need to fill out the DS-11 form and make an appointment with the library.) Pick up a DS-82 form, make sure you can say "yes" to all of the questions on the checklist, then fill out and mail the form yourself according to the directions. The library cannot process these renewals, though we can answer questions about them!

You can view all of the specific requirements and the complete list of other accepted forms of citizenship, IDs, and special circumstances here.

If you have any questions, feel free to call the library, or visit the Official Passport Website, See you here!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Real Hotspot!

Did you know that our library has free Wi-Fi as well as Internet-accessible computers? If your Wi-Fi is on the blink, or if you just happened to be stopping by and want to check your email, you can use your iPad, Kindle, Nook, or laptop to access the Internet!

No matter the device or laptop, when you bring it in to the library, there are few steps to take before you can browse the Internet. First you need to connect to our Wi-Fi. Double click on your Wi-Fi or wireless icon, then click on our Wi-Fi name, "Kutztown Community Library."

Once you're connected to our Wi-Fi, open your browser of choice on your device (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc) and type where you want to go into the address bar. The Wi-Fi will stop you from going to the site, briefly showing a "You're not connected to the Internet" message, before showing you a page titled the "Louisa Gonser Internet Policy," which lists the details of our current Internet policy. Carefully read through our Internet policy before clicking on the "Accept" button at the bottom. After that, you're free to browse the Internet to do what you need to do!

Please note: We are a public library and therefore any websites or images that endorse adult themes will be blocked, according to state law and our own policy. Also, our printers are not connected to the Wi-Fi, so if you need to print, you'll need to be on one of our computers.

If you need help accessing the Internet while you're here, or if you have any questions about connecting to our Wi-Fi with your specific device, feel free to ask one of the library ladies for help! We hope you'll stop by soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Requesting Books in the System + Access PA How-To

With budget cuts, it's hard for the library to keep up with demand, though we do our best! Sometimes we won't have the item that you're looking for. However, since you belong to the Kutztown Community Library of the Berks County Public Libraries, you're in luck! All of the 24 Berks County Public Libraries, from Leesport to Robesonia, have their collections combined into one giant countywide catalog. It's like one giant library, split into many different buildings.

Therefore, if we don't have the item that you want, but other Berks County libraries do, you can request the item to come to our library, where you can check it out normally! Once you request an item, you're put on a list. Every day, libraries pull the items that patrons have requested and send them to the patrons that want them. It usually only takes a few days for you to receive the item that you requested. If you requested a popular item, it will take longer, but you are still guaranteed to get the item that you want. You can request up to 10 different items at one time.(See the Using Your Account post for more information on requesting items.)

Once we receive the item(s) that you requested, we contact you by phone or email to tell you that we're holding your requested item for you at the desk. We hold the item for one week from the day we contact you, so if you get our message but can't come in for a few days, your item will still be here waiting for you. If you know that you're going to be on vacation or can't pick up an item for another reason, you can call the library to ask if you can extend your hold time. When you come to the library to pick up your item, let us know that you're here to pick up your holds, and hand us your library card. (If you're picking a hold up for a relative or a friend, make sure you have their library card - holds must be checked out to the person they're being held for). We'll check the item out to you and it's yours to enjoy until the due date! You can renew the items if you need to, unless someone else has requested the item. Once you're finished with the item, you can return it to our library, or any of the Berks County Public Libraries. Since all of the libraries are on the same system, whatever library you return the item to will check it in and forward it to the proper library on your behalf.

Note: School libraries are not part of the Berks County public library system; please return your school books to the school libraries, and public library books to the public libraries.

If you cannot find the item that you want in the catalog, call the library to double check the catalog. If the desired item is not in any of the libraries, you could try searching for it in Access PA.

Access PA consists of many separate libraries statewide who voluntarily share their items for statewide inter-library loans (ILLs). Access PA allows you to search through a number of school, college, public, and special libraries to find the item you want. These libraries are not in the same system or the same county as our library, so special arrangements have to be made.

First, you need to log in to the Access PA website. Go to our website, click on the Resources tab, then click on the Access Pennsylvania Database link. If you are not physically in our library, you will have to log in using your library barcode first. If you are in the library when you click on the link, it will take you straight to a colorful picture of PA. Click on the link at the top of the state picture, where it says "Select a county or click here to search the entire state." On the next page, click on "All Libraries." On the resulting page, click on "Keyword" to search by subject, or click on "Author," "Title," or "Author and Title" to search for your item. Type in the correct information, then click "Search." A list of results will appear. (If the desired item does not appear, check your spelling and try again. However, it may be that none of the libraries have this item either.) Click on the correct title to display an information page, then print this page. Fold the page in half, and write your name and phone number on the blank back side of the page. Bring the page in to the library and turn the paper in at the desk. The library ladies will put the request through for you and contact you by phone when your item comes in. The items are sent to our library through the mail, so it may take a while for you to receive the item.

When you come in to pick up the Access PA ILL, it will already be checked out to you with a set due date, since it came from an out-of-county library that has different policies and due dates. The due date will be written on a yellow paper band that is wrapped around the item's cover. Do not remove the yellow band - we need the information that is written on it! When you are finished with the item, you must return it to our library by the due date. Sometimes you can renew an item - please call the library to see if they can extend the due date for you.

Note: It costs the library about $10 for every Access PA inter-library loan that is made. Please keep this in mind when requesting items - always search through the Berks County Public Library catalog first as mentioned above or call the library for assistance before attempting to use Access PA.

(If you're more of a visual person, you can view the Access PA requesting guide with pictures here.)

We hope that this guide makes requesting items clearer and easier for you. If you're still unsure about requesting books, don't hesitate to call the library! We're happy to help!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Finding What You Want in the Library!

Here's a handy guide to finding books, DVDs, and other items in our library!

First, write down the title and author of the item that you want to find. If you're looking for a movie, you just need the title (though it's a good idea to also know the movie's year or actors, in case there's a few versions of that particular movie).

Next, type the title into our catalog computer, or type it into our catalog website at your home. A list of materials will appear; look to the left of each listing to see if the listed item is a book, DVD, cassette, VHS tape, or a special item. Click on the title of the correct item. If your item does not appear, check your spelling and make sure you entered the entire title. If the item still does not appear, there may not be a copy of the item in any of the Berks County libraries. You can always call the library to double-check the catalog.

After clicking on the title, a new page will appear with the material's details. At the bottom of the screen is a list of the libraries that have the item. Look to see if our library owns the item; if we do, "Kutztown Community Library" will appear on the list, along with the collection, call number, status, and a link to "Request Copy."

For example, if you wanted to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, you would type the entire title into the catalog search box (simply typing "Harry Potter" into the catalog is not enough!). Look through the listings, then click on the item that you want (The book? The book on CD? The movie?). Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you will see all the libraries that own the item. Find us on the list, and you'll see our name, the section, the call number, and the item's status: "Kutztown Community Library, Young Adult Fiction, ROW, Checked In, Request Copy." If it's checked in, write down the call number (ROW), then head over to the correct section (Young Adult) and look on the book spines for "ROW." Fiction books are organized by the first 3 letters of the author's last name.

If you're looking for a nonfiction book, like WineWise by Steven Kopan, Brian H. Smith, and Michael A. Weiss, type in the title then click on the result. It will say "Kutztown Community Library," Non-Fiction, 641.2 KOP, Checked In, Request Copy." In this case, write down the entire call number "641.2 KOP," then head to the nonfiction section. Nonfiction books are first arranged in numerical order by number, and then by the first 3 letters of the author's last name. For this book, look through the numbers in the nonfiction section for 641.2. Then look for the letters KOP. There are many books that have the same number, so always make sure you also write down the letters as well!

If you're at home, or if the item you want is checked out, lost, or on hold for someone else, you can request the item by clicking on the "Request Item" link. If you're not logged into your account yet, the catalog will prompt you to do so before you can request the book. (See the Using Your Account and the Catalog at Home post for more detailed info).

Below is a list of special call numbers and their corresponding sections:

E = Easy (picture) books section
ER = Easy Reader chapter books at the end of the Easy section
J = Junior fiction section
YA = Young Adult fiction section
LP = books with Large Print, located on the shelf before the adult nonfiction section
PR = Parenting Resources section, by the Easy section, next to the children's computers
Ref = Reference books (they don't circulate, but you're welcome to use them in the library)
J ###.## = Junior Non-Fiction book, located in the section that wraps around the Book Room and office
###.## = Young Adult/Adult Non-Fiction book
BIO = Biography section, at the end of the adult nonfiction section


If ever you just want to browse, remember that fiction books are organized in alphabetical order by the first three letters of the author's last name. If you want to read a Patterson book, head over to the Adult Fiction section and look for PAT on the book spines. Children's books are arranged the same way, so if you want to read some Dr. Seuss, go to the children's Easy section and look for SEU. Movies are arranged in alphabetical order by the first three letters in the title - "Avatar" has AVA on its spine, and comes before "True Blood," which has TRU on its spine.

Empower yourself - when you have a hankering for a certain item, or even if you're just browsing our collection, use this guide to find it @ your library! Happy Reading!