Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Joshua's Story: Books in the Bins, Books for Kids

What a great story! Read how Joshua's love for books and reading started at the Library and how he used his passion to share books with others.

Books in the Bins: Books for Kids

Joshua Gammon has been reading since he was 3 years till this date he still love to read every day. Joshua attended story time at library when he was younger that where he got he’s love for book and wants to share books with other children in the community. Connie Ellington in Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Outreach Department helped coordinate Joshua Gammon with his Book Drive.

Joshua Gammon Eagle project is giving back his love for books by doing a book drive for new teachers of FOCUS schools in Charlotte- Mecklenburg Schools. “FOCUS” schools are schools that are on the verge of becoming Title 1 or becoming low-income. The “FOCUS” school I selected to do the book drive for is University Meadows Elementary School in the University City area of Charlotte. At University Meadows, seasonal and veteran teachers received a grant from the state to get new school supplies and books for their classrooms, but the new teachers did not get funds, therefore they have to buy books and school supplies out of their own money. When I heard this, it touched me deeply, so I decided that I was going to do my Eagle project by helping out the new teachers who are coming into University Meadows by doing a book drive to help out with this epidemic. Being involved in the library programs throughout Joshua Gammon life encourage him to dream big, gain life skills, continue to be a lifelong learner by reading and sharing his love for reading with others.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thank You Barnes and Noble

 Thank you Barnes & Noble for hosting a holiday book drive for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's Community Book Shelf Program. Donations from the Barnes and Nobles book drive will be used to fill library book shelves in several community locations including WIC offices(Woman, Infants and Children) Department of Social Services waiting room, Solomon House, Ada Jenkins CenterThe Latin American Coalition and other community locations.Our book shelves provide literacy-rich environments in some of  our more challenging communities and neighborhoods. These book shelves supports literacy, learning and education beyond our traditional library locations. Imagine visiting DSS for family support and having the opportunity to not only read to your child, but take a book or two home to continue the learning experience. For more information on the community bookshelf program or hosting a book drive for the library contact Ursula Guidry at uguidry@cmlibrary.org
Staff member Ursula Guidry  reading to children in the WIC waiting room. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year

So many wonderful things have taken place in 2012 through Library Outreach Services. We recognized the diverse cultures in our community by promoting our collection and hosting cultural programs and activities such as Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Libros, Hispanic Heritage month, Native American Heritage month, Asian Pacific Heritage month, African American History and Older Americans month. We collaborated with the Latin American Coalition and Child Support Enforcement to bring job seeking opportunities into the community. We have continued to increase the number of homebound customers served through our Library by Mail program. We are  delighted to see the change in children's and parents behavior and attitude when they realize the joy of learning and reading through our early literacy programs and workshops.

Our two newest staff members, Ursula Jacobs-Guidry and Pamela McCarter have hit the ground running fast! Ursula is quickly establishing her role as the family literacy coordinator with successful programs and activities at the YWCA Central Carolinas and other community organizations such as the Department of Social Services, Carolina Healthcare System and Presbyterian Hospital. Pamela is getting a reputation for being a technology "Guru" as she lends technology support and other job searching resources to non-custodial parents at Child Support Enforcement.

In addition to working directly with customers and community members, the Outreach Team can also be found actively working on local and national committees such  Mecklenburg County Aging and Advisory Committee, United Way of the Central Carolinas, Smart Start, Bilingual Preschool and the McCory YMCA Senior Advisory Committee. Two staff members are also actively involved in several ALA (American Library Association) boards and committees including the grants and scholarship rewards committee, Special Populations and YALSA.

What is next for Outreach; where do we go from here? Well quoting Timothy from my new favorite movie, "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" I (we) can only get better. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is in the process of developing its strategic plan. The plan will provide the library with priorities that support the communities need, vision and Mecklenburg County priorities. Outreach will use this plan as a blue print as we continue to serve and work in the community. We are also working strategically with internal divisions (Adults, Teens and Children's) to provide efficient and effective customer service.

New Book Shelf at the Latin American Coalition with Veronica Corral and Ursula Jacobs' Guidry
All this means is we welcome 2013! We are honored to continue to serve our customers and communities. Look for opportunities to complete surveys to give  feedback that will help us improve serving you and others. Feel free to forward immediate feedback on outreach services and this post to Meryle A. Leonard; Outreach Manager.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ready, Set, Reach Out

Technically summer is over in library world. Summer reading has ended and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library had a very successful summer reading program. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Director David Singleton reported, "This year, 17,868 children and teens participated in the library’s summer reading program, documenting 156,404 hours read.  And this year, a revitalized summer reading program for adults drew 4,299 participants (about 8 times more participants than in 2011!), with an emphasis on modeling reading behaviors for youth, and documenting 73,914 hours of reading. The total number of 22,167 registrations for Summer Reading this year represents an increase of about 26% over last year’s program, and the total 230,318 hours of reading represents an increase of about 25% over last year’s program."  
The Outreach department brought summer reading into the community. Youth  who could not get to our physical locations were still able to participate in our summer reading program. Youth also had library books to read at their summer camp locations and donated books to take home. We offered family workshops to encourage family reading and reduce the "Summer Slide." Participants looked forward to weekly library visits and the fun prizes that came along with reading. 

For the first time the department extended the Adult Summer Reading program to our Library by Mail participants.Twenty homebound adults participated and completed the program. Library by Mail program coordinator Connie Ellington said," Customers were very excited that they were included in the summer reading program. They loved earning prizes."  Library by Mail customer Michael D. said, "I want to thank you for how quickly you have been able to send out books that I have requested. This service made it possible for my daughter and I to be able to take advantage of library books again, since I can't drive anymore due to being paralyzed." Outreach Services continues to be a needed and valuable community service. It gives all citizens, no matter the circumstances, the opportunity to take advantage of library services and resources.

For more information on Library by Mail, contact:704.416.0552.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

She's Back.............And So is Summer Reading in Outreach

Welcome back Carmella Morrison. Carmella is working as a summer contract worker in the Outreach Department with one purpose only...to make sure at-risk students in underserved communities participate in the Library's Summer Reading Program. In a 2011 report by the New York State Library, “The Importance of Summer Reading" Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described summer learning loss as “devastating.” He further stated, "This is what researchers have often referred to as the “summer slide.” It is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected." In, "Summer Reading Programs Boost Student Achievement, Study Says," a School Library Journal Article (November 2010) stated, "Students who take part in their local library’s summer reading program significantly improve their reading skills." Charlotte Mecklenburg Library understands this achievement gap and the need to bring the library services to the community. Carmella visits several summer camps each week. She gives the students a wonderful literacy experience, which gets them excited about reading and books and she makes sure they are enrolled in the summer reading program and prepared to successfully complete the program. Successfully completing the program means children will have access to books and read for at least twenty minutes per day.

This year's summer reading program is on line, and the majority of the student's Carmella is serving do not have access to a computer or the Internet at home or in summer camp. When Carmella asked the students at the YWCA Reid Park location if they recorded their reading time on their reading record, ALL of the students stated they did not have a computer at home. Carmella made sure she recorded  what every student read,  how long they read, and she will manually update each student's reading record. Outreach services creates opportunities and access.

Carmella Morrison in a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is interested in pursuing her Master's Degree in Library Science. For more information on Outreach Services contact 704.416.0558 or visit http://www.cmlibrary.org/Youth/.