Have Any Suggestions For New Programming At The Library

I recieved the following email:

“My name is Shannon Lee and I am the new adult reference librarian for Petworth. Thank you for your post on the Petworth Public Library back in August of last year.

Although the library received such a generous review from you and your readers, there is much more we could do to serve the local community.

I will be putting together programs for the library and would very much like your input on potential areas to explore. If you have any ideas on programming, materials or displays you or your readers would like to see in the branch, please let me know.”

My original post on the library can be found here. So what would you like to see. I’d love to see some displays and materials on the history of Petworth, Georgia Ave. and the nearby neighborhoods. You?

13 Comment

  • You said it, PoP. A history of the neighborhood would be a very nice thing to see researched at the local library.

  • is it possible to get some books at the library? there’s basically nothing there.

  • I would like the library to take advantage of modern collaborative techniques, utilizing online resources. For instance, I want to be emailed the day before my books come due.

  • I love the Petworth library! It’s true that they don’t have a big selection, but a book from any of the branches can be delivered to Petworth and they e-mail you when it’s arrived. I think it’d be great if there were community activities there – book clubs, knitting, lectures, etc.

  • I absolutely agree about a book club. I’ve been trying to find a book club but so many are closed or not taking any new members. Maybe one on current American fiction, or classic novels or even Nobel prize in literature winners’ books… All this in Petworth.

  • I second community activities – book clubs, knitting, lectures, etc.

  • If you don’t like what’s at the library, perhaps suggest some titles or even donate books you like. In fact PoP, what about a ‘read and donate’ drive from your readers? We pick a new book, read it, and donate it when we’re done. Or donate a new one and then check it out the same day.

  • That would be a good idea, Richard, but try donating a book to a public library in DC! When I tried to donate a stack of fairly current fiction titles at the Petworth library, I was directed to the “free” shelf where people leave unwanted books. When I told the man I meant that I’d like to donate them to them library to fill out their collection, he told me they don’t do that. When I got home (after leaving the books on the free shelf) I wrote a questioning letter the central library office and got a reply that stated something like “Thanks for you interest in donating books to the library. We only accept books for the collection that deal with DC history or are of historical significance. All other donated books are sold at our book sales and the proceeds are then used to buy the books that we want directly from publishers.” Seems kinda backwards to me…

  • Actually Anonymous, that is fairly standard library practice. One key thing to think about is this, you wrote “fairly current fiction titles”, that right there is part of the problem with accepting donated books. It’s sort of like how you go to a used CD store and there are numerous copies of, oh, say Hootie and the The Blowfish but not a copy of Black Monk Time by the Monks. The library probably has a copy or two of recent fiction titles, fiction especially, and those copies will be used most not long after the book is published, and then they will not circulate as much after, and they take up space, have to be inventoried, etc. Sort of like for the same reason that you are willing to get rid of yours – you have read them, it’s not likely that you will reference them anymore or re-read them soon. As part of a libraries collection development plan they need to have the funds to buy the books that are missing from their collections, i.e. classics, nonfiction, history books, books in different languages, “How To” books, car repair manuals, and especially childrens books, etc. – these sort of titles help form a well rounded collection. Often library systems actually “rent” books from publishers for titles that are going to be popular for a short time, i.e. John Grishams latest, or the latest Oprah Book Club selection, and then agree to buy a few copies but send back the rest.
    As the DC Public Library person told you, if they are able to sell your donated books and they have those funds with which they can either buy some books for the collection (and in “library binding”, which is more robust than standard trade binding) or use for other needed infrastructure needs – computers, supplies, repairs to the building, etc. So by all means give to the library so they can sell your unwanted books – heaven knows they need the money.

  • I would enjoy going to the library for readings by local or visiting authors, preferably in the evening hours.

  • I’m with Bogfrog- with all of the authors and researchers etc in the area, this seems like it wouldn’t be too far fetched.

  • Yeah, people should know that libraries do not accept donations into their permanent collection. I know that Montgomery County MD stopped that process in 1979!!!

  • Thank you all for your comments. Book clubs, lectures and craft-oriented meetings are great suggestions. I would also like to do a display on historic Petworth. We have had readings by local authors in the past and hope to have more in the future. It may also be a matter of getting the word out. I will post new developments as projects and programs progress. We do currently have an ongoing quilting group that meets every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    As far as donations, the policy is in a bit of a flux right now. I recently added several paperback titles that came in from a donation and sent the hardbacks to cataloging. Two of them immediately circulated due to holds placed in other libraries. It is possible to process paperbacks in the branch and to send hardbacks elsewhere for processing but has not been widely practiced to my knowledge.

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