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Summer is finally here! We’re pretty excited, and especially for a particularly good reason: it’s time to start the Summer Reading Program. So why are we excited about the program? Because we like books? Of course. Because we appreciate air-conditioning during hot Oklahoma summers? Well, sure. But the main reason we’re all about the Summer Reading Program is because it prepares our youth for better performance in the future.

It’s not just a good idea that kids stay intellectually stimulated throughout the summer months, its actually pretty vital. There happen to be many studies about the benefits of reading programs (such as the ones listed on the New York State Education Department’s report, The Importance of Summer Reading Programs , or this one by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction). Almost all of them indicate children who miss out on intellectual activities during the summer months – a time many researchers call “the summer slump” – are not only set back when they return to school in the fall, but have achievement gaps later on in middle and high school years as well. (If you are interested in this topic please check out the links at the bottom of the page…)

But your public library is here to help of course! Three words: Fizz, Boom, Read! Following the national summer reading program initiative, Fizz Boom Read reflects the utilization of STEM curriculum in today’s schools. It also strives to increase science-related activities in public libraries.

Thomas J Harrison Pryor Public Library is going to buzzing with some incredibly awesome and fun science activities. We have stuff planned for kids of all ages, by the way. Live performers, exciting visits from the Science Museum of Oklahoma, animal guests from a wildlife rescue, and readings by the most animated of storytellers are mere highlights of what kids will be able to see and do this summer. We’ll also have a weekly book club for kids 9-12, and some pretty rad science projects for teens every Thursday in July.

Of course, all of this starts officially tomorrow/today with our annual turtle race. Come by and check out all the fun we’re having!

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More information on the importance of summer reading programs:

“Library Summer Reading Programs: ALA Library Fact Sheet 17.” Ala.org. American Library Association, January 2014. Web. 2 Jun. 2014.

Alexander, K., Entwistle D., & Olsen L (2007). “Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap.” American Sociological Review. no. 72, 167-180.

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June 3, 2014 · 1:24 am

Summer Time Fun : classes for adults

While the children’s Summer Reading Program is coming up very soon (don’t miss the kickoff with our annual Turtle Race on June 3rd!), don’t think that all the fun is for the young folks! We have some fantastic new adult classes coming up: known as the Summer Photo Series, the first two classes will help participants learn how to make remarkable digital images, and how to use special effects to make those images extraordinary. The third class takes creativity to a new level: a hands-on class that teaches participants how to prepare old and abandoned books so they can become repurposed into new, personalized creations. All materials will be provided (but don’t forget to bring your pictures!) and of course, all classes are free and open to the public.

Uploading, Scanning, and Saving Photos is the first class in the Summer Photo Series. In this course, participants will learn how to take their photos – from print or digital form – and upload them onto a computer. Then, participants will learn some basic editing techniques to polish their photos into high quality images. We do ask that patrons remember to bring in their photos, cameras, memory cards, adapters – any equipment needed to upload the pictures. Participants will be given a free flash drive on which to save their images.

Pic Monkey Photo Editing is the second class in the series, and will show patrons how to take their save digital images and edit them on the Pic Monkey photo editing website. The site helps users make their photos outstanding through modifications, filters, and beautification tools. The result: incredible photos that really pop! We kindly ask that patrons remember to bring in their digitally saved photos on a flash drive or disk.

Be sure to bring your creative spark to the third class of the series, Altered Books 101. This class will largely be hands-on, and entirely fun! Participants will learn how to take old or unwanted books and convert them into works of art. What you make is entirely up to you – whether it’s a scrapbook, memory book, journal, travel log, guest book, or gift book, it will have your stamp of awesomeness. (You can explore some altered book ideas on Pinterest.) Explaining the cool factor doesn’t quite illustrate just how great these books are, so we’d though we’d include a short video:

Materials and tools will be supplied by the library; however, you’re  encouraged to bring any photos, embellishments or scrapbooking supplies you wish to personalize your altered book.

We are all pretty excited about these classes, and are looking forward to seeing all the spectacular creations participants come up with. Hope to see you there!

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Are you the person we’re looking for?

We have a job opening! The official posting is here, but … well, we felt it was more than a little boring, and didn’t convey what we were actually looking for very well.

monsters(here’s a picture of some dancing monsters that invaded the library recently, just to jazz this post up)

Without further ado, our new and improved job posting!

The Thomas J. Harrison Pryor Public Library is seeking a fun and engaging personality to manage the youth department and lead youth programing from 0 – 18. Funny socks encouraged but not required. No divas need apply! Duties include acting zany in public, collection development, thinking outside the box, storytelling (with all the voices), planning and organizing exciting events such as teen movie nights, teen and youth summer reading programs, toddler and bilingual story times, and more.

Crafty and organizational skills a plus! Must be a team player, and enjoy being around humans, even humans who shriek, ask inappropriate questions and/or may be slightly sticky.

Must have a tolerance for mild chaos and a reasonable amount of noise.

Of course, all the boring but necessary requirements apply: working knowledge of computers and common computer software, ability to perform troubleshooting on common technology, customer service skills, cheerful demeanor.

If this sounds like you, fill out an application online at www.pryorok.org or pick up a paper application at the Pryor, Oklahoma City Hall.

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What’s the value of a library?

This is Marie writing, and before you read this post, you should know a little background about me:

* I grew up in a very literary family who visited the library weekly
* I read a lot (but now I can use the excuse that it helps me be a better librarian!)
* Since 2000 I’ve kept meticulous records of books read & movies watched
* I’m not a math person by anyone’s definition, but I do like statistics
* I can make great pies, but my pie-chart making skills are below average

I was thinking recently about how much my family used the library as I was growing up, and how we would never have been able to afford to make reading our primary entertainment if we’d had to buy all the books we read – not to mention all the library programs we attended and other library services we used.

And that got me thinking … how much money did we save by using the library? Well, I don’t have records of my reading back that far, but I thought it would be fun to take my records from last year and create a little chart using the average prices for books, ebooks, audiobooks, and dvds.

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Yeah … I’d say the library is a pretty valuable resource to me!

What is the library’s value to YOU? If you’re curious, there’s a wonderful library value calculator you can use. Comment and tell us your results!

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Go Beneath the Surface with our teen summer reading program!

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It’s that time again! Yes … Summer Reading Program time, which means great books to read, programs to attend, and lots of chances to win awesome prizes. For kids age 4 through 12, it’s not too late to sign up for our kid’s program – but this is a special post for teens age 12 – 17. Teens, here’s what you need to know:

1.  We’re having a Teen Summer Reading Program! It’s during June and July, and if you’re a teen all you have to do is sign up at the library.

2. The more you participate, the more chances you have to win prizes like Kindle Fires and iPod Shuffles. But wait! The more teens sign up, the more prizes there will be. So tell your friends to sign up too.

3. There are so many ways to earn more chances to win. One way is to keep keep track of the books you read – for every three books, you get one chance. (We’ve got a form for that – pick one up at the front desk.) You get another chance (limit one per day) each time you tell us something about what you’re reading by:

  • Commenting on our Facebook wall
  • Commenting on this post
  • Tweeting @TJHPPL
  • Calling us
  • Attending a teen program

4. Yes, teen programs! We’ll be sharing more info later, but we’re going to have some great programs on July 11th, 18th, and 25th.

5. Here’s the tl;dr recap: SIGN UP, READ, PARTICIPATE and possibly WIN A KINDLE FIRE OR IPOD! 

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Are you ready for SUMMER?

We are! And we have a lot planned for you this summer. Below are some highlights:

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  • As it has for the past thirty-one years, this year’s Summer Reading Program – that’s SRP from now on – will start with a Turtle Race for ages 4 – 12! That will be on June the 4th, at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. New this year is the parade of turtles, but don’t worry: you don’t have to teach your turtle to walk on a leash (we’ve talked to some turtles and they are very against being walked on a leash.) Instead, bring your child’s trike, bicycle, wagon, or anything else on wheels (non-motorized, please). Decorations optional but encouraged! And of course, bring your turtles – just make sure they’re not snapping turtles, since we want to keep everyone’s fingers intact.
  • Through the rest of June and July, we’ll be offering special SRP performances every Tuesday at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. We’ve invited magicians and storytellers and puppeteers and so many others … you’ll just have to show up to see everything we have in store!
  • For those already signed up for the Bulldogger’s Club (registration is already closed for this, sorry), they will meet every Monday (starting May 30th) at 2:00 pm for read-alouds from the book The Bulldogger’s Club by Barbara Hay and related events.
  • For ages 12-17, make plans to join our Teen SRP and check back here for more details on how to get chances to win a Kindle Fire or an iPod Shuffle. We’ll also be offering some exciting teen programs on Thursdays in July – again, check back soon for more information!
  • And for the littlest guys, our 10:00 am Wednesday Toddler Storytime continues throughout the summer.

We hope to see you all many, many times throughout the summer!

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Spring poetry

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April is National Poetry Month … and it’s also the month spring hits Oklahoma in earnest (although after yesterday, we are kind of wondering about that.)

The cheery tulips in our front flower bed made us think of this poem by William Carlos Williams, an American poet from New Jersey:

The Tulip Bed

The May sun–whom
all things imitate–
that glues small leaves to
the wooden trees
shone from the sky
through bluegauze clouds
upon the ground.
Under the leafy trees
where the suburban streets
lay crossed,
with houses on each corner,
tangled shadows had begun
to join
the roadway and the lawns.
With excellent precision
the tulip bed
inside the iron fence
upreared its gaudy
yellow, white and red,
rimmed round with grass,
reposedly.

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