Monday, 25 May 2015

Spring Training is on

Our annual staff inservice is Monday, May 25th.  All locations are closed on this day so that staff can gather together, learn, share, interact, and ‘develop’ professionally.  Our goal is to return to job duties and demands with a renewed sense of purpose, with improved skills and confidence, motivated to perform our tasks effectively and efficiently.

This year, we are excited to have guest presenter Pam Mood for our set of morning workshops. Dynamic, energetic, and humorous, she is a much sought-after motivational speaker. (She is also the serving mayor of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia).

Our Summer Reading Club Committee will unveil plans for the ever-popular summer program that sees kids and teens reading and using the library like crazy after school is out. Each year, the program is tweaked and shaped to keep things interesting and engaging.

We’ll talk about our new Be Fit Physical Literacy Kits, a partnership with Sport Nova Scotia.  These kits are now available for loan, but we’ll also be identifying ways to incorporate the physical aspects of the kits into our library programming.

Sharon Elliott, RCMP Senior Safety Officer, will provide us with practical information and tips to make our library visits for seniors a more positive experience.

One workshop will see the sharing of information and experience with challenging customer service situations. What did we do right? How can we do things better? Those public service staff will also share some innovative ideas that have enhanced the physical library spaces and made our libraries more interesting, inviting, and functional.

Staff can preview the new public library catalogue that will be coming soon. While we’ve provided input, this is our chance to see the almost-finished product, one we know the public will be pleased to see!

 While you won’t be able to visit one of our libraries on May 25th, please understand that we’ll be working, and learning, to serve you better!

--Wendy Trimper,  Head of Branch Services

Monday, 18 May 2015

OverDrive Advantage Collection

Our downloadable eBook and audiobook service continues to be very popular.   We hope that you’ll be excited about our new addition to this service.  It’s called OverDrive Advantage.

Our downloadable eBooks and audiobooks is a shared service with seven other Nova Scotia regional public libraries.  The cost of the books is shared by all, with the exception of an Advantage collection.  OverDrive Advantage allows us to purchase additional copies of titles that will be available to only the users of the Annapolis Valley Regional Library.  For titles where we have purchased additional copies AVRL users are basically on two separate lists. Let me explain: For every 8 holds our users have on a title we are purchasing an additional copy for use only by our users.  For example, if there are 16 AVRL holds on a title we will purchase two additional copies.  The shared titles, as our two exclusive copies, will continue to be used by these 16 holds.  An AVRL user could be 40th in the shared list, but only 7th in ours. It is set up to get our users a copy as soon as possible.
Look for the Advantage symbol on the cover. Make sure you sign in to see all of the titles available, because the advantage titles don’t show up unless you are signed in. We hope that you will see reduced wait times for those popular titles.  

Remember you can check them out for 1 – 3 weeks, and it is all free and without any late fees.  Also, the MP3 audiobooks can now be transferred to a jump drive for use in your car or other player.

Happy reading,
Charlotte Janes, Head of Systems and Administration

Monday, 11 May 2015

Bookmobile Onsite Service

You have probably seen our new Bookmobile driving on the highway, at farmers’ markets, in parades or at a community stop. It is a beautiful vehicle and we are very proud of it. 

Our new Bookmobile has allowed us to develop new services. The Bookmobile now delivers all the benefits of a public library right to the front door of institutions, enriching resident’s lives with books, audiobooks, DVDs and magazines.  Our new customised Bookmobile is equipped with a hydraulic lift in the rear. There are five removable bookcarts on the Bookmobile which supply a good choice of material. Staff offload these bookcarts and take them into senior facilities and adult rehabilitation centres. Our collection and staff provide entertaining and informative materials as well as empower people to make choices and manage their own selections. These services are available free of charge.

Residents and staff of facilities that are served with onsite service are registered individually for a library card and can borrow library material and become responsible for it. They may also make requests and our staff will bring them as they become available. Library staff provide this service for 45 minutes per facility every three weeks. 

Our staff enjoy delivering this service and have met many wonderful people who are grateful to use the library. Well-attended Bookmobile visits can lead to enhanced library services, including special programs. If you would like more information on this service click here or call our office at 902-665-2995 ext. 234. 

Don’t forget to wave to us as we travel through the Annapolis Valley!

Submitted by Wendy Kearnes, Outreach Services Manger

Monday, 4 May 2015

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Springtime can be exciting for all sorts of reasons but for allergy and asthma sufferers sometimes it only means the misery begins.  About 75% of asthma patients have an allergy.  What can be done? Make sure you are aware of your triggers and try to be proactive in your approach.    

Some tips include starting your medication about two weeks before your symptoms start if you suffer from seasonal allergies.  This can help mimimize the eventual symptoms.  Check the Air Quality Index and stay inside when pollen counts are at their highest. Try to avoid opening your windows and doors at home.  Drying the laundry inside will help keep your clothes pollen free.   Make sure you keep that inhaler handy especially when travelling.  If you are doing spring cleaning take note that you can meet the majority of your cleaning needs with products that are recommended as safe for people with asthma to use, such as salt, sodium bicarbonate (i.e.baking soda), washing soda, borax, vinegar and washing powder.  Another tip is having a shower before bed when you have been outside.  When you come in you are covered in unseen pollens and allergens.  Taking a shower means the allergens are no longer on your skin for you to breathe in for the next 8 hours when sleeping.  Wear wrap-around sunglasses when outside, this will keep pollen out of your eyes.     

The Asthma Society of Canada is a great place to start for more information. It includes an Allergies and Asthma help line.  Want to read about how to garden with allergies?  Check out this brand new title from your local library: The Allergy-fighting garden : stop asthma and allergies with smart landscaping or listen to  Living a healthy life with chronic conditions  in audio cd format for long-term management.  It’s been a really long winter so everybody should be able to enjoy Spring!

--Patricia Milner, Head of Reference Services