Tag Archives: Libraries

Star Wars Reads Day 2017

12 Oct

Last weekend, my husband and I ventured out to the library to celebrate the fifth annual Star Wars Reads Day at our library. Despite this being the fifth and it being sponsored by the Friends (of which I’m a board member) and a good friend of mine being a key organizer, this was my first time attending. I won’t like, it was the light saber battle demonstration that got me to go.

My library is better than yours! #fclswrd17 @farmlib

A post shared by Sam Ann Elizabeth (@samannelizabeth) on

If that doesn’t get people to the library, I’m not sure what will. It’s worth noting how quiet it is in that room because five minutes earlier, the Jedi talking about their training was drowned out by yelling children.

In addition to the demo, there were crafts for kids to create masks, Yoda ears, and practice their Jedi skills on a balancing course. Of course, there were cardboard cutouts that my husband and I used to take a pretty sweet picture. It was recommended we use this for our Christmas picture this year but we usually have our pet turtles in the picture and I’m not sure how we’d PhotoShop them in this time.

Part of it being Star Wars Reads Day is that the library was giving away free Star Wars novels. As the library receives donations, any Star Wars books are sorted out and set aside for this day each year. My husband grabbed one to add to his classroom.

I wanted to talk about this and highlight some of the amazing events libraries are putting on. Friends funding helped build this event into something many patrons look forward to each year.  I’m so proud to be on the Friends Board of Directors and I love my library! If you haven’t gone to check out the programs at your library or explore what is offered besides material lending, I urge you to do so.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Be a Friend

18 Jun

No matter where you live, I’m guessing you have a home library. Libraries take many forms across the world, but I’m lucky enough to live in an area with a traditional library system. I love that my library offers more than books. We have movies, audiobooks, games, computer access, classes, lectures and any kind of event you can imagine. In reality, not all of these activities aren’t paid for by city funds. Some of its paid for through grants, but a lot of the money comes from the Friends of the Library.

I joined the Friends of the Library in May of last year. My husband thought it was odd that I would want to join because most members are retired and have money to spend while we were 24 and just beginning to save money for our future. But it was only $20 and there’s little you can do to argue with $20.

I’m serious when I saw it was only $20. I think many people feel that it would be a big donation to join the Friends of the Library, but in my area it’s a very low amount. I’m not sure what it is where you live, but I bet it’s less than you think. I hope you look into it. I sit on the Friends Board of Directors now and I know how many good things can be done with the money the Friends collect. We help create after-school opportunities for children, encourage participation in the summer reading program, and get middle schoolers excited about reading.

Last week we had our annual gala for members and I counted on one hand the number of people who were younger than me in the room and had room left over for those ten years older than me. I hope that being a Friend of the library can be more than an ‘old person’s game’ because, as a future mother, I hold the most stake in the future of our libraries. Libraries educate the community and I can only see that continuing and expanding in the future.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

I Love My Library

18 Dec

I was reading a post by Shiela at Book Journey and it made me realize that I haven’t used my blog to give my library (and all libraries) enough love. That being said, I want to declare publicly that

I LOVE MY LIBRARY!

It hasn’t been said enough on this site. I know that as a Friends Board Member, I’m biased, but I think libraries are a great resource and I want to give a shout out to my local library and the incredible people who work there. So yay Farmington Community Library and thank you for all you do!

There are a lot of services my library has that I use at least once a month. I’m highlighting them here because if there’s anything on this list you would like to see at your library, I’d be happy to discuss it and I encourage you to ask for it locally.

  1. Organized book club meetings. I think it’s obvious why this is a favorite, but I wanted to clarify that two of my book clubs are run by library personnel and I think it’s incredibly helpful to have a staff member running the group because it gives some direction and a group leader. This also leads to my second point:
  2. Sets of Book Club Books. I’ve seen it done other ways, but we call it Books To Go. Basically, you can check out 10-15 copies of a single book along with a folder full of discussion questions which allows patrons to run their own book clubs without the burden of purchasing the book. I love this option and I wish it was utilized more!
  3. eBook and eAudiobook collections. I love this so much. I can check out digital material right from my phone and it returns itself automatically when it’s due. So. Awesome.
  4. Writers’ Group. One of our librarians finally got a monthly writers group off of the ground and it’s be amazing to connect with fellow writers and talk about craft and encourage each other. I’ll put as a sub-tick here that they’ve run NaNoWriMo write-ins the past two years as well.
  5. Author Events. My library takes part in several events each year that bring authors to the local area. I’ve been able to meet Thrity Umrigar, Chris Bohjalian, and Seve Luxenberg through these programs and I’m excited to see where it goes in the future!
  6. Free WiFi. When I first moved to the area, I didn’t have internet at my apartment. When I decided to get a new job, I had to take my laptop to the library and use their internet to do my job search. I’ll be forever grateful to the library for this because I’ve found a job I really like.

There are also a ton of other services they offer that I don’t take advantage of, but I don’t want to diminish how valuable they are as a resource.

  1. After-school resources for the middle school across the street
  2. ESL programs
  3. Computer literacy classes
  4. Children’s programs
  5. Genealogy resources
  6. Movie nights for families
  7. And many many more!

Reader, I hope you’re fortunate to be near your local library and I hope even more that you take advantage of these resources! A library is for more than books; it’s for community and lifelong learning.

Do you love your library as much as I do? What resources are the most valuable to you?

While I have your attention, what do you think about joining an on-line book club? I’ll be hosting the third round of Read-Along With Me and we’re picking our book now. Please vote and send me an email to let me know you’re interested!

 

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Writer Goals

9 Sep

I was lying awake in bed last night unable to sleep.  I was thinking about how unlikely I am to ever be published!  My husband (being the amazing man he is) helped me think through it and told me to define some goals I want to accomplish.

  1. Use traditional publishing: I know a lot of people are pursuing the self-publishing route currently.  My goal is to use the traditional agent/editor/publisher route.  I think I would try for a steady five years before I’d consider self-publishing.  My goal is to not have to try for so long.
  2. Have over 100 ratings on Goodreads: I know this one seems a bit strange.  I see books on the Goodreads site with seven or 12 reviews and I get sad that so few people have read that book!  My husband tried to put it into realistic terms for me.  He challenged me to go to the library, find a random book in a random aisle, and see how many reviews it had on Goodreads.  He’s probably right that it wouldn’t have 100,000 but I’m going to guess that a given library book would have over 100.  (PS- I’m going to do this experiment.  It sounds fun.)
  3. Be featured in a ‘Local Authors’ section at a bookstore: I think a lot of authors dream of this.  I’m fine if I’m not on the New York Times list, but to be featured somewhere would be a dream come true.
  4. Have my book available in libraries: So that crazy book-lovers like myself can stumble upon it.  That really is the dream.  And finally;
  5. To catch someone reading my book: I got this idea from a book (strangely enough).  In the book Ape House by Sara Gruen (Fun Fact: This is a NaNo book), one of the characters is married to a writer.  She says that it’s always her dream to catch a reader ‘in the wild.’  I think that’s a wonderful goal and it would be so fulfilling.

So those are my goals.  Please leave a comment telling me what your goals are (as a writer, blogger, or otherwise).  Let’s try to help each other achieve our goals!